I know I've been lax in the past few months since IPCPR but I have my reasons. They're not particularly good ones nor am I going to say they are an adequate excuse. To start, I have all the IPCPR samples with me but I haven't touched them. What was to be a glorious year spent burning down cigar after cigar in the comfort of my own room crumbled in the first ten minutes of residence in my dorm. Without notifying anyone, they changed the smoking policy from "you may smoke" to "no" over the summer. This left us out in the cold (literally) in terms of smoking. I don't know if you intimately know Scottish weather...but it doesn't make for pleasant smoking conditions. Standing outside in the cold is not a great way to smoke a cigar and I feel that I never get a good sense of a cigar if I'm not enjoying it. And it's hard to enjoy it standing out on a brick patio in the driving rain.
This brings me to another point: standing. You probably don't know this but I have a variety of things wrong with me (physical, this time, not mental) that makes standing for extended periods of time...uncomfy. Overtightened Achille's heels, flat feet, and the body weight of a small rhino make standing for more than thirty minutes...rather painful. Yet again, can't taste shit if I'm not comfortable/enjoying myself.
Those are my reasons but they're no excuse. I'm sorry for letting you down, readers.
That being said...I REALLY want to smoke. It's not like I've given up on smoking. I've just been trying to find shorter smokes. This, unfortunately, means I've been hand-rolling cigarettes instead of cigars (much to my health's chagrin) but slowly I'm branching out into the small cigar territory. This is one exercise in that field.
The Supreme Small Panatela is imported by Hunters and Frankau (more info here). It is made in Holland but with unspecified tobaccos (it seems like most Dutch cigars are made with Java tobacco so I'm going to assume at least some is in there). Here's a photo of 'em:
They look good, don't they. And they sure smell good. But how do they taste? Here's how they taste:
Pre-light draw: Sweet tobacco. Very clean and crisp, almost like a burley. A slight...earthy/moldy funk to it too. Kinda concerning. Oh well.
Since it's so short, I won't bother breaking it up into quarters like I usually do. When you take a puff, the flavor starts out favorable. It has some of that clean and sweet tobacco flavor to start. This evolves into a toast flavor with some roasted peanuts. So far, yum.
Then it hits.
It's an interesting flavor. I'd consider it akin to an herbal liqueur but without any of the favorable herbal depth or flavor. It's just kind of bitter and vegetal. And not vegetal in a good way like a candela wrapper can be. It's like chewing on bitter grass. It wallops the senses hard, mugging them of both cash and capacity to function. All it leaves behind is a slightly green (and very ashy/sooty) aftertaste.
I suppose I can't complain considering the price of these things. I think I paid about £2.66 for 5 of 'em. Will I buy 'em again? Nope. Not worth it at that price either. Their bitterness and grassy flavor far outweighs the positive flavors and price. If you've got any other recommendations for small cigars, leave a comment or send me an email (drinkreviews (AT) gmail [dot] com). I'd love to hear from you. For now, I think I'm going to take a look into more Dutch cigars. These weren't great but I've heard some pretty positive things from other people (and I do rather like Panters).