Boutique Wednesday Cigar Review: Panacea Red 560


Size: 5×60, Grande

Wrapper: Brazilian Maduro

Binder: Dominican Habano

Filler: Seco Cubano, Ligero Piloto Cubano, Ligero Olor Dominicano, and Ligero Nicaragua

Strength: Medium-Full

Price: Box of 24, $150.99; Box of 40, $248.99

Flatbed Cigar Company is headquartered in Pennsylvania and was formed nearly three years ago, with the Panacea Black being released in October of 2007. The Red Label, which we are taking a look at today, was released in April of 2009. The 560 line, available in both the Black and the Red Label, offers a larger gauge and a different label, but the blends remain the same. The 560 denotes the 5×60 size.

Primarily distributed in the North East, the Panacea has made its way into over 40 stores and they are working to reach other regions. Though based in Pennsylvania, their factory is located in the Dominican Republic. Give them a visit here.

In case you didn’t know from our contests, we love boutique cigars here at Toasted Foot and we have dedicated each mid-week review to that line of smokes. I pulled the Panacea Red 560 out of the humidor a couple of weeks ago and set up shop with my laptop to give it a review.

Pre-light, 1.7:
The medium brown wrapper on the Red has minimal veins with some tooth to the texture. Overall the stick looks good with the exception of one discoloration located about halfway down the maduro wrapper. The weight and cap are good and the cigar has no soft spots to speak of. The pre-light aroma on the Red is of leather and sweet tobacco with a hint of spice. The cold draw, after cutting, produced notes of the same but the sweet spice takes on the distinct note of cinnamon. Lastly, I will comment on the label of the Panacea; as you can tell from the picture, the label is simple and rustic. This approach worked really well with this cigar and made it even more appealing.

Burn, 1.7:
With the cigar toasted, the draw was excellent and produced plenty of thick smoke that coated the mouth well. The dark to medium gray ash is very flaky and does not hold well at all in the first third of the cigar.  Once I got past the first third, the ash tightened up and held one and half inches or so before falling off.   Even though I had the issues with the ash, the cigar did not require any touch ups or re-lights throughout.

Flavor, 2.8:
The first third of the Panacea Red was very clean and light with notes of roasted cedar and an earthy finish.  As I moved into the second third, the flavor became more concentrated with notes of cedar, leather, caramel, and a hint of sweet spice. I also picked up notes of coffee on the exhale which was a pleasant surprise. The final third of the smoke was less complex and intense as the second third but still very pleasing with earthy notes of tobacco being the dominant flavor profile.

Overall, 2.7:
I think that Flatbread Cigar Company has done well with this full flavored, medium-full bodied smoke.  The flavor profile, while not super complex, is very satisfying and pleasing to the palate. The cigar is very smooth throughout and none of the notes were so pronounced that they overpowered the flavors on the edges.  At a little over six dollars a stick, this is a nice smoke from a boutique shop. On a side note, I would be very interested to try the robusto or torpedo of this blend, as I am not a huge fan of the 60 ring gauge, but this is a personal preference that does not affect the scoring.

(Total: 8.9)