Sancho Panza “Valiente”


From Estelo Padron, the master cigar maker of brands like El Rey del Mundo and Hoyo de Monterrey, comes this Honduran made Sancho Panza. The original was (and still is) a Havana label that began production in 1852. The Honduran Sancho Panza debuted in 2000 and since then has spawned acouple of extensions — the Double Maduro (in 2002) and the Extra Fuerte (in 2004.)

This is the original variety with a dark Connecticut Shade wrapper. I was surprised to learn that this is a shade wrapper because it isn’t the golden brown color that I would normally expect from this wrapper — it’s more of a colorado claro than a claro. The binder is more Connecticut, but this time broadleaf, and the filler is a blend of piloto cubano from the Dominican Republic and two other leaves from Honduras and Nicaragua.

Sancho Panza is of course Don Quixote’s sidekick in Cervantes’ story — the stout realist who comes to Quixote’s aid when the Don’s fantasies run away with him. Sancho is transformed in Don Quixote’s mind from a humble and obedient servant to a valiant squire. These delusions of grandeur must be the inspiration for the names of the cigars in this line: Glorioso, Primeroso, and this one, the Valiente, which at 5 1/4 x 50 is the line’s robusto model.

This robusto is slightly pressed and the wrapper is somewhat dry, with just a touch of oily sheen. The cap is applied well and cuts cleanly. I found no construction issues at all — nice draw, good even burn, and a solid ash from start to finish. It’s not a beeyooteefull cigar, but it performs well.

It starts up with a nice volume of mild bodied smoke that has a pleasant cocoa element. After a few minutes what is really striking here is the aroma — it’s quite sweet, almost candy-like, but not cloying like a flavored cigar. The finish is very short and there is almost no aftertaste. About half way through a smattering of pepper comes through on the palate and the taste becomes just a bit tannic, a little cardboard-y. And by the end what I’m getting is a mild-to-medium easygoing straightforward tobacco flavor.

The highlight of this smoke is the aroma — the dark shade grown wrapper leaf really shines through the mildness of this cigar. The standard line Sancho Panza would make a good mid-day or morning cigar, or a good change of pace for fans of mild bodied cigars — if you’re into Macanudo or Don Diego or any mild bodied cigar with a Connecticut Shade wrapper, this one is definitely worth a shot. You may find the Panza a little bit fuller in body than those, but certainly not heavy. At around 45 dollars a box, they’re also very affordable companions on your trek across La Mancha.



One thought on “Sancho Panza “Valiente”

  1. another excellent review/cigar that has never let me down. like a trusty old friend of good quality.
    the last box i received smelt very strongly of wood preserver but hadnt polluted the cigars fortunately.

    keep up the good work,


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