One of the newest cigar blends to come out of Luciano Cigars in 2023 was a collaboration between Luciano Meirelles and Linxu “Panda” Yan who left China at the age of 16 and ended in the United States and eventually Estelí, Nicaragua with Luciano Cigars in pursuit of a career in the premium cigar industry. The YPANDA was draw from the inspiration of Yan’s journey.
The YPANDA was co-blended by Yan and Luciano Meirelles and is described as:
- Wrapper – Ecuadorian Corojo 98
- Double Binder – Brazilian Arapiraca/Ecuadorian Sumatra
- Filler – Nicaragua (including viso from Jalapa and seco from Estelí)
The company stated that the blend operates as the yin and yang, offering “edgy sweetness, mild flavors brought to life with slight strength to the seasoned palate.” It notes that the blend “seeks to disrupt palates with the signature complexity for which Luciano Cigars is known.”
The YPANDA is expressed in 4 different vitolas, each packaged in 20-count boxes:
- Corona Gorda (5 5/8 x 46) – MSRP $10.20
- Robusto (5 x 50) – MSRP $11.70
- Toro (6 x 52) – MSRP $12.70
- Sublime (6 1/2 x 54) – MSRP $13.70
For this review, I sampled 3 of the YPANDA Toros that I received from the company for the purpose of reviewing on Stogie Press
The Luciano Cigars YPANDA is wrapped on a medium brown leaf that exhibits a light oily sheen. The wrapper has but just a few veins and is fairly uniform in color throughout. The cigar is firm to the touch from head to foot with no soft spots detected. A well applied triple cap finishes the presentation. Smooth to the touch.
A single band adorns the cigar. It uses a black, gold, and white motif and proudly displays the name YPANDA at the top along with a golden Chinese character and swirls. There is also a Chinese phrase printed on the bottom that translates into Linxu. The side of the band denotes that this is a Luciano Cigars product.
Running the YPANDA along the nose I detected as sweet orange fruit essence along with barnyard notes along the barrel while the foot exuded notes of fresh citrus.
I used my double blade Xikar cutter to slice the cap straight across the shoulder of the cigar and gave it some cold draw puffs that offered immediate candied fruit sweetness and peppery spice. The balance is equally weighted between sweetness and spice.
Using my single flame torch lighter I warmed the foot to an even orange glow and drew in the first puffs of toasted cracker and pepper notes to start the journey. Pleasant indeed. Follow along as I burn this one to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Initial draw offers toasted cracker and pepper note
- White ash develops on a thin and mildly jagged char line
- Umami spice quickly fills in the profile
- Touch of sweetness starts to add to the early profile
- Ash fell quickly and revealed a well-formed burn cone
- Woody notes enter near end of first third
- Sweetness adds a hint of fruit in the second third
- Ash has been falling often through the burn
- Strength ratchets up deep in second third
- Mouth-watering citrus peel notes develop
- Cinnamon notes add dimension to the profile entering the final
- Medium to Full in strength
- Total smoking time was 1 hour and 40 minutes
The Luciano Cigars YPANDA journey starts with delightful combination of toasted cracker and peppery notes. Soon, umami spice emerges, enhancing the overall profile, while a subtle touch of sweetness begins to complement the early flavors. As the first third progresses, woody notes make their entrance. Moving into the second third, sweetness takes on a fruity hint. The strength of the cigar intensifies deep into the second third, accompanied by mouth-watering citrus peel notes. Towards the final, cinnamon notes contribute to the profile, adding a new dimension as the cigar reaches its conclusion. I would say grab a fiver of these. I rate this a 93.
Point Deductions: (-1) Mild Jag in Burn; (-1) Ash Falls Often
Bonus Points: (+1) Pleasant and Consistent profile across multiple samples