Partagas Factory

Partagas, Habana, Cuba

La Gloria Cubana Medaille d’or No.3

When I started smoking cigars I was a fat guy, 400lbs/180kg, and I liked big cigars, robusto or thicker and refused to smoke thin cigars as I didn’t have the skills to truly enjoy them yet and because of the way it looked, I had a bowling ball shaped face and a thin cigar just looked strange I thought. But the owner of the shop that I frequented all the time, Marjolein Hartman from Hartman Cigars & More in Amsterdam, kept saying I needed to try this Cuban slim panetela, the La Gloria Cubana Medaille d’or #3. I said no a few times but because I trusted her judgement and knowledge I finally bought one and lit it. That cigar was a game changer for me, so flavorful, so dynamic and thats when I fell in love with thin cigars. I smoked the cigar in the shop and brought the box home, the box date was June 2002. This review is the last cigar I had left from that specific box.


Now back the bigger vs smaller ring cigars. I keep hearing that the popularity of big ring gauge cigars is because people get more tobacco for their money but I disagree. At Intertabac 2016 I had an interesting conversation with Steve Saka as he disagrees too but we both have a slightly different reason. Steve says its because most of the modern cigars aren’t mild to medium but medium plus to full bodied the bigger ring gauges, that tend to be milder compared to the thinner cigars, are more popular because they are milder and thats still a major part of the consumer base. I say its because a thicker cigar is easier to smoke, the burning temperature is lower so the cigar won’t overheat and won’t turn bitter (exactly the same reason why I always direct novice smokers to a robusto or thicker). On the other hand, why do other people love thin cigars so much? Because the wrapper to filler ratio is much better, wrapper gives the most flavor to a cigar, up to 80% sometimes, and if you have less filler you taste more of the wrapper plus the cigar gets way more dynamic, more evolution but you have to smoke slowly to prevent the cigar from overheating. It takes experience and skill to truly enjoy a thin cigar.


Now the cigar itself, as I said, it is a thin cigar, thinner than my beloved lonsdales and lanceros, much thinner with a ring gauge of 28 while a lancero has a ring gauge of 38. If you don’t know how to measure that, it is measured in 1/64 of an inch, so this cigar is 28/64 of an inch wide which is less than 2/3rd of my pink and I have slim fingers. The length is Lancero size though, close to 7 inch. The wrapper has a bit of a rustic look to it, get the band of, leave it on the grounds in the woods and you might even think it belongs there due to the veins, but I guess thats part of the charm too. The wrapper is mild oily and chocolate milk colored. The cigar feels evenly packed, well constructed and its very hard to roll a cigar this skinny and to apply a triple cap. The ring is cute, a yellow circle with the portrait of a woman in a red cape, black letters La Gloria Cuban with a relatively big golden ring around it with at the bottom black letters Habana. The sides have the golden lining too with a red and white striped pattern and two golden medals on each side. Not a spectacular ring, but the tiny size makes it very cute. The aroma is quite mild and I smell a soapy flavor, some pepper and a little bit of a barnyard.


Due to the skinny size it is impossible to punch the cigar so I grabbed my Xikar cutter to find a tight draw that has a little pepper. I lit the cigar with my soft flame and straight from the start I taste a beautiful mix of leather, coffee and a mild chocolate. After a centimeter I taste mild salty nuts. After a third third I taste some cedar, some bitter herbs and a mild metallic flavors. Halfway I am surprised by the amount of pepper I taste. After two thirds a nutty flavor joins the pepper, I also taste some salt.


Due to the difficult draw the smoke is thin too and not too much either. The ash is quite dark gray, layered and reasonably firm. The burn is straight as a line. There is a lot of evolution, as can be expected from a skinny cigar. The cigar is medium in both body and flavor. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? They are discontinued, Habanos is moving more and more into the big ring cigars. And my preferences changed I guess, I’m not liking this as much as I used to and that counts for most Cubans.

Score: 89
89

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Categories: 89, Cuban cigars, La Gloria Cubana (Habanos), Partagas Factory | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ramon Allones 898 RE Alemania 2014

The marketing manager from Habanos who came up with the regional editions idea was worth his weight in gold or even diamonds as the concept has proven to be a huge success for at over a decade with a growing number of releases every year and a peak in 2011. The number of releases now is a bit lower due to a few bad crops that caused a shortage of tobacco and therefore a lower number of cigars that can be made. It started in 2005 with Regional Editions for Italy and Switzerland but a year later France, Germany and Asia followed and then the ball really got rolling with a whole lot of cigar smokers chasing the Regional Editions from all over the world. And in the beginning I fell for the marketing too, chased a few before I realized it was nothing special, just another vitola for an added price and a whole lot of hassle to find then and get them into my humidor.


