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Stogie Reviews: P. Benitez Lancero

10 May 2011

About two and a half years ago, Pedro Benitez began sampling blends from different parts of Nicaragua with hopes of creating a new cigar brand. After 18 months of searching, he hand-selected his favorite leaves from Estelí and Jalapa. Then, in January of this year, he officially established P. Benitez Fine Cigars with a factory in Estelí (it has since relocated to Managua, Nicaragua).

“[Benitez] is the founder of the company and also our master blender,” explains Alberto Iturrey, the company’s co-owner and Benitez’s nephew. In an email exchange, Iturrey went on to tell me that Benitez was born in Cuba, raised in Miami, and processed tobacco for 25 years in the Dominican Republic.

“Later in his life, opportunities arose in Nicaragua so [Benitez] moved there,” says Iturrey. “He has lived there for over ten years now. Over time, my uncle has fallen in love with the fertile soils of that tropical region and decided that it was the right time make a line of cigars worthy of bearing his name.”

Entirely family owned and operated, P. Benitez cmakes five different cigars. The Lancero (7.25 x 38) features an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper with an Indonesian binder and a filler blend of Nicaraguan tobaccos. The combination yields a faint pre-light aroma off the foot. That fragrance—paired with a pigtail cap and a clean exterior leaf—helps the Lancero make a nice first impression.

Establishing an even light only takes a single wooden match. From there, a taste of oak, nut, cream, and vanilla emerges. This profile, which is common to Connecticut-wrapped smokes, is differentiated by a bold spice and plenty of Nicaraguan zing on the palate. Medium-bodied and nicely balanced.

As the Lancero progresses past the midway point and beyond, the spice intensifies, adding a cayenne-like sensation to the lips. Other notes come and go, including dry wine and some subtle floral flavors. All the while, the construction is befitting a cigar that costs $8. The burn line is straight with a thick mascara, the ash holds well, and the draw is easy.

Too bad that, for now, P. Benitez cigars are only available at about a dozen Florida tobacconists and a select few other locations, including one shop in Pennsylvania and (soon) another in Connecticut. But Iturrey is working to expand distribution and may even sell P. Benitez creations over the Internet. I hope more enthusiasts have the opportunity to try the Lancero soon; it’s a wonderful cigar, worthy of four stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

5 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: P. Benitez Lancero”

  1. travis Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    It says there's a comment, but now I see nothing.

  2. Patrick Semmens Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 10:13 am #


    I only see your comment. Are you saying it said there was another comment before you posted yours?

    We're working on getting the new comment system running smoothly. Feedback is appreciated.

    • Patrick Semmens Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 10:20 am #

      OK. Problem has been resolved. Thanks for the heads up.

  3. Todd Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    Where can I get these online?

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Cigar Review: P. Benitez Torpedo | The Stogie Guys - Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    […] recently, my only experience with P. Benitez was the Lancero, a fine smoke that combines traditional Connecticut flavors with Nicaraguan zing. I expected […]