cigar review

Rafael Gonzalez: Panatelas

The next cigar I am going to try as part of my cigar challenge is from the Rafael Gonzalez cigar brand. I will be smoking the Rafael Gonzalez Panatelas.

The stats:

Length: 5″
Ring Gauge: 36
Strength: Light
Country of origin: Cuba

Rafael Gonzalez Panatelas


The Rafael Gonzalez cigar brand was established in the 1930s. It was first marked as the La Flor de Marquez.

An old version of the Rafael Gonzalez logo.

According to,

“It was in this brand that the 61⁄2 inch (165mm) by 42 gauge cigar, which has the factory name of Cervantes, was first called a Lonsdale after Lord Lonsdale, the famous English sporting Earl and cigar aficionado of that period. Now many other brands use the name as well.

On its lid label each box carries a curious inscription written in English to the effect that the cigars should be smoked within one month of the date of shipment from Havana or otherwise they should be carefully matured for about one year.”

Rafael Gonzalez is known for hand rolling medium bodied cigars using long filler.

It’s best sellers are the Rafael Gonzalez Perlas, the Rafael Gonzalez Petit Coronas and the Rafael Gonzalez Panetelas Extra.

My experience:

This cigar is the absolute opposite to what I normally smoke (I prefer a larger ring gauge, and a full strength cigar), so if I’m honest i’m not too looking forward to smoking this one.

The cigar is tiny, looks tightly packed to the point where they feel like they are machine made.

It features a small brown and white cigar band that has the words ‘De Rafael Gonzalez Flor’ wrapped around the word ‘Marquez’, with ‘Habana, Cuba’ written on the side. The band looks a little dated as if it was from the 1970’s.

Upon cutting the cap and lighting this cigar, I find it hard to draw from initially, but get quite a strong sweet flavour from the start. I also get a sense of floral/creamy notes, with a touch of pepper. This surprises me as this is meant to be a light cigar.

The constant tight draw is really letting this cigar down for me though. I feel like it’ll take me about 8 hours to smoke this!

My rating: 5.5 out 10 – ok taste, but draw is way too tight. I actually gave up on this cigar half way through, which may be a first for me.

Next up… a Ramon Allones cigar!

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