Partagas is amongst the oldest and most renowned cigar brands in Cuba, dating clear back to 1845. They are known for producing bold cigars, and the Partagas Serie C No. 3, the limited edition for 2012, is no exception to the rule. The tobacco used in the filler, binder and wrapper was aged for two years. This is a very strong cigar; unfortunately I did not find it very flavorful.
Hoyo Do Monterrey has long since found a special place in my humidor, and I have especially enjoyed their Epicure #2 release. I think that I have sampled pretty much each year since 2005, and have even reviewed them here. Of all the releases, I think that I have gotten the most consistent enjoyment from the 2008. Where the 2014’s were a bit “green” and the 2005’s tended to have “hardened”, while both maintained the taste profile that HDM is famous for, this year seems to have been the best. Not too hard, not too green and just spongy enough not to worry so much about burn issues, the HDM Epicure #2 2008 seems to enter the Goldilocks zone---just right.
Origin : Cuba Format : Petit Corona Size : 42 x 129 mm (~5 in) Box date : 1986 Hand-Made Price : 150 EUR / cigar
Before delving into the meat of this review, I must take the time to give an appreciative nod and a tip of the cap to Frederic of LCDH Knokke for dipping into his private stash to give me the opportunity to cross one of the few things remaining on my bucket list of things to accomplish before I leave this world--- enjoying a technically and aesthetically perfect Cuban cigar. Originally released in 1969, this Davidoff remained un-banded until around 1980 and the line was completely discontinued in 1991, remaining amongst the best of the best during its entire release. One look and one glorious puff and you are hooked. Without qualification, this smoke was absolutely flawless in every respect. They just do not get any better than this.
Sometimes big things come in small packages, and Partagas 2014 release of their D series Size #6 is no exception. Don’t let appearances fool you. This midget of a robusto packs plenty of surprises, and all of them good ones. It is a perfect choice if you do not have a ton of time, but want to indulge yourself with a classic habanos cigar. Grab yourself a tasty beverage and sit down for a nice ride to the Caribbean.
Recently I had the opportunity to finally sample a branded cigar that is readily available in my market, but typically supplied from different countries in Central America (editor's note: non-Cuban Romeo y Julietas, some of them are reviewed here). Typically these smokes have been dry, grainy and more akin to puffing on a pile of sawdust than a true fine quality cigar. I am happy to say that the Cuban Romeo y Julieta rose to the occasion and has offered a stout cigar with plenty of taste that should satisfy most any avid Cubano lover and beginner alike. It is a nice smoke at an economical price for a Cuban.
After giving Montecristo a hard time in a previous review, I felt it only fair to find another cigar of their issue that was somewhat close in age to the one I dealt with so harshly to see if the box I consumed was an aberration, or if the issues I encountered with the other product continued with this limited edition release. I am happy to say that in this case the latter applies, not the former. What one is left to wonder is how something so wrong could turn into something so right. By its taste profile, it would SEEM that this outcome was what Montecristo was shooting for with their 2008 Sublime release. Here they are using 2005 tobacco, which on its face would indicate that the stock was somewhat similar in age to the Sublime (it used 2006 tobacco). This is a conundrum I do not think I can figure out by the time this review is over. Where such utter failure turns into such utter bliss leaves me dumbstruck, but I will take them as they come.
If you are a dyed-in-the-wool Montecristo lover, you might want to stop reading right now. Yes, I am a huge fan of Montecristo, but this review will not be flattering, not in the least. You might want the children to leave the room on this one. In many communities in my country, we have a colloquial saying “You dance with the lady that brought you to the party”, which loosely translates to “You stick with ideas where you excel”. Montecristo would have done well to have heeded this idiom before foisting this product upon the cigar loving public. They tried to copy others by an attempt to make a “kinder and gentler” cigar. Failure. Absolute and total failure.
There is an excitement that portends the smoking a Cuban cigar that has aged in a tube for roughly 40 years and the natural bias to presume this will be a spectacular smoke, one is shocked by the plain ugliness of this cigar. For comparison purposes, I took a photo of the H. Upmann Naturals next to a current production H. Upmann Royal Robusto.
H. Upmann Naturals were machine-made cigars always sold in tubes. Discontinued in the early 1980s. Not sure of the box year, but I’d guess late-1970s.