Picked this one up today, and I can't help but try it out tonight... the physical resemblance to a Cuban Partagás is too similar, and I have to know if the flavor lives up to it.
Cigar: Gran Habano Corojo No. 5 Maduro
Vitola: Imperiales (Gordo; 6” x 60)
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo/San Andres
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Costa Rican, Nicaraguan Jalapa
Rating (out of 10): 9.8
As I mentioned above, the red and gold name band over the black and gold limited edition band lend this cigar a look that closely resembles a Cuban Partagás. The wrapper is a rich, reddish brown Maduro Corojo leaf. The stick is bold and veiny, seamless, with a perfect cap. It is absolutely gleaming with oil.
I'm going to say the construction is flawless, despite one tiny hole at the head, because I'm just going to cut there, anyway, so its presence is a non-issue from the start. From the outside, the cigar feels quite firm, like it's very densely packed, but we'll see how it draws once it's cut.
There's a rich barnyard aroma to this stick, which smells of wood and hay along the barrel, and rich chocolate with a faint muskiness to it at the foot.
The wide ring gauge is perfect for my wide-cut punch, which is exactly what I used to get a perfect cut. The cold draw is just a bit firm, but otherwise draws pretty easily. Initial flavors are somewhere between soft, loamy earth, and sweet, dark chocolate.
Post-light, I get rich cocoa, earth and cedar, and a hint of cracked pepper. In fact, this is exactly what I remember of the Partagás Serie C No. 3 Edición Limitada 2012 that I obtained in Singapore last year. But we've still only just lit this thing, and I don't want to say the two are exactly alike after just the initial draw.
About a quarter-inch in, I'm getting a bit of caramel sweetness with the chocolate and some very faint hints of salt on the finish. Picking up some notes pf peanut, too. Chocolate, caramel, peanuts... It's like smoking a Snickers!
This beauty is continuing to smoke like that Partagás I spent so much money on last year... I'm loving it, but my wallet is cursing up a storm at me.
I'm only halfway through the first third, and I'm already searching for where to get a box of these online.
Burn is a little wavy, but it's even. Nice, white ash, mostly solid with minimal flaking.
As the cigar enters the middle third, I start to pick up some slight notes of dried fig. These pick up and become more and more noticeable as the second third develops.
The ash is still holding together, and the burn is still even.
Ashed it about halfway through, because it was burning cooler and cooler... I was worried it might go out a bit too soon.
There's some subtle baking spice coming in near the end of the second third, kind of an allspice and clove note. This thing just keeps on throwing surprises out there, while maintaining a fairly consistent primary flavor of chocolate and peanut.
“Final Third” means this thing's got to end soon, and I just don't want it to. I should have bought so many more of these. If I could smoke only one cigar for the rest of my life, I'd settle on this one (at least right now). The flavors that keep coming through on this are just... they're as delicious as they are countless. Right now, I'm getting molasses and cherry. I don't know that I've ever experienced such a broad range of flavors!
Bit of oakiness and almond now, with about an inch or so remaining.
And then, some subtle salt and pepper right at the end. Wow, this thing is nice.
I started this thing with thoughts of how similar it was to the Partagás Serie C No. 3 Edición Limitada 2012. I'll still draw that comparison. On the most prevalent part of the flavor profile, the comparison still holds. But when it comes to the nuances of the subtle undertones, I have to say this one is much, much better. I honestly can't believe this thing sells for anything less than $20/stick, never mind less than $7. In fact, the only thing that held this cigar back from a perfect score, is the fact that the aroma is a bit sharp, and does sting the nostrils a bit. But I'm absolutely going to buy a box of these (maybe two!) as soon as I can find a site that carries them and isn't sold out... apparently I'm not alone in my love for these cigars!