If you pay close attention to cigar industry news the same way I do, then you have more than likely heard the name ACE Prime mentioned as of late. In the last couple years, ACE Prime—and the brand’s associated Tabacalera Pichardo factory—have been making some big waves. Despite blending cigars for former NBA greats Dominique Wilkins and Tiago Splitter, none have been met with more accolades than the Luciano line of cigars, named after co-founder Luciano Meirelles.
The Luciano series debuted in 2019 with Luciano The Traveler, a 7″ x 46 Churchill that matched an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper with the prized yet often finicky (and low yielding) Pelo de Oro tobacco throughout the interior recipe. The line was extended in 2020 with Luciano The Dreamer, now hiding Nicaraguan and Peruvian tobaccos beneath an Ecuadorian Habano Corojo ’99 wrapper, creating a completely different smoking experience from its predecessor.
“The Dreamer is one of the most memorable lancero cigars I’ve smoked in my twenty-four year career in the premium cigar industry. This cigar is exquisite and borders upon flawless in terms of overall balance, complexity, and construction,” says Jon Huber, Co-owner and founder of Crowned Heads.
Luciano The Dreamer Breakdown
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Corojo ’99
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua | Peru
- Factory: Tabacalera Pichardo (Nicaragua)
- Production: Regular Production
- Vitola: 7½″ × 38 (Lancero)
- Price: $15.00 (MSRP)
The Dreamer has a deceptively long and slender appearance, even for a lancero. Its small diameter and substantial length gives you a “long and lean” visual, emphasized by a fan-tail cap. The main band is elegantly simple in its execution. If not for the silver top and bottom margin lines, only the thin “LUCIANO” name would adorn the matte black embossed paper. The gold foot ribbon provides accent, akin to how a shimmering metallic pocket square would accentuate a classic black suit and tie.
Moving to the tobaccos under the banding, you are met with a waxy graham cracker-colored wrapper that gives very little tooth to the touch. Only one prominent vein disrupts what is an overall smooth roll with neat and tight seams. From head to toe, there is only slight variation to the cigar’s diameter, which is no small feat on a cigar of this length and ring gauge.
Passing the cigar’s wrapper beneath my nose, I’m met with a predominantly floral and raisin-like note that is trying to hide rich leather and an apple cider vinegar scent behind it. A straight guillotine cut at the head provides more of that rich leather flavor, as well as buttered brown sugar through a medium draw resistance.
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At first light I’m met with a very different profile than the pre-light experience hinted at. Raw peanuts and cedar are directly present, alongside a leather note that can only be described as “old work boot;” musty and earthy. It’s surprising how pinpoint and complex the flavors are. On the retrohale, red pepper zings but isn’t overpowering or bitey. It enhances the dusty leather rather than overpowering. The draw is more firm than I would like, but still at an acceptable medium.
Delving further into The Dreamer, the complex and dusty “old leather work boot” and raw peanuts components are turning more to a dry leather and cedar, taking on somewhat of a rough and saliva-inducing quality. The tightening of the draw is becoming more of an issue, with smoke output weakening to a medium level. I’m holding out hope for the return of the unique profile I experienced early on. The flavors given are definitely in the medium-to-full-body category, with the strength holding steady at a medium-plus.
From the midpoint to the finish of the lancero, the draw has become a primary concern. It is now similar to trying to drink a thick milkshake through a skinny straw. The interesting and complex combination of “old leather work boot” and raw peanuts, paired with red pepper on the retrohale, is a distant memory. In its place is a charred earth flavor, with dry white pepper dominating the retrohale. A re-light was needed in the last three inches and, combined with the very snug draw, the Luciano The Dreamer finishes out with little change.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
I can’t say that I would. Isn’t it interesting how the little things can mentally set the stage for things to come? From a visual profile to a tactile experience, even something as simple as a phrase can cause the gears of your mind to start spinning in ways beyond your control. Luciano The Dreamer drew me in with its name. When I smoke a cigar alone, it tends to be a contemplative experience. Thoughts of life, delusions of grandeur, and plans for the future flirt through my mind. This lancero played wonderfully with my mood for a good period of time, but ended up leaving me wanting for the unique flavors and complexity it showed at its beginning. When the price point and tightening draw are factored in, I would have to say that this is not a cigar I would seek out when browsing through my local brick and mortar.
- Luciano The Dreamer is the first regular production in the Luciano line of cigars.
- It was a limited release at launch, later gaining wider release earlier this year.
- Its predecessor, Luciano The Traveler, was a limited production, and currently sold out of distribution.
- The third Luciano cigar was announced in 2021 as the Fiat Lux, being a more affordable (and readily available) addition to the collection.
- It was announced earlier this week that The Dreamer will be receiving three additional sizes (5″ x 48, 6⅞” x 50, and 5½” x 52), as well as a wine of the same name.
- Flavor: Medium / Full
- Strength: Medium-Plus
- Body: Medium-Plus
- Raw peanuts
- Dry cedar
- Charred earth
- Red pepper
- White pepper
- Smoke Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
- Pairing Recommendation: Manhattan | Islay Scotch whisky | Nitro cold-brew coffee
- Purchase Recommendation: Try one
Luciano The Dreamer
ACE Prime brings us a second installment of the acclaimed Luciano line of cigars with Luciano The Dreamer. The 7½” x 38 lancero starts off very complex, with unique leather, raw peanut, and red pepper notes. As the slender cigar progresses, the draw tightens and flavors become very one-dimensional, giving only dry, bordering-on-harsh notes of leather, cedar, and spicy red pepper. These dry notes settle on a charred earth and white pepper profile, which I can’t help but think is due to the draw tightening during the smoking experience.
- Complexity abounds at the start
- Ash holds tight for up to an inch
- Strength and body are well balanced throughout
- Snug draw becomes tight by completion (seen on multiple review samples)
- Flavors go from complex to one-dimensional by the halfway point
- Cigar ends harsh and peppery