Origin : Cuba
Format : Robusto Extra
Size : 155 x 22 mm (6.1 x 50)
Release year : 2011
Price : ~150 EUR for a box of 10
More info about purchasing Sancho Panza cigars...
Today's guest review is written by Stephen Griffiths, a UK-based aficionado who blogs about cigars and beer at SteveGriff.com. Check out his blog for more great reviews like this one!
Tonight’s Cigar is the Sancho Panza Escuderos, a special release for Germany as part of the Regional Edition series. The Sancho Panza brand doesn’t get that much publicity, mainly due to the lack of different vitolas within the range and no real superstars within it either. You can argue that in many circles, the Sancho Panza Belicosos is known as a great insider’s Cigar. However there’s not enough people singing its praises to solidly give it that title on a wider scale.
For that reason, it’s great to see that 5th Avenue, the Cuban Cigar distributor in Germany have decided to release a Cigar under the Sancho Panza brand and under the Regional Edition Series.
I’ve always been skeptical regarding the whole Regional Edition series. Every year there are over twenty releases for a whole host of countries including Canada, the Middle East, Israel and Asia Pacific amongst others. Some of the releases are hit, but for most part, they just don’t climb the heights I would expect Cuban Cigars of this price point. I’ve had many Edicion Limitadas in the past that were a decent one off smoke, but I would not buy again. Would the Sancho Panza Escuderos be the same? There’s only one way to find out...
Online, there isn’t really that much information regarding the Escuderos anywhere. Unlike the United Kingdom Regional Editions for example, there’s no fanfare, no launch, and therefore these somewhat get released under the radar. Because of this, I have no real comparison to anyone else’s notes regarding this Cigar. Maybe it’s a good thing. How many times you have read a review regarding a Cigar that you want to try; flavour x and y, however, when it comes to the time you smoke it yourself, those flavours and aromas described to you are not what you’re detecting at that moment.
This is one big Cigar. Measuring in at 6.1 inches by fifty ring gauge, the Sancho Panza Escuderos will no doubt command at least an hour and half smoking time. The wrapper is attractive enough, colorado in colour, with a few minor veins. I’ve seen better looking Cigars, but this comes very close to being perfect.
Cutting the Escuderos is easy enough. On the dry draw, the draw is perfect. Usually with Cuban Cigars there is a little amount of ‘tug’, but there’s none here. It isn’t a loose draw; it’s just spot on.
During the hour and twenty minutes I took to smoke the Escuderos, I only had to correct the draw only once. Towards the final third, the burn started to arc due to a vein on the wrapper. However, this did not affect the enjoyment during the smoking of the Escuderos. Other than that, the burn was razor sharp. No issues whatsoever.
On the first few draws, I was greeted with this spicy tingle, with an underlining sweet flavour that reminded me of caramel. The Escuderos smokes superbly - smooth, and planted firmly in the light to medium zone when it comes to strength. Towards the second third the spice had all but gone, however a raisin profile started to emerge that just complimented the caramel beautifully. The last third smoked as cool as the first and second thirds; a testament to the construction of the Cigar. The flavours didn’t get that more intense; everything was well balanced.
There was no real nicotine hit with the Escuderos, that is no doubt to do with the strength of the Cigar. I found myself at the end of the Cigar happy enough to get back to my business. I didn’t have to sit down and endure any kind of nicotine hit. Because of this, along with the strength of the Cigar, I can find myself happily smoking this mid-afternoon, with a Beer, after lunch.
From the first minute to the hour and twentieth minute, the flavours were solid and flavourful. Yes, I would have liked a little more complexity, but for such a young Cigar, I could not have asked for any more from the Sancho Panza. I’m not sure how old this Cigar is, I would hazard a guess that it was made in March or April; so these are definitely smoke-able out of the box.
A box of ten Sancho Panza Escuderos costs €148.00 euros online. In line with other regional editions, they are priced higher than most other regular production Cuban Cigars. However, for the quality, flavour and size of this Cigar I’m convinced that it is fairly priced. Defiantly a Cigar to buy and smoke at the odd special occasion.
Overall Rating :
One of the better Regional Editions that I have smoked over the last few years, the Sancho Panza Escuderos did not disappoint. I’ve smoked around six or seven different Regional Editions from various countries, and I can only say the only two other Cigars I’ve rated were the La Flor de Cano Short Robusto (2010 UK RE) and the Por Larranaga Robusto (2007 Asia Pacific RE) [link to Inspector's review].
If you are ever in the position to purchase the Escuderos then I would not hesitate to at least buy a few singles. You will not be disappointed.
PS Here is a video version of this review for your watching pleasure: