Protocol Probable Cause – A Mixed Bag of Pleasure

from the minds of Bill Ives and Juan Cancel, crafted in Erik Espinosa’s famed Nicaraguan factory. comes the Probable Cause a lancero thats dark appearance mimics the best oscuros on the market but can it match the flavor?

With a gritty Mexican San Andres wrapper overtop Nicaraguan binder and long-filler let’s get into this and see what we find.

Appearance (2/10):
the cat’s out of the bag, this stick is ugly earning a mere 2 out of 10. The wrapper appears somewhat lackluster, with noticeable imperfections and veins. The overall aesthetic leaves much to be desired and fails to make a strong first impression.

Construction (4/10):
The construction of the Protocol Probable Cause is not impressive, earning a 4 out of 10. The cigar feels somewhat spongy to the touch, and there are inconsistencies in the pack. While it holds together decently, the construction lacks the precision and tightness expected from a premium cigar. I found many cracks and holes in the wrapper being that these cigars came straight out of the box which is unexcusable build quality.

Burning (8/10):
One redeeming quality of the Protocol Probable Cause is its burning performance, scoring a commendable 8 out of 10. The burn line remains relatively even throughout the smoke, requiring minimal touch-ups. although there were cracks in the wrap it did not affect the burning experience.

Ash (6/10):
The ash of the Protocol Probable Cause earns a 6 out of 10. While it holds reasonably well, the ash tends to be flaky and lacks the sturdy, compact structure found in higher-quality cigars. Smokers may find themselves tapping off ash more frequently than desired.

Smoke (6/10):
The smoke production of the Protocol Probable Cause is pretty good, earning a moderate 6 out of 10. While it doesn’t produce an overwhelming amount of smoke, it maintains a steady output throughout the smoking experience. The smoke texture is decent, I attribute that to the length of the Lancero body giving the smoke enough time to cool and condense in the air.

Flavor (7/10):
The flavor profile of the Protocol Probable Cause is a saving grace, earning a respectable 7 out of 10. With a well-balanced blend of earthy tones, hints of spice, and subtle sweetness, the cigar provides an enjoyable journey for the palate. The flavors, while not groundbreaking, offer a pleasant and consistent experience. let’s break it down a little further.

First Third (9/10):
The first third of the Protocol Probable Cause impresses. The initial flavors are robust, and engaging, and set a promising tone for the smoking experience. The cigar showcases complexity and depth, keeping the smoker intrigued from the first draw. slight pepper and a hint of woody oak are the first notes you get here.

Second Third (6/10):
Unfortunately, the momentum falters in the second third. The flavors, while still present, become less monotonous, and the overall experience loses some of its earlier luster. The cigar struggles to maintain the same level of interest and excitement. the issue with Lanceros are their length, extending the first third into the second third you expect a refreshing change in the flavor profile but you are met with the same notes and you start craving something more

Final Third (7/10):
The final third of the Protocol Probable Cause sees a slight improvement, earning a 7 out of 10. While it doesn’t fully recapture the magic of the first third, the flavors regain some intensity, the profile mellows into an earthy nutty note that gives you a nice change of pace providing a satisfying conclusion to the smoking experience.

Value (9/10):
In terms of value, the Protocol Probable Cause shines, earning a 9 out of 10. Considering its relatively affordable price point, the cigar offers a commendable smoking experience. Despite some shortcomings, the value proposition makes it an attractive option for budget-conscious cigar enthusiasts. maybe I got a bad batch but if you can find these on sale I would give them a try.

Overall, the Protocol Probable Cause is a mixed bag, with notable strengths in the flavor department and a budget-friendly price compensating for its shortcomings in appearance and construction. While not a top-tier cigar, it provides a reasonable option for those seeking an enjoyable smoke without breaking the bank.


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