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Partagas Cigars Taste Test

Partagas Serie P No. 2
Reviewed by Wilkey

Partagas Serie P No. 2 Cigar Box of 25 Tonight's smoke was the new Partagas Serie P No.2. This cigar's supple but rustic and veiny wrapper was medium brown with a light tooth. Cap construction was flawless and the filler was well bunched suggesting a good draw. Though not as superficially pretty as the PSD4, the subtle and elegant proportions of the belicosos format lent the stick an air of lithe power. This was a cigar that seemed to say "I'm ready to get serious. Are you?" Indeed I was. So with a snip of my blade and a flick of the flame, the game was afoot.

Light-up was uneventful and the burn started out evenly, revealing a medium-gray ash. The draw was spot-on providing just the right degree of resistance to support a good burn. Wonderful work by skilled torcedors. Initial impressions were of a powerful, spice-laced pepperiness that I've come to associate with Partagas. As the cigar warmed up a bit, the smoke poured forth in hazy billows. I could easily blow smoke rings. Soon, the spiciness was joined by a chorus of rich, leathery tobacco over a base of subtle earthiness and wisps of the most distracting floral overtone. For me, this was the heart of the PSD4-character coming through. Amazingly, this stick only had six months of age from the box code, and it presented like a fairly mature PSD4, but with even more complexity and depth.

Around the end of the first third, I started to notice the decadent, creamy texture of the smoke. Easily medium-full bodied, this cigar was still evolving and now delivering its sweet and true tobacco core with added hints of cocoa and cappuccino. So far, I've simply been stunned by the poise of this young cigar. The draw was still wonderful and the burn continued to be organically straight needing only minor touch-ups. At the beginning of the last third, the leathery and earthy tones intensified but without the slightest harshness. Now the nutty flavours that were in the back ground started to assert themselves. As it approached the nub, a final splash of tanginess and deep pure tobacco sealed the experience.

In sum: While its youth kept it from being flat out magnificent, the power and poise of this cigar bodes well for the effects of age. Already the equal of the PSD4 in character and power, it exceeds it in depth and complexity. This cigar receives my highest recommendation. If you are a fan of Partagas, you deserve to put several boxes down because the future sure looks rosy.

My favorite review of the 3. I think this is because much of the review was focused on the flavours and aromas of the cigar, rather than the complimentary dinner/drink/environment for the cigar. And I also believe it was very accurate description of what I've experienced with the PSP2, which is really what I want from reviews!
Score: 8.5/10
Judged by Adam Carlton

I think the initial description of this cigar is spot on and liked the surety of the statements! The description of time frame, flavors and impression of the cigar flowed very well and combined to form a great experience in my mind .. I could definitely see the comparison to the PDS#4. I felt he knew what he was talking about, especially when qualifying young cigars usually do not have such qualities and knowing the difference. Great review ...
Score: 10/10
Judged by Chris Cacciotti

Now this was a great review. The reviewer got right down to business. While reading it I could almost taste the cigar. Now I want one. :)
Score: 9/10
Judged by Bill Liberman


Partagas Special Reserve Serie D No. 4
Reviewed by Richard whitwell

Partagas Reserva cigars I'd spent a very pleasant weekend camping with the family when I'd smoked some very good cigars - Hemmingway Signatures (great evening starter), Bolivar corona Extra (1998 - hit and miss, but these were good), Punch 2000 DC - excellent , but plain, Trinidad Reyes (too drunk to appreciate this excellent stick). I'd had a fine meal (baked teriyaki salmon) with good champagne (Heisiecke) and an average red to follow (Australian - all berry and no fineness). I thought it a fine enough evening to try the Partagas I'd heard so much about.

Superb construction, draw and aroma to start. This looked a really fine cigar before lighting though it did have the slightly green edge to the nose.

Lit, it had smooth and creamy smoke with no harshness normally found in a new cigar. Loads of smoke, lovely!

Very much a good Partagas taste - leathery with wood.

The first third was very smooth with excellent flavour and strength - no great complexity.

The second third was more flavour but, still of the same ilk. Very smooth, wonderful draw and pleasure. So much so that I had to ditch the rather half arsed Australia wine for something more akin to the strength/flavour - Laphraoig malt with a little water - a perfect match in my opinion.

The last third was even more flavour and power, very like many of the Serie D No4 I've had in the past, but without any back edge to it and no harshness at all. I put it out in the last half inch.

It took an hour to smoke and was a very fine cigar with no exceptions.

I'd only smoke cigars of this calibre after a good meal and in a pleasing situation (in summer, in the garden watching the bats, no interruptions!) - they are too good to waste on ad-hoc whims.

Given the rarity of these, I'm tempted to buy as many as possible based on 1 stick. They are that good. I don' t smoke that much, but like to enjoy what I do smoke (it's a luxury item, why bother with average stuff?).

To draw comparisons, I'd say that it was very much classic Partagas. Now, I've not smoked any real classics from the Davidoff/Dunhill selection nor anything pre 1996, but to give you an idea of my tastes, this was up there with the Ramon Allones Gigantes (2000), R&J Robusto, Partagas Corona 1996, Cohiba Robusto, Any Cohiba Siglo III or IV(!), Serie A 1996/1998 and recent Trinidads (2004 superb sticks buy them now!) and can't recommend them enough.

Smoke and enjoy.

Perhaps the introduction in this review could of been left out, right? Is this a cigar review or an Australian wine review? Much of this entry was a bit wordy for me (with the bats and the salmon and all) and did not make me feel one way or the other about the cigar itself.
Score: 5/10
Judged by: Greg Bos

This review lacked any sustained description of flavour other than 'excellent.' The comparisons are not much help, except to say that it is a high-quality smoke. More treatment of flavors would really help.
Score: 5/10
judged by: John Drabinski

I enjoyed this review, great description of this wonderful cigar! I have smoked a few of these, and his tasting was right on. I especially like his comparison to other cigars as a good guide.
Score: 9/10
Reviewed by Joe Mazloom


Partagas Lusitanias
Reviewed by Rick Pastor

Partagas Lusitanias cigar box of 25 The real danger in exposing yourself to the pleasures of smoking fine cigars is the potential for disappointment. Let me explain:

Cigars are like wine and other organic products made by hand. When they are wonderful, the memory sticks. But there are occasions when they disappoint. Several times over the years I've saved a special cigar for just the right occasion, only to fire it up and find it plugged or bitter. I imagine wine connoisseurs endure the same risks in order to find their perfect pleasure.

These were the thoughts going through my mind as I was packing my travel humidor for my upcoming trip to Alaska. I was looking at the Partagas Lustitania that had been sitting there waiting for its perfect time. It was a gift from my good friend, Bob, who got it in London from Smokeymo—I had given Bob my best information on where to find cigars on his trip, and he was quite pleased with what he found there. I decided to bring the Lucy along just in case I had something worth celebrating. And since I was going with Bob, we could discuss the finer points of the leaf when the time came.

"That's the Volkswagen hole over there," our guide, Jerry waved his left hand as we hustled up the river, his Custom Weld jet boat fully up "on step" dodging submerged rocks and zigzagging along the skinny water. The level was dropping and the channel was just about gone. "It's called the Volkswagen hole because there's a rock in there as big as a Volkswagen. It's plated with aluminum, so many boats have hit it."

We're on the Deshka river, a freshwater stream that feeds into the Susitna River about 90 miles northwest of Anchorage. It's early June and the king salmon run is off to a slow start but it's supposed to be picking up. All along the way we're seeing swirls which means the fish are in the river and heading upstream. "Love to see those fish rolling," Jerry tells us, "it means they're finally here. We should do well."

It seems that all of southeast Alaska has been looking forward to the first big salmon run of the year. When we left the boat landing at 4:30 in the morning it looked like a fishing tournament was kicking off. About every kind of boat you could imagine was in the water—inflatables, john boats, standard aluminum fishing boats, and bigger boats with enclosed cabins. The one thing they had in common was the jet power—outboards and inboards with jet drives. Maybe one or two boats had a prop drive. There were a few airboats, too—mostly flat-bottomed craft with a Chevy 350 driving an airplane propeller; some with an enclosed cabin, some without. The only thing missing was anything made of fiberglass.

The Susitna is a large glacial runoff river with white, chalky concrete-mix water courtesy of the ground-up rocks the ice had been working on for the last couple of eons. The salmon come up from the ocean and find their way up to the freshwater streams that feed into the Susitna, sometimes resting at the transition point to flush their gills out and get ready for the final upstream spawning run. That explained why the mouth of the Deshka looked like a marina—boat upon boat upon boat—maybe fifty, maybe a hundred of them, all anchored in neat lines to the point you could practically walk from shore to shore.

