Robaina's plantation

Monday 18 June 2012

Bolivar Gold Medal (cigar review)

            I bought this box of Gold Medals dated Oct.2009 in February of this year from the Partagas store in Havana, Cuba. For those of you who don't know, this cigar is 42 x 165 (6 1/2") which makes it a Lonsdale. It's a pre-revolution release that was discontinued in 1992. There was a special release in 2004 but it wasn't until 2007 that it was reinstated. It was discontinued again in 2011. Many cigar smokers I know are unhappy about that and hope it's just a marketing trick.
             This particular box was a little odd, the wrappers were dark. Usually the wrappers on this cigar are on the lighter side. This cigar was almost veinless with a well constructed cap, hard to the touch and with very little give. It was a beautiful night for a smoke and I was going to enjoy this one. I've had two from this box already and given one away over the past few months.
             Once lit I tasted coffee with a hint of earth. A full-bodied smoke which was now giving me light chocolate notes. The burn started perfect but by the 1/4 mark it was a bit off. I drank a 23 year old Zacapa Rum which went well with this smoke. The ash fell on it's own at the 1/4 mark. It was still a full-bodied smoke that was much earthier now. The cigars from this box are totally different than any of the others I've tried through the years. Usually this would be a very mellow, mild smoke but not this one. The dark wrapper makes a huge difference with this stick. This cigar, like the others I smoked from this box, had an excellent draw. Now picking up hints of cedar and the burn was slightly off. Good smoke, no maduro flavours, mellowing a bit at the 1/2 way mark.
              Once past the 1/2 way mark it began to pick up strength. The burn began to straighten out and I was beginning to pick up the earthiness again. Last 1/3 was stronger with flavours of earth and wood. It was burning hotter through the middle on the last 1/4 so I did a major touch up. Once past the last 1/4 the cigar started to turn on me so I put it down.
              Good smoke, could use a little age. I'm sure most people would prefer this one with it's dark wrapper and fuller flavours but I prefer the lighter, milder ones. That doesn't mean that this is a bad smoke but it doesn't even taste like a Gold Medal. I have a friend who has a box of the usual lighter ones and I'm going to trade with him. Otherwise this is a classic smoke.

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