Onto the milder side of life, today’s pursuit is the Classic Panatela, a Connecticut Shade wrapped Dominican cigar at 6″ by 36.

Guillotining the cap above the shoulder renders an easy draw pre toasted.

Caramel and cedar hints come off the toasted foot.

On the initial draw there were hints of light pepper and cedar, and a mild hint of cream. The ash has notable rings roughly two millimeters in width, and is the quintessential salt & pepper complexion; yielding small puffs of white smoke smelling of cream and cacao.

Of the whole Classic line, I find the Panatela to be the most flavorful, I thank the Fuente’s skilled torcedors whom are skilled enough to roll these panatela’s (the panatela/lancero is one of the most difficult vitolas to roll, the more difficult cigars fall along the lines of the perfecto being the most difficult, followed by the pyramid, then the torpedo, then the belicoso, and lastly the parejo most commonly associated with the term gigante or A); the Fuente’s do this on the behalf of Robert Levin, the current head of Ashton Cigars.

The panatela burns evenly across the foot, at four inches remaining the mild strength parejo undergoes a slight boost in body with hints of bell peppers, cedar on the nose, leather, basil, and peppercorns on the sides and center of the tongue.

The physical appearance of the wrapper is partially smooth with slightly pronounced veins from the Dominican binder; this attribute is far more easily detectable via physical contact rather than visual, since the veins of the wrapper are practically invisible from afar, where as close up you can see the thinner than thread veins.

At two and three quarter inches, the pepper and cedar hints get kicked up several notches, and the smoke smells sweetly of cream. Even this far down the cigar is still cool to the touch and cool on the lips, even after multiple draws. With two inches left, and four inches savored over roughly thirty minutes, this is a surprising cigar not only for the quality but the burn time, and flavors as well.

Now the smoke smells of bread crumbs and leather, while the panatela tastes of hickory, mesquite spice, roasted espresso beans, and mocha. With approximately an inch and half left, the panatela is warm at the most to the touch and to the lips; and has Bern burning consistently for the past forty minutes. The most unique aspect to me at least regarding the whole of the Ashton front marks is the filler, which lacks the ammonia taste found most commonly within the Arturo Fuente Gran Reserva front marks.

Here at roughly an inch left the cigar has heated up on the draw and at the touch. Regardless of the physical heat properties, the flavor has turned down the heat with cream, caramel, French roast coffee, lamb skin, and cocoa. And at fifty minutes with a slow draw, it was quite a pleasure to review this cigar.

Purchased from Davidus Cigars on 5/24/09 for roughly 150$ a box before tax.