David Reynaga, originally from Los Angeles California, first came to Panama in 1995 as a system engineer working for the US government in the Panama Canal Zone. At the time, David purchased some land thinking about future investments. In 1999 David moved to the UK to continue providing system and communication services for
the US government. Having invested in Panama, David moved to Miami to be closer and 5 years ago he moved to Chiriquí where he runs the only quality cigar factory in the country.
A cigar has 3 kinds of leaves – the binders, the fillers and the wrappers.
The binders are elastic leaves used to hold the filler of a cigar together.
The fillers (tripa): The majority of the cigar is made of fillers or blends and there are 3 kinds of fillers:
•Volado: from the lowest part of the plant that is used primarily for its burning properties not for its flavor.
•Seco (dry): taken from the middle of the plant, these leaves are lighter than ligero, both in color and flavor.
•Ligero: comes from the top of the plant, which is exposed to the most sunlight, it is the darkest and most flavorful filler.
This is the external part of the cigar which comes from the widest part of the plant and it determines the cigar’s
character and flavor.
Pride of Panama uses the traditional hand rolling techniques and equipment.
First they stretch the filler leaves, wet them, remove the main vein, press them to flatten the leaves and store them
for 24 hours in a room over a grid to remove the moisture.
The process begins with the bunch maker (bonchero) who rolls the fillers which are a blend of different tobaccos
inside the binder. They are then placed in an artifact where they are custom sized and the excess and irregularities
from the fillers are trimmed with a knife called a chaveta. The cigars are put into a mold and pressed for 40
minutes after which they are taken out, flipped and put back in the press for another 20 minutes. After the 20
minutes they are ready for the cigar roller (rolero) to apply the wrapping.
The wrapping technique is extremely difficult and requires a lot of dexterity and years of practice.
Pride of Panama has rolling specialists with over 37 years of experience in the field.
When the rolling is done, the cap of the cigar is sealed with a bit vegetable paste to secure the wrapper. The cigars will be ready for consumption in approximately 30 days.
Finished cigars are kept in a quality control room where they apply the label band and are stored in a freezer to prevent larvae from growing.
Pride of Panama cigars are becoming very popular and coveted and they are currently being exported to the USA, Canada, Japan and Slovakia.
Tel: (507) 6538-3042