Size Matters: Long Live the Lancero

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.

Cohiba Lancero

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).

El Triunfador

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!

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10 Comments on “Size Matters: Long Live the Lancero”

  1. I f#*%£€<|\_=¥€&$@);/@@# LOVE Lanceros! Not only are some of the all time world's best great cigars* ever come in this size – but there are factors that come into play some guys never think of when firing up a Lancero.

    (*The original Pete Johnson "Ghost" cigar; the Cain F Lancero Tubo; the Cohiba Lancero; the Tatuaje Black Label Petite Lancero; the La Palina Goldie Laguito #2, the Liga Privada L40; the Montecristo 75th Anniversary Lancero Decadas – I could go on)

    But I also contend that the Lancero is the manliest badass cigar vitola out there. Go to any nice/upscale cigar bar that happens to draw very attractive women; light up a Lancero and I almost guarantee you she's not only going to notice, but she's going to strike up a conversation with you, she's going to mention how nice the shape of the cigar is and say something to the effect that it would be the perfect shape and size for her to smoke. And duh, you better carry two of them!!!

  2. Amen to that!!! And like Komodata, and taking it a little bit further. Wanna meet women? Light up a La Gloria Cubana Med. d’Or #3… find out yourself…

  3. At times I do enjoy a 50 rings gauge. But I do enjoy the lancero and/or lonsdale’s. Recently I tried the new CyB. Of the 3 different sizes, the lonsdale was the best tasting.
    Thanks for the article.

  4. The Illusione HL, My Father No. 4, La Aurora Cien Años are among my favs.. also the Oliva V

  5. Oh, forgot my everyday JdN Antano 1970

  6. Amen brothers. I can begin to list the number of cigar lines that I wish came in a corona or lonsdale vitola.

  7. Unfortunately, our Cuban friends are following the current trend of “robusto or bust”. They discontinue thin cigars and add fatties. Very sad.

  8. Amen to the lancero!
    There are still many Cuban factories rolling thinner cigars, although they may not technically be lanceros. Try the Trinidad Fundadores or Montcristo Especiales.

  9. Thanks for this article… Fully interesting and I think I have to think one more time before choosing my next smoke…

  10. My only concern with the Lancero vitola is the increased heat of burning due to the decrease in ring gauge. Hot smoke kills the good flavors. I do, however, agree with the filler vs. wrapper conundrum. I’m thinking Lonsdale is the size for me.

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