Boutique Wednesday Cigar Review: Joyas de Panama


Size: 5×45, Coronita

Wrapper: Panamanian (Sumatran)

Binder: Panamanian

Filler: Panamanian

Strength: Mild

Price: Bundle of 25, $150

Grade: 7.8

JdP_3The folks at Joyas de Panama contacted us a couple months ago and I was very intrigued by a Panamanian puro, and was looking forward to reviewing it after some time in the humidor. We reviewed Le Cigar a few weeks ago, which is a Brazilian puro, and it had some unique flavors, so we’ll see how this stick holds up.

Made of organic Cuban seed tobacco, the Joyas de Panama does not employ any chemicals, pesticides, or machines in the production of its 5 sizes. Grown in the Chiriqui province of Panama, the rich volcanic soil contributes to the overall coloring and flavor of the stick. Joya de Panama is imported to the US via BCB Design.

You can learn more on their website, blog, and on Facebook.

Now, let’s get to the review.

Pre-light, 1.4:
This Corona is full of veins and there is hardly a bare, smooth spot to be found – though the veins are flush with the wrapper and light in color, they cover the length of the cigar. The color of the wrapper is a very unique grayish-brown, which I haven’t come across before. From head to toe, it is very firm and well rolled, though the double cap is quite sloppy. The overall appearance is quite rugged, and reminded me of a pair of well broken in leather boots. The aroma is quite sweet and musty, but is muted for the most part. The draw reveals a wide open pull that does not deliver much by way of flavor. In one sample I pulled out three medium sized stalks, and in another the draw was so wide that it felt empty at times.

Burn, 1.9:
The burn on the Joyas de Panama is spot on; though one of my samples was very open and airy, the other samples were consistently well constructed. Ample smoke is produced throughout, it never heats up, and the burn line remains straight throughout. The ash is a bit flakey at times but has a great hold, especially for a Corona.

Flavor, 2.3:JdP_2
The flavor on this cigar is keeping me interested mostly because I hope it improves as it progresses (and it does). The first third has a very strong ammonia profile that is quite bitter on the tongue. Fighting through this is a muted chocolate that never really takes off in this portion. Moving into the second third, however, the bitterness fades and a creaminess arrives, though only in the retrohale, and the overall profile is dry and musty. Building in flavor, the final third is the saving grace for this cigar – the chocolate finally pops through the dryness and some barnyard notes linger in the background. No fireworks, but a very enjoyable conclusion to the mild smoke. Overall, this cigar tasted very young due to the bitterness and the flavors that tried to surface but were unable to – it was also quite airy at times.

Overall. 2.2:
Since I was gifted these cigars, I wasn’t aware of the price before I smoked the samples. When I found out they were around $6 each when bought in a bundle, I was disappointed. I believe this cigar will have trouble gaining traction among the mid-priced heavy hitters that are around today. You can without effort find an excellent cigar in the $5-7 range these days. Though the burn revealed a much stronger construction than the pre-light hinted toward, the lack of flavor and price was the major detractor here. I have a couple more of these that I’ll hold onto and revisit in a year or so. My bet is that the sticks will greatly benefit from the rest.

(Total: 7.8)