J Grotto Series Reserve Lancero – Cigar Review

The J Grotto Series Reserve Lancero is the newest size to one of Ocean State Cigar’s most popular lines. This new Lancero size brings the number of sizes in the blend up to five. The original four are a Corona (5 5/8 x 46), Sixty (6 x 60), Gran Robusto (5 x 52), and Toro (6 x 52). This new Lancero is going to be extremely limited, only 100 10-count boxes are being produced, and they will only be sold at J Grotto cigar events. Each event will only receive 4 of these 10-count boxes. Let’s see how this new Limited Edition Lancero stacks up.

Also make sure to check out Ocean State Cigars on their website, and like them on Facebook.

Size: 7 3/8 x 40
Wrapper: Honduras Criollo ’98
Binder: Honduras Criollo ’98
Filler: Honduras & Nicaragua Ligero
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Full
Flavor: Full
Cigars Smoked For Review: 2

Construction and Appearance: The J Grotto Series Reserve features two bands, the top one is ringed in gold and in the center is a large J inside of some Gothic or Roman style architecture. Above it is written Grotto Series. The second band is black and gold with Reserve written in the center.

The wrapper of the J Grotto Series Reserve is a very dark brown with a deep reddish hue. The wrapper is quite veiny with a nice rich oil to it. The J Grotto Reserve is topped off with a neat tight cap, and a small pig tail.


Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the J Grotto Series Reserve has notes of wood, leather, spice, and coffee. The foot has a scent made up of earth, grass, cedar, wood, and leather. To prepare smoking the J Grotto Series Reserve I opt for a straight cut. On the cold draw there are flavors of spice, caramel, leather, wood, and earth.

Smoking Characteristics: The J Grotto Series Reserve kicks off with a nice blend of coffee, caramel, wood, and cedar in the main body of the smoking profile. There is also a rich spice which lingers on the palate after each draw, but I can’t actually taste it in the smoke itself. The draw is excellent, easily providing a full body of cool, rich, delicious smoke. The strength sets out solidly in the medium range. During the first third there is also a nice light woody sweetness which emerges.

Into the second third of the J Grotto Series Reserve, the flavor remains fairly similar to the first. There is still a nice rich blend of coffee, caramel, wood, cedar, and a bit of sweetness. The key difference between these two thirds is that the spice which was lingering on the palate in the former third has now become less noticeable. The draw is still excellent, easily providing a nice full body of smoke, and the ash holds firmly to about the inch mark. I’ve had to do a few touch ups already in this third, as it continues to trend inwards. The strength has now entered the medium to full range, and is actually a bit closer to full.

During the final third of the J Grotto Series Reserve, I find myself drawing a bit more often than I’m use to, to ensure the burn will not need any corrections. It is working well, as it is now razor sharp, and shockingly still smoking quite cool. The flavor has not evolved at all in this third. The spice is still a bit faint like the transition into the second third. The dominant notes are of coffee and caramel, with wood, cedar, sweetness, and spice as undertones. The J Grotto Series Reserve smokes cool to the nub with no further issues in construction.


Conclusion: The J Grotto Series Reserve performs amply. It has a nice blend of flavors and quite a long smoking time (Nearly an hour and thirty minutes). The main drawback for me is that it lacks a little bit of evolution, and that if I don’t draw often enough the burn will become inward. Both cigars smoked for the review smoked identically. However, I do find this to be an excellent example of Honduran Criollo and I can see myself trying this out again in the future.

Rating: 86

MSRP: $8.95