"Can you imagine how many nice fish are going to be lost in those anchor ropes?" Jerry just shook his head. They were going to catch fish all right, but what a mess. I was considering the idea that here we were in Alaska to get away from it all in the wilderness, and this is the last thing I expected to see.

We were passing a bunch of spots Jerry knew to be productive, but most of them had campers and boats already there. It wasn't even 5:00 in the morning, but spots were being claimed. It was all local terminology loosely attached to places along the river. There was the Passin' Hole, the Twilight Hole, the Glory Hole, the Volkswagen Hole. We found a spot at the Walkin' Hole, got the boat secured, and cracked the Thermos open and poured some coffee. The river opens for fishing at 6:00 and closes at 11:00 at night, so we had a good hour to kill.

"The reason all these people are here," Jerry explained, "is this is the first time ever that the state of Alaska announced in advance that you could use eggs for bait. Normally, they won't let you use eggs until they get a good idea of how the run is going, and they make the announcement on the fly, so people don't get to plan on it. We had such a good run last year that they announced well ahead of time that you could use eggs starting on Saturday. That's brought everybody and his brother out here."

After having beaten the water to death the day before with a tackle box full of artificials and not catching anything, my fishing buddy Bob and I were ready for a little help. It's tough to travel 3,000 miles on a "trip of a lifetime" and spend the first day skunked. But it happened, and we were about to switch over to salmon eggs, and it was a whole new day.

The rules were pretty straight forward: You could take one king salmon a day. Once you had your keeper fish, you couldn't fish any more for kings. Any fish 20" or under was a jack and you could take all of those you wanted. You could catch and release as long as you wanted as long as you didn't take a fish out of the water, and you didn't hurt a fish. If the fish bleeds, which is a real risk when you're fishing with eggs because they could swallow the hook, then it's your fish. As nonresidents, Bob and I had paid $30 for a 7-day fishing license and another $30 for a 7-day king salmon stamp. We were seriously hoping that we didn't catch a 21" fish that bled at 6:05 AM.

Coming up on 6:00 and the temperature was struggling to get to the mid fifties. We put on hip boots and rigged up the rods. We were using medium weight spinning rods rigged with 20 lb. mono tied to a snap swivel. An 8" snelled hook with a loop knot went on the snap along with a 1/16 oz bell sinker. Jerry had tied the snell so that you could push the line back through the eye of the hook to form a loop, and once you hooked the spawn, you simply pulled the loop over and snugged it down.

"Cast upstream, keep your rod tip high and feel the weight bouncing along the rocks. Keep the bait on the bottom as you swing the rod downstream. If you feel the hit, then set the hook hard." Jerry gave the final instructions and we headed up and downstream of the anchored boat.

There wasn't much to it. As directed, we cast upstream, and holding the rod tip at about 11:00 you could feel the weight as it bounced through the swift current over the rocky bottom. One pass, then another. And another. A good fifteen minutes passed. Jerry confessed later that it was the longest fifteen minutes he'd ever spent, after all the egg hype and the dismal day before. It ended with a splash in the middle of the river, and Bob's rod bent back in a U-shape under the weight of a charging king. There was no horsing this fish. Reel down, lift up. He made a little progress, but as the fish came closer to the shallows, it turned and ran back down the river. All Bob could do was listen to the drag and hang on to the rod. Ten minutes and about four strong runs later, Jerry had the twenty pounder in the net. Bob shook his right arm and grinned.

"Nice fish." Hooked neatly in the upper lip, Jerry twisted the hook loose and lowered the net. A brief pause, and the fish took off. Time to rebait and start fishing.

Across the river on the other bank, what appeared to be a father and two grown sons were fishing pretty much as we were. Right after Bob hooked up, the older man hooked into a good one and had to walk up and down the stream and around his anchored boat to finally gain some advantage as the fish ran and jumped and basically did what it wanted to. As he got control, he dragged the fish up on the bank and proceeded to kick it over and over again in the head as it flopped around. Finally it laid still.

I asked Jerry what he thought that was all about. "Some guys are here just for the meat. They get their fish and they're happy. That's what they came for.

It was not, however, what we came for. We came for the fishing, not the fish. As I felt a hesitation in the line as it bounced over the rocks, I set the hook lifting the rod sharply over my head. The line pulled back immediately as if I was snagged on the bottom, but then loosened and a big king jumped in the middle of the river. Frantically reeling the slack out of the line as the fish swam toward me, I felt the weight at the end of the line. It turned back into the current and down the stream. The drag was singing loudly and the rod bent—the high musical pitch of the line tight against the guides joined the sound of the drag as the fish pulled and ran, and occasionally let me gain a little ground. I got him into the shallows, but as Jerry approached with the net, he turned and ran back again. Thirty, fifty, seventy yards out. Slowly got him back toward the bank and steered him to the net.

"Pretty close to twenty pounds on this one, too," Jerry said.

I was breathing hard and my shoulder was a bit stiff. How could I be tired after one fish? I held the net as Jerry checked the fish. It was no worse for wear and shot back into the river as soon as the net was lowered. Jerry hooked me up with fresh eggs, and I was back on the water.

Now that the fish were hitting, it was a similar story over and over. A fairly light strike, strong hookset, and then hang on. Occasionally one would throw the hook, and Bob and I each had at least one break off, but generally we were able to win the battle and bring the fish to the net.

"Well, Bud," Jerry said as he looked reached around the eighth king I'd brought in for the day, "I think you've got your fish." The fish was hooked in the lip cleanly just like the others, but just the tiniest bit of ink was coming out of the gill. It was a bleeder.

"You never can tell. Sometimes they get hurt during the fight. But it's a good fish and you did well." I really didn't need to be consoled. It was a good fish, it fought hard and it was all of twenty pounds. What more could I want? Eight good fish and tomorrow was another day.

Jerry put the fish on a stringer and took a fillet knife to slit the gill. Blood poured into the water. "If you can get all the blood out of them right away in the water, they taste a whole lot better." I climbed into the boat and took my hip boots off. It was 9:30, I was in Alaska on a fishing trip, and life was good. There were some chocolate chip cookies stashed somewhere, and I poured some coffee and settled back to watch Bob as he had just set the hook on another jumper.

By the third day, we had the Alaska thing down to a predictable rhythm. Up at 4:00 just before sunrise. Of course, just before sunrise doesn't mean that it's dark, it just means that the light is sort of dim. At home in the Midwest, it was like 8:30 or 8:45 PM—the kind of light that you might be able to finish the last hole of golf in if you were lucky. By 4:30 we had dressed in layers (it was always forty-something degrees in the morning), brushed our teeth, filled the Thermos with coffee and stuffed cookies and brownies into Ziplock bags. Jerry's wife, Sherry, had packed sandwiches, beer and soda in the cooler, so we were prepared for just about anything. We hit the boat launch and took off on the 25 minute commute to the day's work.

Every day was cloudy, but sometimes there was a bit of a break. As the sun came up over the horizon, Mt. McKinley was visible for the first time in the northwest bathed in orange first light. You had to look fast to see it as we came to an opening in the trees along the banks of the Susitna. With the boat pounding away at over 35 miles an hour, I pulled up my camera with the 200 mm lens and tried to keep the mountain in reasonable view. I was hoping at least one shot wasn't blurred.

The run was getting better every day. Up river from us, the state had a weir where they were counting the fish that went through. The first day it was about 400, but we had a couple of reports of 700 the last two days in a row..

Not only were there more fish in the water, it seemed like the fish were getting stronger, too. Maybe they sent some of the weaker ones ahead to scout the territory. We were hooking into twenty-two pound fish that pulled like they were forty, testing the limits of the rather light tackle we were using.

One of my goals going into the trip was to get a king on a fly rod, and I had brought my nine weight and a selection of flies just for the purpose. The first day out, when you could only fish with artificials, I had pretty well gone through my medley of flies without any luck at all. One fly was broken or bitten off—it was a very clean cut in the leader so I naturally assumed a bite—but other than that, nothing. I threw clousers, deceivers, a couple of purple and pink maribou salmon flies—about everything I could think of. We had seen a couple of other fly fishers on the river waving their buggy whips but never saw one catch a fish.

As we began the third day, I was able to hook two very nice fish early on with the spinning rod, so it seemed logical to try the fly rod. I had already decided that I wasn't going to be a purist. This was about getting the fish on, not about tricking the fish. I told Jerry what I wanted to do and he said, fine give it a shot. He had his doubts, though, about whether I could set the hook.

