Origin : Cuba
Factory Name : Petit Corona
Size : 129 x 16 mm (5 1/8 x 42)
Weight : 8.46 g
Box code : BLP DIC08
Price : ~$3.00 each in Cuba, ~$9.00 each in Canada
More info about purchasing Partagas cigars...
I have to admit I did not begin this review in high spirits. Recently I had some friends who went on vacation in Cuba. I asked them if they would mind purchasing me some cigars and, being such nice people, they of course were happy to oblige. So I proceeded to write them a list of what I would like. I always make a large list for anyone going to Cuba as it is difficult to judge what each LCDH will be stocking at the time. First on my list was the Partagas Serie P No. 2 - one of, if not my favourite cigar currently on the market. When they arrived home they gave me a call and assured me that they had purchased my greatly desired Partagas P 2’s. When the box arrived at my house I found out that they actually bought Partagas Mille Fleurs. Now while I had not yet tried the Mille Fleurs, and I had always read good things about them, you cannot blame me too much for being disappointed that I wasn’t actually getting P2’s. Despite all this, I have now smoked a few of the Mille Fleurs and have tried to write as unbiased a review as I could. And I must admit after trying a few of the Mille Fleurs I am impressed.
The Mille Fleurs have a pretty rough appearance. The quality of wrapper is inconsistent and many have large, heavy veins resembling scars. The time that they have spent in the box has given most of them a nice box press which is something that impresses me. The wrapper is medium brown in colour and a few of the wrappers have small tears in them. Some of the Mille Fleurs have sun spots and discolouration in the wrapper. I am sort of disappointed with the lack of consistency but it is something that I have always expected from a box of Mille Fleurs.
I have mixed feelings about the construction. I am disappointed because the seams show some lack of attention and the wrappers pulled off of a couple of the cigars I sampled. The burn line of each one is a touch uneven yet remains constant throughout the entire smoke so I did not have to correct the burn during any of them. The draw was slightly firm and consistent between each one. There was a nice firm ash and a nice cool burn that was neither too fast nor too slow.
The cold draw revealed an earthy flavour. I lit up and the Mille Fleurs began with creamy, round smoke, some cappuccino flavour and a leathery finish. This was pleasant but fairly one-dimensional. Halfway through the smoke becomes spicy with some black pepper on the palate. With about an inch and half left the pepper and leather elements blended to create a rich medium-bodied cigar.
Usually when I smoke a cigar I try to note a point where it is at its best – a sweet spot. I assumed this was it and that I would not see very much change from then on. Much to my surprise, this is where the cigar really took off. Flavours of dark chocolate and black coffee enter on the palate giving the Mille Fleurs a new dimension. On the finish I occasionally get a very light aroma of musk. The leather that has made periodic appearances increases in strength with some essence of hazelnuts and charred beach wood. The leather finish transforms and what was once fresh new leather evolves to aged, well-worn leather. The smoke has remained surprisingly cool the whole time. I had the Mille Fleurs down to the smallest nub when it starts to burn my lips, so I grabbed a glass of water to cool down which allowed me to have a few more puffs.
I don’t have too much to say about the value of these. It’s pretty obvious that in Cuba these are a great buy and I will definitely be putting them higher up on my list of cigars to get from there. Here in Canada around 9 dollars is, in my opinion, fair and for that price I would put this into my rotation of cigars in the ten dollar price range. These Mille Fleurs show their age and that adds to the value for me.
Overall Rating :
The Mille Fleurs is a good cigar and I understand what the hype is about. Now of course these still aren’t my Serie P No. 2s, but the Mille Fleurs offer a good bang for the buck. I view them as a real no frills cigar; they don’t have a great appearance but they give a quality flavour profile to enjoy. The flavours really give you a nice preview of what the Partagas line has to offer. The ones I have are from 2008 and I think the time in the box has helped to balance them and add some complexity. I also picked up a box for a friend who had never had a Partagas. I spoke to him a few days ago and he told me he has already smoked 4 or 5 of them. I myself have smoked a few since I got them and every time I finish one, I am both content with the cigar and yet I want to light up another to start the experience all over again.
One of my favourite qualities is the versatility when it comes to pairing with drinks. I smoked the first one with a bottle of Louis Latour Pinot Noir (2007) which was my favourite pairing. These would also go great with a nice ruby port or a good stout. I tried one with a glass of Crown Royal Black which I did not like as much. My final comment is that the Mille Fleurs are a must share cigar. The flavours and fragrances are enhanced by the sound of conversation and the presence of friends. With the warm weather approaching and the restaurant balconies opening; I would suggest taking a Friday afternoon off to meet up with some friends at your favourite bistro, order a bottle (or 2) of your favourite wine, pass around some Mille Fleurs and enjoy.