I’ve smoked a lot of lanceros, hundreds of different ones in fact.
They aren’t big sellers and a lot of that has to do with people’s perception of the thin ring gauge and the difficulty in rolling cigars like that. As such, there’s not a whole lot of different takes on lanceros: almost all are somewhere between 7 and 7 1/2 inches long with a ring gauge between 38-40. A decent portion have pigtails, because that’s the traditional Cuban style—but they are largely rather homogenous.
MBombay seems to have taken a different approach—sort of like when I play around with the McLaren configurator and check all the options just to see how ridiculous a car can be. As for this cigar, add an extra inch? Check. Wrap it in cedar? Check. Add a brushed foot? Check.
All that is called the MBombay Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973.
No, the company isn’t claiming the cigar was rolled in 1973, rather Mel Shah, MBombay’s owner, says the filler is from crops from 1970-1973.
As for that filler, it comes from the Dominican Republic and Peru and it’s placed inside in the Dominican Republic binder and Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper that’s found on the company’s Nikka limited release.
The Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973 shipped in August and is limited to 560 boxes of 25.
- Cigar Reviewed: MBombay Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973
- Country of Origin: Costa Rica
- Factory: Tabacos de Costa Rica
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Republic & Peru
- Length: 8 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 38
- Vitola: Lancero Extra
- MSRP: $13.50 (Box of 25, $337.50)
- Release Date: August 2016
- Number of Cigars Released: 560 Boxes of 25 Cigars (14,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
After removing the large piece of cedar, I’m greeted with a nice looking cigar with a bright, sand-colored wrapper that has plenty of oils. Aroma off the wrapper is somewhat predictable: there’s a lot of cedar along with some cherry sweetness—and that’s it. I was expecting a lot more both in intensity–it’s mild-medium–and actual flavors as I struggle to find that cherry flavor on just one cigar. The foot provides the depth of flavors I was hoping for with cinnamon over floral flavors, milk chocolate and blueberries. All are very well balanced, but the cinnamon is just a touch stronger. The cold draw is similar as there’s a strong combination of Eggo Cinnamon Toast waffles and some gingerbread along with touches of the blueberries.
The MBombay Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973 starts with cedar, earthiness, a bit of pepper on the tongue and a lot of saltiness. It reminds me largely of an over-salted steak, which is a good thing. It would be easy, particularly without retrohaling, to dismiss the cigar as just woody and creamy, but there’s a lot more in the retrohale: an artificial orange—like an orange soda—along with some floral flavors, which is noticeably stronger on the aroma. The finish has lots of cognac and soggy white bread. The flavor is medium-plus, the strength is medium, but the body is non-existent.
I am smoking a tad bit quicker than I like and that only picks up in the second third. It’s an effort to avoid the cigar going out, which eventually happens on all three cigars despite my best efforts. In the mouth, the relatively mundane mixture of earth, cedar and creaminess continues, while retrohales also remains similar. At some point the floral flavor increases and turns for more of a tulip to a less sweet dandelion. There are two other major changes: pepper on the retrohale and an increase in minerals on the finish, which adds a fair amount of bitterness to the MBombay. Once again the flavor is medium-plus, the strength is medium and the body remains extremely mild.
Walnuts add themselves into the MBombay Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973, joining the earthiness and creaminess along with the bitter mineral flavor that increases. Otherwise, the slow decline of the sweetness in the retrohale continues, but things are pretty similar. My struggles with the burn continue, though I only have to make one full relight to keep the cigar going.
- I cannot think of another lancero with a brushed foot. In fact, even a closed foot or box-pressed lancero is an extreme rarity.
- On that same note, I cannot recall a production cigar of 8 1/2 x 38. Quesada released the Casa Magna Colorado Super Lancero—an 8 1/4 x 40 vitola—and I know an 8 1/2 x 40 mold existed, at least in limited capacity, at the La Aurora factory.
- Casa Turrent also makes a cigar with 1973 in the name.
- This joins the long list of cigars—largely Cuban—that have much more interesting cold draws than the flavors when smoking.
- I didn’t start researching the cigar until after I smoked all three samples. It uses the same wrapper as the MBombay Nikka, which is a much better cigar.
- For those wondering if it’s even possible that tobaccos from the 1970s are still around—yes, it’s not unheard of. That being said, it’s obviously not an everyday occurrence.
- In general, I’d say that any raw tobaccos that are that old are that old for one of two reasons: a. they were excellent tobaccos deemed for storage, b. they were tobaccos that weren’t ready or otherwise undesirable and no one purchased them over the years.
- What is odd about this situation is that Tabacos de Costa Rica isn’t one of the gigantic cigar producers that oftentimes have older tobaccos.
- I am having more issues with cigars staying lit than normal and I’m not sure why. The weather here in Texas is an ideal 70-80 degrees at night when I smoke cigars. Further more, these cigars spent over a month in my humidor.
- For those wondering if the humidor is the issue, it’s sitting at 69 percent RH, which is where it has been at for the last few years.
- Cigars for this review were sent to halfwheel by MBombay.
- Final smoking time was a somewhat quick two hours and 30 minutes.
- Site sponsor STOGIES World Class Cigars (713.783.5100) carries the MBombay Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973.
I found this cigar to be confused; the Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973 seems like it wanted to be something more than what it is. My main issue is the body, which is incredibly mild and doesn’t jive well with the types of flavors this cigar puts off. This isn’t a bad cigar, but MBombay makes a lot of cigars that are quite simply much better. For me, the issues with balance and construction—however small—aren’t worth the rewards at the end of the two and a half hours.