I cut the leader back to the thick part where it seemed about the diameter of 20 lb. test, tied another three feet of 20 lb. mono on. Then, the snap swivel, bell sinker, etc. just like the spinning set up. The problem was, how do you cast a rig like that?

I pulled line off the reel to where I thought there was enough floating in the water to get out about ¾ of the way across the river, maybe 40 to 50 feet. There was just about an inch of fly line past the end guide on my rod and I held it at about two o'clock pinching the line tightly against the rod. As smoothly as I could, I made one big loopy cast and the bait arched out over the water dragging my line up with it almost perfectly. It was a good idea, but it didn't work that smoothly every time. Sometimes the line would tie itself up and jam in the guides; sometimes I would get out of rhythm and throw it short, sometimes the line would wrap around the reel on the way out. But, for me, that's the way it goes with fly casting anyway. I'm always getting line caught on everything. I probably made a good cast once every three tries.

And it took about twenty minutes before I felt the bite, fortunately on one of the more error-free casts. I jerked the rod up in the air over my head as hard as I could and set the hook. I had him!

This wasn't going to be as easy as the spinning rod method. The fish took off down the river like a madman. A couple of fishermen downstream saw it coming and were kind enough to reel in their lines and crawl up on the bank to watch the show. I was well into the backing as the fish pulled hard with the current, and I realized how little progress one makes with a fly reel—that one-to-one relationship between cranks and revolutions wasn't nearly as friendly as a spinning reel. The fish turned and started toward me, and I was reeling away like a fool trying to keep up and not let the line go slack. Luckily he was still on when I regained contact, but now he was running again. And again.

I don't know if the fish ran out of gas before I did, or whether it was a tie, but when he finally hit the net, I was ready to take five. Jerry estimated him at about 14 pounds, and even though he should have been too tired, he swam happily away when set free. I caught my breath and reloaded.

I hooked and brought in two more on the fly rod—the second one was the biggest at about 18 pounds, the third pretty close behind. By then my shoulder was getting tired and sore, but I gave it another couple of casts. One more hit, but I could tell my snap-hookset wasn't as strong as it had been. The fish jumped and pulled and jumped again and spit the hook. Just as well. I reeled in the fly line, slowly, and decided to go back to the spinning gear. But, damn, wasn't that fun!

"That first one was a novelty and fun to watch," my friend Bob told me. "But you were really getting to be pain after a while." I had been called worse. I wound up with seven fish for the day before getting my bleeder, and Bob was doing about the same. By the time he had finished fishing and crawled into the boat, both of us had big, tired smiles on our faces. "It's a bad day to be a fish," Bob said with a laugh.

As we headed back up the river it was clear to me that this was going to be the day to smoke the Lustitania. At the launch we loaded the boat and went back to the camp, and usually the routine in the afternoon was the same: build a fire, grab a few beers out of the cooler and fire up a cigar.

The weather was getting pretty unstable so we moved the picnic table under a large tarp. Bob built the fire and I retrieved the cigars. The double corona looked perfect. Dark brown with a hint of wrinkling in the wrapper, and the foot had split a bit from all its traveling. I clipped the head and toasted the end, and then the proof of the moment. The draw was perfect as I took in a mouthful of wonderful, strong flavors full of spice. I cracked open a beer and sat on the table. "Bob, this is going to be an event. It's going to take a while."

Under the tarp we watched the clouds roll by, and frequently they let go with a pounding downpour that started and stopped suddenly. The camp fire was hot enough to endure the rain, and we were safely dry under the tarp. Sometimes it seemed as if the Lustitania changed along with the weather. First, spicy, and then smooth and mellow. Subtle changes, but it never backed down.

For more than two hours the Lustitania supported the recanting of the day's experience. I was still giddy from fighting the big fish on the fly rod. This was a day to be frozen in time. I don't have the aficionado's vocabulary tied to my palate, so I can't tell you whether the flavors were leather or coffee; they were simply the awesome earthy spice that is unique to fine Havanas—and this one was making its permanent mark on my brain.

I took it down to the nub, to where there was about 5 mm of wrapper left behind the hot coal, and finally I couldn't hold it any longer. I let it go into the birch wood fire, and the Cuban leaf finished its conversion to Alaskan ash.

For me, special cigars are all about the memories. There's a 20 lb. King salmon fighting against my fly rod swimming upstream attached to every thought of the Partagas Lustitania.

Ultimately, memories like that are the mark of a fine cigar.

I thought this was review for a cigar? However, if this was for a Travel magazine - not bad. Although, it didn't make me want this great cigar...it was just ho hum.
Score 3/10
Judged by: Bill Durkin

I truly glad that fishing and smoking Habanos are two of most favorite things. Otherwise I might not have finished reading this review. I am glad I did however, as the author makes a very important point. When the surroundings are right, a good cigar can taste great. When the atmosphere is world class, a cigar like the Lusi makes the experience sublime. Wish I was there
Score 8/10
Judged by: Elliot Blum

All I can say is that this guy has been out in the mountains too long or works for the Alaskan tourist office. Great cigar, bollocks awful review. Chop out all but the last few paras and it would have been ok. I know what he's getting at, I'm sure every cigar smoker does, but would have rather he kept most of it to himself.
Score: 2/10 (got 2 rather than 0, for the last few paras!)
Judged by: Richard Whitwell


Partagas Petit Corona - 1997
Reviewed by Keith Johnson (July 2004)

Partagas Petit Coronas Cigar Box of 25 Perfect construction, with a darker than usual wrapper. The aroma from the pre-light toasting was more earthy and leathery, than smokey. The first few puffs yield a dry, earthy tone. The burn was near perfect from the start and the ash grew to nearly half the length of the cigar before falling off. This cigar produced a dense salt and pepper ash, and a rather notable volume of smoke.

After the first third was smoked, a typical Partagas complexity of flavours presents itself. Hints of floral notes, and some cocoa tones, followed by a very spicy palate. Remaining cool, with a perfect even draw, as the last third of the cigar begins to burn, there are hints of rust, followed by an explosion of a peppery, spicy, woody bouquet. The finish is quite dry and free of any bitterness, almost sweet. A perfect afternoon smoke, or after a light supper.

This reviewer got right down to business , The description from start to finish were very good. I give this review an 8.5
Score: 7/10
Judged by: Jason

If the previous review was to the point this one is positively C-sharp & brief, which, considering the cigar, I thought appropriate (one of my favourites). Perhaps a tad florid with the descriptives, but how else are you going to describe variations in tobacco taste? This is generally what I would want to see on the individual reviews in the on-line shop - keep up the good work.
Reviewed by: Asgard
Score: 8/10

This has to be my favourite. I'm a great fan of the Partagas Petit Corona and this review describes them perfectly. First Class.
Score: 9/10
Judged by: CigarP


Partagas Edicion Limitada Piramide
Reviewed by John Drabinski (October 2003)

So, I've been moving for what seems like weeks. OK, so it has in fact been a few weeks, thus it is technically 'weeks.' I hope that this version of John is an Edicion Limitada John, because this boy is bone tired.

I've decided that my smokes, when I fit them in, should be of the Edicion Limitada variety...you know, to compliment my own sense of Limited Edition John.

This afternoon it was the Partagas Edicion Limitada Piramide. I bought this in Hamilton, Ontario in late June while moving to Massachusetts from Michigan. I selected this particular stick for its superior pre-smoke aesthetic qualities: smooth, shiny, silky wrapper, lots of plume, and a nice heavy, but not lead-ish, feel in the hand. It had been on display at 67% and kept in my humidor at 68%. I will say at the outset that this is a great humidity level for this smoke (I know, though, that humidity for smoking is a very subjective issue...just my take). The cigar looked like tobacco wrapped in a caramel ribbon, a fine medium brown wrapper with no real veins. VERY inviting. I was so smitten with the look that I neither asked the box code/year nor the price upon purchase.

The cigar cut perfectly, spilling that lovely ploom dust on my fingers. Added a magical sense to the pre-smoke ritual; I'm a sucker for such things. The draw was very nice, just a little bit tight, but not so much that you have to purse your lips. I prefer this draw, personally, to a loose draw. The light and burn were very good, with only a few small touch-ups (mostly due to my perfectionist burn requirement...personal quirk). My first draw on this was saturated with anticipation, all due to the prelight, presmoke aesthetics. This cigar was a real invitation.

I let the first two draws set the music selection. I wasn't sure what to make of the first two puffs...very strong and complex collage of flavors, a bit uneven and hard to distinguish. All at once, a bit too much. The cigar looked docile and kind, but was overwhelming upon first draw. With these first two or so puffs, I had that tinge of regret, thinking I'd lit up this fine looking cigar too soon. So I let it sit for a few minutes while I put a collection of dub tracks on the cd player. I figured a mix of many flavors in a cigar called for a complex mix of sounds from King Tubby, Lee 'Scratch' Perry, and other folks.

