When I open my humidor to look for an easy, quick smoke, I often think that I should be reaching for a Por Larrañaga Panetela. The problem is the 3 of them I have left are from my stag 4 years ago and I have stubbornly assigned them a sentimental value. I say stubbornly because aging these cigars really has no noble purpose; a young Panetela will give just as much pleasure as an old one. Note to self: stock up already, they’re only 5 bucks a pop and they are worth that much just for the striking wrapper aroma.
Build: All Cuban, Short Filler
Size: 127 x 14.68 mm (5″ x 37)
Price: $5 CAN
The Por Larrañaga brand certainly has a mystique to it that adds to the experience of smoking one of their cigars. The company was created in 1834, about the same time that Britain was abolishing slavery. The brand was founded by Ignacio Larrañaga, not to be confused with the great Catholic priest, author of “Sensing your Hidden Presence.” This brand achieved great heights in the late 19th century, perhaps the Cohiba of the 1880’s. Rudyard Kipling, the prophet of British Imperialism, swore by this brand and Habanos uses his quotes to this day to promote the brand. However, today it is a shadow of the great empire days, now only a Cuban regional brand with 4 hand rolled vitolas.
The first impression always for me are the sweet aroma from the wrappers. The smoke itself is actually quite mild in comparison to the smell – perhaps the wrappers are higher quality than the short filler tobacco. The last third gives the best flavour impressions in this cigar, truly cuban but favoring a hot sweetness. Caramel? This is often claimed as the signature taste of a Larranaga and my imagination doesn’t have to stretch far to accept this. I can see myself keeping a stock of these for a long time to come, as long as they are available. I need to try the Rafael Gonzalez to compare…
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