Cigar Review by Matt Zaccheo (guest)
Cigar Photography by Jay L (cigarphoto.net)
This week we are photographing and reviewing the Reinado Grand Empire Reserve Petit Lancero prerelease. Antonio Lam of Reinado will be making a follow-up splash at this year’s IPCPR’13 by introducing additional vitolas to his popular Grand Empite Reserve line – Petit Lancero Limited Edition (6 x 38), Corona Gorda (5 5/8 x 46), and Toro (6 x 52). In addition, “couple months” after the IPCPR, Antonio will be releasing the Gordo size (6 x 60). When asked why Gordo is not coming out at the same time as the other 3 new vitolas, Antonio responded – “Blend needs work for the size. We want to be able to translate the essence of the GER notes as close as possible and don’t feel it is there yet.” So, there you have it. Four additional vitolas to the popular Elegidos (5 x 55) original release.
If you have enjoyed the flavor & performance of the Elegidos but prefer the lancero format, the Petit Lancero might be just what you have been waiting for. Keep in mind though, the Petit Lancero will be a limited edition – 10 count boxes (250 boxes total).
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Maduro
Drink: Unsweetened Lipton Cold Brew iced tea
# cigars smoked for review: One…..it was all I could get my hands on!
Pre-light: The cigar presents itself with an oily and attractive mocha brown maduro wrapper. It’s not as oily as the Elegidos, but it still exudes that sexy, velvety tactile experience. The palpable veins and ultra fine tooth create subtle color variations and accentuate deeper dark chocolate and reddish hews. Perfect symmetry: tight, crisp seems and evenly packed throughout. Off the foot, the pre-light aroma is gripping: huge plum, raisin and sweet tobacco. Way too sexy for the barnyard! The cold draw gives up more sweet tobacco and jammy notes balanced by earth and hints of leather.
Draw: Classic lancero: a little snug, but not uncomfortable.
Flavors: The lead in is an initial warm blast of red pepper spice(tip of the tongue) that commands your attention and gradually fades out into a wave of sweet cedar, dark chocolate, and moist earth, while soft wisps of leather try to emerge from the depths below. It’s a much more lively and spirited red pepper spice up front and on the retro hale when compared to the Elegidos. It may be petite, but it sure as hell is bold as brass coming out of the gates! Saucy……I like it!
The smoke starts off bright and sharp on the palate. There are delicate floral and herbal notes that unfold to soften the cedar edge. The core is earth and dark chocolate. The finish is long…….coffee, roast nuts, and soft leather. Getting into the second third, around the second ash drop, it is clear that act I has closed………but the show must go on.
A very interesting transition / transformation occurs: the smoke becomes much more dense and lush, yielding a bigger mouth feel on the palate. The crisp floral and herbal notes are put to rest and the overall texture gets much creamier. A distinct sweetness, not present at all in the 1st third, starts to reveal itself. It’s not the blackstrap molasses I get from the Elegidos. It is a lighter / less aggressive and more delicate sweetness … it’s honey! This in and of itself is worth the price of admission … but it’s not even close to the best part.
Simultaneously, as the mouth feel is becoming much more substantial and creamier, the warming sensation of the red pepper on the tip of my tongue changes dramatically! The honeyed sweetness builds and a particular floral note becomes readily apparent … it’s mint! On the tip of my tongue, throughout the second third of the cigar, a wonderful cool minty, fresh grated nutmeg spice led into a long, smooth finish of earth, coco, coffee, leather, and more roast nuts. The leather is more assertive throughout the remainder of the cigar and the mild cedar evolves into more of a toasted oak. The honey and mint mesh well and subtle graham cracker notes fleet in and out…… it’s truly a happily ever after moment going on here.
The strength and body build throughout the cigar. For me, it was a solid medium that developed into full throttle…..hitting the final third! The flavors are BIG and diverge and contrast at points, but are never conflicting or opposed. She will tangle you in an elaborate complex web. Damn….MORE please!!!
Burn: Required one touch up. Tight potash grey salt and pepper ash.
Description Adjectives: Rollercoaster. Big things come in small packages. Petite….my ass!
Box Worthy: Oh HELL yes!
Overall: Another clear winner from Reinado. I love the GER blend and this vitola showcases it’s different characteristics and attributes extraordinarily well. When I was growing up my parents taught me if you were going to do something….do it right. This is a job well done…done right….. and not to be missed.
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* DISCLAIMER: Reinado Grand Empire Reserve Petit Lancero sample was gifted by Antonio Lam of REINADO. Antonio’s generosity had no impact on the actual experience. The cigar spoke for itself.
- click on photographs (slideshow)-