Now what I did notice is that Germany has had a few exclusivo releases that spark my interest due to the vitola. I like the skinny cigars and so far they had a Por Larranaga Lonsdale, Bolivar Lancero, Punch Sir John and this 2014 Ramon Allones 898 with ring gauges under 50. I reviewed the Bolivar No.2 (Lancero) earlier this year, now I’m going to review the Ramon Allones 898, a 6 3/4×43 Cuban puro that was gifted to me by my friend Kolja Kukuk from Cigar Consult International.


The cigar has a nice, mild shiny and oily, medium brown wrapper with a few thin veins. The construction feels good and the triple cap is esthetically well done. As for the rings, I said it before and I will say it again: I don’t like it that they use the same ‘exclusivo’ rings for every brand, even when it combines badly with the brand ring. I know some might say “but it makes it easy to recognize that its a regional edition” and I agree but then do a brand ring in the same colors for the regional edition instead of making it look like a carnival. I mean, every designer with just a little photoshop skills can change the color of the pretty nice Ramon Allones ring (a bright red circle with a golden logo surrounded by a bigger brown circle and white letters saying Ramon Allones Habana surrounded by a thick golden outline) so it would match nicely with the burgundy silver and white exclusivo ring and then the cigar would look 10 times better. It would also mean the exclusivo series are even more special. That is a missed opportunity. The quality of the rings is very good though, no complaints there, its just that they don’t match. The cigar has a mild aroma of barnyard with some fresh urine due to the ammonia.


I cut cigar with my Xikar. The cold draw has a little too much resistance and a quite peppery and spicy flavor. I lit the cigar with a soft flame and taste leather with pepper. The leather is growing stronger. The pepper fades a little and instead I taste honey with the leather. After a third it’s still leather with honey but the pepper is back in the aftertaste and it’s quite strong for a Cuban cigar. Once I passed the midway point I also taste a little chocolate. After two thirds I also taste some nuts and a little metallic flavor.


The draw is a little on the tight side but not too much to call it plugged. The ash is beautiful light gray and dense. The smoke is thin and only a little bit of it, I think it has to do with the tight draw. The burn is pretty straight. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored, the flavors are good but the cigar lost a lot of points due to the lack of evolution, the minor amount of smoke and the tight draw. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yeah for a reasonable price. With a better draw this cigar would scored a couple of points higher. I did like the flavors.

Score: 86

86

Categories: 86, Cuban cigars, Partagas Factory, Ramon Alones (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bolivar Especiales No.2 Exclusivo Alemania

This is the fourth lancero review and it’s a Cuban cigar, a German regional edition. When I started to smoke cigars and was uneducated I smoked a lot of Cubans and my favorite brands were H. Upmann, Bolivar and Punch. And I fell for the marketing too, hunting down regional editions even though it’s not made with limited tobacco, alternate blends, it’s just the regular blend is a limited made vitola, nothing special and nowadays Cuba seems to produce more limiteds than regular production cigars with the anejados, limiteds, gran reserva and regional editions. Once I realized the bull shit of the regional editions I stopped chasing them but when I read about the Bolivar lancero aka Especiales No.2 as a regional edition for the German market in 2009 I knew I had to buy a few as I love that vitola.


So once they were released I got in my car and drove all the way to Dusseldorf, to the biggest lounge in Europe with the biggest selection in Germany including a lot of shop exclusive cigars. Cigarworld is more than just a shop with a huge selection and a beautiful and big lounge, on the second floor they have a smaller lounge and a smaller humidor that is reachable either by a stair from the lounge or from a separate entry on the side of the building and that humidor and lounge are an official La Casa del Habano with all the unique LCDH releases. Since I’m not into Cuban cigars a lot it doesn’t mean a lot to me but I can understand that it’s a great move from owners Marc & Patricia Benden to include a LCDH at their location because it still appeals to a lot of people and now they get all the LCDH releases and way more of the limited editions than non LCDH shops. Completely off topic, but if you are traveling to visit a LCDH, check out the one in Almere, that is most likely the most beautiful shop i’ve seen in my life, their downstairs lounge is the bomb.


