Lancero, 6.75" x 40 ring gauge / $10.70, Burns Tobacconist
This one confused me at first...the box clearly said "Cameroon" but when I looked at the wrapper, my reaction was, "There is no way that is a Cameroon leaf!" Closer inspection revealed that the band on the cigars agreed with my eyes...this was a Maduro wrapper. I didn't even know La Aurora made a Preferido in a Lancero vitola! From what I have been told...they don't! Apparently 25 boxes of 50 sticks were made for one shop who later decided not to take delivery...at least not of all of them. Burns Tobacconist got their hands on 5 of those boxes (split between the Main and Downtown shops). I will assume the mix of filler and binder remains the same as that on the regular Preferido line...filler from Dominicana, Cameroon, and Brazil, binder from the Dominican. The wrapper is a Brazilian Mata Fina leaf. This review sample is the second I have had of this vitola.
Like all Preferidos, this is a great-looking cigar. It had a nice, oily wrapper that was dark, but not so dark that I even suspected it was dyed...just a nice shade of chocolate somewhere in between milk and dark. There were a couple larger veins, but this is not totally unexpected on most varietals that are made into Maduro leaves. Putting it to my nose, I got lots of leather aroma from the wrapper, along with a little earth...and not nearly as much sweetness or cocoa as I expected. The foot had a nice, ripe, pungent earthiness. The prelight draw was very good and I got flavors of rich, sweet tobacco, along with a little earth and a bit of tea.
After lighting up, the smoke was rich and oily, mouth-coating and medium to full in body. I tasted notes of coffee, cocoa powder and earth on the palate, and got roasted nuts and a bit of that Cameroon spiciness on the retrohale. As the first third burned I picked up notes dried fruit in the subtle sweetness, along with the aforementioned notes of earth and coffee. While bordering on full bodied because of the oiliness and richness of the smoke, it was not strong...seems like this would be a good cigar to use to educate yourself on the difference between body and strength.
I picked up a lot more spice in the second third...a chili pepper spice that rode on the oily smoke and coated the mouth. The sweetness in the Preferido Maduro Lancero also changed to more of a chocolatey note. Construction was just about perfect, featuring an almost even burn line with little need of touching up, a strong ash, and fantastic draw.
The flavor in the final third got more earthy and strongly bitter at points, making me wish this Maduro wrapper lent more sweetness to the mix. Overall, though, this was a fantastic example of the Preferido line and one that I wish they made on a regular basis rather than just this one time, especially at the price point of just under $11, which is, I believe, just about the lowest price I've ever seen a Preferido sell for. As noted before the Preferido Maduro Lancero has a medium to full body, but it is decidedly just below the midpoint in nicotine strength. It had a mostly very rich and complex flavor that will satisfy just about any cigar enthusiast...as long as you can get them.
Call Matt (Burns East) at 423-855-5200 or Wes (Burns Downtown) at 423-267-7740 to get some Preferido Maduro Lanceros of your own.