The weather has been so dreary and rainy lately, I was hoping for the weather to clear up. Made me think about a Clear Havana cigar.
I decided to grab one of the 1940s Clear Havana WM Penn Panetelas from the box split that I did earlier this year. It’s always a calculated risk buying pre embargo cigars as you never know what you are going to get. Sometimes, they are beautiful smokes. Sometimes, they have expired and gone the way of the DO DO bird.
Let’s see how this is progressing….
The 1940s WM Penn Clear Havana Panetela is a diminutive cigar. It comes in at a 34 ring gauge and is 5.4 inches in length. These came in a 50 count dress box and each cigar was wrapped in cello.
You can see how time has impacted the cello. Very yellow due to age. The good news is that it looks like it has perfectly preserved the cigar. Will see how it measured up shortly.
The wrapper is a rustic, light, leathery brown. Rough hewn. I am guessing these are machine made cigars. Not the prettiest cigar I’ve laid my eyes on. The wrapper is not that aromatic. Slight hints of cocoa and floral notes but really faint.
The construction is good. Firm throughout the cigar however, there may be a little knot near the band. Hope it smokes ok. The pointed triple cap is rustically applied and the foot is nicely packed. Heavily box pressed from spending decades in the dress box.
A quick snap of my Palio and we are ready for ignition….
The draw is good. A sigh of relief. Nice airflow. Could be a little tighter.
Initial flavours from the cold draw are honey, floral notes, and tinges of leather and citrus.
Time to take this to the flame….
This is an odd flavour profile to start. Woodiness, iodine, lemon zest, floral notes and leather. Makes my mouth pucker. Very tart. The strength is at a medium level.
The draw is good. Nice airflow. Could tighten up a bit. The ash is a ‘Dirty’ pure white. The burn and smoke production are excellent.
The retrohale shows cocoa, mint and floral notes. Very smooth through the nasal passages. Pleasant so far.
The after finish brings citrus, floral notes, woodiness and a tinge of leather. The iodine flavour that came out initially, is starting to subside. Fairly long on the palate. No harshness. Bordering on mild to medium at this stage. There is a sour note that comes up here and there, at the tail end of the after finish. Can’t place it but, it is offputting occasionally.
Much more rounded now. Seems like the flavours have balanced out. The iodine flavour has disappeared and everything is more integrated. Strength is at a medium to mild level. Leather, floral notes, citrus and a hint of cinnamon come through now. Much more enjoyable.
The retrohale reveals leather, cocoa, and floral notes.
The after finish is very long. Heavy in citrus to start and then moves into leather, floral notes, cocoa and cinnamon. Very refined and complex at this stage. There is a freshness to this cigar from the amped up citrus notes. Very much alive and kicking. Nothing offputting now as the sour note has disappeared as well.
Smooth right now. The flavours are nicely integrated. Strength is still at a medium level, bordering on mild. Clean flavours. Citrus, leather, floral notes, cocoa and cinnamon have now figured out how to work as a team.
The retrohale shows citrus, toasted almonds and cinnamon.
The after finish continues to show citrus, leather, floral notes and cocoa. The zing of cinnamon seems to only come through on the retrohale. Fairly long on the palate still. The citrus lasts the longest. That sour note has come back here and there, which is unfortunate, as it kills the flavour profile.
A good cigar, considering the age. Still fresh and vibrant. Lots of interesting flavour changes throughout the smoke. A good change of pace cigar. A little discombobulated in the beginning but the core flavours are pleasant. The sour note that comes in occasionally is a palate killer. Luckily, it doesn’t make too many appearances to spoil the experience.