May 22, 2009
Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Lancero
Size : 7.5″ x 38
Ring : 38
Wrapper : Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Price : ~$10 each
This is another creation from Pete Johnson of Tatuaje cigars. “El Triunfador” means “The Winner” in Spanish and is a line that, as I understand it, is being introduced in limited quantities to preserve the trademark. Let me just say that, as far as I’m concerned, this cigar lives up to its name.
Appearance : [rating:5/5]
Most cigars produced by Pete Johnson have a fairly rustic look. This stogie is no exception. The oily wrapper is a Connecticut broad leaf and is almost black in color. There are numerous veins, but, overall, the cigar is wrapped nicely. It also exhibits a pigtail cap to compliment the look.
Construction : [rating:5/5]
I have smoked several of these cigars and have yet to experience a problem with burn or draw. The wrap is nice and tight. The feel is firm to the touch.
Flavor : [rating:5/5]
Pre-light, there existed a subdued barnyard aroma. Upon lighting, quite frankly, I was blown away by this stick. Going into the smoke, I was not anticipating what lied ahead. You are immediately presented with a smooth, creamy leather and earthy taste that quickly moves to wonderful cocoa and coffee flavors. About a third of the way in, I experienced a sweet vanilla taste that I do not remember finding in any other smoke this year. These flavors flip-flopped throughout the smoke and about halfway in a pleasing peppery spice awoke. If the cigar didn’t change any more, I would have loved it. However, the best part was yet to come. About two-thirds of the way in, I experienced a magnificent, sweet, cinnamon flavor that really set this cigar apart from the mundane. All of these flavors came and went during the experience, and the cigar ended with a refined taste of earthy, tobacco flavor. I loved it!
Value : [rating:5/5]
At about $10 a stick, this cigar is a steal. There is so much hype and disappointment these days. It seems that nearly every marca has a cigar or two in this price range. Well, let me assure you that this $10 stick is in a league of its on. I would pay twice that for this smoke.
Overall Rating : [rating:5/5]
Can you tell that I’m really impressed with this cigar? Well, I smoked one and was blown away. I smoked two and thought “Dang, what a smoke!”. I have since smoked several more and I have yet to experience an even mediocre experience. Find one of these stogies and light it up. You won’t be disappointed. Let me warn of one thing though, make sure you take your time and enjoy the cigar. If you smoke too quickly, it will burn hot and these wonderful flavors will turn bittersweet. However, if you smoke it the right way, you will enjoy the ride!
October 14, 2013
Good review, great cigar. Definitely smokes like a maduro. Need to get more, just finished my only one.
June 7, 2013
…and here is my own review of the Triunfador Lancero
This is a very well made cigar, it’s triple cap with a pigtail and easy pre-light draw let me know this cigar was made well (although I will say some others at Empire Cigars that tried it had some construction issues).
With its dark brown rustic looking wrapper and ample ligero visible from the punch hole, it is no surprise this starts off kinda strong and peppery. This is not the good kind of strong. The El Triunfador shows some youth, the strength is probably the presence of some ammonia that gives it a slight metallic taste and sourness in the back of the mouth. This does fade after the first inch and fades away as I smoke it further.
After the cigar gets going, I get a strong tobacco flavor and this lancero has a long finish. There is some earthiness that lingers, but is overwhelmed by the tobacco flavor.
Midway through this long stick, the El Triunfador really mellows out. This is slightly surprising but is kinda neat, as this shows some complexity (which better be present in a 7 1/2″ cigar). There is some nose spice in the exhale, but the tobacco flavor really mellows out and the earthiness comes to the foreground.
This is a fairly strong cigar, but the strength/spice is different than in most Don Pepin/Pete Johnson cigars. Usually I expect an outright Cayenne pepper spiciness and some bitter notes, but this is something different. I’ve been trying to think of a way to describe this, but I am having problems. This strength/spice is similar to what I get from the Tobacos Baez. Its almost a woody spiciness, like a piece of hickory laced with Tobasco. For right now I’ll refer to this as the TBF (Tobacos Baez Factor).
A third of the way through, the cigar really picks up again. I am begining to enjoy this evolving, complex cigar. The tobacco flavor somes back to the front but brings a friend, a nice bit of anise/licorice.
Towards the end this cigar is going full-bore, rich with roasted coffee beans and a dusting of cocoa powder. This is finishing off fantastically!
This cigar may have been rushed to be released, due to some trademark rules, but I think this will be a really good cigar with some age. It’s a solid “B”, but in 6 months or so this could be an “A” cigar for sure!
Rating: 89 (B+)
T** C**** S**
December 15, 2012
Digging into physical interrogation, I found a flawlessly constructed cigar. The wrapper, a rough textured veiny Connecticut Broadleaf, was perfect around the cigar. To my fingers, it felt exactly how a cigar should be rolled: a balance of firm and even amounts of tobacco throughout the length of the cigar. The band was very unassuming to the cigar; it was not flashy or outspoken. It simply displayed the name of the cigar and the initials of its maker (PHJ). One set of initials (ANO) eluded me as to who it was. It would be appreciated if someone were to answer the riddle.
