I recently took a business trip to Madrid, Spain and like always, I like to venture out and find a local cigar shop to see what I can find. This particular time it was a Cava de Magallanes that I discovered. As you can read in my review of it, I was blown away by the wide selection of popular Dominican, Honduran, and Nicaraguan cigar brands. In fact, there was just a very small selection of Cubans. So it goes in Europe these days, as Cuban cigar prices skyrocket and the European palate shifts to other regions. As I scanned the extensive humidor, I came upon a Nicaraguan brand that I was not familiar with – El Viejo Continente. They looked nice, especially the lanceros, so I purchased a couple and fired one up as I left the shop. Oh lord, I said to myself, this is an amazing cigar. Not knowing much about them I went back to the shop the next day and bought a box of these. I later learned, texting to the owner of the brand, Daniel Guerrero Gonzalez, they are available on Neptune Cigars.
The blend is described as:
- Wrapper – Mexican San Andres
- Binder – Jalapa
- Filler – Jalapa and Condega
- Gran Major (6 x 56) – MSRP $7.30
- Gran Short (4 3/8 x 56) – MSRP $7.10
- Lancero (7 3/4 x 38) – MSRP $7.00
- Robusto (5″ x 52) – MSRP $7.00
The El Viejo Continente Maduro Lancero is an exquisite masterpiece that boasts a strikingly beautiful appearance. The dark reddish-brown wrapper is luxuriously oily and features some delicate marbling, giving it a refined look. Upon closer inspection, a few veins can be seen along with a distinct toothy texture that adds to the cigar’s character.
The cigar is expertly crafted, with a firm and solid packing that feels weighty in the hand. The twist cap is flawlessly applied, completing the overall impeccable presentation. This Lancero is truly a work of art that is sure to impress even the most discerning of cigar connoisseurs.
The El Viejo Continente Maduro Lancero boasts not one, but two bands that perfectly complement the cigar’s stunning appearance. The primary band features a sleek and modern design, with a grey and silver color scheme that exudes sophistication. The brand name, “El Viejo Continente,” is prominently displayed in elegant silver font across the front, and is accompanied by the declaration “from Nicaragua by Daniel Guerrero,” which adds a touch of exclusivity to the cigar. On the right of the band, a silver compass starburst adds a subtle yet eye-catching element to the design. A secondary silver satin footer band finishes the adornments.
Running the barrel along the nose, I am greeted with floral and natural tobacco sweetness. The foot exudes notes of cocoa and nut. This is an inviting pre-light profile for sure.
Using my CigarMedics Baller cutter I opened the cap perfectly and gave it some cold draw puffs that I found to be just a tad tighter than I prefer (I understand the European market prefers this). There was a light peppery sting to the lips along with notes of cocoa and a hint of floral.
Using my single flame torch, I warmed the foot gently to an even orange glow and drew in the first puffs of peppery and sweet smoke to start the journey. Follow along as I burn this one to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Pepper and Sweetness to start
- White ash forms on an even char line
- Medium volume of smoke to start
- Cocoa aromas waft off the foot early in the burn
- Ash dropped in a small chunk revealing a flat but centered burn cone
- Smoke volume increases to full
- Rich earthy and fruit notes begin to develop after the first quarter
- Burn line exhibits just a mild jag
- Cocoa shifts to more of a vanilla cream note moving through the second quarter
- Oodles of smoke output especially off the foot keeping the burn fairly even
- The fruit notes are keeping this mouth watering
- Woody aromas develop
- A mild spice component joins the profile in the 3rd quarter adding even more dimension to this blend
- Spice increases down to the final with an added dark chocolate and lingering fruit notes
- Medium to Full in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was an amazing 1 hour and 55 minutes!
I found the El Viejo Continente Maduro Lancero to be an excellent cigar and was glad I purchased a box before I left Madrid Spain. The complex, flavorful and aromatic profile, from pre-light down to the nub, kept me wanting to fire another one up, as it was that good. This is truly one of those hidden gems that every cigar enthusiast should grab a box of and keep in their rotation.
Point Deductions: (-1) Mild Jag in Burn; (-1) Flat but centered burn cone
Bonus Points: (+1) Box Worthy; (+1) Pleasurable and Consistent across multiple samples; (+1) Complex in flavor and aroma