Tag Archives: short filler

Por Larrañaga Panetela

Let’s be fair, who doesn’t like a bargain? Nowadays life is quite a lot easier for the bargain hunter in all of us: the web is a source of much (sometimes too much) information and we can compare prices for many products in seconds and look up opinions in just a tad longer tan that. When it comes to cigars it is undeniable that many of us look for special offers, deals and new releases with almost religious attention.

On top of that we have the suave marketing sirens telling us about how we can save even more by going for the gimmicky copy instead of the original: marketing for products like Nica Libre (vs. Padron) and the like is a classic example for this. On the Cuban cigar market this is less common. The Diplomaticos brand might have been originally seen as a cheaper alternative to Montecristo but it soon carved out a space of its own, now rapidly decreasing thanks to Habanos discontinuations. But every now and then you hear opinions and rumours of this kind. One I found out while writing my Cohiba Panetela review was that there seem to be a few BOTLs out there that considered the Por Larrañaga Panetela as a cheaper, but equally pleasurable version of the Cohibas. Since The PL Panetelas are cheapish short filler smokes I was a bit doubtful but it is always worth a try, right? Continue reading


Jose’ L. Piedra Nacionales

I like a bargain as much, if not more , as the next guy and when it comes to cigars I certainly try to keep an eye for bargain sticks. To the eyes of non-smokers and plenty of occasional smokers Cuban cigars are an expensive luxury product. While that is true for many Cubans, there are a decent amount of brands that make affordable smokes (Think Fonseca and Por Larrañaga for example), but if you really want cheap, without wallowing in the squalor of the dreaded Guantanamera, then the Jose’ L. Piedra brand is what to look for.

Traditionally an old pre-revolutionary brand, Habanos brought it back to produce 7 different vitolas under the J.L. Piedra brand. All are handmade short filler cigars made from tobacco produced in the eastern region of Cuba, Vuelta Arriba – according to some sources specifically in the Remedios area.  These are considered all medium to full smokes and although not refined smokes, they have their fans and some think they become quite nice when aged. They are quite clearly marketed as budget smokes, coming in bundles instead of the traditional boxes other Cuban brands use. Continue reading