Back in October of 2009, Pete Johnson of Havana Cellars/Tatuaje Cigars came to Dallas. While there he gave me a prerelease El Triunfador Internationals that had been out in the public at the time and asked me to smoke it. Well, I said, “Of course, as soon as I put it in my Vino for a week or two, and photograph it…” And he said “Nope, you have to smoke it right here in front of me”.
So, I said fine and went and photographed the cigar outside the store, which is why the photos look a bit different than normal. Then I smoked it and took notes while Johnson sat and talked to a group of us for a couple of hours.
Well, I kept ahold of those photos and the review, and decided to publish my thoughts when the release date got a little closer. It just so happens that about a month ago, New Havana Cigars started giving away samples of another vitola of the same blend, the No.4, a robusto, to customers who purchased some Tatuaje products and I happened to get a hold of one of those as well. So, I figured I would do a dual review of sorts. While the official review will be on the lancero, I will also be giving my thoughts on the differences between to two sizes.
There is quite a bit of informationx on the web about this cigar, some of it quite wrong, and since I seem to be the first blog to publish an official review I wanted to get it all right, so I emailed Pete Johnson with a few questions and clarifications.
As you may or may not know, El Triunfador, which means the winner in Spanish, is a 7 1/2 x 38 lancero that was released in September 2008 in limited quantities to select stores around the country. Dubbed the ghost cigar, it was hardly even talked about until after it was being sold. It is considered by many to be a good medium to full cigar, a sentiment I agree with.
In early to mid-2009, it was announced that Havana Cellars would be releasing an international only, i.e. not to be sold in the U.S. blend that would be using the same El Triunfador name, but would be a much milder blend.
In October, Johnson mentioned that the El Triunfador International blend would be released in the U.S., and that there would be quite a few more vitolas as well. We now know there will be six different sizes and will be priced between $6-9, depending on vitola:
- No. 1 – 6 1/2 x 42 Lonsdale
- No. 2 – 5 1/2 x 52 Belicoso
- No. 3 – 5 5/8 x 46 Corona Gorda
- No. 4 – 5 x 48 Robusto
- No. 5 – 4 3/8 x 42 Petit Corona
- No. 6 – 7 1/2 x 38 Lancero
Interestingly, other than the lancero, this has the exact same vitolas as the five original La Riqueza releases, and there will be a lancero produced. Apparently, there will be also be a 7th vitola, but, “not for a while.”
- Cigar Reviewed: El Triunfador No.6
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Habano Ecuador Sun Grown
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 7 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 38
- Vitola: Lancero
- Est. Price: $6-$9, depending on vitola
- Date Released: March 2010
The wrapper on this cigar is a fairly light brown shade and is almost seamless. No major veins show at all, and it has a very smooth look. There is almost no oil present, but it’s not rough at all.
I also love the band; it is very reminiscent of an older style Cuban cigar: simple, elegant and striking. In fact, while I was smoking this cigar, I kept thinking that the band reminded me of something, and I finally came up with it. I smoked a cigar called the Farach Farachitos.
As soon as I lit up the El Triunfador No.6, I was greeted by quite a bit of spice and pepper together, which surprised me a bit, considering the fact this was supposed to be a milder smoke. That receded very quickly, i.e. within the first five puffs or so, and I was left with a great creamy, sweet cedar flavor that coated my mouth nicely.
The second third was quite a bit like the first, just a great semi-sweet cedar, a touch of pepper and a faint floral flavor that blended very well with the rest of the cigar and made for a great combination.
Here, I am going to break away from the review for a second, and focus on the ash of the lancero. I have never, in all my years of smoking, seen an ash like this, about as white as you can get and almost totally seamless. This is a testament to the construction of the cigar as a whole. Take a look:
The final third still had that wonderful sweet cedar, and the pepper increased a bit, especially at the very end of the cigar, but I also detected a citrus flavor as well and it was fleeting. I was easily able to nub the smoke and it never got hot at the end.
- As expected, this lancero tastes nothing like the Original Release El Triunfador, not even close. I actually enjoyed the No.6 more than the brown-banded version.
- Between the Robusto (No.4) and the Lancero (No.6), I enjoyed the lancero infinatly more. If you like the No.4, than the No.6 is going to blow you away. The flavors were just riper than with the robusto and the construction was amazing.
- As I mentioned, the burn and draw were impeccable for both the lancero and the robusto, but the lancero was a thing of beauty.
- The final smoking time on the No.6 was one hour and 45 minutes, and the final smoking time on the No.4 was one hour and 15 minutes.
When seeing this wrapper for the first time, I was a bit taken aback by the lighter shade, especially considering most of Tatuaje's other cigars. I knew this would be a milder blend, and I was not disappointed in that regard. I would put this at a mild-plus to a lighter medium. It is also not the most complex cigar on the planet, but I could tell that a lot of thought had gone into the flavors that are present. When I was talking to Pete Johnson about this blend, I asked him what profile he was going for in this cigar and he told me that he wanted to produce an everyday kind of cigar, one that you could smoke every day, at any time, and never get bored. Honestly, I think he nailed it. The flavor is very reminiscent of an older Cuban cigar, milder with sweet undertones and a long, clean finish that ties it all together. While milder cigars do not make up the bulk of my smoking, I do appreciate a change of pace cigar and I have a feeling this will be one of those for me, especially considering the great price point.