My return to the cigar quelled my initial tinge of regret. Just that short time sitting evened out the flavors, reminding me that patience helps a good cigar and that one shouldn't fuss over allegations of 'young cigar' after two puffs.

Already on the third and fourth puff, there was a nice blend--though still very distinct--of sweet tobacco (that very Partagas flavor...not sure how to name it), cedar, slightly creamy dark chocolate, and a hint of fresh leafiness. Throughout the first 1/4 of this cigar, the distinct flavors merged closer and began to compliment each other; at the beginning, there was a sense that this cigar had many flavors, but around the 1/4 point, the flavors became akin to a 'team.' None dominated, all complimented.

As the strong tobacco flavor receded a bit (it had been the dominant), the chocolate and cedar took on a more insistent role. Very welcome. By the 1/3 point, my mouth felt like it had been spritzed and coated with creamy dark chocolate...that's a peculiar flavor, and very nice. Dark chocolate flavors tend to be sharp, but this was a mellowed and creamy taste, with lots of cedar notes. The sweet tobacco remained a player in the cluster, but it spent most of the final 3/4 of the smoke in a complimenary position, tweaking the sharpness with the sweet and expanding the creaminess across the palate.

With this expansion of the flavors across the palate, it seemed that the cedar flavors, which had been strong, began to retreat a bit. The same happened with the chocolate. In its place emerged what I at first called a creamy cocoa flavor. I've decided that this was not a new flavor in the smoke, but rather a lovely combining of the cedar and chocolate to form a slightly drier and powdery cocoa-like flavor in the creamy core. This was the highpoint of the cigar for me. Cocoa, in my experience, is a flavor that usually begins a good cigar (I am thinking of the Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona as an exemplary cigar in this regard), but this cigar developed into a creamy cocoa. Very distinct. Cocoa, yes, but not as a thinner chocolate. Cocoa, if this makes sense, as a mellowed cedary dark chocolate. I don't have a good word for this--let me know if one comes to your mind.

This flavor development stayed consistent for a long while. Slowly, after the 1/2 point had passed, distinct hints of caramel began to show up. Just hints. The cigar itself looked like a caramel bar, so part of me wonders if it was my imagination, though the caramel hint was sweet like the tobacco flavor and creamy like the cocoa. Thus, I include that in this review. A very nice hint, one that lay on the fringes of the flavor-body, but lingered very long and prominent on the finish

The last 1/3 of the smoke added some heaviness to the flavors, as the flavor-body took on just a bit of dampness. The final 1/3 introduced a few burn problems, but they were minor. No real sourness at all. The cigar hung in there with excellent taste until I let it go. I may have been able to smoke this 'to the nub,' but I wanted to keep my experience at its peak. As soon as a hint of damp sourness showed up, I retired this cigar.

I smoked this cigar while drinking two Manhattans. Heavy on the sweet vermouth, a bit too much. I'd recommend a straight whiskey with this one, as the sugary vermouth was a bit disconsonant. The flavors are intense and need a drink to smooth the palate. Water was not enough for me. A complex music is good for this very complex cigar. Smoker's choice. I thought my Carribean sounds were good. Aren't they always with a Cuban cigar?

I would rank this a 9.5- on the ******** scale. Short of a perfect ten by design; not sure that this flavor profile is a potential ten for me. But that's personal preference. This cigar made its case well for me to change my preferences. Also, the traces of leafiness were a slight bit of a drawback. I have two more of these in the humidor, fortunately, because this is a fine cigar.

I've smoked a number of the new Cuban smokes. This is not the elite smoke of the Siglo VI, but it is very smokable now and a very lovely cigar. A bit more time in the humidor might smooth out the leafiness, though it was a rather quiet presence. Much more smokeable now than, say, the Romeo y Julieta Edicion Limitada Robusto, which (though tasty) I think has its best days ahead of it. I will also say this: the Partagas Edicion Limitada Piramide is a very 'Cuban' smoke, if you know what I mean. A great cigar, perhaps a perfect one, for introducing a Habanos virgin...they'll have a hard time going back to the DR or Nicaragua, that's for sure.

Alas, this cigar will remain long in my memory for such a bold and smooth manifestation of that 'distinctly Partagas tobacco' flavor. It is lovely and so singular, reminding us at every level--from sight to smell to taste--why cigars from Cuba capture our imagination and desire.

I thought this was a pretty long read. Very detailed. Almost too detailed. It's been a while since I have read a near 'puff by puff' commentary but I had to go back a couple times and figure out which 1/4 or 1/3 point the cigar was at. However I am hoping I can rate this cigar a 9.5 one of these days since mine have not been quite this good.
Score: 8/10
Judged by Pete G

It was nice to read a positive review for a cigar that is not a personal preference of mine. That is the great thing about cigar smoking, what I enjoy, others do not and vise-versa. The review was descriptive, very understandable and well written (though a bit too long for me).
Score: 8/10
Judged by Jody B

This review had me losing interest almost immediately. I wanted to hear something positive about this cigar as the only one I have had was a real let down (as were other's opinions about the remainder from this box). This reviewer must have a chocolate fetish because I have never heard so many references to cocoa about any cigar! Also, I like ambience as well as anyone but it sounds as if the cigar was not the most important aspect of his(?) review. Music, drinks, atmosphere all are important but the main reason to smoke is the cigar. I didn't feel "enticed" enough by this review to want to try another.
Score: 7/10
Judged by Mike W

The Partagas Edicion Limitada Piramide reviewer is very precise and obviously has a chocolate fixation. As I was reading the review I began to remember my own enjoyment the last time I had smoked one of these beautiful cigars. The review while waxing poetic about cocoa was very similar to my own experiences of this fine cigar.
Score: 7/10
Judged by Barry V


Partagas Millennium Salamones
Reviewed by Bob Granata (July 2003)

Well, I could sit and stare at it no longer. The beautiful Partagas Millenium Salamone that a friend generously sent me last week had seen its final day in the humidor. I brewed a cup of freshly roasted Costa Rican coffee and set coordinates for my living room easy chair. I was embarking on what was to be a two hour-long cigar journey.

This cigar is large. It sported a perfecto foot and a closed, pointed tip, similar to a Montecristo #2. The wrapper was a glossy, Colorado maduro with a distinct reddish tinge. There were two nice (and not so prominent) veins, which traversed its length. They added to the rustic character that the wrappers hue suggested.

I clipped the end and sampled its pre-light draw. It drew effortlessly. Maybe excessively so for some, but for me it was perfect. The taste reminded me of freshly baked bread, honey and oatmeal. I now reached for my Blazer, but paused. This cigar deserved a long wooden match. I sparked the Salamone to life and I was immediately rewarded with a delicious mouthful of spicy, creamy smoke. The first half dozen draws on the Salamone bestowed upon me more flavor than some cigars give up during their entire burn.

The flavor profile was definitely in the "Partagas spice" family, but without any brashness or harshness that one would expect from say, a young Serie D #4. My impression was one of aged leaf, but without any reduction in flavor intensity. This cigar was an exercise in tasteful decadence.

The Salamone's aroma was another joy to behold. As I closed my eyes, its sweet captivating essence instantly transported me to a land of guayaberas, salsa music and humid tropical breezes. I found myself waving the cigar under my nose in order that I may better appreciate the scent, something I rarely do.

At the 1/3 point, the spices, aroma and body intensified up to a second level, while retaining all of the cigars previous attributes. A virtual cornucopia of that familiar Partagas flavor, yet still without any harshness.

The cigar burned with a light gray, somewhat flaky ash. I occasionally touched up the cigar to even out the burn, but it never became a chore or tedious. As the cigar and I progressed to the final 1/3, the ash got noticeably darker and that familiar spice flavor (which still remained) took on the added quality of molasses and brown sugar. The smoke now tingled my nostrils and I was aware of a slight buzz.

In conclusion, this cigar was one of the best I have ever had the pleasure of smoking. It never turned harsh or disagreeable in any way. Why can't all cigars be this enjoyable? These cigars are ready to smoke now, yet the potential for long-term aging seems excellent. What else would one expect from this rustic behemoth of such classic heritage?