Now the wrapper is a nice milk chocolate brown with a few veins and a mild reddish glow, some parts have an oily shine while others don’t. It’s not the most beautiful wrapper I have ever seen but also not the worst. The construction feels good but the proof is in the pudding, especially with Cuban cigars and double with hard to roll vitolas like the lancero. The rings, printed by Vrijdag printing in Eindhoven (NL), are well known amongst cigar smokers, a yellow circle with the picture of Simon Bolivar with a golden dotted outline. The golden outline continue to the back while the inside is red and white striped and covered in the medaille d’or that Bolivar won in the past. The second band is silver colored with a white dotted line on both bottom and top, a big red band with white lettering exclusivo Alemania. The cigar measures 7.6 inch with a ring of 38. It has a triple cap like all Habanos hand made cigars. I cut the cigar with a straight cut and I just took the cap off. The cold draw is good and taste hay with a mild freshness and some spices. The cigar has a mild barnyard aroma.


I lit the cigar with my trusted vintage Ronson soft flame. The first flavor is a spicy yet sweet coffee. It’s a little bit bitter. After a few puffs the flavor changes to a little cedar with far far on the background some milk chocolate but the chocolate disappears quickly. I now taste cedar with dried grass soon to be followed by a cumin flavor. This cigar is dynamic to the extreme and a testament of why I love these thin sticks. After a third I taste spicy wood with a very mild cumin and a little bit of honey. The cumin changes into nutmeg and the wood loses its spice. In the aftertaste I get some black pepper. Halfway I taste spices with caramel and there’s a mild pepper on the back of my throat. Sometime later the flavor changes to salty nuts with some pepper. That is to be replaced with oak and pepper a few puffs later. After two thirds the salty nuts are back with a little bit of lemon.


The draw is surprisingly good, I was expecting the worse. The smoke is thick and abundant, nice and white colored too. The ash is salt and pepper colored and you can see the layers. The ash isn’t too firm at the start, later it is. The burn is straight as an arrow. This is a medium to full bodied cigar and full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It was a regional edition, they can’t be found anywhere unless you go to the collectors market and pay more than top dollar. But this is a great Cuban cigar and it shows that they still can make great cigars.

Score: 92

92

Categories: 92, Bolivar (Habanos), Cuban cigars, Partagas Factory | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Partagas serie D #4 aged 2008

Before Habanos started with the anejados project, the distributer for The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg came up with that idea and they called it the aged series. They released a few vitolas form a few brands so far, I smoked the Partagas D4 aged 2008.
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The cigar has a little aroma which reminds me of a barnyard and I notice that the band is a bit wide, so it’s pretty lose around the cigar. The wrapper isn’t shiny at all but has a nice chocolate brown wrapper with just a few minor veins. The construction feels good and the predraw is fine, it’s pretty spicy with some black pepper.
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I taste leather, as you get with lots of Cuban cigars, and pepper, all quite full with a little refined sugar but the sugar disappears after a centimeter. That’s about the only thing that happens in the first third. After that the flavors change into caramel and pepper.
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Halfway I taste a lot of leather again with some chili pepper, the caramel is gone and it’s pretty much the same until I reach the last part of the cigar. That last part is very good, I taste nice spices with some chili pepper.
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The draw on this cigar was fine, which is a stroke of luck when buying Cuban cigars and the burn wasn’t bad either, only had to correct it a little bit. The light gray ash is reasonably firm. This medium flavored and medium to full bodied cigar lasted me for an hour and forty minutes.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, this is a fine example of what Cuban cigars can be, in 2008 the crop was considerably better than current production as the soil wasn’t so depleted as it is today, the tobacco got time to ferment and the cigar got to age 7 years instead of being sold way too young.

