E* H*** D* L** D*****
July 7, 2016
Origin : Cuba
Format : Robusto
Size : 124 x 19.84 mm (4 7/8 x 50)
Ring : 50
Box code : ULA Jun14
Price : ~$550 USD / 50 cigars
As of late, I had taken a bit of a break in reviewing some of the vast array of offerings that had recently hit the market. I even went as far as to branch off into some of the supposed finer Dominican and Nicaraguan sticks that were more readily available in my homeland. I had reviewed a Davidoff Chateau Margaux 1986 this past spring—a delightfully orgasmic Cuban smoke – here on Cigar Inspector and thought that there were no further mountains to climb, nor seas to sail; as that smoke was as technically perfect as they come –bar none.
Oh, how I was wrong… DEAD WRONG. I had reviewed the Ramon Allones 225th Anniversary stick here last fall, and proceeded to drain my favorite tobacconist’s stock of every box he could get his hands on. It would appear that I now have a new target in my sights to scarf up—-evil grin—-. Before I get into the meat of the review, I want to disclose that I tried every trick I knew to get this smoke to fail. I tried to light it unevenly, smoke it too fast, smoke it too slow, clip it incorrectly, and even let it douse itself and then relit it multiple times. Nothing I did caused this stick to fail—NOTHING. This is going to be a glowing review. This manufacturer has garnered very little notoriety and respect in our hobby, and I certainly hope that changes. They have earned it in my book.
Read on, and you’ll see why.
Appearance : [rating:5/5]
From the first stick to the 50th, the Ramon Allones Specially Selected was consistent in size, shape, density, appearance and construction. Each delectable morsel was perfectly wrapped and capped. There was no blooming, no discoloration, no noticeable spines and the wrapper seams were flawless with perfect oiling to bind the smoke together.
Construction : [rating:5/5]
The RASS had ZERO construction issues. Burn was consistent with every stick, with no need to correct the burn and ZERO wrapper separation. Lighting was easy with an easily unnoticed extremely slight restricted draw. The stick was of such a perfect density throughout, that enjoyment of the plumes of smoke this stick exuded was just as pleasant at the light as it was at the butt. Many robustos become relatively unsmokeable by the ring, but not this one. Slip off the ring and enjoy it to the nub.
Flavor : [rating:5/5]
Typical earthy and nutty notes persist through all thirds of the smoke, with hints of chocolate/espresso, marzipan, citrus and cedar peeking in and out as the stick burns. Do yourself a favor and take the time to burn this one slowly. It could easily turn into a 60-75 minute smoke even with its smaller vitola, but patience reaps rewards only limited by one’s imagination and one’s willingness to sit back and enjoy the ride. Don’t pair this with anything. Enjoy it on its own and you will get the same notes I did, without THINKING about spitting out bitterness or washing out your palate. You will not need to.
Value : [rating:4.875/5] (4.875)
The price point on this 50-stick cabinet will set you back a little over $10US per cigar (including shipping and exchange rate charges on your credit card). It is somewhat lofty, but when compared to its 225th Anniversary cousin, you still get a LOT more tobacco to enjoy for HALF the price. A no-brainer.
Overall Rating : [rating:5/5]
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever find a technically and aesthetically perfect cigar, much less 2 in one year. Whether you pick up a couple of singles and set them back, or buy the whole box— find them and buy them—PERIOD.
Life is good :O)
E* H*** D* L** D*****
July 31, 2016
@ Mike R Even a stopped clock is right twice a day :O)
I have had some very “lively” conversations with my favorite tobacconist, and I stand by my observation. When he is contacted by most of his customers, the RA line usually isnt the first, or even the fifth thought that comes to their minds. Cohiba, Montecristo, Partagas, Macanudo, Punch and a host of others are lines he has little trouble in moving , while the RA ends up being an afterthought for many. Even I had to have the sticks recommended to me, and even I had gave pause when thinking of paying 8-900$US for a box of 25 of their regional 225th Anniversary Edition for my first foray into their line of fine cigars. Haven’t regretted the decision yet.
When I ask my fellow enthusiasts, I get the obligatory puzzled look on their faces and , of course, ” Ramon who??”, then watch with wry satisfaction at the look on their faces when they actually try one.
Quite frankly, I kind of wish they wouldn’t become a household name, but for entirely selfish reasons. They would have to screw up royally for me to kick one of their smokes out of my humidor— without question.These guys have figured out how to make a WONDERFUL smoke. I would be willing to bet a box of MC Juniors that the reviewer(s) at Cigar Aficianodo had rarely heard of RA’s, much less had them as a regular occupant of their humidor. Of course they rated it #2, because whatever you and I could quibble about aside, the damn smoke EARNED IT.
Be that as it may– RA’s are , in my opinion, a “boutique” cigar that does not deserve to be ( as Brad Goldman so aptly states above) “Underappreciated, underrated and often under the radar…”
Let folks poo-poo them– that just leaves more of them available for ME —evil grin—
July 8, 2016
“This manufacturer has garnered very little notoriety and respect in our hobby…”
Which no doubt explains why Cigar Aficionado Selected it as their #2 Cigar of the Year for 2015.
B*** S****** G******
July 8, 2016
THank you THANK YOU (albiet spoiling the secret) of the RASS.
To think I was alone in thinking–Damn, these are quite tasty Habanos! And a Grrreat value for Puros from Cuba.
Underappreciated, underrated and often under the radar.
For a possible “upscale” RA, consider trying a stick or 2 of the Edicion Limitadas when they are available. As with the RASS, they will NOT disappoint.
Kudos on the review, well done.
July 8, 2016
I couldn’t agree more. I just bought two more boxes as I can’t get enough of these. They really are perfection. The latest Ramon Allones Small Club Coronas are exceptional as well.
July 8, 2016
I concur totally with this review. Every Ram,on Allones I’ve smoked in the last year has been absolutely fabulous. Great smoke that needs to be in everyone’s humidor.
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