Blog post by new friend Robert Davis on Cigar.com
It seems like a lot of my reviews get no replies, either because they are of premium cigars no one has heard about or of yard gars no one gives a crap about. This one may fall into the former category. You just don’t bump into it, but it deserves notice.
In my quest for a quality American cigar, I ran onto the Virginia Wine and Cigar Trail (http://www.vawineandcigar.com) , a worthy idea promoted by a Virginia company named Cigar Volante (literally Flying Cigar —http://www.cigarvolante.com) which sells Panacea Cigars, blended by a Pennsylvania company named Flatbed Cigar (http://www.flatbedcigars.com). All in all, these cats may have more brands working than they have outlets to buy them. Their theme is old school Americana, but the sticks are rolled in the Dominican using Nic and Dom leaves. Anyhoo, when looking for somewhere to ride a couple weekends back, I bumped onto a street fair in Rock Hall Merryland where Cigar Volante intended to host a booth. Never having seen a cigar booth at a street fair, nor a flying cigar, I dragged Bearswatter down there. I rewarded her attendance with trinkets, and mine with five cigars: a red label, a green, a black, a blue (they call it azul), and a white. Eight bucks a pop; thirty two for five. Stowed them in the humi to condition. Here’s the first one I removed, yesterday, and lit up while watching football in the garage.
The Panacea Red is variously described on line as having a Brazilian Maduro or a Habano wrapper. The Flying Cigar gal pronounced it habanyo, with an enye. But it doesn’t have that reddish tinge. A dark chocolate color. Their robusto is five by fifty, the perfect size for me. Construction appeared top notch. This one had a few minute white spots which I assume were incipient mold; probably the result of spending a hot muggy weekend outdoors at the booth.. The foot smelled sweet, cocoa, and molasses. From the taste, I’d guess habano, not maduro. It uncapped easily. Unlit draw was medium tight. Again, cocoa sweet, molasses.
She lit up pretty quick with one match toasting the foot. Immediately, I got plenty of smoke, with cool smooth sweet cocoa and molasses. Had to be the smoothest retrohale ever, all cocoa. The odor of the smoke was plainly more molasses than cocoa. And the flavor soon followed. A few minutes in, it was molasses all the way, taste, odor, retro. The flavor coated my mouth. Got a tight charcoal colored ash that clung for two inches. When it fell, it revealed a conical red cherry. Flavor kept increasing as I went along… didn’t change, just increased. Would be a well behaved indoor smoke, with such a nice aroma and tight ash. Got really creamy from the second third back. Very flavorful, but creamy smooth. Lasted an hour and three quarters. Never bit once, never hot, never harsh. Delicious. Nothing complex; just one thing done very well.
Now came the best part. Afterwards, I had a tasty molasses stinkfinger. Could not stop sniffing digits. Tasted that gem all night. Reminded me of the AJ Fernandez Fresh Rolled that way. So good, in fact, that I kicked the rating up by half a star just for the after party effect. This morning, I still have a potent tasty morning mouth which I’ll bet will linger all day. A fine companion to coffee. No wheeze.
I rate this four and a half big old voluptuous sexy stars, like Kelly Preston in Twins or Uma in Dangerous Liasons stars. Sexy young tig ol bitties. Telling you, if you run onto this rare gem, go for it.