I’m often asked “What is my favorite cigar?” This always struck me as a loaded question along the same lines as which of your children is your favorite. I usually answer it by channeling my inner politician; I circumvent truly answering the question at all. My response is often, “Whatever I am smoking now.”
Questions about cigar sizes are also common but these usually produce black and white answers. It seems that most people have their favorites and are not shy about telling you. To take it a step further, many who prefer a certain size are often quite critical of the other sizes. It’s like Android always taking a shot at Apple in their commercials.
Here in the United States, if you prefer large ring gauges then you are in the majority. It amazes me how well the large sizes sell and that is why you see so many of them in our humidors. But for me, my preference is the smaller ring gauges and one of my absolute favorites is the often forgotten lancero.
The lancero is an easy one to pick out of a line up. It’s long and skinny. Though there is no hard rule on size, they average about 7 inches long with 38 to 40 ring gauge. The thing that endears me most to this size is the amount of flavor that one gets from the wrapper leaf. With so little filler, the wrapper is definitely the star. Other than smoking a “test stick” made entirely of wrapper tobacco, this is ones’ best opportunity to really enjoy the true essence of that beautiful outside leaf whether it be Connecticut Broadleaf or Indonesian Sumatra.
Sadly, we don’t have any cigars in this wonderful size in our humidors because they just don’t sell well enough, but maybe that will change in the near future. If I can get enough requests from like-minded folks like myself then they may be a future possibility.
Chris Gwaltney, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits Category Manager: Premium Cigars and Craft Beer
Follow me on Twitter @abccigarChris