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Old 01-18-2004, 08:42 PM   #1
jazznut
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Cohiba Lancero

"Fidel-ity"

Cohiba Lanceros from Cuba
Size: 7.5 inches by 38 ring gauge (Laguito No.1)
EL OASU – El Laguito Factory/Issued 1998-06

There is refinement and then there is true elegance, and Cohiba’s classic Lancero surely exudes all the visual and tactile facets one might associate with the latter characteristic. Holding it is like cradling the stem of a fine, handblown wine goblet. Compact in gauge and densely firm to the touch, it nonetheless seems to float in one’s fingertips.

With age, the Laguito No.1’s fruitwood-like mid Colorado capa, tinged with a subdued ‘tandoori’ clay cast, acquires a more darkly mottled patina born of internal oils having gradually penetrated their way to the underside of the smoothly grained and taughtly wrapped outer leaf. The deeply set, carefully formed triple-seam cap with its well-known ‘pig-tail’ lifts the overall effect almost to an art form.

Yet this is one work of art obviously created not only to be held, looked at and admired, but to be incinerated! Slowly firing the cigar’s foot with a thin, flame-tipped shaft of cedar, I immediately became aware of a softness of aroma and flavour. This softness was not in the nature of a lack of intensity, but rather of an uncommonly rounded and integrated spectrum of elements. The predominant scents spoke of exceptionally well-cured tobacco leaf, freshly sawed maple wood, sweaty saddle-leather, herbal hints and pine needles, while tastes of gently roasted coffee beans, air-dried tobacco, pistachios, almonds and tapioca pudding hovered around a pronounced sweetgrass core.

Given the phenomenal melding of the various constituents, I found it well nigh impossible to differentiate between sweetness and dryness, so tightly interwoven were they. The flavour remained remarkably consistent and medium-bodied throughout, with the only notable transition being an additional toastiness that began to appear near the end.

Technically, this Laguito No.1 was a lesson in how a mature, narrow-gauge cigar should smoke. Its powdery-textured, white-grey ash detached somewhat reluctantly inch by inch while the edge of the burn varied minimally between ten degrees and perfect perpendicularity from start to finish. Apart from one minor touchup at the outset, I left the Cohiba entirely to its own devices.

This was the second vitola from this batch I had lit up, and having read somewhere or other of how satisfactorily Cohibas can match with Green Chartreuse, I elected to give the pairing a go. The Lancero and liqueur combined wonderfully well.

As I come to the close of the review, I must say I have mixed feelings regarding my encounters with this esteemed cigar. Why? Simply because, given the requisite finances and the opportunity, I do believe I could smoke one every day!
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