The Don Carlos Lancero is a cigar that I should like.

Up until December 2011, the Don Carlos Lancero was a rather rare specimen reserved for Casa Fuente, Prometheus releases and other limited fashions that meant walking into a B&M and purchasing a box was out of the question. Truth be told, for the most part, Don Carlos Lancero Lanceros have been offered in bundles. As I alluded to in the review last summer, 2011 brought changes to the bands of the entire Don Carlos and Hemingway lines, and the Lancero was not excluded. In addition, December 2011 brought the Don Carlos Lancero a la 13, gigantic boxes of 13 Don Carlos Lanceros that were shipped alongside the FFOX Forbidden X 13 releases.

Last May I wrote the following:

I’m a bit unresolved at the consistency issues with the $18 hard-to-find cigar, but it has to be noted. However, when the cigar is on, it’s quite good, a bit more than what most would expect in regards to the idea of a Don Carlos in Lancero form, but that classic Cameroon flavor that the Casa Fuente is noticeably lacking. I still much prefer the Casa Fuente over this

Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Lancero 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Lancero
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia
  • Wrapper: Cameroon
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Size: 7 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 41
  • Vitola: Lancero
  • MSRP: $18 (Boxes of 37, $540)
  • Date Released: 2001
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 2

It’s another great example of Fuente and Cameroon. The wrapper is luscious with a few markings, but still the best of the best when it comes to Cameroon. Aroma has that classic barnyard, a bit of cedar, but even with the cedar and cellophane both of the circa 2005-2006 examples seem a bit lighter than I recall. Cold draw is a bit sour, but there’s a great raisin and cinnamon mixture that seems more developed with the extra age. Pre-light aroma is great, a deep sweet toastiness.

The Don Carlos Lancero starts with the classic nuttiness that loses sweetness over the course of thirty seconds while a black pepper emerges from the back. Overall, I am not able to pick up the coffee note I found so prominent a few months prior, but the layers of nuttiness dominating sweetness and a black pepper are still at the core. Cedar becomes particularly apparent in the second third. It closes with a bit of a rich earth that doesn’t get close to challenging the nuttiness, but is still quite strong.

Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Lancero 2

Construction-wise, there’s not much to complain about: draw is right where I like it, burn rate is consistent, smoke production is decent, etc. Strength is medium plus on average. It’s everything you’d expect from a Don Carlos Lancero and not a place that you’d start criticism.

88 Overall Score

The Don Carlos Lancero is a good cigar. Out of the fifteen or so I've been lucky enough to smoke, there have been a few more that have been disappointing than I would have liked or thought. Still, this is a good cigar. Much like the FFOX Phantom, I'm just not sure this blend actually does best in this blend. Price aside, I'd take a Don Carlos #2, #3 or Presidente over the Lancero, even if it is my normal go-to size. The Don Carlos Lancero a la 13, i.e. the 2011 release, even in its very limited fashion fortunately put more of these on the market and at a pretty significantly lower price point, although, still more than the cigar is worth for me. For me, the Casa Fuente Lancero is the better cigar, by a lot, and that's why I'll spend the extra $11 or so dollars each and every time; if only I had more opportunities.

Original Score (May 2011)
Redux Score (February 2012)
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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.