IPCPR 2017: Sans Pareil & La Instructora

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If you want to get obsessive about tobacco, you might want to look up Jochy Blanco and Aaron Saide for a conversation. The former is the man behind Tabacalera Palma and a number of brands, while the latter is the owner of Chatham Cigar in Midland, Mich. Together, they have created two new lines, Sans Pareil and La Instructora.

Saide is unapologetic about the projects, which seek to make excellent, even perfect cigars. He has four lines under his Sans Pareil line, while La Instructora offers a pair of blends. Having smoked a few of these, I have found them to be quite rich and complex. While the price is quite high, the cigars deliver a fairly unique experience that are worthy of a splurge.

La Instructora Box Pressed

The first of the new lines is the La Instructora Box Pressed, which comes in four sizes and packed in 15-count boxes. Everything but the wrapper is grown by Jochy Blanco, and Saide says it’s the Dominican piloto that makes the cigar special.

  • Wrapper: Brazilian Cubra
  • Binder: Dominican Republic (Jacagua piloto)
  • Filler: Dominican Republic (Criollo 98 ligero and seco from Potrero, Piloto seco and viso from La Canela)
  • La Instructora Box Pressed 1 (7 x 54) — $15 (Box of 15, $225)
  • La Instructora Box Pressed 2 (5 3/4 x 52) — $18 (Box of 15, $270
  • La Instructora Box Pressed 3 (5 1/2 x 47) — $12.50 (Box of 15, $187.50)
  • La Instructora Box Pressed 4 (4 1/4 x 46) — $10 (Box of 15, $150)

Launch Date: Currently shipping

Production: Regular production

La Instructora Perfección

It’s the Ecuadorian habano rosado wrapper that forms the foundation of this cigar, as Saide told halfwheel that true rosado was something he always loved but had a hard time finding, adding that it can be a tough tobacco to blend and balance. Part of achieving that balance are the secos used in the filler, one aged five years and the other aged six years.

  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Rosado
  • Binder: Dominican Republic Criollo 98
  • Filler: Dominican Republic (Criollo 98 seco and ligero, Piloto seco, Piloto viso)
  • La Instructora Perfección Belicoso Extra (6 x 57) — $15 (Box of 15, $225)
  • La Instructora Perfección Invicto (5 3/4 x 56) — $18 (Box of 15, $270)
  • La Instructora Perfección Petite Salomón (5 1/2 x 47) — $12.50 (Box of 15, $187.50)
  • La Instructora Perfección Royal Corona (5 1/8 x 48) — $10 (Box of 15, $150)

Launch Date: Currently shipping

Production: Regular production

As for Sans Pareil, which is pronounced sawn puh-WRY and is French for “without equal,” Saide takes a unique approach with each blend, saying that he doesn’t pick the sizes in each line, “the tobacco does.” He adds that the binders and fillers for each line come from multiple sortings of Jochy Blanco’s elite selections of tobaccos to pick only the best of the inventory, which he quantifies as “a percent of a percent of a yield.” As for the band, the five sections are a tribute to the five people who Saide says helped him realize his dream, and that every time he smokes a Sans Pareil, he wants to be reminded of those individuals.

Saide is hesitant to give out specific tasting notes or descriptions, as he feels his cigars stay consistent from start to finish without offering momentary, specific flavors, but rather one continuous profile.

Sans Pareil Blue

  • Wrapper: Dominican Republic Criollo
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Sans Pareil Blue Petite Corona (4 x 42) — $15 (Box of 15, $225)
  • Sans Pareil Blue Piramide (6 1/8 x 52) — $40 (Box of 15, $600)
  • Sans Pareil Blue Toro (6 x 52) — $30 (Box of 10, $300)

Launch Date: Currently shipping

Production: Regular production

Sans Pareil Gold

This blend is the one that seemed to start it all and comes only in an enormous Super Lancero vitola. I’ve smoked one and it is quite a good cigar, if a bit unwieldy at times due to its size.

  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Sans Pareil Super Lancero (13 1/2 x 40) — $80 (Box of 5, $400)

Launch Date: Currently shipping

Production: Regular production

Sans Pareil Purple

  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Sans Pareil Purple Belicoso (6 1/8 x 52) — $40 (Box of 15, $600)
  • Sans Pareil Purple Cariotta (5 7/10 x 34) — $18 (Box of 20, $360)
  • Sans Pareil Purple Laguito (4 1/2 x 30) — $10 (Box of 25, $250)

Launch Date: Currently shipping

Production: Regular production

Sans Pareil Red

  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Corojo
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Sans Pareil Red A (8 3/4 x 52) — $50 (Box of 10, $500)
  • Sans Pareil Red Churchill (7 1/8 x 47) — $40 (Box of 10, $400)
  • Sans Pareil Red Torpedo (6 1/8 x 52) — $40 (Box of 15, $600)

Launch Date: Currently shipping

Production: Regular production

0 Overall Score

NullDavidoff is the official sponsor of halfwheel's coverage of the 2017 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show.
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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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