This was a straight forward and excellent review. His description of this cigar was such that I was smoking it with him. Very detailed tastes and description. Great review.
Rated 8.75/10.
Rated by Frodo

The Salamone's aroma was another joy to behold." Beholding an aroma is a physically impossible accomplishment. Otherwise, the review is vividly descriptive. I am glad I have a Partagas Salamone waiting in my humidor.
Score: 7/10
Reviewed by Van55

Concise, nice flow and well described. Nice comparative references (to the young SD4). Certainly makes me want to smoke a few, which is the ultimate goal of a good review.
Score: 9/10
Reviewed by James R aka John Shaft


Partagas Piramides No. 2 Limited Edition Maduro
Reviewed by Harald de MAILLARD (June 2003)

How can you compete in a foreign language!!! Being French and thinking my english is not that bad, having spent 4 years in Somerset, I assumed my "french thinking taste" put back into english should make me win if anybody understand me !!!

It was one of those evenings, with friends being home for a nice time and a lovely diner. Diners & friends (here in France, for me) have to be the first part of an emotional chemicals reaction to ensure you will enjoy your cigar to the best of what it is.

The meal started with a very simple peach & Italian ham & buffalos mozzarella salad ( Thanks to Jamie Oliver) followed by some Tournedos Rossini, extremely tender piece of beef, on top of which you put some foie gras which you have previously pan fried into a madere sauce, the all thing served with cêpes ( they are wild mushrooms) and fried potatoes ( Fried in duck fat !!!). Get in touch if you fancy the recipe. We had a lovely Pomerol "chateau TAILLEFER" 1996 with it. At that time we were all half way through the diner and paradise was within reach. When the cheese board arrived, we all started to feel very relaxed, so relaxed, that all the bottles of Pomerol went done with the cheese.

It was time to move back to the living room, to seat in a comfortable sofa or armchair - the kinds where you could not get out of it - and to enjoy life. A lovely nut coffee had been served, it was time to open my humidor. Having offered ladies the opportunity to enjoy a bit of Cuban life with very light puros, I started to offer their husbands cigars. I always keep different flavours and types to be certain I shall have a match with most of our guest. When my turn came, I had to delay it for a few minutes and to offer some Cognac ( a wonderful XO from Hennessy, I was born & bred in Cognac...) to the men and Baileys to the ladies. At last, it is my turn, what am I going to smoke with my Cognac ? I am ready to enjoy the rest of the night debating on the banning of smoking in NY or that new Cohiba which we have not seen yet ... All we know, is a very expensive price...

So, About a Magnum 46 ? No. What about this torpedo from Partagas, yes. Figurado-Torpedo as this vitola is known. This cigar is not done anymore today...

I had a few of those for quite some time into my humidor. Since I got married in 1995.A friend of mine working for Hunters & Frankau ( Thanks again H. If you happen to read this) came with some for my wedding day & gifted me with a few. I had great pleasure on the day and over the years, the colour is perfect, the wrapper is nearly free of any veins. The aromas coming, having done the cut, are wonderful, I really enjoy the first few puffs before lighting it, I can feel pepper, gingerbread and mainly hay cutting, It's wonderful. This always reminds me visits of cigars places, which I went to during a business trip in the Dominican Republic. I have not gone to Cuba yet. I just have to close my eyes and I feel like I am back over there, enjoying the view of stocks of leaves and cigars ready to be put in boxes.

Having been married in June 1995. I guess the cigars were probably 1993 or early 1994 ???

The lighting is very easy and the first puff confirms it's quality. The smoke shows the choice for that evening was good. This cigar is medium to very strong, very easy going after diner. This kind of Torpedo has most of the time a quality, which is to give you a good smoke, not acid at all from the start, instead of most cigars, which need to a bit of time to get into a good temperature to produce some steam inside the cylinder of the cigar. It is only at that time that other cigars will not give you acid smoke any more. I have to say that smoking a torpedo is quite something, If you are not use to it. It can really surprise you. Indeed, the power is very strong and spicy, due to the fact it is shape into a bullet with a ring of 2 cm. This, give this cigar plenty of space to develop aromas which are concentrating into 1 cm in your mouth, which is why they are designed into bullet shape. I am into the first third and the burn is excellent as I am also relaxing. That smoke gives you a real treat, thick, spicy and a little bit like black pepper. As I am arriving into the second third, it is maturing and it is starting to be what I will call "a great escape". It goes through your body. You feel you are about to enter the paradise. I know now, this is going to be a cigar I will miss. I have been told it is quite difficult to put your hands on that kind of modules now. I shall have to check your website !!! I am arriving now at the end of the second third, about to start the third one, boy !!! It is now a fireworks starting up a tornado of generosity and power.

If you can put your hand on one, try it. Don't let it go & may the force of the torpedo be with you...

I would give this Torpedo a 9/10 as I always feel, to give 10/10, you have to know what will come next. Which you don't, of course. Therefore, I give it a 10/10.

I hope by now you will have enjoyed reading me and will understand my view of taste of cigars. I would not be able to enjoy one when I am cutting the grass...I have tried. But I guess we all see things differently & this is what's good about taste & critics...

Partagas Petit Corona
Reviewed by David Fulks (May 2003)

Partagas Petit Corona Cigars The construction was excellent. A nice, smooth, almost tan colored wrapper that had no blemishes or wrinkles with a firm but not overpacked feel throughout. The cap was applied in the traditional cuban method but cut a little ragged.

Pre-light draw was a little tight, and stayed that way to the nub. Upon lighting I immediately tasted wood and earth. As it progressed the wood gave way to a stronger earthiness and some spice which continued to build till I nubbed it. I would say that this was medium-strong in strength. The burn was fairly even and did not require any corrections. The ash was VERY dark grey, almost black and tended to drop off fairly easily. The volume of smoke was a little thin but I attribute that to the tight draw. Overall this was a very nice 45 minute to 1 hour smoke.

Partagas Serie D No. 3 Limited Edition 2001
Reviewed by Michael Reed (April 2003)

My wife and I had been planning a vacation to Grand Cayman for about 2 years . We are both avid snorkelers, and wanted to try our new gear in the waters of the Cayman Islands . Snorkeling is one of the true interests my wife and I share to the point of lunacy . My other interests stretch between a good blended scotch and a rich full-bodied cuban cigar . Knowing this a good friend of mind handed me a small cylindrical package before we left making me promise to put it in my traveling humi, and not to open it till I was standing on the shores of Grand Cay . I agreed!

Jorge is a great friend, but his taste in cigars differs from mine especially in regards to wrappers . I enjoy an EMS wrapper, and he swears by his maduro, "One day I'm going to slip you a maduro, and it will be the best smoke you've ever had . " "One day", . . . "Right Jorge" . I never acquired a taste for the darker wrapper . I t j ust seemed to take something away from the experience, but that's only one smoker's opinion . When I left the states I knew not what was in the package, nor the experience I was in for .

The snorkeling was great! We hit 3 of the 10 spots we wanted to dive on the first day . And, long about afternoon we were feeling it . We climbed out of the water, and barely up on shore just as the light gave its first hint of starting to fade . We were a few feet from a small outside café, and the roasty aroma of Cubita filled the air . My wife got a seat and ordered while I walked down the street to the hotel . There was no way a moment like this was going to be wasted without a good cigar . When I open the box the first thing I saw was Jorge's gift . I grabbed it, and headed back to the café to join my wife .

"Whatcha got?", "That smoke Jorge gave me when we left . " . I opened the package to reveal a beautifully constructed Partagas Serie D No . 3 Edicion Limitada 2001 . The wrapper was a rich dark chocolate brown with an oily sheen that reminded me of the way the light dances off newly roasted coffee beans . In fact you could almost smell the chocolate in the smoke just by looking at it . Surely...not a maduro! Somewhere in the back of my mind Jorge was sitting back in his old green, paint peeling, splintery Adirondack chair with a grin that showed off all of his 3129 teeth . The prelight aroma was earthy with a spicy/chocolate nose . I looked up, the sun was beginning her decent, and this created a wonderfully calming effect . As I looked back at the smoke I noticed the cap was perfectly uniformed with two wraps that blended into the body of the cigar as if they had always been there . The cap cut clean and smooth . I sparked my Dunhill to the foot and began to bring this masterpiece to life . It took time for the cigar to accept the burn, but when it did it glowed in an even uniform fashion . And, the flavors given off at the initial lighting made me worry that there might be nothing left when I finally got around to the smoking .

I try not to place too much importance on the first puff, but a rich, heavy leather and spice blanket laid itself across my tongue and palate, and dared a part of me to hold its essences as long as possible . When I released the smoke it was wonderfully thick, and seemed to hang in the space above me for a moment before a warm breeze escorted it out to sea . The draw was as perfect as the moment with just a hint of resistance . As the smoke moved on into the second stage about an inch into the cigar a cedary/nutty characteristic began to emerge . I was truly enjoying this smoke... . most probably more than I have ever enjoyed a cigar before . I remember thinking later... . maybe it was an illusion, or the culmination of perfect synchronicity . You know... when events, in this case great events, stack upon them selves and build to a perfect moment . Maybe it was the Caymans, a special moment with my wife, the warm breeze, the smell of Cuban coffee, and the exhaustion of the day that enticed this cigar to be perfect.

