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Best Panetela-Shaped Cigars

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Long skinny cigars experienced a significant renaissance roughly twelve years ago. Even as the growing demand for big ring gauges exploded, the resurgence of authentic Cuban shapes like Lanceros and Panetelas began, and it lasted for a few years. While the fervor for thin formats has since worn off, these underappreciated shapes possess much merit.

A traditional Lancero is 7.5 inches with a 38 ring gauge. Many Lanceros, but not all, are finished with a pigtail cap. Lanceros and Panatelas are often confused because both cigar shapes are long and slender and share approximate dimensions. All Lanceros are Panatelas by definition, but only long, or Gran, Panatelas are Lanceros. Cuban cigars have always been rolled in thin shapes, but the Lancero became a common and sought-after format thanks to the rise of Cohiba in the 1960s. The most coveted Cuban examples are the Cohiba Lancero and the Trinidad Lancero. Also, some manufacturers choose to spell Panatela with an “a” after the “n,” while others spell it with an “e,” Panetala. Both are correct. Occasionally, you’ll see it spelled with a double ‘l’ as Panetella or Panatella, but these spellings are less common.

The makers of many prominent brands outside of Cuba are also big advocates of Lanceros. Because the radius is small, most of the cigar’s flavor is focused on the wrapper leaf. The ratio between the binder and filler tobaccos and the wrapper leaf is skewed in favor of the wrapper in 36 and 38 ring gauge cigars. As a result, really complex and intense tasting notes emerge in Lancero and Panetela cigars. Let’s dive into the long-lost art of these slender gems with a look at the best Panetela-shaped cigars.

#1 - Ashton Classic Panetela (6 x 36)

Creamy, elegant tasting notes of cashews, almonds, and black pepper converge with delicious concentration and a touch of sweetness. This Ashton cigar is finished in an authentic Connecticut Shade wrapper leaf over a mellow and tasteful blend of premium Dominican binder and filler tobaccos aged for a minimum of three and four years.

Strength: Mild
Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade

Ashton Classic Panetela

#2 -  Fuente Fuente Opus X Lancero (7.5 x 41)

The ultra-rare reputation of Fuente Fuente Opus X needs little introduction, but smoking this marvelous all-Dominican masterpiece in a Lancero is especially indulgent, when you can find them. Carlito Fuente, the legendary cigar-maker behind the Arturo Fuente brand, crafts a coveted blend of binder and filler tobaccos cultivated on the legendary Chateau de la Fuente estates with a luscious Shade Grown Dominican wrapper leaf. Zesty and woody notes of coffee beans, figs, and cedar meet in a resounding and peppery conclusion.

Strength: Full
Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Dominican

Fuente Fuente Opus X Lancero

#3 - Macanudo Cafe Portofino (7 x 34)

The mild, easygoing profile of Macanudo Cafe attracts admirers everywhere thanks to the brand’s ubiquity. The elegant Portofino is particularly easy to recognize, packaged in a slender white tube with red lettering. Approachable notes of nuts and coffee beans climax with a bit more strength than normal in a finish that is still mellow and creamy.

Strength: Mild
Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade

Macanudo Cafe Portofino

#4 - Oliva Serie V Lancero (7 x 38)

The hearty Ligero-heavy blend in Oliva Serie V delivers signature Nicaraguan spices with a kicked-up profile of cayenne, leather, wood, and pepper in a slender 94-rated Lancero. The Cuban-seed wrapper leaf comes to the front in a rich and commanding shape that’s as tasty as it is tempting to the eye.

Strength: Full
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano

Oliva Serie V Lancero

#5 - Don Pepin Garcia Original Lancero (7.5 x 38)

The popular and zesty profile of Don Pepin Garcia Original displays especially Cubanesque flavor in the 91-rated Lancero. A reddish-brown Nicaraguan Corojo wrapper leaf embraces a well-defined interior of premium Nicaraguan long-fillers blended by celebrated cigar-maker Pepin Garcia. Tasting notes of earth, red peppers, chestnuts, and wood mesmerize the palate with amplified taste and aroma.

Strength: Full
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaraguan

Don Pepin Garcia Original Lancero

#6 - Padrón Panetela (6.875 x 36)

Padrón is well known for its top-rated 1964 Anniversary and 1926 Series cigars, but the original Padrón blend is not to be overlooked. The 94-rated cigar is drafted from an all-Nicaraguan recipe of premium tobaccos, including a gingerbread-hued Nicaraguan wrapper leaf. Several classic sizes deliver familiar tasting notes of cedar, baking spices, cinnamon, and black pepper, including an authentic Panetela format. Value and prestige meet the original Padrón blend.

Strength: Medium
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaraguan

Padron Panetela

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