Sancho Panza | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Connecticut Shade
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Honduran, Nicaraguan, Dominican (Piloto Cubano)
Size: 5.2 x 50 “Valiente”
Body: Medium
Price: $3.00


For some unknown reason, the Sancho Panza has eluded my attention. Don’t know why except that I know it is an old school blend and requires a lot of humidor attention.

Well, I was humidor diving and found this one lonely stick. No idea where it came from or how long I’ve had it.

In fact, I have several very good cigars waiting to be reviewed but are unfortunately old school and need much more humidor time so I have decided to go through my gift humidor of cigars that are house brands and the such that I’ve had marinating forever.

This particular stick looks knocked around. There are little divots in the wrapper here and there and just looks beat up from constant moving about in my “gift” humidor.

It has a mottled caramel brown wrapper. Seams are tight. All veins are small; no giant tree trunk veins. It is a single cap that has a sloppy look to it.

I clip the cap and find aromas of sweetness, caramel, cocoa, spice, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, earthiness, cedar, and leather. Not bad.
Time to light up.

A lot of black pepper to start with. The draw is excellent. The shape of the cigar looks like it might have a soft box press. Or it might have gotten this shape from being squished in my humidor.

The strength is noticed by being classic medium from the get go.

The char line is getting one of those V burns on one side that if left alone turns into a canoe. So I touch it up.

Flavors are not potent but still nice. They are: Black pepper, sweetness, cocoa, cinnamon, nuttiness, cedar and leather.

The PR on this cigar tells you that it is so very Cubanesque. Yeah. A $3 Cuban.

The wrapper may be in trouble. If it has been in my humidor for a long time, it has gone through a lot of humidity changes because of this dreadful winter.

The cap is beginning to disintegrate from my chomping and the wrapper being so fragile.

It’s not a bad tasting cigar. It adheres to the medium body. It is meaty and earthy. And with those dollops of sweetness and cocoa, it makes for good smoking.

Since my early touch up of the char line, it is now razor sharp.

At the 1” mark, all at once….there is creaminess and caramel. And the other flavors brighten. Lads, I think this stick is heading for flavor bomb status. I hope.

Well, this is a pretty good stick for $3. Of course, a year or more of humidor aging didn’t hurt but the basics had to be there or no amount of humidor time would have cured it.

The flavors are just screaming laughter as I begin the second third and I dub thee knight, Official Flavor Bomb.
The char line is spot one. Makes me happy.

I saw in some cigar catalogs that this cigar got a 93 rating from CA. Wow. Hard to believe no matter how good this stick is. And once again it makes me doubt the voracity in which CA rates cigars.

I’m at the second half. There are not a lot of flavors because the creaminess, buttery caramel, cocoa, and spice heavily dominates the flavor profile. And there is only a hint of complexity. But it does have some nice balance and a long finish.

And then the nuttiness tasted early on becomes peanut. With the strong cocoa, it is like a Reese’s peanut butter cup

I move into the last third. The wrapper at the cap is a total catastrophe. But the wrapper elsewhere seems to be holding its own.

This is a very good cigar I have been denying myself for no good reason. I would stick to the robusto or smaller. And not wait a year to smoke it. A month or two should be sufficient.

The strength hangs dead center of medium body. Wally Guse, have you tried this stick? If not, I recommend you do. Price is right. And so is the strength.

Flavor bomb status on the last couple inches is just tremendous. A wonderful cigar.

Too much glue on the cigar band and must use my X-Acto blade to remove it damaging the wrapper beneath. Drat.

The cigar is pretty ugly at this point anyway so what’s one more gash?

The cigar band has to be the smallest in the industry. You almost need a micron microscope to read it.

The cigar finishes out nicely. No harshness. No heat. No nicotine kick. And full of flavor.

And now for something completely different:

Back around 1973, I was in a 4 piece band. Me on bass, Tim the guitarist, Jimmy on electric piano and sax, and a black singer named Kenny.

We did some pretty cool cover tunes because of our instrumentation. And we got gigs.

The singer was a very handsome man. Tall. And looked a little like Lou Rawls but better looking. Kenny also thought he was Lou Rawls and kept steering us to his songs. Not exactly rock n roll but he had a great soulful voice.

Kenny also had a great sexy stage presence.

We had this old bag of a booker. She looked 100 years old. But got us good gigs.

Somehow, we ended up playing Chino Women’s Prison a lot. It was located in Corona, CA..not far from Riverside.
It was a hopelessly gray facility.

And it was also where the Manson girls were incarcerated for a while.

We set up our gear totally surrounded by guards who took the opportunity to smoke cigarettes and bullshit. They loved it.
It was a small auditorium. No seats but a nice big stage about 4 feet tall and a curtain.

On our first time, one of the girls sneaked back stage while we were playing and between songs asked if we had any fruits or veggies? We told we had some apples and pears and gave them to her.

She immediately got in trouble. So did we. We got the lecture.

Apparently, they take the stuff, put it into a metal bucket, cover it with gauze and let it sit for a month or two. The stuff would rot and they would pour off the juice through the gauze and drink it to get high. Yuck.

It was called Pruno. The official definition:
“Pruno, or prison wine, is an alcoholic liquid variously made from apples, oranges, fruit cocktail, ketchup, sugar, milk, and possibly other ingredients, including crumbled bread. Bread supposedly provides the yeast for the Pruno to ferment.”

I noticed that while the chicks were dancing to our music there were a bunch of guys dancing with them. During a break, I told a guard how cool it was to let the men come over.
The guard looked at me like I was an idiot. “There are no men here.”
“Those are women?” The guard nodded.
Jesus Christ.
02 Regina Zodiacal - Pregnant in Prison Prisoners Child Childcar

The singer got freaked out pretty badly because as he stood near the front of the stage, the women would grab at his legs. Like the Beatles.

So he hid next to me by the drums.

During another break, the four girls standing in the back of the auditorium came forward to talk to us. I went forward to the end of the stage and saw little swastikas tattooed between their eyebrows.

Holy shit. The Manson girls.

They were very quiet and told us how much they liked our band. And how much Charlie would like us too.
Now that gave me the creeps.

Next time we played there, the girls were gone. But we brought extra fruit for the girls and sneaked it to them.

We played there a few times until Tim and I said no more. It was a real hassle being patted down and having out equipment torn apart looking for contraband.

Sometime later, my friends and I were going through a weed dry spell. So we found the recipe for Pruno and made some. We all threw up.
Those were the days.


Tags: , , ,

1 reply

  1. Thanks so much for doing this review. I see these Panzas all the time mixed in samplers with other brands. Was always suspicious that they were thrown in on the cheap to make a profit. More willing now to pull the trigger. Wonder how they pair with vintage Pruno.