For those of you who have smoked Cuban cigars you are aware of that taste that is Cuban spice, and is only found in one place a true Cuban cigar . This smoke had tons of spice that followed through to the finish, which was long and creamy . I sat for a moment after the cigar was finished much like one might lie after a good massage . Moments passed, and I heard my wife say, "Lets go honey" . I stirred my body to life . I picked up the gear, and strolled up the street to the hotel . As I walked I realized how content I was, and the emergence of what my wife refers to as my Cheshire smile . He got me! I didn't see it coming, and I have to admit this was the best smoke I have ever had.

Partagas Lustiania
Reviewed by Nathaniel Fandino (October 2000)

A Flavorful Flagship As an avid cigar aficionado, special occasions have become even more meaningful with the inclusion of a cigar with close friends and relatives. In this particular case, we were celebrating the birth and baptism of my son, Sebastian Augusto (Sebi for short). What better occasion to smoke the Partagas Lusitanias I had received from C.GARS Ltd was the thought that went through my mind. After dinner of garden salad, Angus Roast Beef, paella and ratatouille, my friends and I were seated around the lanai enjoying the warm, tropical, night air. In the corner of the lanai, my favorite, teakwood, lounge chair beckoned. After distributing Cohiba Esplendidos and Romeo Y Julietas Churchill Tubos to the rest, I settled down with my Lusitanias.

Excellent specimens that they were, the garden lights showed off the oily sheen of their smooth, dark colorado wrappers, just a few shades from maduro and veined ever so slightly. Accented by an elegant red and gold cigar band, it felt like a sin to cut it. Satiny and supple to the touch, I made a cut using my double-guillotine cutter and tested the draw. Just the way I prefer it, not too loose with just the correct amount of restraint. Its leathery, earthy aroma, though unlit, whispered promises of more than an hour's reverie. I slowly and carefully toasted the edges and watched the thick swirls of smoke slowly curl upwards through the humid air. More leather and a hint of sweet cocoa foreshadowed its flavor. As I smoked the first third of the grand Lusitania, its smoke generously released subtle, bittersweet chocolate, leather and spice into the air, then onto my tongue. Medium bodied at the start with the merest hint of sweetness at the finish, its flavor lingered on the palate. A perfect draw and an even burn ensured consistency that would last until the end.

The burn stayed very even throughout the second third of the cigar, it's firm ash a musty, brownish gray consistent with the island on which the Lusitania was crafted. So even was the burn, that when the ash fell, the end was almost as straight as when I had first lit the foot. The ash itself, studded with fine tooth, was a testament to the wonderful oiliness of the cigars. Going into the last third, each and every perfect draw, yielded a luxurious mouthful of thick, rich, creamy smoke. Then the flavors exploded. As I closed my eyes, well rounded, extremely full, savory flavors filled my senses. Thereafter, it was all leather, earth and cedar, the combination providing an elegant, most seductive contrast. Gone was the hint of sweet chocolate that predominated the unlit bouquet and in its place was a leathery finish that seemed to last a lifetime. Unlike some of its other cousins in the Partagas line, the Lusitania retained its balance throughout, coming close to, but never becoming overpowering even as its flavors built up to a full crescendo during the last third.

Partagas Lusitania
Reviewed by Andy Marinkovich (October 2000)

What a pleasant surprise to return from my Christmas vacation to find a package from C.GAR Ltd with three Partagas Lusitanias inside of it. I was surprised the reviews weren't being done blind (no labels on the cigars, like we always did at SMOKE) but I wasn't complaining!

Even though I was recovering from a bout with the flu, I decided to start with my reviews. First, I'll say that each of these cigars were stunning in appearance and construction. They were perfectly shaped, box-pressed, and were covered with a dark, oily wrapper that exhibited very few flaws. These are the types of cigar that I get pleasure from just looking at and feeling them (no, I'm not perverse!).

The first Lusitania I smoked, however, turned out to be a problematic smoke. It was plugged! One of the things I hate the most about being a cigar smoker is having to put up with cigars that don't smoke properly. This particular cigar was rolled so tight that I could hardly get a draw. I lit it up anyway, and managed to get it going, but it was hard work. After some plunging with my draw poker, it opened up a bit, but would quickly close back up. I huffed and puffed on this thing, but the tobacco in these cigars is too strong to enjoy smoking it this way. I tried to get something out of it, but my mouth became raw and irritated from the continued puffing, and I had to give up on it just past the halfway mark.

The flavor of this first cigar was difficult to measure given the draw problems. It mostly came off as hot and acrid -- definitely not what a Lusitania should be. The cigar burned relatively straight, but the ash flaked and created a bit of a mess. Overall, a disappointing experience.

(As an aside, I will point out that I recently stopped buying Churchills and Double Coronas for two reasons. One, is that I just don't have the time to really enjoy big cigars these days, and plus I've found that I can get as much enjoyment out of a smaller sized stogie (such as the Bolivar Corona Extra, Punch Punch, or Rafael Gonzales Lonsdale) and pay less money for it. The second reason is that I've found too many draw problems with larger sized Cuban cigars. I purchased a box of Partagas Lusitanias about a year ago and more than half the box were almost unsmokable. (No, they weren't fakes!) I've had similar experiences with Hoyo Double Coronas and Punch Double Coronas, so I decided not to spend the extra money for the big smokes any longer, and stick instead with the medium sizes, where I've found draw problems far less prevalent.)

I tried the second Lusitania a few days later and had better luck with the draw, but it was still tighter than I would like. This cigar was strong, strong, strong from the first puff. I was able to taste some tarry, earthy flavors that also came across a bit hot, which I attribute to the tight draw and the extra huffing that was required to get a mouthful of smoke. This cigar burned evenly and had a semi-solid ash that was much better behaved than the one on the first sample. While I was able to smoke this one down to an inch-and-a-half, it still required more effort than I would have liked. The flavors improved in the second half as the cigar heated up, and delivered some powerfully spicy and earthy notes to my senses. I even had to put this thing down a time or two to ease my spinning head. While better than the first sample, this cigar only hinted at the greatness this cigar is capable of.

I smoked the last cigar three days after that one, and was so happy to find that it drew just perfectly. "Now this is going to be an experience," I thought to myself, and I was right! Like sample #2, this cigar started strong and immediately began to pummel my palate with it's intensely layered flavors of wood, spice, and earth. It had a definite nose-burning bite to it which I attributed to youth, and it definitely hadn't quite reached the kind of flavor balance I have experienced with other Lusitanias. However, don't get me wrong, this smoke rocked my world. As I continued to puff, the complex flavors flourished, creating a cigar nirvana that is not often attainable. While this cigar was powerful, it finessed my palate with a myriad of great flavors, and the complexity kept my palate singing for the entire smoke, which I puffed down to the last tiny nub. While this cigar could have used a bit of additional aging, it showed its greatness in heaps and was a joy to smoke.

One final comment on the Partagas Lusitania: I've had a good number of these fine cigars over the years, and the one thing I always realize after smoking them is that they are extremely powerful. I usually like a good, strong cigar, but these always manage to sit me on my ass for awhile. This is not a cigar to give to a beginner to try, unless they eat nails for breakfast. This is a brash cigar that likes to overpower you. If you let it work its magic and go along for the ride, you are in for an incredible treat. Still, it's a cigar that will be best enjoyed by experienced smokers who like cigars with attitude, power, and tons of great flavor. I just wish that every Lusitania drew as well as the last sample I smoked.

Thank you C.GARS Ltd for this fantastic opportunity, and I hope you find my comments of interest.

Partagas Limited Edition Maduro Piramides
Reviewed by James Dereniowski (April 2001)

The two samples arrived in perfect condition and I must say that these are great looking torpedos. My first impression upon unwrapping them was that I was in for a real treat. The appearance of these is striking. The wrappers are a dark chocolate brown Colorado-Maduro with only minor veins, a nice oily sheen and slight plumage. These were ready to smoke right out of the box. Their texture was silky smooth and consistent without any hard or soft spots when squeezed. One of the samples had a crooked cap but that was the only visible flaw. Settling in to spark up one of these beauties, I noted the pre-light aroma was very subtle, it felt just right resting in my hand. Upon lighting, the smoke volume and draw was satisfying. The initial few puffs on this cigar were truly an unbelievable experience. Not only was there a rich deep maduro flavor of chocolate and herbal notes but there was a very subtle touch of spice. After the first ¼ the flavors mellowed into a cocoa woodiness still with the slight taste of earth and spice. It produced a medium grey ash that was loose, unlike other Cubans I have smoked with the majority of them having a solid, dark grey ash. Half way into this smoke only 30 minutes had passed, much unlike a Montecristo #2 that burn much slower but are the same shape, length and gauge as the Partagas.

