The American cigar market got its formal introduction to Compañia Hondureña de Tabacos in April 2013, when the company announced the opening of the Kuuts Distribution Center in Florida. The company had already made its way into other parts of the world with its three premium lines, Placeres Reserva, Tabacalera Zapata and Miró, selling to a tune of over two million cigars per year, according to the company.
That trio of lines has been spreading to retailers across the country since that announcement, and the company had a presence at this year’s IPCPR Convention and Trade Show. It was there that Brooks Whittington and I first saw the Miró Lancero, and while details were firming up at that point, it wasn’t until October that the company made it official in October, issuing this press release that confirmed the specifics.
In that press release, John Gonzalez, vice-president of Kuuts, LLC, said:
What started out as a private smoke for our Operations Manager Gabriel Alvarez, turned out to be a future project. After traveling throughout the US, the obvious demand for a quality Lancero still exists. I thought it was time to release it as a Special Edition with the possibility of a full release in the future.
The Miró line is currently produced in four vitolas: Robusto, Toro, Torpedo and Toro Gordo, and while the blend for the Special Edition Lancero is the same as the rest of the line, the company says that it puts “more emphasis on flavor for the true traditionalists that enjoy this vitola.” It is also being limited to distribution in the United States.
Cigar Reviewed: Miró Special Edition Lancero
Country of Origin: Honduras
Factory: Compañia Hondureña de Tabacos
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Honduras & Nicaragua
Size: 7 1/2 Inches
Ring Gauge: 38
MSRP: $10.00 (Boxes of 10, $100.00)
Date Released: November 11, 2013
Number of Cigars Released: 500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)
Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The latte-colored wrapper on the Miró Special Edition Lancero is layered with a decent vein structure, a bit of shine and both smooth and textured spots. There’s varying levels of firmness in each of the cigars reviewed and it’s found at various points: one cigar had more give in the foot than at the head, while in another it the give was predominantly in the middle with the head and foot being fairly firm. The pigtail cap has a tight twist and is generally well applied, though one looked like it might have been a bit rushed. There’s no overlooking the sizable band on the cigar, which is an inch and a half in length. The pre-light aroma is dry with notes of cereal, lumberyard 2x4s and not a lot of spice or pepper, though there is an occasional touch of sweetness to be found. The cold draw is a bit firm with graham cracker and just a touch of sweetness out front, with a very faint touch of pepper in the background that stands out on the front of the tongue when in a bit greater supply.
The Miró Special Edition Lancero starts out with notes of nuts, wood and a decent bit of pepper that takes command in some samples while playing more of a supporting role in others. There’s also a subtle hint of sweetness that lingers around and provides a subtle coating to the initial hit of flavors. After about an inch of burn, the flavor dries out a bit and shifts to leading notes of dry wood and a bit of peanut, and with the sweetness now absent, makes those flavors that much more upfront. The burn line in the first third is by and large sharp and even, and produces about as good of an ash as can be expected from a Lancero, with a medium to dark gray color that is just a bit on the flaky side. Through the first third, the flavor has been upfront but not overpowering, with hints of pepper at times providing an extra oomph.
A drier flavor profile carries the Miró Special Edition Lancero into its second third, with a bit more pepper hitting the nose, while the mouth gets an even coating of flavor from the smoke. Subtle shifts from wood to dry pretzel, complete with a touch of salt, are starting to be picked up, while the pepper lightens up a bit to a more white pepper note from previous puffs where it seemed a bit heavier. There are times when the cigar seems to be asking me to walk a tightrope as far as smoking rate: puff a bit too often and it and the smoke gets a bit hot and rough; too infrequent and the cigar is bound to go out. When that sweet spot is found, there are good amounts of smoke emanating from the cigar, though they dissipate quickly when the cigar is at rest. The draw remains easy without being loose, and the burn line stays straight and even.
Another noticeable shift in flavors brings on notes of leather with the return of the nut flavors from earlier. There’s not much outright spice or pepper but still big, tangy flavors that keep your taste buds on their toes in the final third of the Miró Special Edition Lancero. The previously mentioned tightrope analogy continues in this section and demands an even more precarious balance to keep the cigar from getting too hot or extinguishing itself. Dryboxing does help a bit, but ultimately the responsibility lies at the feet of the person smoking the cigar. Assuming you keep the cigar hot enough to burn but cool enough to keep from getting harsh, you can smoke it down as far as you please without issue.
- I’m not quite sure this is 7 1/2 inches long; when I measured it, the shoulder of the cigar is just past the seven inch mark, and if I stretch out the pigtail, it’s closer to 7 1/4 inches than 7 1/2.
- I really enjoy the Lancero vitola, and without getting overly gushy, it warms my heart to hear John Gonzalez say that there is demand for a quality Lancero, especially in this age of 60, 70 and 80 ring gauge cigars, .
- I’m a nervous asher by nature, but even more so with Lanceros. Small ash burns clothes and laptops just like big ash.
- Two million cigars per year would mean that the company is making more cigars than E.P. Carrillo, who claims 1.5 million cigars per year.
- Dry boxing was once again required to really enjoy these — not sure if it’s me or the manufacturers, but I’m finding I need to do this more and more lately.
- Because I’m a stickler for pronouncing things correctly, Miró is pronounced meer-OH, not meer-row.
- 10-count box: thumbs up. I feel like I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but the point still stands.
- Kuuts, LLC recently confirmed that they are working on a Miró Maduro, among other projects, for the 2014 IPCPR Convention and Trade Show.
- The cigars for this review were provided by Kuuts, LLC.
- Final smoking time is about one hour and 30 minutes.
- Site sponsor Famous Smoke Shop carries Miró cigars, but has not added the Special Edition Lancero yet. Reach out to them and ask if they’ll be carrying it, and be sure to tell them halfwheel sent you.
I'm a bit on the fence on the Miró Special Edition Lancero: there are points where I really enjoy it, and there are others where I'm frustrated by its tendency to go out and others where it seems just a bit too dry for my liking. I do think it's a fairly good showing for the Miró line which is certainly one to try if your favorite retailer carries it. When the Miró Special Edition Lancero is on, it's very enjoyable: when you get the more upfront wood and nut notes subtly coated by a rich sweetness, the cigar sings. But when that sweetness disappears, it tends to tread a bit too far into dry notes that while engaging aren't necessarily pleasing. It's safe to say that I'll be keeping an eye on Kuuts and their forthcoming releases, and while this may not be one to chase down, it's not one to pass up.