Robaina's plantation

Tuesday 14 July 2015

Partagas Salomones (cigar review) Box Date least 7 years old

                 Monday nights is usually smoke night for me and on this occasion I was packed and ready to smoke something from my travel box but my host was kind enough to hand me a cigar upon my arrival at his place. He is quite the aficionado with a walk-in humidor containing more stock than some of the stores I've entered here in Toronto and certainly a better stock of older stuff that's way better than any store in Cuba (except maybe the warehouse). He doesn't even know what he has and this was one of those times that he was moving some stuff around and found these 2 sticks in some corner of his humidor. Lucky for me he was in a generous mood last night and I got to reminisce on what the Partagas Salomones used to taste like. I don't have a box date for this cigar, they were not in any box when they were found. If I had to guess by it's taste, I would say about 7-8 years, around the time this cigar changed. It used to be a powerhouse of a smoke with lots of flavour but for the last few years it's been toned down to something very mellow and easy to smoke....something that's been going on with just about all of the Partagas cigars in my opinion.
                  The Salomon weighs in at 57 x 184 (7.2") and is known as a Double Perfecto. They come in a Dress Box of 10 cigars since 2008 and at some point have come with a La Casa del Habano band as well as the standard band (probably around the time of the change). The cigar I smoked only had the standard Partagas band, meaning that it was at least 7 years old.
                   This cigar was as hard as a rock, I mean really hard. It would be a miracle if I could draw from this cigar. The slightly dark wrapper was a little bumpy and mottled. The pre-light draw was all wood. Once lit the draw was a bit firm but smokable, I picked up bitter chocolate and burnt coffee bean flavours with a hint of wood....already completely different from a more current Salomon. I couldn't tell which way the burn was going to go. From this beginning I would have to say that this was a medium bodied cigar venturing towards the strong. These were the Salomones that I remembered from years ago.
                   Wood began to take over at the first inch and the burn was slightly off. The draw maintained it's firmness. The burn was still slightly off passing the first inch but right after that it straightened itself out. I now tasted chocolate and wood and it was definitely between medium to strong bodied. Past the second inch and the ash was still hanging on until it finally fell on it's own at about the 2 1/2" mark. The burn was a little off but I decided to leave it to see if it would fix itself again. Nearing the halfway mark and this cigar was now overwhelmingly earthy with woody undertones. The burn wasn't going to fix itself so I touched it up with my torch. It was getting stronger. It seemed to be burning a bit hot due to the firmness and I had to hold back on the frequency of my draws but was afraid of it going out.
                   Into the 3rd quarter of the cigar and it's all earth now, I can't taste anything else. It's now a strong cigar that's becoming a little difficult to could have used a little more age (wow). On the last quarter and the burn is way off, the cigar was going out, I had to do a touch-up and relight. The firmness added to the bitter taste nearing the end of this smoke and I had to finally give it up.
                    I was extremely happy to have been given this opportunity to try this cigar. It had been a long time since I've had one of these (like this) and even when I did, so many years ago, it was only on a couple of occasions. In my opinion, the new Salomones don't hold a candle to the older ones. I believe that they've toned down this cigar and others to make them more appealing to the masses. However, the true aficionado is the one who suffers because of If you can ever get a hold of a pre-2008 box of these, get it.

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