Winston Churchill Lancaster

Back in May, the good people at Davidoff surprised me with a sample tin of the latest Winston Churchill line extension, the diminutive Lancaster. I have fond memories of the larger cigars in the line, at one point the Blenheim ranked pretty highly on my list of favorite smokes. More recently, I’ve had the similarly tinned Spitfire and found it pretty enjoyable as well, so I was excited to try out the new vitola. But as often happens, I set them in the humidor for a little R&R after their travels, and forgot they were there.

A few weeks ago I found the press release that was sent along with the tin, and decided it was high time to excavate them out from their resting place. But before we get into the pyrotechnics, I’ll let said press release, transcribed below, handle the introductions.

Pinellas Park, FL. May 6, 2011 – The newest edition to the popular Winston Churchill cigar series has arrived. The Winston Churchill ‘Lancaster’ is a 4 1/2 inch by 46 ring gauge, a somewhat grander version of the ever popular Winston Churchill ‘Spitfire’ cigar. Its most striking feature is its Belicoso format. It packs a smooth, powerful flavor and is perfect for aficionados who do not wish to relinquish their Winston Churchill cigar for those briefer interludes of smoking pleasure.

Only the very best, richly aromatic tobaccos and exclusive wrapper leaf are used to make these cigars – they are, after all, named after the most famous cigar smoker of all times – Sir Winston Churchill.

Lancaster is a truly unique blend, complied of many different tobaccos. All tobaccos used in this blend are from seeds of Cuban origin. An Ecuador Special Sun Grown leaf is used for the wrapper. The binder leaf is Pelo de Oro from Peru. The Lancaster uses the same filler tobaccos as the other Winston Churchill cigars, which are from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.

Winston Churchill Lancaster cigars were launched in the United States at Select Merchants only, on April 25, 2011. Presented in a brilliantly attractive red tin of four cigars, Lancaster retails for $23.00. Individual cigars have a suggested retail price of $5.75. (State taxes not included.)

The Winston Churchill ‘Lancaster’ with its strong but balanced composition of specially fermented and aged tobaccos is a cigar to savor. Thanks to their unmistakably nuanced tasted and lingering hint of freshly roasted coffee beans, these Winston Churchill cigars promise aficionados an intense, unforgettable smoke.

Sounds great, I can’t wait any longer to light one up. And I won’t.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 4 1/2 x 46
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Peru
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Smoking Time: 1 hours
Beverage: Water
Source: Samples
Price: MSRP $5.75 ($23.00 for a tin of four)

The Pre-Smoke
I didn’t look at the cigar’s stats before I cracked open the Winston Churchill Lancaster’s bright red tin, and I was a little surprised by the size of the cigars. If you disregard the cap, the cigars are basically fat petite coronas or short corona gordas.

Giving the cigars the once over, I didn’t find any noteworthy issues. The sticks were firm, well constructed, and had few fine veins. The wrapper had a chocolate and compost aroma, and an intriguingly sweet cold taste that reminded me of blueberries.

The Burn
I love not having anything to say when it comes to the burn part of the review. I’m sure it will come as no surprise that the little Lancaster combusted admirably. An almost always even burn line, surprisingly long ashes given the size, an easy draw and of course, no shortage of smoke.

The Flavor
The Lancaster started off with a creamy flavor combination of grain-like sweetness, chocolate, and a touch that trademark mustiness that I find common in Davidoff cigars. This gave way quickly to creamy coffee, earth and wood, with brief appearances of the blueberry sweetness I noted in the cold taste.

The wood component of the profile kicks it up a notch in the second third of the Lancaster, and the cigar picks up a little spice. Creamy coffee, the mustiness, and earth are still present. On the retrohale, the wood reminds me a lot of an oak bourbon barrel.

The final third is much like the preceding one, only with a little more spice and a little less mustiness.

The Price
At $5.75 a stick the Lancaster is a little more expensive than other tinned short smokes, but the experience seemed more like that of a cigar than a cigarillo. As such the price didn’t seem completely out of line. And of course, being a Davidoff product figures into the computation as well.

The Verdict
Just for fun, I also smoked the larger Winston Churchill Blenheim in preparation for this review to see which I liked better. The Blenheim is still an enjoyable cigar, but the verdict comes down on the side of the Lancaster. It’s a fuller, spicier smoke, with better flavor and it comes in a format that’s both more convenient, and more wallet friendly. I’d have no problem buying more of these in the future, and I think it will probably appeal to those who think the larger Winston Churchill is good, but a little mild for their tastes.

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

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