Origin : Cuba
Format : Corona Gorda
Size : 143 x 18.26 mm (5.6 x 46)
Ring : 46
3 cigars smoked for the review
Price : $10-12 each
More info about purchasing Ramon Allones cigars...
Ramon Allones Superiores is a La Casa del Habano-specific release that was supposed to hit the shelves in 2010; while perhaps it did in some places the few LCDH that I visited in the beginning of 2011 didn't have it yet. At first I was very excited about this new vitola from one of my favorite marcas, but when I failed to get it on the first couple attempts I somewhat forgot about it. Only in February 2012, on my trip to Rome, I finally picked up a fiver of these beautiful cigars. I really should have done it earlier!
With its gorgeous light brown wrapper without a single glitch, the Superiores is pretty impressive and seems very well constructed. If you're about to leave a comment saying "hey man your shooting skills really improved!", I must admit that I just borrowed a more expensive camera from my cousin.
All of the specimens I smoked were spot on in terms of construction. I knocked off half a star because the draw of one of the cigars I torched for this review was just a tad tighter than my comfort zone. They all burned beautifully even outdoors and I took a lot of pleasure extracting clouds of thick white smoke out of them. Well done.
We all know that Cuban cigars might taste 'green' when they are young. Sometimes this fact or belief (to each his/her own) makes people forget about the objective quality of the cigar - isn't it easier to say "it just needs age" when a cigar doesn't taste as you'd expect it to? The problem is that in some cases age doesn't do much to enhance the cigar's flavor or it needs more years than an average aficionado is ready to wait. This being said, I'm fairly sure that this 'aging potential' can be detected at any stage. Two examples come to mind - the H. Upmann Royal Robusto that is a stellar cigar that's only going to get better and the Juan Lopez Benelux Regional Edition which doesn't seem to be able to progress anytime soon.
After this long introduction (which represents my personal and humble opinion, your mileage may vary), I'd like to say that Ramon Allones Superiores has no less potential than the other LCDH-exclusive release I just mentioned. Furthermore, just like the Royal Robusto, it smokes damn good right now! The first third is rather delicate after the initial spice and is a bit short of medium-bodied; it brings coffee, cocoa and nuts flavors to the table. A great deal of complexity is added in the second third as all flavors become more intense and the pepper reappears. The body is medium and the smoke is very fresh and smooth. A bit of leather and hints of wood are added to the bouquet in the last third. Despite rare vegetable notes (hay?) that I did encounter throughout the whole smoking experience, I wouldn't say that the Superiores tastes young. It just tastes good, and it's going to get even better!
To be honest with you I don't remember how much I paid for them, probably around 10 EUR per stick. As far as I know these can be had even cheaper than that, at 7.5 EUR / $10 per stick if bought by box. It's a great value, IMHO.
Overall Rating :
My review could have been different if I had smoked the Superiores right out of the factory in January 2011. But what's done is done, and while I missed the boat back then (although who knows whether I'd have liked it at that time!) I am going to get myself a couple of 10-count boxes that the Superiores comes in. I hear there were only 5,000 boxes made, I should probably hurry up.