|Oro De Panama|
When most cigar smokers think of puros, they think of Cuban cigars. While there are puros that are all Dominican, Honduran and Nicaraguan, I feel they do not get as much attention as those that are Habanos. Don’t get me wrong, you have Illusiones, Padrons, Opus Xs, Camachos, and more out there, but I feel the fact that they are puros is not stressed upon. When it comes to smoking cigars composed of tobacco from one nation I really have no preferred region. There are a lot of Nicaraguan and Dominican puros I love, and there is also a good amount that I don’t care for. I don’t smoke a lot of Honduran puros, and that is because I find there flavors not favored by my palate. If there is one nation though that I never thought I would smoke a puro from it was Panama.
Panamanian tobacco is used quite frequently by several manufacturers, and whenever it is mentioned in a blend I typically enjoy it. You see a lot of Panamanian tobacco being used by Gran Habano, Rocky Patel, and Nestor Plasencia. I am sure there are others out there, but right now I am listing some bigger names. One manufacturer who uses it frequently, and is even located in Panama is the Panama Caribbean Tobacco LLC. I don’t know the entire specifics on the company, but they contacted me in reviewing some of their cigars, and I was honored by the request. The cigar I am smoking today is a Panamanian puro, and is entitled Oro de Panama.
Covered in a band fitting of The Isthmus of Panama and that of Central and Southern America, the band depicts a golden figure that is Aztec/Mayanesque. Yes, I know the Mayans and Aztecs were not located in Panama, too far south, but they definitely had influence with trade and everything. Anyways, the Oro de Panama is a Panamanian puro; first I have had, and is made from Cuban Seed. The vitola I am smoking is a robusto, and is 5” with a 50 ring gauge. The wrapper is slightly rough with veins present, and has a natural marbled brown color to it. It shows a coloring that has some Natural, Colorado and Maduro qualities to it, and I would say it is Colorado Maduro in coloring. Holding the foot and wrapper to my nose I am getting a strong aroma of sweet spices and rich earth, almost manure like. It is very distinct, the aroma, and it has this natural infused quality to it.
|Panamanian Cuban Seed|
Once I light the cigar I am getting a massive amount of smoke from the draw, and it is showing that distinct aroma with each puff. The flavors of rich earth, sweet spice and damp wood are very present, and it is sweet like. The cigar is burning very well, I am getting a nice solid burn line with a white ash, and the strength is around the medium level. The biggest thing to this cigar right now is the flavor profile, and it is very sweet and spicy. It is like walking into the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul, I know I have been there.
I will say that the flavors from the first third continue through the second third of the cigar, and it is really enjoyable experiencing Panamanian tobacco like this. Those earthy, woody and sweet spice flavors are really dominant and present throughout, and I find them very interesting and enjoyable. It is not my preferred flavor profile, but I can see where this tobacco has added to cigars in the past that have had Panamanian tobacco. The cigar is still burning wonderfully through the second third, leaving a solid burn line and that white ash, and the strength is still around that medium body level.
When I get into the final third I am finding that the flavor profile is fairly similar to that of the other two thirds, but there has been a rise in a leather flavor profile. There was a nice addition of damp wood in the second third, but the core flavors of the cigar are really that of rich earth and sweet spices. The cigar is still burning wonderfully with that lovely light gray/white ash all the way to the nub of the cigar, and even on the last draw it is cool and producing that known flavor profile. The cigar stays at that medium level strength all the way to the end, and the biggest and most pronounced aspect of the cigar is that sweet spice flavor profile.
I typically find that puros are complex in their own way, and very different than cigars that are composed of tobacco from several nations. Some say that puros can be monotone like and one dimensional in terms of flavor, and I can see that, but at the same time they are complex to a certain degree. I think you can have cigars that are composed of tobacco from several nations and it can be monotone and one dimensional throughout as well. While this cigar showed predominately those core flavors from beginning to end, there were some nice additions here and there in the second and final third. In terms of construction the cigar was as good as it can get, and though the wrapper was slightly roughed the cigar was rolled well and performed very well. While this is not a cigar that would gravitate towards my palate, I know there are plenty out there who would enjoy it. If anything, it was great to smoke a cigar that was all Panamanian because it gave me that experience. If you haven’t smoked this cigar it is worth trying, just for the experience, and who knows; you may end up loving it! I give this cigar between an 86-87.
|Oro de Panama Robusto|