The H-Town Lancero series is made exclusively for Stogies World Class Cigars in Houston and the list of participating manufacturers is pretty impressive. The latest to join the club is Dion Giolito and illusione cigars. The illusione H-Town Lancero began shipping on January 1, 2016 and is currently available in singles, 5-packs and 15-count boxes
Below is a list of all of the H-Town exclusives:
This is the complete list as far as I know, but let me know if any are missing. They are all currently available at Stogies (except Roma Craft) as well ranging in price from $7.95 - $10.00 per stick. I currently do not have a release date for the Roma Craft edition.
I seem to have made it my personal mission to review all of the H-Town Lancero releases and I'm 1/3 of the way there.
illusione H-Town Lancero (Stogies World Class Exclusive)
Size: 7 x 40
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo 98
Binder: Nicaraguan Criollo 99
Samples smoked for review: 1
Cigars for review were obtained from a Cigar Federation member
Note: I used the CigarFederation Rating System
Pre-Light: The illusione H-Town Lancero has the standard illusione look. It features a simple two-tone band and that's about it. The look is understated and classic and that makes it attractive. One thing I noticed is that the illusione edition is the only H-Town Lancero that doesn't say "H-Town" or "Stogies Exclusive" anywhere on the band. Most feature a secondary H-Town band while the Tatuaje edition says everything on the main band.
The Corojo 98 wrapper had a toothy feel and clean look to it. The wrapper gave off mild notes of cedar and baking spices, but the main thing I noticed was a strong peanut aroma. It smelled exactly like roasted nuts. The cold draw was smooth and tasted of nuts and mild anise.
Beginning: I fired up the illusione H-Town Lancero and guess what it tasted like. Yep, it tasted like roasted nuts. The first third actually featured a really nice complex growth of flavors. It started off with nutty notes and gradually added notes of graham crackers, cinnamon spice and a mild sugar cookie sweetness. The build up of flavor and complexity was pretty impressive. And someone everything stayed in balance.
Middle: The overall feel and performance of the cigar was pretty consistent, but the flavors morphed a bit here and there. The nutty note maintained its dominance, but took on some hazelnut characteristics. The sugar cookie sweetness was always very mild, but in the middle it took on a creamy nougat flavor. The baking/cinnamon spice grew a bit on the tongue and retrohale, but never threw the profile out of balance. The graham cracker flavor was almost like the backbone that all over flavors grew on top of.
End: The baking/cinnamon spice backed off a bit to make way for more sweetness in the final third. That nougat note that I love so much took a sizable step forward and brought the cigar to a lovely finish.
Final Thoughts: The illusione H-Town Lancero is easily the best H-Town release that I have smoked. In fact I'll say this one has a shot at 2016 cigar of the year. The blend is based on the illusione Singularé 2010 Phantom which I have never smoked, but you can bet your ass that I am officially on the look out for a few. This is a beautiful blend with elegant flavor and perfect balance.
Rating: 94 aka "Box Buy"
Easily the best cigar I have smoked so far this year. I know it's only February, but still.