In an attempt to detox a bit from my Nicaragua trip, I am enjoying a J. Grotto lancero, with a large cup of water. This cigar was sent to me from a good friend in Atlanta and is part of the J. Grotto Series Reserve line, from the boutique owner of Ocean State Cigars. It is hand made in Honduras at the Raices Cubanas factory. The blend according to their website, consists of Honduran Criollo 98' wrapper and binder with Honduran and Nicaraguan ligero filler.
The wrapper is a pretty auburn color with just enough oil sheen to make it glisten. It is a little spongier to the touch than I'm used to and it has a small pig tail closing up the cap. There are 2 bands on the cigar, one with the "Grotto Series J" logo and a smaller band beneath with "Reserve" in gold writing.
Using a straight guillotine cut, I take a pre-lit draw which has a toasted nutty nuance to it. Once lit, I get a dominant nutmeg and cinnamon flavor with a slightly oaky finish. After about an inch in there is a shift into more of a black pepper with a slightly sweet undertone. The draw is open and the cigar holds a strong dark grey ash. Tastes are juggling back and forth between nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper notes.
Into the second third, the burn line is a little off and needs a few touch ups to help it along. The flavor however is very good.
There has been a transition of a floral, even some what fruity flavor- not citrus but more of a light cherry. The black pepper is still present, mostly on the retrohale and there is a definite woody presence throughout. A few puffs past the middle I even picked up a hint of anise in the mix. So far a very enjoyable cigar.
The flavors of the last third are similar to the first third, but with a bit of a coffee note and a hint of caramel in addition to the nuttiness. The black pepper is almost non- existent except a trace through the retrohale. I did notice that this lancero needed a little more attention from my lighter than I liked, but the flavor profile makes up for that inconvenience.
Overall I thought this cigar could have smoked a little easier, but the flavors were unique and enjoyable. I would like to get a handful or so to keep in my humidor.