Photo provided by Luke of aspiringgentleman.com
Partagas is a very well respected name in the cigar industry. The brand goes back to 1845 when Jaime Partagas sailed from Spain to Cuba and began making cigars. As time went on the name Partagas would gain fame through Ramon Cifuentes and his son, and become one of the most famous brands offered in Cuba. Sadly, though, the Cuban revolution forced the family to flee the island, and restart their art in the Dominican Republic. Years later, they would start the ‘S’ Series, which concentrates on figurados. This particular one is a perfecto shape, coming in at 6×49. It is made with a West African Cameroon wrapper, a Mexican binder, and Dominican filler. The shape is interesting in that it concentrates the smoke more, compressing it all as it flows onto your tongue… But I’ll describe that later.
My initial impression of the cigar was that it was ugly. Well, rugged is more the word, but to those that look for smooth flawless wrappers like Ashton has, it can be described as ugly. There were small veins, and more than just what comes natural to a tobacco leaf. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t the prettiest. Don’t judge a book by its cover, though, since you’ll often be surprised. There were no soft spots, no cracks, splits, or anything that would hint to poor construction. It wasn’t until I removed the band that the wrapper got damaged, and that was more my own impatience. I will warn, however, that the wrapper is more on the thin side, and to be careful about removing the band before it’s really ready to. Later pictures will show some of the reason why.
I held the cigar an inch from my nose to take in its scent, and noticed it was sweet, with some earthiness to it. It smelled like a nice rich tobacco, fertile soil, and pleasant. I cut the cap and took a prelight draw for once, and was able to taste something sweet and woody, reminding me of cedar. Finally I decided to light it, and only needed a single match due to its inherent shape. Initially it has a very tight draw due to the narrow foot, but quickly opened up as the cigar burned on.
The initial taste was mild to medium in body, with some earth, wood, and nuts, finishing with a medium roast coffee flavor. Further into the cigar the coffee flavor comes to the fore, mixed with some nuttiness that reminded me of toasted cashews, the cedar flavor becoming more of a hint and lasting in the finish. There’s a hint of spice, like a mild cinnamon, tingling on the tongue.
Towards the last half there’s some change in the flavors. That cinnamon tingling becomes more like licorice, reminding me of salted licorice candies from Sweden. It isn’t too powerful, more on the mild side of the other flavors that follow. Black coffee follows, finishing with a woody taste and leaving a sweet haylike aftertaste. While the cigar didn’t look the nicest, it was a pleasant smoke. I found that the perfecto shape gave for a very easy and even start with the tapered foot, and the tapered cap concentrated the flavors. All the smoke compressed and was directed to one point on the tongue, so it would hit one spot and ignite those taste buds and eventually get to the others. It was a little surprising since I normally don’t smoke many cigars with tapered caps, and was pleased to pick up on that.
This cigar was gifted to me, but after looking around online I found it selling for anywhere between $102 to $180 for a box of 25. A well stocked tobacconist would probably have it for between $5-7 per cigar, and I don’t think that’s a bad price at all. I got around two hours of enjoyment from this cigar, smoking it slowly and taking my time to enjoy the flavors. The even burn and pleasant flavors are something I’d enjoy again, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to someone to try out. I would suggest a smaller size first, however, only because the cigar can last you a couple hours and then if you like this line of cigars to then buy a larger vitola such as the perfecto.