Back in August of 2016, I had the pleasure of reviewing the The Tabernacle Toro cigar which was one of the fantastic blends Nick Melillo introduced at the 2016 IPCPR. So when my good friend and Stogie Press associate, Alton Otto, gifted me some Lanceros of The Tabernacle.
I have to say I was grateful for two reasons.
- I have not had the lancero vitola of The Tabernacle
- Lanceros are one of my favorite vitolas
For those that are new, or relatively new to cigars, allow me to detour to a short cigar 101 segment,
You see, for many years, when I first started to enjoy premium cigars, the rule of thumb was that the wrapper provided 70% of the flavor of the cigar. That was the rule, the experts said it and who was I to question the experts. As time went on cigars got bigger and bigger, we eventually were smoking 64 and even 70 ring gauges. That rule started to make less sense. There was a lot more filler than wrapper. The rule was obviously more applicable to a lancero or a corona.
In fact, years ago, cigar brands would blend a lancero or corona first, and then do what they could, to get the larger robustos, toros, and torpedos to have a similar flavor profile. That is not so easy to do. The market for lanceros also was not that great and you rarely saw one in a company’s portfolio. But I like lanceros, because I get to really enjoy the wrapper and it brings me back to that 70% rule. So when I come across a lancero, I’m all in, as I know the brand owner is showcasing that wrapper leaf.
The other issue with a lancero is construction. they are hard to roll. It takes a high caliber, well trained torcedor to make a good lancero. if made wrong, it won’t burn right, the ash will not hold, and it will go out often, forcing continuous re-lights.
Sorry for the diversion, but I felt it was important to explain lanceros to those that are not familiar with them. Going back to The Tabernacle Lancero, I would like to remind you of what nick says about Broadleaf Wrapper:
““BROADLEAF IS MORE THAN TOBACCO FOR ME. IT IS SOMETHING SACRED.”
Sacred indeed. I enjoyed The Tabernacle Toro and now I got a chance to sample and review its long, thin , lancero brother.
Nick describes the blend as:
- Capa (Wrapper): Connecticut Broadleaf
- Capote (Binder): Mexican San Andres
- Tripa (Filler): Esteli, Jalapa y Jamastran
And we know from the Toro review, this blend offers a boatload of complexity. But now it was time to see how the blend works in a lancero and how much of that is reflective of the sacred, Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.
Before I get into he review, let me say, the review notes you will read were based purely off the lancero, I did not refer back to my original toro review. After I finished the cigar, I then looked at my other review and it was interesting how I picked up many common notes but also some unique ones. I invite you to do the same comparison.
The Tabernacle Lancero is a dark and rugged cigar with some light oiling and marbling along the barrel. Solid to the touch it shows signs of being a well packed cigar, even in the small 40 ring gauge.
There is a pungent fermented leaf aroma along barrel and a sweetness and cut grass aroma off the foot.
The cold draw is earthy with a tinge of pepper and it had a perfect restriction on the draw.
Cigar Review Notes
- Pepper and earthy notes to start
- A bit of citrus enters
- Beautiful white ash with perfect form
- A sweet cracker note enters as a floral aroma rises off the foot
- Grassy hay notes join the profile after an inch plus
- A dry fruit note coats the palate
- Full volume of creamy smoke fills the palate
- Toasted caramel hides in the background
- Smoke is smooth through the nose
- Light spice midway with some added cocoa powder
- Grassy notes are front and center
- Strength ratchets up a notch entering the second half
- Burn has been spectacular, holding an inch and a half ash after falling
- Well formed burn cone
- Natural tobacco sweetness enters deep into second third
- Spice continues to grow but is balanced and not overbearing
- Espresso notes enter with the spice in final third
- Aroma has moved to a sweet maple syrup
- Medium in strength especially in the second half
- Total Smoking Time was a smooth 1 hour and 30 minutes
Overall, The Tabernacle Lancero was a magnificent lancero that had incredible burn qualities and never needed to be re-lit during the journey. Like the toro vitola it had a beautiful dark, blotchy, and rugged wrapper. if you like broadleaf, then you understand the term “beautiful”. There were many of the same flavors but it had more of a core grassy note running through it. The one note I did not pick up was the cherry note that I found in the toro but instead there was more of a citrus and dry fruit essense. Personally, I prefer the lancero to the toro.