Penn Standard Look & Feel
- Wrapper Hue: Brown
- Rolling Consistency: Even
- Spring: Firm with light spring
- Aromas: Barnyard, earthy, must
With a rich and inviting maduro brown hue, the Penn Standard boasts a precise rolling consistency, exemplifying an even and well-crafted appearance without bumps or uneven spots. The texture of the cigar is intriguingly coarse, yet the wrapper exudes a slight oiliness that leaves a subtle residue on the hand.
The veins of the wrapper are noticeable but not too prominent, and, as far as the aromas at this point, barnyard and earthy notes dominate the senses.
Penn Standard Cigar Review
When I received these Penn Standard cigars from CigarPage, I allowed them to rest in my desktop humidor for about two months. Within it, they acclimated with 69% RH Boveda Packs, which is the relative humidity that I’ve found works best for most “New World” Nicaraguan cigars.
- Draw: Some resistance
- Aromas: Sweet, mineral, pepper
On the dry draw, the Penn Standard offers perhaps a bit more resistance than I would like. I’ll have to wait until I’ve put a lighter to it to see if this causes smoking issues, but for the time being, I’m slightly apprehensive.
In the past, I’ve encountered cigars with a tight dry draw but perfect airflow once lit, so I’m not too concerned at this point. Moreover, I was able to discern notes of sweetness and mild pepper, as well as a mineral essence that I understand is common with Broadleaf.
1st Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Sweetness, pepper, coffee
Right after lighting the Penn Standard, I’m introduced to the notes I’ve learned are inherent to Broadleaf tobacco but which I had never tried before.
The peppery character is very prominent but not overwhelmingly so. It’s also mellowed out by a sweetness, producing a pleasant experience. On the retrohale, the notes of pepper are dominant, though I’m also encountering some slight coffee notes that add some complexity.
2nd Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Earth, leather, cream
Into the second third, as the oils throughout the wrapper and filler begin to warm up and release their oils, the flavor profile has evolved slightly.
At this point, I found while testing these Penn Standards that the earthy character of the cigar begins to shine through more noticeably. There’s also a creamy mouthfeel that balances the more mineral characteristics of the cigar. The peppery character has not entirely subsided, but I’ve found it very enjoyable, particularly with the additional tones of leather that arise.
To this point, the cigar is burning quite well. The ash backbone is strong, and the burn line has remained straight throughout the session.
Final Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Sweetness, cedar, pepper
Into the final third of the Penn Standard cigar, I’m starting to comprehend the sweetness so widely attributed to Pennsylvania Broadleaf. It has remained throughout the cigar, and only at times been eclipsed by other notes.
This experience is quite engaging as one does not usually expect this from a maduro cigar, or at least none of the ones I’ve smoked in the past. It’s also a great match for the mild pepper I discerned earlier in the cigar and which projects throughout it.
The retrohale here has evolved slightly, now offering notes of cedar that are likewise captivating.
- Ash Backbone: Very Strong
- Burn Angle: Straight
- Temperature: Warm
- Draw: Just right
- Final Smoking Time: 75 Minutes
Overall, the Penn Standard is a medium to full-bodied cigar, which is not exactly what I was expecting previous to smoking it, this being my first experience with Pennsylvania Broadleaf.
Each of the cigars smoked offered an impressive ash backbone. I enjoyed some pretty large stacks of ash before letting them fall off. Like the ash, the burn lines were consistent, remaining straight and rarely requiring a touch-up with the lighter.
Lastly, the smoke was warm until the end of the 75-minute smoke time, when it became slightly hot. This tends to be my experience with most cigars, so I wouldn’t necessarily put too much fault on the Penn Standard in this regard.
As you can see above, the Penn Standard comes in a beautiful box adorned by etched (or singed?) print on the top. Inside, the cigars are individually wrapped in cellophane and further bundled with a ribbon.
I was pleasantly surprised when I first opened the box. Generally, when cigars are presented in this type of tall wooden box, they tend to be crammed in there without much care. Instead, the Penn Standards were nicely presented, and I’ll admit that it positively affected my perception of the cigars even before I had the chance to smoke one.
When it comes to the cigar label, this one is a wide navy blue example made from thick paper. Furthermore, it’s adorned with gold print, and it details the specific batch, lot, and crop numbers that these cigars correspond to.
Such precise indications are by no means standard with cigars, whether they be premium sticks or cheap ones, so I found this to be an excellent detail. To some extent, it almost chronicles the life of the tobacco as it traveled from Pennsylvania to Estelí, and ultimately to me in South Florida. There’s a history to this tobacco and cigars, and it certainly made it difficult for me to wait for these to acclimate in the humidor before I smoked one.
Currently, a box of 20 of these 6×54 Magnum box-pressed cigars is selling on CigarPage for about $110, which averages out to $5.50 per cigar. I think the Penn Standard represents excellent value at this price point.
However, I’m convinced I’ve seen this same box for sale on CigarPage for less than $100. I’ve also come across Penn Standard samplers composed of all the different vitolas selling for around $2.50 per cigar, so I know for a fact that you can get them at an even lower price.
At the regular retail of $110, they’re certainly worthwhile. Yet, if you’re able to catch them in one of CigarPage’s fleeting sales, they’re definitely an instant buy, especially if you’re a fan of PA Broadleaf cigars.
Pairing Recommendations For Penn Standard Cigar
I know that for most, a lighter cigar, such as a Connecticut or Habano is the go-to in the mornings. However, I tend to prefer stogies that are more of a “flavor punch”, whether it be early in the day or later in the afternoon.
I especially enjoyed the Penn Standard in the morning with a “café con leche,” basically a cappuccino, as the creamy notes in the cigar were complimented by those of the coffee & frothed milk. Later in the afternoon, and especially since I’m in South Florida, I chose a more refreshing pair for this cigar. Generally, it was either an ice-cold cola or cold-brewed coffee.
Regarding alcoholic pairs, I suppose a traditional American spirit such as Bourbon could work well here, though I’m more of a rum man myself. Given this, I’m most likely to smoke a Penn Satandard with a Ron Diplomatico or Zacapa, though I’ve yet to try them together.
When I first encountered the Penn Standard, I was excited at the promise of tasting a new type of tobacco in the Broadleaf. I’ve had and enjoyed plenty of maduro cigars in the past, so an unfamiliar take on this recent classic seemed promising.
Overall, I was absolutely charmed with what the Penn Standard had to offer. It possessed none of the harsh characteristics I had previously heard attributed to Broadleaf tobacco and truly presented an excellently peppery, sweet, and creamy experience that I’ve yet to grow tired of.
I’ve smoked about 5 of these Penn Standards at this point and gifted away a few more, so the original box of 20 is starting to look a bit thin. I’m looking forward to letting these spend some time in the humidors to see how they evolve, and I will undoubtedly keep an eye on CigarPage for deals on any of the other vitolas, as I’m pretty excited to try those as well.
If you’ve never tried a Pennsylvania Broadleaf cigar, or if you have and are already a fan, then the Penn Standards are definitely ones that should be on your radar and which I can highly recommend.