It's fun to be trendy, right?
For the longest time, the trend has been to make bigger, fatter cigars. Robustos became popular in the 90s during the Cigar Boom, and the trend continued into the new century. it seems that everyone was trying to make a fatter cigar. I think it stems from the American idea of "Go big or go home". America seemed to be infatuated with stronger bigger cigars.
But what did this trend do to the cigar?
Well, in my oh so humble opinion, it devalued the wrapper. How's that, you may be asking?
A cigar wrapper's impact on the overall flavor of the cigar is DIRECTLY proportional to the size of the cigar. The fatter the cigar, the more filler is in the cigar; which means the smaller the ratio of wrapper there is to the total amount of tobacco in the cigar.
The Cubans know what they are doing, and historically their most popular cigars have been thinner cigars. The corona, which averages a 42-44 ring gauge, has more wrapper tobacco than a robusto which averages a 48-54 ring gauge.
The trend to go big has gotten out of control as cigars began featuring a 54 ring gauge and many a 60+! Don't forget, ring gauge is measured by 1/64th of an inch, so a 60 ring gauge cigar is almost an inch in diameter. That's a big cigar to put in your mouth! And what are you predominantly tasting? That's right, filler.
You hear that this wrapper is aged 5 years, and this wrapper is only found on this farm, and so on; yet all sizes available are over a 50 ring gauge. That blows my mind. if this wrapper is so special, wouldn't you want to taste it?
Enter the Lancero.
The lancero has been popular with many cigar aficionados for quite some time. Before I get too carried away let me state that some folks have been making thin cigars for quite some time, like Davidoff, Arturo Fuente and Tatuaje to name a few. These sizes were often to please the manufacturers themselves or were lines that were blended for the more refined palate (a seasoned cigar smoker).
Now it is catching on with the general cigar smoking public. It began with Limited Edition Samplers and sizes, thanks to folks like Don Pepin Garcia, La Flor Dominicana and Rocky Patel; but now Lanceros are showing up in many regular lines (like the Alec Bradley Tempus).
(Now you big ring gauge lovers, don't fret, there's plenty of big ring gauge cigars out there for you to enjoy, and the Big Ring Gauge trend, even with the growing pupularity of thinner cigars, shows no signs of slowing down.)
But, finally (again) the wrapper can now be enjoyed as it should be intended.
So long live the Lancero!