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Review of J. Grotto Series Reserve Lancero Limitado Cigars

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J. Grotto Lancero Cigar

J. Grotto Lancero Cigar

2012 © Dr. Mitch Fadem Licensed to About.com, Inc.
I recently received a couple of samples of the Lancero Limitado cigar from Paul Joyal, President of ‘J’ Ocean State Cigars of West Warwick, Rhode Island. This cigar is part of their J. Grotto Series Reserve line. A lancero is typically a very difficult cigar to roll. You have to have them made perfectly or you will end up with a nice looking stick that has little or no draw. The cigars are hand made, using three-year aged select tobaccos; a Nicaragua-grown Criollo 99 wrapper and Criollo 98 binder, plus a filler of Honduran-grown ligero and Jalapa leaves. The Lancero Limitado size is 7 ½” long with a 41 ring gauge.

Draw and Construction

This is a nice looking cigar. It is actually quite spongy and gives a lot when you squeeze it. This is a good indication that it was not rolled too tight, a good sign for such a thin lancero. The technique for this cigar was entubado rolling. This is the bunching technique, which rolls each filler leaf into itself, almost like a small scroll. Each individually “scrolled” leaf is then placed together to form the bunch. This technique allows air to travel between all of the leaves, carrying more aromatics and flavors to the palate and allowing the cigar to burn more evenly. The wrapper is dark brown with a flattened Cuban-style twisted cap (the manufacturer calls it a pig-tail). I smoked two of these for the review and the ash held on very long (see photo), for 3 1/2”, very impressive. The draw was much easier than almost every other lancero that I have smoked. The burn is relatively even and I did not have to re-light at all. The smoking time is a total of 1 hour and 25 minutes, but remember, I draw slowly which allows me to enjoy a cigar longer than most people.

Flavor and Aroma

Mr. Joyal was quoted in an article introducing the blend as saying, “It is nothing less than rich and harmonious, delivering toast and smooth caramel flavors. This cigar may well become our signature cigar.” Believe it or not I actually agree with him. This was a pleasant surprise for me since I don’t usually agree with most people on a cigar flavor. The aroma is nice as well with that good tobacco-barn aged leaf smell wafting up from the cigar. I smoked the second cigar with a café mocha and it paired very well bringing out the natural sweetness of the cigar.


Entubado rolling is the most difficult and complex bunching method and usually only done in small batches. The J. Grotto Series Reserve Lancero Limitado is produced in very limited quantities and sold in boxes of 10 cigars. The price point is about $7.95 per stick and I will have to admit that I will definitely want a few of these in my humidor. It is well made and will impress any of the best cigar aficionados. Two thumbs up to Paul Joyal for producing the best lancero ever.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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