In 1995, with the help of Nestor Plasencia, Maria-Pia (Maya) Selva successfully launched the Maya Selva cigar company in Paris, France. Over the years, Maya Selva quickly became one of the most popular cigars sold in all of Europe. After launching the Flor de Selva line at the start of the company, Maya Selva released the Cumpay line of cigars in 1999. Three years later, the Villa Zamorano line was released, allowing Maya Selva to completely dominate the European market—ranking as the 3rd best-selling brand (behind Habanos & Davidoff) in many European markets.
Twenty years later, Maya Selva has finally wised-up and brought the company across the pond to the American cigar market. Although, originally Maya brought a handful of their sizes to the U.S. back in 2013, this past year we got a major overhaul, including the limited edition Flor de Selva Lancero, a one-time release size to commemorate the success of Maya Selva and her exquisite cigars.
Flor de Selva No. 20 Breakdown
- Wrapper: Jamastrán Habano
- Binder: Jamastrán Habano
- Filler: Trojes viso | Jamastrán ligero
- Factory: Tabacos de Oriente S.A. (Honduras)
- Production: Limited Edition (2,000 boxes 10 – 500 in US)
- Vitola: Lancero 7 x 38
- Price: $15
Although Maya Selva is technically a Frenchwoman, she has an exceptional background in Honduras, which explains why her cigars are not only made there, but use the finest Honduran tobaccos. The Flor de Selva looks very similar to the rest of the line, only perhaps coming in a shade or two darker, with the Habano wrapper replacing the usual Connecticut. The cigar has a mild, blonde wrapper, looking rather delicate, with a few veins lurking about.
The classic Flor de Selva band is obvious, with its white and lightly touched golden finish. The foot band, however, can be a bit off-putting, with a harsh tone of red and black that feel out of place compared to the primary band.
The Flor de Selva smells gentle and soothing to the nostrils, with a small dose of tobacco and cedar aroma. Putting the 20th to the flame, the gentle aromas continue, with a mixture of dry wood and walnuts. The cap cut with a little bit of a ‘sqwoosh’, but that can be normal from a Lancero. The resulting wrapper held on well enough, and produced a marvelous draw with just the right amount of smoke.
The first light of flavors surprised me, with a rather spicy start and deep pepper notes on the finish. The pepper was a tad zesty, and was complimented by a dry barbecue rub and fresh charcoal. After spending a few more minutes, a sweet oakiness began to develop, along with a delicious cream.
The Flor de Selva lancero performed masterfully, letting me puff to a rather slow burn—a rare sight for such a small ring gauge cigar. The draw remained perfect (for me), and the ash drops off at predictable two-inch chunks. The flavors continue to impress, with the pepper and spice almost completely disappearing, leaving me with a cedar, smooth sweetness, and creamy espresso.
The flavor profile maintains itself from the halfway point down to the nub. Only an increased earth and floral aroma notes are added, expectedly due to the tobaccos temperature increase. The cigar maintained a solid medium body from start to finish, and an equally strong strength profile, ranging from mild to medium-plus at times.
Would I smoke this cigar again?
Any day, any time. The Flor de Selva (original) may be one of my favorite Connie’s, and the Lancero is easily my favorite from Flor de Selva. This cigar performs well morning, day, and night—every time.
- Well-balanced body and strength
- Works for any time of day
- Price feels a bit high
- Expected a little more complexity