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Stogie Reviews: Joyas de Panama Especial No. 1

23 Sep 2008

When I think of Panama, the first thing that comes to mind is the canal—not tobacco. But the Central American country has been manufacturing cigars for 100 years and, as evidenced by the Joyas de Panama brand, should be included in the growing list of nations that are exporting tobacco to the U.S. and elsewhere.

Until recently, Joyas de Panama has been sold exclusively in Europe. BCB Design, however, which acquired the brand in the fall, began introducing these Cuban-seed Panamanian puros to the U.S. market at the 76th Annual IPCPR Trade Show in July.

The blend includes a Sumatran wrapper and long-fillers grown in the Chiriqui province of Panama, “a lush region well known for its agricultural products.” Joyas says the leaves are completely organic with “no chemicals, pesticides, or machines…used in he growing or production of this sustainable product.”

Under the supervision of Miriam Padilla, a 26-year cigar vet, the Joyas de Panama factory turns out five different handmade vitolas. I smoked two Especial No. 1s (6.5 x 45) for this review, and each was very difficult to remove from its ultra-tight cellophane sleeve.

Once out in the open, the veiny, partially discolored wrapper gives off plenty of sugar-cookie sweetness. While relatively solid between the fingers, a cross-section inspection reveals the filler is bunched loosely, helping to contribute to the cigar’s even draw despite its thin physique.

The initial taste is sort of bland and uninspiring with an airy, hollow character. Fortunately, the quick additions of vanilla, onion spice, leather, and oak lend some life to the mild- to medium-bodied profile, and moderate increases in burnt sugar down the stretch keep things interesting and pretty satisfying.

For the value price of $60 per bundle of 25, I was most impressed with the 80-minute smoke’s construction. Both of my cigars exhibited very even burns, clear draws, and well-fortified ashes.

My overall assessment is that these outstanding physical properties, coupled with the minimal cost, render the Joyas de Panama Especial No. 1 a decent early morning golf, walk, or newspaper companion. Just don’t expect the cigar’s flavors to be especially captivating or complex on their own. That’s why I give it three out of five stogies.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

2 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Joyas de Panama Especial No. 1”

  1. jackson Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at 3:57 pm #

    Wierd that they make a panama puro when no one even uses panamanian tobacco as part of a multi country blend.

  2. casey halloran Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at 4:59 pm #

    There are a few really fun cigar bars in Panama. You should visit and smoke this stogey IN Panama, I bet it tastes even better here.