Appearance: 8
Construction: 8
Draw: 8
Burn: 7
Smoke & ash: 8
Aroma first part: 7
Aroma second part: 7
Aroma third part: 9


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Bolivar Coronas Junior

The Bolivar coronas junior is a 4.3×42 small stick with a price tag of € 5,60 here in The Netherlands. They are one of the favorite smokes of a friend of mine and he gave me this stick, he knows that I am a Bolivar whore too, Bolivar is my second favorite Cuban marca.
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The cigar is boxes pressed and has a latte colored wrapper, which is mild oily and hardly has any veins. The cigar has a mild barnyard smell and a good construction. The predraw is fine.
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I taste a strong leather flavor with a little bit of herbs. After half an inch I taste leather and earth with some herbs, the flavors are dry and definitely fit the Bolivar flavor profile.
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After an inch I taste herbs, and half way those herbs get company from leather and a tiny bit of chocolate. The leather slowly grows stronger again.
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This small cigar lasted me for an hour. It got a decent amount of smoke, but the smoke wasn’t thick at all. The draw is good, just like the burn. The light gray ash is firm. This cigar is medium flavored and full bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Nah, I’ll choose the Bolivar royal corona or the Bolivar belicoso finos over the coronas junior anyday.

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

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Partagas Serie P no.2

My relationship with Partagas is difficult to describe, I’ve had some that I loved, I’ve had some I wasn’t impressed with and I never understood the hype about the Partagas serie D #4, as that was one of those cigars that didn’t impress me, until I smoked one that was at least 5 years old. I realized I never smoked the Partagas serie P #2 so I bought a single at the Oliva Cigar Lounge in Den Bosch a few months ago. I forgot to check the box date, so I don’t know how old or young this cigar is.
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The 6.1×52 torpedo has a latte colored wrapper which is quite wrinkly and has a few veins. I like the simple Partagas band, no fancy colors or pictures, just the company name and origin. The cigar has a mild chocolate and barnyard smell. The construction feels good. The predraw is fine and I taste sweet raisins.
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I taste a sweet coffee flavor with cedar. The coffee disappears quickly and I am stuck with a very pleasant sweet, dry and mild spicy cedar. After an inch the cigar releases a mild peppery wood flavor, the flavors are subtle and unmistaken Cuban. In the aftertaste I taste some chocolate.
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After two inch I taste the mild peppery wood with some herbs. There are some spices in the aftertaste, I can’t name the specific spices but I like the flavors. The flavors don’t develop, but what I taste is very nice so I don’t care. After two thirds the cigar gets a little spicier and stronger.
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This cigar lasted me for an hour and fifteen minutes. The draw was great, just like the burn. I got a decent volume of smoke which was medium thick. The pepper and salt colored ash is firm. This cigar is full flavored and full bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Appearance: 6 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Cuban cigars, Partagas (Habanos), Partagas Factory | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Partagas Serie E no.2

The 5½x54 Partagas series E No.2 is the latest Cuban Partagas release and the thickest regular production Partagas parejo ever. The cigar is a bit thicker and longer than the ever popular Partagas series D no.4 and was introduced at the Habanos festival earlier this year but is now making its way to the shops. I was lucky enough to get one of these cigars before they even hit the Dutch shops. I believe this cigar has a price tag of 11 euro in The Netherlands.
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The cigar is beautiful, with an almost rosado like red glow to the deep brown and mild oily wrapper. I see a few veins though and the construction if a bit soft. I smell a sour barnyard, too much ammonia which confirms my belief that this cigar hasn’t been aged enough, something I keep saying about Cuban cigars. The predraw is fine, I taste a spicy and peppery tobacco.
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I taste a spicy and harsh earthy flavor and after half an inch an earthy flavor with pepper. The pepper is in the aftertaste. This cigar is harsh and way too young to be smoked. I also taste some wood. After an inch I taste wood, with some earthy flavors, pepper and herbs. On the background I taste something sweet, but that is really mild.
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After a third I taste mud with herbs, wood and some pepper. Halfway I taste pepper herbs and wood, the mud flavor has disappeared. After two thirds I taste nuts with wood and pepper. The cigar gets more spicy with herbs, earth and some pepper.
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This cigar lasted me for an hour and forty minutes. The draw is really good and I got a lot of smoke. The ash is dark. I had to correct the burn two times. This cigar is full flavored and full bodied, it is still way too young to be subtle or complex but it has a lot of potential.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, but I will age them for at least a few years before I would smoke them again.

