Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuadorian CT
Filler: Olor Dominicano & Nicaraguan
Size: Perfecto 6.0″ x 51 ring
I was recently contacted by a gentleman named Paul Bush, owner of the Flatbed Cigar Company. He asked if I had heard of and/or tried any of his cigars. He also asked if I’d be interested in trying them if I hadn’t. Informed Paul that while I had indeed heard of his cigars, I hadn’t yet had the pleasure of trying any of them. He generously offered to remedy that and he sent me a sampler of his cigars.
The Flatbed Cigar Company is based in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and they make Panacea Cigars. There are currently three lines of Panacea cigars. The names are simple and direct and make it easy to know which cigars are which. They are simply named after the color of their bands. There is the Panacea Black which comes in a shade grown and maduro variety. The Panacea Red is a bolder blend which sports a Maduro wrapper around a Dominican grown Habano binder. Last but not least is the Flatbed Cigar Companies signature cigar, the Panacea Green which is finished off with a one of a kind Pennsylvania grown broadleaf wrapper. I will be reviewing each of these cigars in the coming weekes so there will be plenty of details to follow on each of these. Their very first cigar to market however was the Panacea Black Natural so I will be starting with this cigar first. Before we get into the smoke, here is just a bit more on the company behind it.
I won’t be able to tell their story better than they can so I recommend checking out their website to learn all about them. Just click here to read the story on how the Flatbed Cigar Company got started and what they are about. I will give you the highlights here though. They got started in 2007 with the Panacea Black. The company was founded on the philosophy that they would focus on a few really good blends and use the best tobacco they could. No gimmicks, no tricks, no fancy packaging. Just good cigars made with good tobacco that hasn’t been messed with. The cigars are made in the Dominican Republic, and Paul started off selling them out of the trunk of his car driving all over the northeast and mid-Atlantic building his client base. Pennsylvania has a rich tradition in the cigar industry the Flatbed Cigar Company pays homage to that history with their Pennsylvanian grown wrapper that they use on the Panacea Green Label cigars. The Green Label was a project that was a long time in the making that marries their heritage with their product.
As I mentioned earlier the Panacea Black was the Flatbed Cigar Companies very first cigar to market. It is a blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco wrapped in a dusky Ecuadorian grown, Connecticut Shade wrapper. This perfecto is very unique. I originally mistook it for a torpedo with an unusual tapered foot. I recently realized my mistake and updated this post. It isn’t your typical perfecto because the taper is only at the head and foot of the stogie. The body of the stick is straight like a standard parejo vitola. It’s shape is unique and unusual which makes it interesting to me. The cigar has an aroma of hay and tobacco and the draw seems to be just right.
This mild smoke starts off very nicely with creamy flavors like butter and nuts as well as some paper and hay notes. All very typical of a a Connecticut shade wrapped cigar. Not typical was the complete lack of harshness or youth. The flavors while mild were well-defined and balanced. It is consistent from start to finish. Near the center there was the addition of some earthiness, and a bit of a barnyard? (hay and earth) aroma and in the last third there was some spice and black pepper that joined the party. The burn, while not razor-sharp, was always even and demanded no attention from me which is the way I like it. They claim to have the best rollers making their cigars and my sample lived up to that claim. It was very well made.
I admit I have a soft spot for small boutique cigar brands, so I also have to confess that I really wanted to like this cigar going in. I had concerns, because in my opinion there are a lot of sub par Connecticut Shade cigars out there and not many that I find to be good. I had no idea what to expect from the Panacea but was very pleasantly surprised by it. I found it be a very tasty, very well made, mild smoke that was really excellent from start to finish. It would be a great morning smoke with a cup of coffee or even serve as a nice easy going mid-day smoke. This one has me really looking forward to trying the other Panacea samples I have waiting for me. If you’d like to give them a try, you can either look for a shop local to you that carries these cigars or order them direct online from the Flatbed Cigar Company.
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