Oliva (Studio Tobac) Cain F Lancero
While visiting Tony just over a week ago, he surprised me with a couple of sticks that were sent down by a reader of the site, but more than that just a good guy and great BOTL. So I want to give a huge “Thank You” to Jeff, or more commonly known around here as “jjo”, for the cigar bomb. Not only is it a nice surprise receiving unexpected cigars but it is even sweeter when it happens to be a cigar you been on hunt for for several months. I have made numerous visits to a local shop in search of the Cain F Lancero and each time the cigars were “on order” according to the tobacconist. But my search is over for now as the bomb contained two Cain F Lanceros.
The Cain F is a Nicaraguan puro made up of 32% Esteli Ligero, 25% Condega Ligero, and 25% Jalapa Ligero. I guess we will never know where the other 18% of the tobaccos come from. Available vitolas include: Nub (4 by 60), Nub Torbedo (4 by 64), Robusto (5 ¾ by 50), Torpedo (6 by 54), Double Toro (6 by 60), and Lancero (7 by 38).
Size: 7 by 38
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Pairing: Seham’s Costa Rican Coffee
Smoke Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
The Cain F sports a dark brown wrapper that has a rusty undertone. The dark imperfections, color variations, veins, and bumps make this one rugged looking cigar. The oils off the wrapper can be felt as I examine the cigar for soft spots. The cigar has a good amount of bounce and there are a couple of spots that are noticeably softer. The wrapper aroma is of cedar, dark earth, and some other unidentifiable vegetal notes. The cedar notes are sharper off the foot, with a minor vanilla sweetness.
The double cap gets the job done. Clipping through the first layer of the cap, I find a decent draw that has just a tad more resistance than I prefer, but nothing unexpected due to the smaller ring gauge. The cold draw showcases a myriad of spices that are very rich. It reminds me of the smell of potpourri during the holiday season. Both foot bands slide off with ease and I am now ready to fire up this Cain F Lancero.
Even with the resistance on the draw, a good amount of flavorful smoke fills my mouth with each puff. Right out of the gate, the Cain F is a flavor bomb, firing off black pepper, cedar, and deep earth. The spice sits on my palate for a good amount of time between each draw. At the one inch mark, the pepper has shifted down, while the cedar has settled into a more significant role. There is also a sweetness that hits the tip of my tongue. The smoke has a very thick, chewy feel in my mouth and oily quality on the finish. The black pepper on the retrohale will wake you up but not unbearable. A beautiful layered ash is a result of an almost perfect burn. Flavors are full and strength is coming in at a solid full as well.
The Cain F Lancero is putting me in a nice, comfortable state. The smoke has become very rich, delivering a caramel-like sweetness that compliments the cedar notes. However, the caramel doesn’t linger on the finish but more of a dusty cocoa. The cocoa may be tied to the Costa Rican coffee I am enjoying with the cigar. In a similar way that coffee pairs with a rich dessert, the coffee is offsetting the richness of the Cain F nicely. The burn line is not as sharp as the first third, but is of no concern. As I smoke this cigar, I can’t help but think how comfortable the lancero format is in my hand and mouth.
Due to dinking around a little too long with the photos, the Cain F did go out on me. But in no time at all, the cigar is back in action with a quick re-light from my Zippo Z-Plus! lighter. The “F” has a little more heat in the final third. I am going to have to be careful not to overheat this 38 ring gauge beauty and ruin the flavors. The spice has crept back in warming my entire mouth and there is a lingering spice sting on my lips. The combination of woodsy notes, spice, and caramel reminds me of a spice rum. Don’t ask me what kind of rum because my rum knowledge is way below par. The strength is definitely full but it has not pushed me over the edge. With less than an inch left, the flavor has become a bit charred and it is time to put this Lancero down to rest.
I am just going to say it. I freakin love this cigar! While it has been well over a year since I smoked the 2011 release, I felt that this release offered bolder flavors and more complexity. While ugly in appearance, the construction and burn were excellent. As I have mentioned in previous reviews, I lean towards cigars that deliver some sweetness and the Cain F Lancero it right up my alley. I adore the Lancero format and it is just unheard of to find a lancero in the $6.00 range for single. Actually, skip grabbing a single, just buy a box. Several places on the web have boxes of 10 for under $60.00. I think I know what my next box purchase is going to be.