The aroma is very nice but not quite as sweet as others I have smoked. Nearing the last ¼ the flavors came on strong, almost a sting of definite cedar hints, but is not offensive in any way and was extremely enjoyable. The finish is strong and complex but unusually short as only an hour had passed since lighting. The second cigar was consistent with the first in every respect, including the seemingly fast burn.

I would recommend any serious cigar smoker to try one of these new Cuban maduros and enjoy this rare experience at least once. I understand that these cigars are available only in very limited quantities and will soon be gone. Although this cigar was truly a treat to smoke their high price and limited availability make them just that, a treat. For those who will not have the opportunity to try one of these I would recommend a Montecristo #2 as they smoke just as well at nearly half the price and are readily available.

I would like to thank C.Gars for the opportunity to participate in their taste test challenge and hope they will continue to provide great cigars and great service to all that enjoy the leaf.

Partagas Serie D No. 4
Reviewed by Shawn Leventhal (November 2000)

I can't tell you all how psyched I was when I opened my mail box and found three beautiful Partagas Serie D No. 4. I definitely don't feel qualified or experienced enough to be doing this, but I welcome the challenge with very open arms and great thanks to Cgars Ltd for giving me the chance. Ok, on with the reviews:

First: After a nice steak dinner, I went to a great cigar lounge with some friends and broke out my first tester. The robusto had a very smooth feel, but not too oily. A nice rich chocolate color, and the construction was very good with some veins being apparent throughout the body. Unfortunately, during shipping most likely, the cap was slightly cracked, which only worsened when I applied my bullet punch cut. This tends to be the cut I like the most, especially with a robusto. I had been enjoying the aroma of the cigar since I received it. It had a great "cuban cigar" scent, that just screamed to be smoked. I took a few pre light draws and noticed a very spicy flavor. To pair with this smoke, I ordered a Glenmorangie 18 on the rocks. Upon lighting, I noticed a slight toughness to the draw, which was a bit disappointing. Not too tough a draw that I felt it was plugged, but enough to notice with each draw. This cigar immediately imparted a very medium to full bodied flavour (spelling for our British friends :) ), with a spiciness that continued throughout the smoke. It went well with the scotch, which was a great treat unto itself, but that's another review. The ash was a dark grey and burned well and mostly even throughout. Towards the middle, I noticed hints of leather with increasing nuttiness towards the end. Overall a good cigar, but not among the best I have smoked.

Second: While I was enjoying my robusto, my friends were smoking churchill sized cigars, so there was ample time for me to light the second. I had a glass of cool water in between, and once my palate seemed cleansed, I took out the second. This one also had a beautiful aroma and great, smooth feel. Very similar if not exactly like the first one, in colour, and apparent veins. This one also had a split cap. The pre-draw again imparted flavours of spice. With this, I decided to go with a cognac, and ordered a snifter of Delamain, Vesper. A great cognac, and went much better with the Partagas then the scotch did. Much to my delight, this one had an easier draw. The same dark grey ash and even burn as the first, but noticed a bit more earthiness as it smoked down. The spiciness was the same. I don't think I mentioned it above, but both cigars had a long finish, and got much stronger as I smoked it. The spiciness definitely stayed on my palate each time.

Third: After dinner with my girlfriend, we went back to the same cigar club I had smoked the other two at (might as well be consistent with setting I figured :) ). This last cigar was much smoother to the touch than the other two, and had a slightly darker chocolate color. There were no veins on this one unlike the other two. The construction was near perfect, and the cap was exceptional. not a single crack or chip. This time I let the waiter cut it with a scissors. Great pre-draw flavors, which imparted the same spiciness as the others, but also had a much sweeter taste, of which I think currant comes closest to describing. Subtle, but very noticable (does that make sense?). I decided to go with an Armangac this time, and ordered a snifter of Busnel. I used a cedar splint to light this one, and the draw was exceptional. By far the best draw of all three. Perhaps it was the cut, perhaps the cigar ( I think the later). This one also proved to have the best combination of flavors. A bit more complex then the other two, it added a nice creamy finish, with hints of cocoa and possibly coffee. The ash of this one was a lighter shade of grey and burned perfectly even. As it smoked, the cigar imparted earthy and wood flavors with undertones of nuttiness. Spicy throughout, but the earthiness and wood became more overpowering towards the end, and about 1.5 inches above the band, became a bit harsh. I put it down shortly after. The Armangac has a great spicy/sweetness that went absolutely wonderful with this cigar. This was hands down the best of the three.

There you have it. I hope I did not make a fool of myself :)

Partagas 898 Varnished
Reviewed by Greg Mcewan (July 2000)

Lit this first of 3 examples up about 7 PM after a long and typically hard day at work. Sitting in my bar of choice with a nice glass of scotch and 3 drops of water. This rich chocolate colored firm to the touch Partagas 898 varnished and I sat at a little out of the way table in the corner. Put some money in the juke box and brought up some fresh Santana. I was getting ready. A pre-light sniff reveals a nice earthy aroma . Capped and lit this puppy..... shows early signs of promise . A lovely earthy flavor and a gentle spice . I like it already. Solid medium body , intoxicating full flavor , plenty of smoke and just the right amount of pull on the draw for my tastes. The bamba drifts through the air like the smoke around my unwinding mind... This is the better part of why I smoke cigars, and drink scotch, and love latin music !

After about a third of the cigar, the pepper starts to kick in and it is complimenting to the spice . I smoked this one right down to about two inches and at that point I had been "out-peppered" and had to bid it a fond farewell. Overall I rate this cigar right up there with some of the tastier Habanos I enjoy. Construction is flawless, burn is likewise and the flavors are outstanding. Full and very rich. While I smoke Partagas Series D# 4's , Presidentes, Shorts, and Lusitanias on a semi regular basis, these will be making their way into the regular rotation .On to the next mission!

Cigar # 2 Back to my favorite watering hole and on to the next Partagas 898: Another beauty that is exactly like the previous model. In other words lovely. My experience is very much the same. Rich dark earthy flavors, spice from heaven and pepper in just the right combination. Whoever blends these is really on the ball and a true craftsman. Another hour of smoking bliss and I'm beginning to regret I left the last example home as I would most likely have just went right on to number 3! Note to self: I am getting far too used to these..... (insert big grin here).

Cigar # 3 Well here I am on my last taste tester cigar and I miss them already. This one I decided to savor on my back deck on a nice sunny Sunday morn. It is a glorious day with little to no wind and the smoke is wafting around me filling the air with thick pungent aroma. A cup of Kona coffee or 3 will see me through this wonderful cigar. It's hard to beat a really fine cigar ,an excellent coffee , my two trusty Labrador retrievers at my feet and the calming view of the short hills from my back yard. This fine Partagas 898 was in no way disappointing following in the footsteps of it's brethren. Good ole Partagas earth ,spice and pepper. Great construction and burn with the dark gray ash holding at fairly steady. I thank C.GARS Ltd for the chance to sit down and truly enjoy these fine cigars. It is an experience I am sure to duplicate in the future as I am now completely sold on this vitola ! Thanks again guys, Greg McEwan

Partagas Lusitania
Reviewed by Joe Gellman

I have hesitated doing a tasting on the Partagas Lusitanias, for some time, now. I thought it was best to review cigars in everyone's price range. What a gaffe on my part. It is 9.30pm, Los Angeles time, October 8th 1999. I feel obligated to harass my friends at C.GARS Ltd and let them know that it is 70 degrees, here on my deck. The sky is clear and, even with the glare of city lights, I can see the stars. Katydids chirp and crickets are a-rubbin away. The sweet aroma of mixed Jasmine wafts by on a soft breeze, over the sides of my deck and here I sit, trying to make accurate tasting notes on a Lucy.

I lit up 15 minutes ago and have been totally enthralled in the delight of the smoke. I finally look up and notice a deep, dark gray ash, perfectly waiting for me to marvel at, on the end of this piece of art (in order to fully appreciate the ongoing permutations of a smoke I am reviewing, I have to wear my reading glasses, being unable to distinguish a cigar from a piece of wood at close distances).

