There was a time in which my solution to everything was to put it in a lancero. Every single company asked what they needed to do was told by me to put in a size that is challenging and expensive to make, nearly impossible to sell, but loved by the connoisseurs, albeit, not loved enough to be regularly purchased.
Not to be outdone, Brooks Whittington decided to start recommending companies put cigars in the even more challenging nifa size, 7 x 33.
Apparently, the only one who listened to both of us was Terence Reilly, then of Quesada Cigars.
In 2013, the company released the España Lancero, followed up a year later by a Ninfa.
Here’s what I said before the Lancero was released, after smoking 11 of them:
It took a few months, but this became my favorite España. The line itself has never been my favorite fresh and I don’t love it as much as Brooks, but that shouldn’t take away from what is my ideal vitola of a favored line. If you like the España profile, I find it difficult to argue there is a better example of it than the Lancero with eight months on it. However, it’s not all butterflies and roses, as there are some construction problems that have been present in the majority of the cigars I’ve smoked in the past year and that’s an issue reflected in the score. This is the line that helped the recent resurgence of the Quesada brand, and this is its finest example, slightly besting the Corona, but in my opinion, it falls short compared to the Quesada Jalapa. It will be impossible to get these in 2013, but that’s not going to stop me from trying.
I was digging around a humidor and stumbled across one that I presume is from that original bundle, and as is often the case, figured there was no better day than the present to light one up.
- Cigar Reviewed: Quesada Selección España Lancero
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Quesada Cigars
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Ariparaca
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
- Length: 7 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 38
- Vitola: Lancero
- MSRP: $8.50 (Cabinets of 50, $425)
- Release Date: January 2013
- Number of Cigars Released: 12 Boxes of 50 Cigars (600 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1
While it’s not the Gatorade-colored yellow that people often brag about on Instagram, there’s a slight yellow hue to the cellophane. More notably, the cigar struggles a bit to get out of the cellophane. Once out, I’m surprised as the España Lancero has almost no aroma off the wrapper, just a faint leather smell. There’s a lot more life from the foot: chocolate, burnt coffee, pecans and some brown sugar around the medium-plus level. The cold draw has some floral flavors, burnt coffee, a touch bit of twang and a fairly aggressive black pepper.
The España Lancero begins gracefully with a hearty chocolate, nuttiness, wet leaves and a sharp pepper right down the center of the tongue. That profile sticks around for the first inch, but the cigar gets a bit warmer and that adds some metallic flavors into a mixture that has grown woodier and with more orange. The core group of flavors is pretty much the same for the first half of the cigar, though every couple of puffs they seem to want to rearrange themselves. After the halfway mark, there’s some added lemon and creaminess, but once again, the core group of flavors is rather similar to the start of the cigar. Around an inch and a half things change with the profile going from medium-full to full and toastiness, earthiness, black pepper, cayenne and walnuts emerging.
A likely explanation for that change in the final third is the construction. While it was great for the first 40 percent of the cigar, touch-ups became a common occurrence after that. Each time the lighter hit the foot of the cigar it changed things, and by the final third, it wasn’t for the better.
The problem with the España Ninfa is that it couldn't stay lit. And sadly, with this particular example, that was the problem here. The España's blend is too delicate to deal well with relighting and it showed here. But even without that, it's hard to suggest that this cigar has aged into something phenomenal. It certainly was good, but I don't believe it's gotten any better than where it was five years ago.