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 6 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 6 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

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Partagas DeLuxe

A few years ago, a cigar shop went bankrupt and a supermarkt owner bought all tobacco products. All he wanted were the cigarettes, so he joined one of the Dutch cigar boards and offered the leftover cigars for a bargain price. Amongst those cigars were boxes of the Romeo y Julieta #2 tubos and Partagas Deluxe tubos from 2006. I bought a few boxes. The cigars are hand made since 2002 but were packed in the old golden tubos.
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The wrapper is pale and rough and it looks dry. I like the weird Partagas band better than the normal Partagas band. The construction feels good and the cigar smells like wood. The predraw is fine and I taste raisin.
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I taste smooth coffee with earth and wood, kind of plywood, not the usual oak or cedar. But that doesn’t mean the flavors aren’t nice, they actually are. After an inch I can’t taste coffee anymore. I taste wood, earth, herbs and something sweet. The flavors are mild creamy.
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The sweetness fades away. Halfway I taste earth and herbs, smooth but nice. The flavors are well balanced but not complex. Slowly a mild milk chocolate flavors joins the smooth earth and herbs. After two thirds I taste some cinnamon with earth and some smooth herbs. The chocolate has gone.
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The smoke time of this 5½x40 cigar is an hour and ten minutes. The draw is great, just like the burn. I got a nice thick smoke. The ash is dark gray and not firm at all. This cigar is medium flavored and medium bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? I might, depending on the price

Appearance: 6 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Cuban cigars, Partagas (Habanos), Partagas Factory | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Ramon Allones Estupendos RE Asia/Pacific

The Ramon Allones estupendo is the 2006 regional release for the Asia & Pacific region. The cigar is a Julieta #2, which means that it is a 7 inch long cigar with a 47 ring. They were released in 2006, 1500 boxes of which 260 50 count cabinets, the 1240 remaining boxes were dress boxes of 25. In 2007 they released another 1400 boxes of which 200 were 50 count cabs. I got this cigar as a gift from a friend during my 2009 US roadtrip.
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The wrapper is light brown with lots of small veins. The cigar has a mild barnyard smell and the construction feels good. The predraw is fine and I taste dry hay.
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I taste a smooth and sweet leather with some wood. After half an inch the flavors I taste are just the sweet and smooth leather. I like the flavor because it is so smooth. The flavors won’t change anymore in the first third of the cigar. The leather then gets a bit dry and stronger while the sweetness gets a little less. I also taste a bit of dark chocolate.
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The leather and the chocolate are well balanced and mixed, I also taste some spicy herbs on the background and I get a dry feeling in the back of my throat. The cigar slowly gets stronger and I taste more herbs with the dark chocolate, the leather moves to the aftertaste. After two thirds I taste a nice mixture of herbs and leather which is mild sweet. Near the end the cigar gets spicy with leather, herbs and even some pepper.
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This cigar lasted me for an hour and a half. The draw was great, but I had to correct the burn. The ash is ugly, medium gray and frayed, and it won’t stay on the cigar for long. This cigar has a nice build up, from mild bodied in the beginning to full bodied near the end, and all medium flavored.
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Would I buy this cigar again? I might have to find a few more

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: Cuban cigars, Partagas Factory, Ramon Alones (Habanos) | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Partagas Salomon

Habanos started the production of this 7.2 inch ring 57 Partagas salomones in 2008 and they are a cigar exclusively made for the La Casa Del Habano shops all over the world. The cigar has that signature La Casa Del Habano band as a second band that is placed under the Partagas band.
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This cigar is beautifully shaped and it has a nice and warm mocha color. The wrapper is oily and has a few veins. The construction feels good. The cigar has a mild barnyard smell. The predraw is a bit hard and I taste some raisin and earth, really mild and dry.
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I taste a full earth flavor and a mild leather. After an inch I also taste a nut flavor. The leather fades away a bit, the nut flavor disappears completely and all I taste is earth after an inch and a half.
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After two inch I taste a mild toast flavor as a support to the earth. Halfway the leather gains power again and becomes the dominant flavor. The cigar starts to get more complex and interesting. The texture is mild creamy and the aftertaste is an earth flavor. After ⅔ I taste some nuts again with the leather and I can even taste some wood.
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Make sure you got plenty of time when you light this cigar, it took me two hours and fifteen minutes to finish it. The draw is good although the smoke starts out poor, but fortunately I keep getting more and more smoke the longer I puff on this salomones. Due to the shape I had a bit of a crooked burn in the beginning but the burn corrected itself. The ash is quite firm but frayed and has a salt & pepper color. This cigar is medium to full bodied and medium to full flavored.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Next time I am at Mike’s Havana House I will buy a few more

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: Cuban cigars, Partagas (Habanos), Partagas Factory | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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