Redux: El Centurion Lancero
The El Centurion Lancero was the last cigar of the Lancero50 project and was one of the entries most had no clue about. Overall, the El Centurion line is one of the least talked about Pepín creations, even as it came on the tail end of his plethora of releases in the early part of his time in the U.S.
I documented the history of the El Centurion and the Lancero in particular fairly extensively in the review itself. The short of it is, it was part of the Lanceros Collection by Don Pepín García, a ten-count sampler of five different blends in the Lancero format limited to 2,000 boxes.
Here’s what else I had to say in the original review:
Where do I start? While I have not have had every cigar Pepín has put his name on, I’ve had a lot. Of those, I contended this to be the singular greatest. It is unbelievable testament to all that the Garcías are capable of. A flavor that is challenging and rewarding and construction that is singular in the sense that it is only found on this cigar. Smoke leaves the channel of the El Centurion flawlessly. And when you exhale, the thickness means that for a split second, there is a literal cloud of smoke that blocks your visibility. The El Centurion Lancero is in every way a work of art, and that’s about it. Like the My Father No. 4, it is a classic and complete cigar, leaving nothing in doubt. And like every legendary cigar, the El Centurion Lancero has a story, and unfortunately that story includes never making these again.
And the particulars.
Cigar Reviewed: El Centurion Lancero
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Tabacalera Cubana S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan Corojo 99 & Nicaraguan Criollo 98
- Size: 6 7/8 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 42
- Vitola: Lancero
- Est. Price: $11.00 (Samplers of 10, $110.00)
- Release Date: December 2007
- Number of Cigars to be Released: 2,000 Boxes of 2 Cigars (4,000 Total Cigars)*
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Redux: 2
*Indicates total size of sampler release. 20,000 total cigars were released as part of the sampler.
The Oscuro Torpedo has a dark brown wrapper that is extremely rough to the touch. Although it is obviously well rolled, there are quite a few veins present and smells faintly of dark chocolate, sweet espresso, hay and a tiny bit of manure. It has a great feel when squeezed with just the perfect amount of give.
The wrapper smells like AGANORSA, in fact the entire cigar just wreaks of AGANORSA tobacco. Up for debate is what exactly is in the cigar, but the cigar has the classic sweet cocoa and black pepper mixture that is so heavily present on AGANORSA-rich cigars. In addition, there’s tons of dry leather and cinnamon. The foot of the El Centurion Lancero is even sweeter with a brownie sweetness and nausea-inducing pepper, it smells like a Viaje. Cold draw reveals a woodsiness that is totally absent on the aroma, sweet brownie cocoa, a classic white pepper and a bit of citrus, which by all accounts is a new development.
Unfortunately, the flavor has lost some of its edge. I smoked two of these in the past month and they definitely aren’t what they were eighteen months ago. Oddities like cotton candy, citrus and dark tobacco are still present, but they aren’t as crisp. The core of the El Centurion Lancero is still cedar, earth, cocoa, tobacco (either dark or sweet) and an array of peppers, it’s still full, but it’s definitely not as exciting or detailed as it once was.
Construction is as good as I remember. Utterly incredible smoke production with a unique density that makes it enjoyable. Burn is relatively consistent, even in a bit of light rain, which always seems to happen when I smoke an El Centurion Lancero. Draw is superb and the cigar remains perfect temperature-wise. Ash continues the trend of inch-long chunks, not record-setting, but amazingly consistent. I will say, this is noticeably stronger in nearly ever category than it was a year ago.
The Bottom Line: Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em. At this point in time, as difficult as it might be for me to accept it, the JJ Lancero and JJ Maduro Lancero are smoking better. This is still an excellent cigar with an immense amount of complexity, but it has turned down the level of greatness. We can debate about the tobacco and whether this would have been better as a true El Laguito No.1, but you can put this right alongside legends like the Pork Tenderloin, SW Maduro, original JJs and older Padillas for being amongst the greatest of cigars that have come from García father and son.
Original Score: 96
Redux Score: 93