Back in 2012, Oscar Valladares came out with a cigar to mark the supposed end of the world prediction made by the Mayan calendar. The Mayan calendar ran for 5,125 years, starting in 3114 B.C. It was measured by 13 Bak’tun, or periods of 400 years, with the final one ending on Dec. 21, 2012. It was unknown if the end of the calendar was meant to mark the end of time, or if it was meant to reset back to 0 and start over. The cigar created by Oscar Valladares was simply called the 2012 by Oscar and was actually his first commercially available line.
This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.
In that first rendition of the 2012 cigar, each box came with 21 cigars, 20 of which had a regular cigar band, and one using a different wrapper meant to be smoked on December 21, 2012 making it either the last cigar you’d ever smoke, or the first cigar or a new era. The regular cigar used a Honduran corojo wrapper, the special one a Nicaraguan maduro. The internals of both were the same consisting of Nicaraguan binder and Honduran fillers.
In 2017 the 2012 by Oscar line saw a refresh as part of the company’s 5th anniversary. The blend and packaging was updated and sizes were added. Also, in October 2018, they came out with 2012 by Oscar Reserva Original, a limited run of that original release.
In January 2018, Oscar Valladares came out with a special version of the blend, 2012 by Oscar Barber Pole, a 6 x 52 box-pressed toro exclusive to The Cigar Shop in the Carolinas. It later became a regular production cigar. Then, in October 2020, the company came out with a version of that cigar in a lancero vitola also a regular production release.
The 2012 by Oscar Barber Pole Lancero is a traditional lancero, meaning it measures 7 x 38. It comes in boxes of 10 that sell for $89.97, or $9.97 a stick. The blend uses a Mexican San Andrés maduro and an undisclosed candela wrapper. From there, the it uses a Nicaraguan binder and fillers from Honduras and Nicaragua. The cigars are rolled at his factory Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co Danlí, Honduras.
Ring Gauge: 38
Country of Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés, Candela (Undisclosed Origin)
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua
Factory: Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co
Blender: Oscar Valladares
Number of reviewers: 5 – Ryan H. (Ryan H.) Sean F. (fullermaine) Alan (Eulogy) James H. (Keikan Jim) Joseph S. (Bearded Bastard)
Age: 3 Months
Release Date: January 2022
Contributed by: Oscar Valladares Tobacco & Co
Initial Impressions – Oscar Valladares 2012 by Oscar Barber Pole Lancero
“I guess if you wanted to peacock at a cigar lounge, this would be a good choice. The pigtail cap, closed foot, and barber pole design with Candela wrapper in a lancero size will probably get a “what are you smoking?” from the other members. Overall, it looks well-made but could have used a bit more care in some of the application of the wrapper.” –Alan (Eulogy)
“I am getting some oak notes on the cold draw, and once lit some grassy notes.” –Sean F. (fullermaine)
“A very complex cigar, after allowing a good burn-in. Just the right amount of spice, followed by burning green grass and hay. It also has some brown sugar or molasses. Some leather and earth on the finish. Nice medium in strength. So balanced room note is very enjoyable as well. Draw spectacular. A little wavy burn, but I am not worried about this in the slightest. A great mixture of spicy and sweet.” –Ryan H. (Ryan H.)
“I’m reminded of a pipe tobacco profile with the first third of this cigar. If you smoke a pipe, this is pretty close to a straight Virginia. There is a fairly heavy grassy note with a sweet tobacco finish and a nice bready flavor. The draw is pretty tight, and the burn is quite wonky so far.” –Alan (Eulogy)
“Sweetness, grass, nut with a hint of pepper.” –Joseph S. (Bearded Bastard)
“To start the second third my cigar just died out of the blue. To be fair, it is a lancero and I may have left it sitting on the ashtray a half-second too long. The second third had that nice grassy sweetness and slight licorice or dark fruit flavor profile of the first third. The mineral finish remained a bit on the harsh side but was not quite as off-putting as the first third. The retro-hale is smooth with a nice white pepper tinge.” –James H. (Keikan Jim)
“Truly a phenomenal stick from all aspects of a cigar from construction to draw burn and even an epic profile. The profile remains unchanged with an earthy start and a brown sugar molasses finish.” –Ryan H. (Ryan H.)
“Not a lot of new things to say since the profile has remained unchanged since the first third. The draw has opened up just a touch and the smoke output has improved greatly. Still very tobacco and grassy forward profile.” –Alan (Eulogy)
Overall Impressions – Oscar Valladares 2012 by Oscar Barber Pole Lancero
“A tight draw to start, but it gets better with every puff taken.” –Sean F. (fullermaine)
“A few uneven parts, but it finally corrects itself with an even burn finish.” –Sean F. (fullermaine)
“This was a beautifully crafted cigar. The lines of the barber pole were seamless as well as a perfectly applied pigtail cap. Just beautiful is all I can say.” –James H. (Keikan Jim)
Overall Strength: Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium
Experience Overall: 93
“I would definitely keep a number of these around to even share with buddies as well as keep a few hidden for myself. A great boxable smoke.” –Ryan H. (Ryan H.)
“Got out of my comfort zone smoking this lancero. Great pre-Saint Patrick’s day stick. Tight draw to start, that corrects itself with each puff. Great notes of grass, oak, tea, and black pepper. A nice cigar to enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day. A cigar I’d want in my humidor.” –Sean F. (fullermaine)
“I can’t think of a cigar with more of a pipe tobacco profile. If you like rich notes of tobacco, bread, and grass this could be a very interesting cigar for you. I’m not sure how often I would reach for this cigar since I had a bit of trouble with the draw but it is interesting.” –Alan (Eulogy)
“I really wanted this to be a great cigar for me as I like a nice barber pole as well as candela shade tobacco. this particular variant however was not to my liking.” –James H. (Keikan Jim)
“Great flavors, and look. The cigar had notes of grass, sweetness and nuts. No complaints with burn, draw, or construction.” –Joseph S. (Bearded Bastard)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 67
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.