Just before the PCA tradeshow last year, Matt Booth and General Cigar announced a refresh of the Sancho Panza brand by way of a complete rebrand and re-blending of all three lines including Sancho Panza The Original, Sancho Panza Double Maduro, and Sancho Panza Extra Fuerte. All three of the blends in the line now have a refreshed look and feel, along with new blends. While General Cigar did not have a booth at the show, these cigars were on display in the Room101 booth, a brand which General had just aquired.
This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.
Matt Booth, Justin Andrews and the HATSA factory collaborated to create new blends for all three cigars. All of the new Sancho Panza blends are described as medium to medium-full bodied are are said to deliver more complexity than their predecessors. All are presented in boxes of 20wooden boxes with the new Sancho Panza logo that was created by Booth to give a nod to the Latin culture and vibe of West LA (CA).
Sancho Panza Extra Fuerte is the strongest blend of the line. The blend uses an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, a USA Connecticut Broadleaf binder and Dominican and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos selected from a range of growing regions and primings. It comes in three sizes: Robusto (5” x 50) MRP $7.49, Toro (6 x 52) MSRP $8.49, Gigante (5.88” x 60) MSRP $9.49.
Ring Gauge: 50
Country of Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Blender: Matt Booth, Justin Andrews
Number of reviewers: 5 – Kevin A. (Kevin A.) Kevin J. (maninblack77) Chad M. (Chad Tchad) Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi) Lauren S. (Lauren S.)
Age: 7 Months
Release Date: July 2022
Contributed by: General Cigar
Initial Impressions – Sancho Panza Extra Fuerte Robusto
“This is a darker brown Italy leather color with a nice shine to the wrapper. Nice round robusto size cigar with some seams and visible toothy wrapper.” –Chad M. (Chad Tchad)
“There is a very sweet milk chocolate scent off of the foot along with a light nuttiness on the wrapper.” –Lauren S. (Lauren S.)
“Right from the start flavor hits the tongue with a mineral cocoa flavor like a salted dark chocolate flavor. This cigar has a little bite on it like a higher proof whiskey bring a little power and oak flavor to it. Retrohale is a nice oak with light black pepper flavor.” –Chad M. (Chad Tchad)
“After using my soft flame to toast the foot, it really started off with a bang! Black pepper, dark chocolate, coffee and leather notes all come to the fore front. It was a spice bomb right out of the gate. Very full flavored and full strength.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“While chocolate remains the star of the blend it’s moving into a slightly deeper and darker flavor. It remains a very creamy taste, though mixed with some new light molasses notes. The leather flavor is also still present along with the nuttiness.” –Lauren S. (Lauren S.)
“The palate has taken on a darker note matching the retrohale. The off pudding charred cedar note has left, which is a relief for me. As I reach the back end of the third there is a vegetal note that is building on the side of the palate. On the retrohale there is a jasmine rice note which seems to come out of left field. The finish is long and tingly.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“Getting towards the end of the cigar, darker, more bitter notes appear in the profile. Espresso and leather are there, along with fresh dates and molasses. Retrohale has had a rye whiskey note enter the picture, and the pepper note has increased in intensity. Burn and draw have been flawless. Strength, body and complexity all finished in the medium range.” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“Interesting baking spice and a slight cinnamon kick have become noticeable in the final third, especially in the retrohale. The chocolate flavor has deepened even more introducing a more bitter bite.” –Lauren S. (Lauren S.)
Overall Impressions – Sancho Panza Extra Fuerte Robusto
“The draw was just about perfect with an easy pull and nice smoke production.” –Lauren S. (Lauren S.)
“I was overly impressed by how this cigar burned. Nice tight ash and straight burn.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“Really well made smaller cigar that felt it was filled correctly. Great even burn. The flavors of the tobacco used was great with some consistent flavors but with transitions that brought in some new flavors to make for a good constructed cigar.” –Chad M. (Chad Tchad)
Overall Strength: Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
Experience Overall: 93
“I really enjoyed this cigar. I smoked it in the middle of the day on Christmas Eve and it literally made my day! There are not many cigars, smoked blind, that I can say that about. The flavors from first puff to the end kept me wanting to come back for more. I would be curious to see if this comes in a larger vitola, and if that vitola is as flavorful as this one as my only complaint with the whole experience is it was over too soon!” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“This was a cigar that impressed me from start to finish. Full bodied, packed full of flavors, with each flavor just shining in this vitola. While there weren’t a lot of transitions, I enjoyed this cigar immensely. I’m a sucker for these maduros and this didn’t disappoint. I would definitely try this cigar again and recommend it fans of full bodied cigars.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“A really well-made cigar. Strong flavor of salt dark chocolate flavor at the start. In the middle salt dark chocolate flavor gets some sweet lactose flavor and then at the end some spice picks up making for a Mexican hot chocolate flavor. Retrohale was mostly a oak flavor with light black pepper then builds or a stronger moderate black pepper spice.” –Chad M. (Chad Tchad)
“This cigar was a mixed bag. The make up of this cigar was fantastic. The bunch and roller was second to none. As for the flavor profile it was not in my wheelhouse. I’m sure there would be some that will like the tannins on the palate and for those they should seek it out. As for me it just is not what I am looking for.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“The creamy sweet milk chocolate notes that slowly evolved into a more bitter dark chocolate by the end along with the classic leather and earth background notes made a very old-school quality Maduro. There was some great complexity and interest with the nuttiness, molasses, baking spices, and hint of cinnamon that upped this blend to another level. I’d be interested to try this in a larger size to see if more time allowed for even more transitions.” –Lauren S. (Lauren S.)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 73
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