The Partagas Serie E No. 2 was officially released at the XIII Habanos Festival in Cuba in February of 2011. Distinctive features include a large ring gauge and simple but beautiful packaging. It took me about an age to try one of these (they have been resting for over 1 year in my humi), but now I am so glad I did. This cigar is not cheap, but it is a real treat.
The Cohiba Piramide Extra is a relatively new vitola (released in 2012) which measures 6.3″ inches in length by 54 ring gauge. Although it is considered to be part of the “Linea Clasica”, it bears a different band. The cigar is presented in 3-packs of aluminium tubes and semi boite nature boxes of 10.
The Cohiba Piramide Extra is a handful! The wrapper is light brown with a reddish hue, similar in shade to the Classic line, and has a moderate amount of veins but no imperfections. Its brand new shiny band has inherited the holographic security markings of the Behike, but unlike it, it only has one side (face). The bunch is firm and a close look to the foot of the cigar reveals that there are plenty of leaves packed in it. However, none of these leaves is Medio Tiempo, as the Piramide Extra uses the recipe of the Classic Line blend. The aromas are mild, with notes of flowers and a little bit of pepper. The prelight draw is perfect… Time to light up!
A short time back, the editorial staff of this site posted a review of the recently released Montecristo Petit #2. Since this manufacturer pretty much has a permanent spot in my humidor, I thought I would expound upon Denis’s previous review by trying the same cigar, but from a newer year. Usually, I would shy away from such young cigars, as their performance sometimes can be inconsistent, if not very poor. Suffice it to say, this offering from Montecristo not only lived up to its name and popular pedigree, it also provided some surprises and even scored high marks that many aged sticks strain to accomplish.
I can sum up this review in four words, but since this is a family friendly site, I shall use only their acronym --- O M F G. I had my trusty tobacconist search for an out of the ordinary stick that was not widely distributed, and that did not cost a small fortune to purchase. He hit the mark on both counts with this one. It is without doubt in my mind, a STELLAR robusto, despite its young age and recent release this past spring. This smoke does not greet you with a warm “Hello”, but greets you at the door after a long day’s hard work wearing nothing but a smile with a spatula in its hand and asks you, “Hey stranger, want to flip my pancakes??“ There is a reason why this company (Hunters & Frankau - importer of Cuban cigars into the UK) has been around for 225 years, and this release is a prime example.
Lately I have reviewed some of the newer releases from Cuba’s finer cigar producers (like the Juan Lopez Don Juan), and I found myself wandering down memory lane and I gravitated towards the one cigar that I have consistently enjoyed over multiple vintage years. Hoyo de Monterrey has released the Epicure #2 line some time ago and it has brought them success over the years. I recently pulled out one of their older, more aged releases to see if time had been good to this cigar, and had it found a new place amongst my old favorites. I have consumed the 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009 versions of this smoke in a variety of 25 and 50 cabinet boxes.
Since the release of the Hoyo Petit Robusto in 2004, the Petit Robusto size has proven a great success for Habanos. Cohiba, Montecristo, Partagas (Serie D No. 5 and No. 6) and Trinidad also jumped on the wagon, with similar variations but same characteristics. A short, stout cigar that combines a short smoking time with the coolness and comfort of a larger ring gauge. The response was great, so it was only a matter of time before another brand came up with a petit robusto.
The Romeo y Julieta Petit Churchill, released in 2012, is a classic petit robusto, measuring 4'' in length with a 50 ring gauge. Initially available in dress boxes of 25, 3-packs of tubos were to follow in 2013. My Petit Churchill had some time to rest after the long trip from Cuba and I am really looking forward to see what it has to offer.
Recently I mentioned this smoke in a review I did for a different release from this same manufacturer. Where the other stick failed miserably, the Juan Lopez Don Juan redeemed this cigar manufacturer in my eyes. Care and craftsmanship were self-evident with this limited edition robusto. I want to reinforce my previous recommendation. This smoke would satisfy most palates and is quite a bit more economical than its limited edition competition.
I have been trying to recall whether I have smoked a Quai d'Orsay and I am almost certain I haven’t. I have been trying to get my hands on one for a while, but they are not easy to come by. We have all heard how great the Quai d'Orsay Imperiales are, but they are almost impossible to find in the cigar stores; unless your local cigar store is in France. The brand was created in 1973 by Cubatobaco for the French distributor Keita. The brand’s initial lineup had five vitolas, two of which are still in production; the Coronas and the Imperiales. The 2011 regional edition series though came to bring a breath of life in the brand, with two new vitolas, the only additions in the brands portfolio since its launch. One of these two vitolas is the Quai d’Orsay Superior, a classic robusto that was released for Pacific Cigar and the Asia Pacific region and it is the cigar I will be smoking today.
Although I wouldn’t call it “ugly” the Superior does not look the best, as it has a few flaws in its appearance. The wrapper is rough, with plenty of veins and a few green spots. The bunch is normal, but inconsistent, with some looser spots on both ends of the cigar. The triple car is rounded and sloppy, but there is plenty of floral aromas present on the foot of the cigar. The prelight draw is also loose. Time to light it up…