The so-called “Lancero Craze” has captured the attention of much of the cigar-loving public. A recent feature concerning the Lancero size in a major publication had me wondering: is it true? Does the thinner ring gauge actually result in a prominence of the wrapper leaf’s flavor? That is to say, for a thinner cigar is the ratio of wrapper to filler really greater? My generally (some say viciously) skeptical nature mandated a closer, more scientific look at this phenomenon.
Enlisting the help of all-around number crunching guru, man of science, author, and creator of debtsmart.com Scott Bilker, BSEE, I sought to determine once and for all the answer to this persistent question…through the work of others. Scott answers as follows.
- Let’s assume that a cigar is a perfect cylinder.
- Surface Area: SA = 2 * pi * r * h (excluding the surface area of the circular ends since one end is lit and the other is cut), where r is the radius and h is the height.
- Volume: V = pi * r^2 * h (pi r squared h).
- Question: People say that the thinner the cigar is, the more outside surface area (wrapper) there is in comparison to inside volume (filler).Math translation: Does the ratio of surface area to volume of a cylinder increase or decrease if the radius decreases?
- Ratio: SA / V = 2 * pi * r * h / pi * r^2 * h this reduces to…
- Ratio: SA / V = 2 / r
- As r approaches 0, 2/r approaches infinity.
- Therefore, it is true that the thinner the cigar, the more wrapper there is in comparison to the volume.
Hell, I’m convinced. Now I won’t have to suffer through countless hours of hands on research. Of course, I would say such an outrageous thing only in jest. Scott’s geometrically intriguing answer has only piqued my curiosity. In part one of an ongoing series, we’ll compare a Lancero of a particular blend to a more conventional size of the same. First up, the Oliva Serie V. This cigar is one of the best “new” cigars of recent years. A truly complex, flavorful, bold, beautifully constructed masterpeice of a cigar. The “poor man’s Opus”, really. The spiciness and power of the Serie V are rivaled by no comparably priced cigar. The excellence of this cigar is nearly undisputed; but let’s see how the Lancero stacks up against a more familiar size. At 5×54, the Serie V Double Robusto should give us firm footing from which to view the Lancero phenomenon in the clear light of day.