To compound my gracious cigar merchants misery, I must advise that I am nursing the last of my 1924 Coutet a' Barsac (brought over from Paris in 1978, a gift from Pierre Jammet, the then owner of the Bristol Hotel - his father built it in the 20's and it was a splendid place to visit for a month).

Jay Hoggard's vibraphone is pushing out the sounds of Samba Pa Negra, with Grusin plying his talents on the acoustic piano with Dave Valentin blowing ever so gently on his magic flute. As Sammy Figueroa hits a high note at the end of his Cuica solo, I am bought back to reality and the deed of the day.

This cigar is a paradigm of perfection. It is exactly 19.4cm long and 2cm in diameter. Every cigar in my sampling is to this exacting proportion. The color is pretty close to Oscuro as a Cuban gets. It is silky smooth and lustrous with hints of meluza. Parejo is an apt description of this cigar. Very small 'goose bumps' on the leaf leads me to believe this is going to be a very sweet smoke. I am not let down.

The first draw portents a great smoke. The air is filled with sweet aromas. My prelighting taste is sweet and woody, a little nuttiness, also. The cut is without problems and the burn is smooth, from start to finish.

My first impression must be defined as 'awesome', even though that is a rather trite description; sweet, ambered, honey and a hint of a mystery nut. A subtle taste of ripe berries and the smell of the dew on early morning fall leaves comes to mind. I am drawn back to Paris of the 70's, under the vast trees, a strong mist rising from the forest floor in the Bois de Vincennes after a soft rain. It is early October, there, and I now know the only thing which would have made that memory grander would have been to have this cigar, then.

I feel my music is not doing justice to the cigar and quickly replace Hoggard with Faure's Pavane, played by Steve Erquiaga, followed by Faure's Sicilienne..... now I was getting all five senses working; taste, smell, touch, hearing, sight, and the addition of a 'mind trip' worthy of this monument to Cuban cigars (no smug remarks about Peyote, please).

I suspect I could describe the varouis smoking levels of this cigar but, to be perfectly honest, the aromas and taste simply grew to a crescendo on the last possible draw. Nothing marred this smoke.

I was reminded of what Kate Carrington wrote: 'And that subtle fragrance steals, just as a loving, tender hand will sometimes steal in yours, it softly comes through open doors and memory wakes at its command - the scent of that good cigar.' Or perhaps Lord Byron's description (which could have been of this specific cigar): '.... amber, mellow, rich and ripe...'

So many flavors rolled into this cigar make it both difficult and easy to describe. Light. Amber. Honeyed. Subtle woodiness. Fragrant. Floral tones through the nose and off the lips. Sweet. Not a bitter or harsh note to the entire smoke. So very easy to smoke. Such perfect ease of draw. Mouthfuls of pristine tobacco. Dark ash, holding on as the umbilical of a newborn, beckoning for me to partake of subtle wonders yet to come.

This cigar defies everything one had read about tasting. I can only suggest you buy a few and join me in reverie.

The Jasmine glides by, the breeze is afraid to disturb the smoke as it rises from the cigar. I am driven on to the last.

Damn you Cigar Merchants! Why are these so costly!? Oh, I guess this review explains it.

Partagas Lusitania Revisited
Reviewed by Joe Gellman (November 2000)

"Lucy, I'm Home," was a phrase many TV watchers heard, every week, in the 50's. With permission of Desilu Productions, I have to say, "Lusi, I'm home."

I previously described this cigar as the paradigm of perfection. Little did I know that "perfection" could be improved upon.

At 11:30 p.m., on October 25th, 1881, a little known event took place. A baby is born and almost immediately declared dead. An attending physician, Salvador Ruiz, the brother of the father of this tragic occurrence, does not despair of the situation. He approaches the newborn, with cigar in hand, takes a deep draw, and blows the smoke up the nose of the child. Repeating this strange procedure, a few minutes later the baby begins to move...he is not dead.

OK, what does this have to do with my review of the Partagas Lusitanias? Easy. The baby grew to be one of the greatest artists of all times, Pablo Picasso, and the Lusitania is one of the greatest pieces of Cuban art, of all times. So it's a stretch of the imagination to equate the two, but this is my tasting review!

This vitola is classed a Prominentes, and all cigars are 7 5/8 x 49 (for other countries, 194 x 19.45.) and weigh 17.86 gr. In November, 2000, I was fortunate to be privy to the rolling of this vitola by a Grade 9 torcedor. As I stood by his station, I realized this man was an artist. I was about to leave with a few other ASCers when the roller pressed a cigar into my hand.

When we left the factory I immediately lit the cigar. This is where I noticed the improvement on perfection.

The street was noisy, people bustling to places unknown. It was 80 degrees and there was a slight breeze from the East. I know this is a fact because I was told so by one of my fellow travelers. I was so engulfed in the cigar that I didn't pay attention to anything else. This is on the level. The cigar was so phenomenal that all else ceased, for me.

The first draw, to this perfect lighting cigar, was alive with the sweetest flavor I have experienced ... with a cigar. Sweet aroma mixed with woodsy tones were unmistakable, even in a City where sights and smells abound and strike at every sense. The nuttiness I recognized on my initial tasting review was far richer in this fresh-off-the-roller's-table cigar.

I am amazed that this cigar was destined for a cabinet, to be placed on a shelf, to be laid to rest for a few months, and then off to an unknown destination.

I have sampled Lusitanias from several retailers, in several countries. They have been young (2 to 6 months) and aged (over one-year), in dress boxes and in cabinets. While there is a subtle difference between the SPB and the Cabinet, there is a world of difference, all to the plus, between a freshly rolled cigar, just out of the rollers hands, and one which is off the shelf.

So far, all the samples I have tasted have been superb. The one I had in Havana ranks tops, for all time, but that is something you have to experience for yourself, if you are as lucky as I was. Otherwise, you are destined to buy the best from C.GARS Ltd and only hope to travel to the factory and pick up one of the greatest smokes of the greatest vitola, in production.

Partagas Piramides Edicion Limitada
Reviewed by Joe Gellman (October 2001)

On my last trip to Cuba I was amazed to see the first of these cigars come off he production line. We saw the rolling, the boxing, and even got to enter the shipping department to see these cigars being prepared for delivery around the world. At the time, none of the cigars had been on the market. With a bit of luck, our group was able to secure some of the cigars and taste them before the general public. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I even took a great photo of the very first boxes to be packed and, if I am correct, the group was able to be the first to ever smoke these cigars.

The Piramides measures 154 x 21 (6 x 13/16), and is solidly packed. The leaf is the darkest of any the country has produced in ages, a true ˜negro" by Cuban standards. When you open a box there is an insert which says: "The wrapper used for rolling this Habano has been specially selected from the top of the plant and aged two years." When you light the cigar you know this is not just an advertising ploy.

The cigar is a little rough looking, not as smooth as most other great cigars. There are veins which show up, but they are only an aesthetic blemish and do nothing to alter the enjoyment of the smoke.

Although the cigar does not evidence any oils, it is clear, from my tastings over the past year, that age does, indeed, play an important part with this cigar. The first cigar I tried, almost a year ago, was simply not developed sufficiently to enjoy. Six months later I could taste the difference in the cigar and knew it was going to age well; I was not disappointed. Although the wrapper was aged for two years, it was evident that the binder and filler were not. Thus, the need to age the cigar so the internal oils could meld throughout.

The cigar has a matt touch and is supple, and there were no soft spots on any in the box. Before lighting, the wrapper had a slightly sweet taste, and this grew, delightfully, for the entire smoke. On lighting the cigar I immediately tasted the rich, sweet, woody flavors. The cigar opened up just past the base (first third) and was quite robust, but not overly so. About half way through the smoke I noticed a subtle floral aroma and it became slightly earthy. Overall, the cigar was a super smoke.

At no time was there a want for smoke, always drawing smoothly and burning cool. The ash was solid and dark gray, not quite fully burnt, but that was not a hindrance in the smoke. There were perfectly even striations on the ash, and testing it in the ashtray revealed a slightly crunchy feel.

There was one high point to this smoke, when I got to the last few minutes. The tastes blossomed and left me with a good feeling, one of money well spent. The flavors lingered for almost an hour, even after a cup of lousy Colombian coffee.

I look forward to smoking these cigars again, but I want to keep a few to see how they age over the next few years. This is clearly a cigar to have in your humidor. Earlier this year, at a conference in Mexico, we were told that only 30,000 of these cigars were for export. We were never told the exact number made, only that the balance of the 30,000 were for sale only in Cuba. In addition, we were advised that the Edicion Limitadas were so popular that Cuba was going to develop several more, over the years, with each brand.