I love a cigar with a good back story and history and one of the most storied brands in the USA might be 7-20-4.
7-20-4 is a brand founded in 1874 by R.G. Sullivan that was named for the address of his factory located in Manchester, New Hampshire, 724 Elm Street. The factory is long gone having gone out of business in 1963, but the brick building remains this his name still on it.
In 2006, the brand would be resurrected by Kurt Kendall who also owns a cigar bar just a couple of miles south of the old factory named, Twins Smoke Shop. Since it’s nationwide re-release the brand has received many accolades from cigar magazines and bloggers.
On a side note, I met my wife at his cigar bar almost 9 years ago.
Cigar Review: 7-20-4 Original Series
Size: Lancero (7.5 x 38)
Wrapper: Brazilian Mata Fina
Binder: Costa Rica
Filler: Columbia, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua
Debut: 2006 (Lancero Released in May 2012)
Box Count: 20
Final Smoking Time: 1 hour 2 minutes
The Cigar: The 7-20-4 Lancero features a cedar wrapping from just below the band that has a red foot band. The cigar band has a classic look to it creating a homage the original band which ties into Kurt’s love of nostalgia. On the side he collects old tin signs from days gone by. In the hand the cigar has a nice weight for a lancero with no voids of tobacco and gorgeous pigtail cap.
The Taste: Once the cigar is cut and lit the cold draw and the foot of the cigar virtually mimic each other with notes of licorice and cedar. These two seem to be constant for me everytime I pick up one of these cigars.
After we toast and light the cigar there is an abundance of cedar that begins the journey into this highly debatable size. The cigar starts off with notes of cedar where it is joined by some licorice and and almonds. By the time the first third comes to a close the licorice component becomes the dominant flavor profile while the finish is earthy which is enhanced by the retrohale.
The second third sees the licorice component remain the focal point of the flavor profile that also has elements of cedar and leather. As we cross over the half way point notes of almonds begin to rise up from the background becoming the new focal point with some leather on the finish. The retrohale offers up some sweetness in the terms of vanilla with a subtle red pepper.
As we conclude out experience with the 7-20-4 Lancero, almonds remain dominant with touches of cedar, leather and coffee. As the cigar moves past the band the coffee notes are especially notable on the finish of the cigar which is medium in length. The retrohale enhances the sweetness of the cigar and offers up some continued red pepper.
Conclusion: Lancero, those who love them absolutely love them and those who don’t, well, they don’t. Fans of the size often argue they don’t get enough love and many shops opt not to carry the size in their crowded humidors. However, when you get a good lancero it is a great cigar. When you get a bad one, the experience is absolutely miserable with a bad draw and poor combustion. Many who love the size will deal with the occasional bad one because of the tremendous rewards of a good one.
Thankfully in the 100s of 7-20-4 Lancero’s I’ve smoked I can count the ones with construction issues on one hand. This isn’t a knock on the brand or the factory, its just the way of the lancero. The fact is the 7-20-4 Original Series is one of my favorite lancero cigars on the markets with a tasty flavor profile that is medium in strength.
Price: $9.30 (Before any local or state taxes)