1 Oct 2015
In 2013, two of my favorite cigars happened to be Abaddon and Ouroboros, both of which are made exclusively for Blue Havana, a tobacconist in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. They were blended by Chris Schedel with help from Skip Martin of RoMa Craft Tobac. Both are made at Martin’s Fabrica de Tabacos Nica Sueño in Estelí.
Over the past two years, I’ve made the short walk from my home to Blue Havana several times to replenish my supply of these two fine blends (Abaddon, named for the dwelling place of the dead in the Hebrew Bible, features a Nicaraguan hybrid (Criollo/Corojo) wrapper; Ouroboros, named for an ancient symbol of a dragon eating its own tail, is wrapped in a Brazilian Mata Fina leaf).
Until recently, both were only available in a single size (6.25 x 52). During my last trip to Blue Havana a few weeks ago, though, I was greeted by a welcome site: Abaddon and Ouroboros are now both available in a Lancero format. It can only be good news when two excellent blends meet one of my favorite sizes, right? I lit up three Abaddon Lanceros to find out.
The Abaddon Lancero is available on the Blue Havana website for $108 for a 12-pack ($9 per cigar, not including outrageous Illinois taxes). Its dark, oily, slightly reddish, toothy wrapper is accented by a pigtail cap. The binder—Mata Fina—and filler—a blend of Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos—are not visible at the closed foot, though you can still pick up pre-light notes of sweet chocolate and baking spices. Despite the narrow ring gauge, the Lancero boasts and easy draw.
Once underway, the rich, bold profile introduces itself with a hearty dose of full-bodied espresso, cracked pepper, and leather. Perhaps not surprisingly, the overall impression is very similar to the toro-sized Abaddon, just more concentrated and more intense.
But the Lancero is more than just a blunt instrument of strength. There are also background flavors of sweet caramel and salty nut. Smoking a little slower than usual also helps quell the strength a bit and bring out more of the complexity—a task made simple by the cigar’s ability to stay lit even with long pauses between puffs.
With a straight burn line, great smoke production (especially for a Lancero), and loads of bold flavor backed up by a tones of sweetness and creaminess, the Abaddon Lancero is an easy recommendation and a solid complement to an after-dinner serving of high-proof bourbon. It’s downright delicious. I may give an ever-so-slight edge to the original Abaddon size since I believe it has marginally more going on in terms of balance and complexity, but the Abaddon Lancero rates exceptionally well at four and a half stogies out of five.
[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]
photo credit: Stogie Guys