Origin : Cuba
Factory Name : Salomon (Double Perfecto)
Size : 184 x 22.62 mm (7.2 x 57)
Box : 2009
Price : ~$16 each
More info about purchasing Partagas cigars...
Partagas Salomones is a cigar that you don't see very often in your shop. Online or offline, they are only available at several retailers for a simple reason - they were made specifically for La Casa del Habanos outlets. If you are interested in the history of this cigar, you might want to read this article - this is pretty fascinating. Thanks to a good friend of mine, I was able to put my hand on a sample so, without further ado, here is my opinion on this smoke.
Salomones is one beautiful perfecto and is almost intimidating because of its size. It sports a larger than usual Partagas band and a second LCDH band. I haven't encountered many cigars of this shape, but those that I did were always stunningly attractive. Unfortunately the first picture doesn't do it justice - but when you're turning the cigar in your hands you just can't help admiring the skills of the roller who produced it.
What I love about the perfectos is that they are damn easy to light. You just point the flame to the narrow foot, wait a couple of seconds and that's it! Well, this was not the case here. I had quite a hard time lighting the Salomones... Despite a rather loose draw, the cigar just wouldn't light so I had to toast it for at least a minute before I obtained some smoke. Note: the cigar has been dryboxed for 24 hours prior to smoking, so I don't think this issue was due to an excessive humidity. After a not very encouraging beginning, things didn't get better. I was served with an uneven burn and a loose draw which resulted - weird - in very little smoke. Despite the fact that my opinion about the roller I mentioned earlier changed, I can't say that the construction ruined the smoke - it was just mediocre.
The flavors are almost overwhelming in the beginning. There is spice, there is wood and, of course, there is earth - have you had a Partagas without those heavy earthy flavors? Given its size, I should probably divide the cigar in quarters; each of those required approximately 25 minutes to go through. 7 inches is no joke. So, in the first quarter, the cigar was just waking up. Nothing exceptional, medium-bodied. The second quarter was more interesting, the spice, as expected, made its retreat to the background while earthy, leathery and woody flavors took front positions. Progressively, other flavors made their appearance - nuts and coffee were spotted at the transition point between the 2nd and the 3rd quarter. Again, as expected, the spice made its way back in the last quarter and I felt a considerable increase in power. Don't stand up sharply when you're done with this smoke.
I did feel some ageing potentiel here. It is also necessary to determine whether the construction issues I encountered are recurrent. I would be interested in getting a few more samples from different boxes to compare...
Overall Rating :
...more precisely, I would like to try a Salomones from the re-release in 2008. I have only heard good (great) things about it. Reviews seem to be more mixed about '09 boxes. So is mine.