La Flor Dominicana LG Diez Lancero 2010

These days it’s easy for lanceros to get lost in the beefy, large ring-gauged shuffle. Take for instance the cigar I’m reviewing this week, the LG Diez Lancero 2010. It fights for your attention in the humidor among the likes of the L500, DL660, the DL700, the Salomons and soon, the new 8 1/2 x 60 Double Ligero “Digger”. And that’s just the La Flor Dominicana section. I could complain about the situation, but the 60 ring gauge is many smokers are looking for, and Litto was kind enough to provide us with a smaller option or three. And to be honest, I’m rather fond of the DL660 and Maduro Salomon.

You may be wondering why a company that’s so well known for big cigars would produce a lancero, especially in a less-than-favorable market for the size. I asked my local La Flor Dominicana rep Justin, and he told me it’s because the lancero is one of Litto’s favorite vitolas. Even though he knew that a lancero wouldn’t be a smash hit with the average consumer these days, there are connoisseurs of the slender stick that would appreciate it. And he was right, but he may have underestimated the demand. This very limited LG Diez line extension (around 200 boxes) was introduced at the 2010 IPCPR trade show, and sold out quickly at many shops.

If you’re not familiar with the LG Diez line, here’s some background from the La Flor Dominicana website:

In 1999, we challenged ourselves to produce a cigar that was made entirely with tobacco grown on our farm. We knew it was a difficult task, because it implied growing our own wrapper. The investment was big and the risk too. But the most difficult part was the waiting. The process of fermentation and aging took more years than we expected. We tested this blend month after month for three years. Just to be disappointed because it was not ready but at the same time happy because we would taste the progress. Finally the waiting is over, today we can celebrate this great achievement. The flavor and complexity of the LG’s are everything that we anticipated. We hope you enjoy these great cigars.

I hope I enjoy it too. Let’s find out.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 7 1/2 x 39
Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Smoking Time: 2 hours
Beverage: Water
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Price: MSRP $11.28

The Pre-Smoke
First off, though it doesn’t have any bearing on the cigar itself, I really like the LG Diez band. Its abundance of regal red and gold are eye catching, but it’s also functional, clearly indicating not only the name, but that this is a Dominican Puro from 2010.

Getting beyond the decorative band, the wrapper on the LG Diez Lanceros I smoked was surprisingly light in color, especially if you’re more familiar with the popular Double Ligero line. Looking the cigars over, I didn’t find any flaws in the wrappers, but I noticed that they were well populated with fine veins. There was also sporadic dark spotting on the leaf.

The cigars seemed firm and consistent, and the wrapper had a sweet pungent compost aroma. The cold draw always seemed a tad tight, and produced raisin and grass flavors.

The Burn
With one exception, the LG Diez Lanceros drew very well. And with the one that didn’t, the stick seemed to be a little over humidified. (It came from a different source than the rest.) Aside from the occasional touch up and relight, the cigars performed well, solid ashes, even burn lines and etcetera. Though it struck me as a cigar you can’t dawdle with. I didn’t exactly feel rushed to keep the cigar burning properly, but nearly all the burn problems seemed to stem from waiting a little too long between puffs.

The Flavor
The initial puffs of the LG Diez Lancero were an intense combination of meaty, smoky and herbal flavors. I knew right away this cigar isn’t messing around. The herbal element died down before long, and meaty, smokey flavors were joined by a subdued sweetness and a little pepper. As the third progressed, wood became a more noticeable part of the profile as well.

Grass became an significant element in the second third, and melded very nicely with the smokey and meaty base. The wood flavor that emerged slowly in the preceding third now became more distinctly cedar. Call me crazy, but for one rich moment, the cigars almost tasted like bacon. It was a very good third.

An unsweetened chocolate note started to appear around the final third, and became very pronounced by the end. The cedar and grass notes continued to be a big parts of the profile up to the end as well.

The Price
Initially, the price does sound a little high for a lancero, but it seems a little more reasonable when compared with the rest of the LG Diez line. In addition to paying for the difficulty of the size (it’s a little cheaper than the Chisel Puro, actually), you are paying the boutique premium for a puro constructed exclusively with leaf from Litto’s farms.

The Verdict
The LG Diez Lancero 2010 is an impressive cigar that’s both full-bodied and packed with great, unique flavors. It was a nice change of pace from my normal smoking routine. Though due to the limited nature of the production, this is not a cigar that could ever become routine. (Though if they were as popular as was reported, maybe we’ll see a 2011 edition. I’m crossing my fingers.) I plan on picking up more when I have the chance, and if you have the opportunity to buy some, I encourage you to do so. This is one no La Flor Dominicana fan that enjoys the smaller ring gauged cigars should miss.

Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes

Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.