Reinado Grand Empire Reserve Ecuador Edition Petit Lancero
Reinado Cigar’s Grand Empire Reserve Ecuador Edition is the newest edition to the Reinado portfolio. Antonio likes to tease us with new blends/sizes he’s working on, but fortunately for us this tease came in the form of a sample delivered directly to my front door.
The Good Stuff: If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past two years then you should be quite familiar with Antonio Lam and Reinado cigars. We’ve reviewed his Grand Empire Reserve line (you can check that out here) a while back and I have said on many occasions it was a stand-out cigar that struck my by surprise, and I know I’m not the only one. Well this year Reinado is releasing a tweaked version of that blend which will feature an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper laid over the same blend as the Grand Empire Reserve. Everything you need to know is contained in this press release:
Oradell, NJ, June 04, 2014 –(PR.com)– REINADO® Cigars eagerly announces the upcoming availability of its latest cigar in the Grand Empire Reserve line, a Petit Lancero. Like all Grand Empire Reserves, the new Petit Lancero (6X38) possesses Nicaraguan binder and filler that have been uniquely blended and fermented using REINADO’s signature process. However, it also incorporates an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper that has been finely aged 3 years as well as an ornate pigtail head.
“With the explosive consumption of our exceptionally rated Grand Empire Reserve line, we sought to introduce a complementary profile that delivers a rich, toasty, and distinctive flavor for smokers seeking a medium strength experience,” said Antonio Lam, owner of REINADO Cigars. “After nearly a year in development, we believe this aged Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper combined with the Grand Empire Reserve blend offers a perfect balance for sophisticated palates.”
“We are excited to carry REINADO’s new Petit Lancero and are confident this premium cigar will be highly appreciated by a wide range of discerning smokers,” said Tom Sullivan, Founder of Alliance Cigar.
The new Petit Lancero will be released on July 20, 2014 at the 82nd Annual IPCPR Convention & International Trade Show in Las Vegas. REINADO will be in Booth #2014.
Packaged in boxes of 10, the Petit Lancero will retail for $8.99 each from Alliance Cigar, REINADO, and fine tobacconists in the United States. Additional sizes beyond the 6X38 will be released at a later date.
One thing I have always loved about Antonio and Reinado is that you can order directly from them. If you are looking for these once they or released or any other Reinado cigar hit them up directly here. Thanks goes out to Antonio for hooking me up with samples to bring this review to you.
Size: 6 x 38
Wrapper: Aged Ecuadorian Connecticut
Pairing: Sierra Nevada Ovila Abbey Saison (7.5% Saison/Farmhouse Ale)
Prelight: Reinado’s Grand Empire Reserve Ecuador Edition starts off with the obvious, the very thin, light Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper. The wrapper is very smooth and fragile and this sporting a light brown/orangish color with a few dark grey markings here and there. The wrapper leaf is seamless, carrying only a few small veins as you head up the thin, slender body to an amazing little coiled pigtail style cap. I love that accent. The Grand Empire Reserve Ecuador Edition feels very light-weight in the hand. While the binder and filler tobaccos feel dense and hard, I didn’t put too much pressure on the cigar for fear of breaking the wrapper. Ecuadorian Connecticut is always extremely delicate. The Ecuador Edition is polished off with the signature maroon, white, and gold Reinado crest as well as a secondary “Grand Empire Reserve” gold band which you can find on the other blends in the GER portfolio.
The wrapper of the Ecuador Edition gives off some light cedar aroma while the foot of the cigar carries nothing more than some strong, natural tobacco aromas. The cap cut like butter using my Palio double bladed cutter. The cold draw produced some strong honey and citrus notes along with a ton of cedar and natural tobacco.
First Smoke: Lighting up Reinado’s Grand Empire Reserve Ecuador Edition I was greeted with some very soft black pepper, soft spice, a ton of citrus and honey over cedar and natural earthy/tobacco/oat flavors. The draw on this cigar is incredible. Each, tiny, little puff kicks out huge clouds of thick white smoke. I’m glad too as often I tend to smoke too quickly on Lancero format cigars and end up charring the experience all to hell. The burnline is crazy wild as huge waves form all over the place. I didn’t whip out my lighter quite yet so we will see how the burn fares into the second third. The ash left behind is a dark gray and decently compacted only holding on a little over half an inch before falling off.
Halfway There: My stubbornness paid off as into the second third of the Reinado Grand Empire Reserve Ecuador Edition the burnline has completely corrected itself and is now burning razor thin, and dead even. The flavors began to ramp up a bit and a really strong nutmeg has taken over with some soft spice, cedar, honey, citrus and earthiness underneath. The beer I paired this cigar with is really bringing out the citrus and spice elements of the experience. The retrohale is brilliant, coating my nasal passage with a very strong spice and some nice cedar. The draw is still perfect and I am feeling nothing at all in terms of nicotine.
Finish: The Grand Empire Reserve Ecuador Edition really starts to shine in the final third. The spice has really ramped up and brought the cedar and citrus along with it. Some more pepper has crept back into the mix as it hangs out with the natural earthiness and honey. There is also some interesting leather in the aftertaste that I didn’t start to pick up until the last inch and a half. The Ecuador Edition took me a little over an hour to take back and it outside the first inch it burned flawlessly. I never once had to reach for my lighter. The finish was very smooth and very creamy and resembled the body at the start of the cigar with no harshness at all and absolutely no signs of a nicotine kick.
Overview: I don’t often grab Connecticut shade cigars from my humidor. And when I do, there are only a few that really do it for me. One of those, has to be the greatest Connecticut shade cigar I ever had, E.P. Carrillo’s New Wave Connecticut. Reason being is it delivered greatly in the flavor category, the category in which I feel most Connecticut cigars fail in. How did Reinado’s Grand Empire Reserve Ecuador Edition do? Let’s just say I can’t decide which one I like better. Yes, its THAT good. The Ecuador Edition leads off with some creamy, complex flavors which continue to dance with each other for a majority of the experience making sure that I am always entertained. Then, a little more than halfway in the Ecuador Edition opens up and showcases it’s potential by intensifying it’s flavor and ramping up in body before finishing just as smooth as it started. I know some of you may want to know how it measures up to the standard Grand Empire Reserve and quite frankly, you just can’t compare the two. Let’s just say if it was 10am and I was headed out back to enjoy coffee and a smoke, the Grand Empire Reserve Ecuador Edition and E.P. Carrillo’s New Wave Connecticut would have to fight to their death. Winner get’s smoked.
Pairing: I decided to pair the Grand Empire Reserve Ecuador Edition with a bottle of Sierra Nevada’s Ovila Abbey Saison which is brewed with Mandarin oranges and peppercorns. Brewed in California this farmhouse ale comes in at 7.5% ABV and delivers a very bold, citrus and fruit experience. The peppercorns add a really subtle spice that you only really pick up on this finish as they blend in with the citrus and sweetness. As I stated before the spice and citrus really helped pair up and bring out the flavors in the Ecuador Edition while adding a bit of sweetness which resulted in a flawless pairing.