Lighting the cigar with a wooden match, I was greeted with a slightly tighter draw than what I was used to. The draw did open up over the duration of the smoke, which was about an hour and a half. An immediate hint of a dull pepper greeted me right away. Nothing extravagant or overbearing. I also felt an ever so slight hint of coffee with the taste. And because of that, I think this would make a great cigar to match with a nice cup of coffee, no matter how strong you take it. It’s interesting too because most coffee paired cigars in my mind venture towards the milder side of the spectrum; this cigar reaches more to the medium body, especially once you get past the halfway mark. The strength almost immediately turns up a few notches, while not taking away from the enjoyment of the cigar. Finally, I felt the overall finish to the cigar was on the shorter side. Even being a medium bodied cigar, I did not wake up the next morning to cigar mouth.
I did find that the ash, while having a nice whitish color, was easily flaked off the end. Keep that in mind if you are prone to joining in long ash contests. The smoke was plentiful with this cigar and seemed to hang in the room well after I had exhausted it.
May 28, 2011
Update – Dateline May 27th, 2011 @ 6:36 pm. Just returned from a business trip in LA. Message was waiting for me that my local B&M guy aka “The Hunter” found TWO more boxes of these – completely sealed/unopened. Is Memorial Day Weekend the new Christmas Weekend. Merry “Ghost Cigar” Day!! (yay1)
January 29, 2011
Just today, I found a near full box of these (the ORIGINAL Blend – aka the “Ghost Cigar” – 20 left in the box of 24) at my local B&M. Two years ago, the longtime cigar impressario guy at this place tried to turn me on to these since I am a fan of Lanceros and he knows what I like in a flavor profile. I brushed him off several times and said I was not interested. If I think back, it was the rustic look of the cigar. Whatever; in any case, I kept passing on these.
And then I somehow earlier this week came upon your review; read it with great interest; Googled the stick; basically read a consistent theme/story about these and on a whim, called my guy to ask him if he still had that box laying around.
OMG – he did. I quickly asked him if he could call his boss and ask if he would cut deal on these given that they had been laying around since October of 2008. OMG # 2 – he said yes! $9.00 a stick regular price became $7.25 a stick.
Do I have to tell ya how “bee-u-tee-ful these babies look. Oily, fresh, a little (yay!) natural plume on them. YUM-MEE! Smoked one tonight – CI Classic 95+ review anyone? The other 19 are now nicely tucked away in my humi – sleeping beauty style to say oh, around 2 -3 years from now if I can resist. I can’t believe my luck and I have you to thank for it. THANK YOU!
So excuse me while I check a sneak peek at my babies!!!!
December 20, 2010
My Review of the El Triunfador
This is a rustic looking lancero. It has a very dark brown wrapper that is veiny and oily. The cigar is bumpy looking and topped off with a small pigtail cap. The draw is excellent for a Lancero. Don Pepin has some skilled rollers because he seems to put out a consistently good lancero no matter what line of cigars it is a part of. I saw online somewhere that this version of the El Triunfador is basically a Cabaiguan Maduro. I don’t know about the accuracy of that assertion, but I can tell you this is a darn good smoke. It packs a nice punch even after spending about 2 years in my humidor. It is a smooth smoke with strong flavors of wood and earth. It mellows a bit in the middle becoming predominately earthy with a bit of a coffee flavor in the background. The last third or so picks up again with lots of wood, earth, spice, and a subtle bit of licorice on the finish.
October 23, 2009
7.5 inches??? How long did the thing last?
You guys have too much free time!
July 26, 2009
I too have found these to be well worth the money and agree with everything that this review has presented it to be. DO NOT pass up the chance to enjoy this one. I was skeptical about the draw… was not disappointed. 🙂
May 24, 2009
The name of the reviewer can be found right under the title 🙂 I think I should make it more prominent somehow..
May 23, 2009
One of my favorites also–can’t get enough of them–Nice review Ricky!
I saw a box online a few weeks ago, but don’t remember where. These are limited releases. My understanding is that Pete releases once a year to reserve rights to the name and that he hasn’t decided what to do yet with regard to the brand. I hope he releases this vitola forever.
May 22, 2009
thanks guys. Whats up with not being able to buy a full box of these ?
May 22, 2009
I’ve got some search results at Famous. Check them out.
are there any online shops where you can buy these ?
M*** &****** K********
May 22, 2009
One of these days I am going to find one of these at a local shop to try! I keep hearing and reading how good they are, so they are at the top of my “to try” list 🙂
Thanx for the review and for getting my taste buds in an uproar 😉
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