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Stogie Reviews: Sancho Panza Extra Fuerte Madrid

13 Nov 2007

In any discussion of budget cigars, the name Sancho Panza is certain to come up. Often, it’s the Double Maduro line that generates high praise. But I recently rediscovered the Extra Fuerte (Spanish for “strong”) and plan to make it my faithful companion.

Sancho Panza Extra FuerteI was in a cigar shop I visit occasionally, following my usual habit of spending so much time in the humidor I expect a search party to come looking for me. Up in a corner, I noticed an open box holding only a couple of Sancho Panza Extra Fuerte Madrids for $4.50 each. I brushed the dust from the cellophane and decided to give it a try.

What a fine cigar. The reddish Honduran Havana seed wrapper was a perfect complement to the spicy core. I found it mild to medium in body, with a slow burn that produced volumes of smoke. While not complex, the cigar did develop and change as it went along, creating occasional sweetness and cedar notes.

Intrigued, I tried several of the four other sizes of the Extra Fuerte. I experienced some minor burn problems with the smaller ring gauges, though they all performed pretty well. Overall, though, I found myself agreeing with Cigar Aficionado, which dubbed the Madrid, a 6 and 1/4 inch by 54 ring gauge, the best in the line when it ranked it No. 19 in its list of best cigars for 2005.

It’s somewhat a shame that the lines have become so firmly established as budget smokes. The truth is the Extra Fuerte is a good cigar, whatever the cost. I think General Cigar’s overall quality control also contributes to greater consistency than you’ll find in many lower-priced sticks.

Yet the price cannot to be ignored. You can easily find them at box prices for considerably under $3 each. Overall, this cigar earns a rating of four out of five stogies.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

George E


6 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Sancho Panza Extra Fuerte Madrid”

  1. kevink868 Tuesday, November 13, 2007 at 8:19 am #

    Couldn't agree more, George. These are a steal. I'm just about through a box of Barcelonas, and I don't think I got a dud in the entire box.

  2. Lou B. Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 2:03 am #

    glad to here you enjoyed them. the madrid is part of my regular rotation. i buy them by the box. and what a price, eh?? they are a bit more expensive in Ontario once the money conversion and b.s. taxes are added on. but still a good price compared to what a $10 cig would be. i wouldn't have thought them to be "mild to medium". i felt they were on the plus side of medium. no matter what, they are an excellent ciggy and i'm glad to see that George E felt the same way. it gives me the feeling that i'm on the right track. good job guys, greeting from your northern neightbours.

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