Cigars are a complex and fascinating topic, with even the most experienced of aficionados learning something new daily. Whether this is discovering a previously unknown brand or a new, exciting blend, it can lead you down a rabbit hole of exploration and discovery. On our blog, we aim to tackle topics of all sizes, hopefully leading you to learn something new about cigars that you didn’t know before. This week, we’ll be tackling the topic of size itself, specifically concerning Panetelas – what are they, who makes them and which should you smoke?
An Introduction to Panetelas
Panetelas are typically characterised by being a long, thin cigar, ranging 5 to 7.5 inches in length with a ring gauge that measures from between 34 to 38. Much like many other Cuban cigars that we see on the market, they are styled in the classic Parejo styling – a straight, even body shape, a rounded top and a flat foot. In production, these almost exclusively-handmade sticks require some extra care, due to the size and the lesser use of filler inside the cigar, requiring a particular skill to make.
Something immediately noticeable after lighting up a panetela is that the flavour is most prominent from the wrapper tobacco, rather than the binder or filler which is normally the case. This provides the cigar with a slightly longer burn time for the size, and a strong, tasty flavour.
The Best Panetelas to Smoke
Although it’s easy to be drawn to the wider ring gauge cigars, which typically offer a better draw and a quicker, more satisfying smoke, panetelas should not be cast aside. Here, we’ve pulled out some of our favourite smokes that fit the panetela criteria and will offer a fantastic smoke.
Por Larrañaga Panetelas
Measuring five inches in length with a ring gauge of 36, these cigars are towards the more budget end of the market, but you certainly couldn’t tell from smoking them. Well constructed and a strong flavour, these are perfect for a day to day smoke. These smokes are a blend of long and short filler, which is a way that producers are able to use long filler while still keeping the cost of the cigar to a minimum.
When it comes to smoking, typical aromas can be clay, cedar and sea salt. Lighting up the cigar, expect these aromas to pass into the flavours, with clay, straw and a not too overpowering salty note. There is a good evolution of flavours in the cigar and generally provides a 35 minute burn time.
Cohiba Panetelas Cigar
A slightly shorter cigar than the one above, measuring just four and a half inches, the Cohiba is a reliable and robust option for those who like a shorter smoke. A ring gauge of 26 makes this cigar seem almost pencil-like to hold, and the smaller ring gauge and shorter length contribute to a smoking time of roughly 15 minutes.
However, what this cigar loses in size, it more than makes up for in flavour and strength. With a medium to full profile, the common flavours experienced are fresh spice, wet grass, liquorice and chocolate. Although some people have experienced issues with the draw, if you can get past this, then you can expect to have a great little smoke for a respectable price.
La Invicta Nicaraguan Panetela
These hand made beauties come in at the more reasonably priced end of the spectrum and measure five and a quarter inches long, with a 29 ring gauge. Constructed with Nicaraguan filler and wrapper, the cigar is an ideal entry point for less experienced or novice smokers.
Like with all panetelas, the draw can be a little tight, but the smoke is worth it, with flavours of rich, nutty cedar. There is also a rich, earthy flavour that comes with these sticks, while still retaining a mild to medium strength.
Much like the others on the list, this Quintero provides a perfect, if not swift, smoking experience. This five-inch stick comes in a 37 ring gauge, one of the wider smoked on the list, and is stocked with short filler tobacco. Although this can be seen as a slightly inferior choice, the woody and grassy aromas should be enough to win you over. If not, then pairing the cigar with a coffee should definitely do the trick, delivering smooth, medium-strength flavours.
Which of these panetelas are you interested in trying? No matter which you opt for, make sure that you have all the accessories you need by checking out our range online. From Xikar cutters to lighters and humidors, we have everything you need for a perfect smoking experience.
Image Credit: Stephen Griffiths under CC BY-SA 2.0