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Cigar Review: Protocol Probable Cause Lancero

Protocol Probable Cause Lancero


Cubariqueño Cigar Co. unveiled the Protocol Probable Cause line at IPCPR 2016 in two sizes, a Robusto and a Churchill.  In April 2017, Cubariqueño announced the release of the new Protocol Themis line as well as a line addition to the Protocol Probable Cause line, a 7 1/2 x 38 semi-box pressed Lancero.

The company was founded by two police officers, Juan Cancel & Bill Ives. Creation and manufacturing of all Cubariqueño cigars are done at the La Zona cigar factory in Esteli, Nicaragua by Erik Espinosa.

Protocol Probable Cause uses a Mexican San Andrés wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan fillers.

The Probable Cause Protocal is available in three sizes.

  • Lancero semi-box pressed 7 1/2 x 38
  • Robusto 5 x 52
  • Churchill semi-box pressed 6 1/2 x 48


Probable Cause Lancero

The Protocol Probable Cause is double banded in metallic silver, black and red. The primary band is a large 3-D “P” along with “Protocol”. And the back notes “C.I.A” sticking with the law enforcement theme. The secondary band has the line name “Probable Cause”.

A dark roast coffee bean brown, the Protocol Probable Cause Mexican San Andrés wrapper is rustic with a rough finish and mottled with dark areas. The roll is firm and finished with an unusual off-center cap. The box press is very subtle and almost unnoticeable.

Pre-light aroma is very earthy with a raisin-like sweetness and a perfect, easy draw.


Probable Cause Lancer 1st Light

The Probable Cause Lancero is starting off very similar to the Robusto I reviewed in 2016 (see here), but the strength is noticeably fuller from the start. Flavors of cedar and black pepper are much more prominent with background notes of cocoa and coffee.

  • Cedar
  • Black Pepper
  • Cocoa
  • Coffee


Probable Cause Lancero cruise

Again comparing the Lancero to the Robusto, the Lancero has a stronger black pepper bite and is hovering in the medium-plus strength range. Cedar and pepper are joined with a honey sweetness (not getting the cherry sweetness that the Robusto had) that helps to buffer the pepper.

The draw is creating an enjoyable smoking experience as is the shifting and blending of flavors. Two inches in and cream has popped up with more honey and some milk chocolate just as the ash falls off.

The Lancero is burning evenly and slowly–in a very positive way–for a narrow ring gauge cigar. Interesting that the cherry note that was missing from the same-blend Robusto is now appearing over the honey sweetness. An almond flavor is now evident as the ash falls off again at the almost midway point. The ash is good for two inches and then decides to leave the cigar on its own. Lingering on the palate is a smokey, almost sweet cedar char.

  • Charred Cedar
  • Black Pepper
  • Honey to Cherry
  • Cream
  • Milk Chocolate
  • Almond


Probable Cause Lancero Final

What I am really noticing is that the Protocol Probable Cause just keeps getting better and better. There is a deepening of flavors, as evidenced by the cocoa to milk chocolate to dark chocolate transitions.

Black pepper really lingers on the palate. The cherry sweetness really does the job in buffering the pepper to create a very balanced strength/flavor level. Leather is now in the mix as well. Speaking of strength, the medium-plus is reduced just a bit in the final third.

  • Charred Cedar
  • Black Pepper
  • Cherry
  • Cream
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Almond
  • Leather


Construction and draw is spot on with an overall medium-plus strength.


  • Cedar to Charred Cedar
  • Black Pepper
  • Cocoa to Milk Chocolate to Dark Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Honey to Cherry
  • Cream
  • Almond
  • Leather


Probable Cause Lancero Conclusioin


I always try to get cigar smokers to try a Lancero. There is a reluctance to deviate from the larger ring gauge vitolas. The Lancero gives the smoker a long opportunity to enjoy the flavors while getting more wrapper to binder-filler ratio. And when a Mexican San Andrés wrapper is involved, you want more of the wrapper experience.

No relights or straightening of the razor-sharp burn line are necessary. The ash drops off on its own, and continues to do so at an increasing rate as the cigar is smoked. I attribute that to the Lancero ring gauge and is not a negative as long as you are careful with the cigar. A burned shirt (I burned the tablecloth and the wife is not going to be happy) is possible, so watch out!

The Protocol Probable Cause is an enjoyable flavor-transitioning ride of a smoke that I believe is even better that the Robusto (and this is a very, very good cigar), and just as long of a smoke time.

Cigars Smoked for review: 1

Cigar Smoke Rate: 90

Size:           7 1/2 x 38 semi-box pressed Lancero

Strength: Medium-Plus

Wrapper:  Mexican San Andrés
Binder:      Nicaraguan
Country of Origin/Factory :   La Zona Cigar Factory, Esteli, Nicaragua

MSRP: $10.50

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