When Eddie Ortega split from EO Brands and began Ortega Cigar Company, he was able to bring the Cubao name with him. Sitting dormant for the last 2 years, Cubao has finally resurfaced under Eddie’s watchful eye. Still made at the My Father factory in Esteli, using the same blend as before, the biggest change comes in the boxes, now coming in 10 cigar counts. Eddie started using 10 count boxes with his Ortega Serie D line and I think it is a great idea to continue that here. Being able to mix 2 different sizes and/or lines to make a 20 count box is a wonderful advantage for consumers and I am glad Eddie realizes that and continues that trend. While the 601 line was the popular line from the original EO Brands, Cubao was always my personal favorite with the sweet Sumatra wrapper over the Nicaraguan fillers. Cubao just had a certain flavor I always enjoyed and it was never overly strong, a great cigar any time of day that paired well with just about anything. Let’s see if that still holds true and light up the #3 Lancero size.
Size: Lancero #3 6.5 x 38
Price: $8.25/stick or $74.25/box of 10
Appearance: The Cubao Lancero #3 is a light mocha color with a small pigtail cap. As most know, I am a big fan of the lancero size, it just smokes so well flavor wise, but many seem to pass it over in favor of the larger ring gauge brethren. The Cubao is soft when squeezed with some slight veining running up the length of the cigar. The band is a simple brown color with the Cubao logo in the center in gold foil. Around the logo are Ortega Cigar Co. and Cubao in white, with some white bordering as well. It is a simple band, not distracting or overly done, one that seems to say “Let the cigar speak for itself”. This isn’t the prettiest cigar I have ever seen, but if it smokes like the Cubao of old, I am in for a real treat.
Pre-Light Aroma: The Cubao Lancero #3 carries a floral like sweetness along with a nice earthiness coming from the foot. The wrapper is only lightly sweet with not much else to be found. Once I clip off the small pigtail, I get a nice does of cocoa and pepper on the dry-draw, with a slight sweetness on the lips as well. The draw is open with some slight resistance, something I was a bit worried about with how soft the cigar felt.
The Cubao Lancero #3 starts off spicier than I expected, though not a strong peppery spice. It is a sweeter spice, akin to cinnamon, along with a light earthiness on the palate. The smoke is a little thin, though there is plenty of it, especially considering the small ring gauge, that I wouldn’t typically expect from a lancero size. The smoke leaves a lasting impression on the palate with its long, smokey finish between puffs. Through the nose you pick up a more peppery spice and some light floral sweetness, a nice combo of flavors. The burn is even and the ash holds for around half an inch before falling off, not surprising for how small the ring gauge of the stick is. One thing to keep in mind with something this size is you have to smoke slow, smoking too fast on a lancero will cause too much heat which causes the cigar to get bitter. Smoke this slow and you will be greatly rewarded with big flavors throughout.
The middle of the Cubao Lancero #3 bring a more cocoa sweetness to the profile while retaining the spice from the first third. The nose stays steady through this point, floral sweetness and peppery spice. Strength wise the Cubao is medium, creeping towards medium-full but not quite hitting that point. The burn has remained flawless with the ash holding around half an inch each time. The flavors in this third come to the palate in a big way, full and thick leaving some great flavor on the tongue between puffs. Towards the end of the middle third a smoked meat flavor begins to come through, changing the profile dramatically leading into the finale of this cigar. It is abrupt and quite shocking, though in a good way.
The final third holds true to the change that came on so abruptly in the middle, smoked meat and some slight spice. The nose is mostly spice now with the sweetness having dissipated into this final third. The strength never quite hit the medium-full mark though it felt like it wanted to. Most people won’t find any difference between this new Cubao and the old EO Brands version, and they really shouldn’t, the blend didn’t change. While it has been sometime since I last smoked one of these, I don’t recall the old version carrying some of the sweetness this did. Admittedly, it may have and I just don’t recall, but either way, this is a definite winner from Ortega Cigar Co. The 10 count boxes and the fair price point combine to make this an easy choice. If you would like to order this cigar, you can do so by clicking here or calling us at 800-669-7167.