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The sophomore release from Cubariqueno Cigar Company is the Protocol Probable Cause. Bill Ives, Juan Cancel, and Bill Agathis created the company and have teamed with Erik Espinosa and the La Zona factory to bring us this release. If you follow cigars, factories, owners, etc, then you know that Erik Espinosa and La Zona are rapidly becoming one of the hottest factories in the game. The Probable Cause name pays tribute to Juan Cancel and Bill Ives connection to law enforcement. (Thank you both for your service and what you do for your community. As someone that dealt with law enforcement on a daily basis during my career, I have a deep respect for what you do and what you have to deal with.)

For those of you not familiar with this cigar, it is not a brand new release. This one hit the market late last year after the first Protocol made a huge splash upon its release back in 2015. 22 months later the Protocol Lancero was named Cigar or the Year by Cigar Federation scoring a perfect 100! As someone that has tried them on numerous occasions, that ranking is not a fluke. It is one of the top Lanceros I have ever had the pleasure of smoking. In the short time they have been on the market, they have compiled some serious rankings, awards and reviews.

I have the pleasure of running into Juan every now and again at Famous Smoke Shop or To’Makeo Fine Cigars when I get the chance to hang out there. Juan and Bill certainly have built a following in the past 2 years and it’s because of their huge personalities and their fantastic cigars.

Today we take a look at the Probable Cause.

Blend Profile:

Wrapper: Mexican San Andreas Maduro

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Size: 6 1/2 x 48 (semi Box Pressed) Churchill (Also Available in Robusto 5 x 52)

Factory:  La Zona

MSRP: $9.89

Appearance: Medium brown with hints of reddish/brown in the sunlight. The semi-box press really gives it a nice feel and look and the Bright Red, Silver and Black dual bands really pop against the brown backdrop. Small veins and tight seams throughout. Really nice looking cigar.

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Feel: This cigar is firm with no soft spots anywhere but feels light in the hand. The triple cap finishes off the top nicely.

Pre-light: I pick up a nice earthy scent from the barrel along with a little fermented barnyard, hay and some charred wood notes. On the foot I get a bit of dried fruit and nuts, more earth and wood.

I used my Calibri V-cutter to open up the cap and the cold draw is open and easy with a little bit of resistance. I pick up notes of earth, cocoa and wood. I used wooden matches to try to light but the damn wind won’t work with me so my faithful dual torch has to finish things off. Once I get it nice and toasted, we are off to the flavor land. Right off the bat I get a nice big pepper blast with a smooth finish of cocoa/chocolate and some dried nuttiness. I am getting a nice amount of smoke from this cigar. As I make my up the first third, I pick up some charred wood flavors and some dried fruit here and there. Maybe dried cherries? It is a bit windy out today but the burn line is nice considering. The ash holds tight for about a half inch or more and a gust of wind forces it to fall. The strength is a touch more than medium so far but not full just yet.

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As I transition into the second third, I am picking up less pepper and more of the wood and earthy notes mixed with the dried fruit and nuts. Nothing crazy in the transition, just subtle switches in flavors here and there. This is a really good cigar! I am a big fan of consistency and this does not disappoint. The draw is still open and the burn is still going strong. No touch ups despite the strong wind gust. Strength is still medium to full to me.

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Moving into the final third, I find myself having to make myself put it down and give it a minute in between puffs. The blend is just perfect. The combination works incredibly well and it’s just a very enjoyable, flavorful cigar. The transition was the same as the first one. Nothing crazy just subtle switches here and there. I picked up a more citrus note than cherry at times, but not enough to change the profile.The pepper makes a return here and there which is something I like a lot. I took the bands off and smoked this one to the nub. If it wasn’t getting so hot on the lips, I would have kept going. I would say that I could get a roach clip for it, but with Juan and Bill’s background, I don’t need that kind of attention. Lol.

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Total time was just at 1 hour 30 minutes.

Pairings: I paired this with water since I was reviewing it. I think you could pair this with almost anything and it would be good. For me being a spice guy, I think a good bourbon, spiced rum, or scotch would really go well with this cigar.

Final thoughts: I really enjoyed this cigar a lot. If I didn’t, I would say so. This cigar is a perfect blend of things that I like in a cigar and it’s just an easy, enjoyable smoke. I have not tried the Robusto yet so I want to do that soon. The Protocol (Blue Band) was an outstanding cigar and this follow up is not overshadowed by that. I would certainly (and will) smoke this cigar again and I think it would be a great addition to my rotation. I encourage you to try these and see what you think.

As always, I encourage you to leave your thoughts, comments, and reviews here so I can share them. I hope you enjoyed the review and as always…Long ashes and full glasses friends. Peace.

“The purpose of this review is to provide a true and honest opinion based on my own experience. I am under no obligation to provide favorable feedback and receive no compensation for doing so.” Scott Hawkes.

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