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Cgars

Ramon Allones Cigars Taste Test



Ramon Allones Gigantes
Reviewed by Tony Sasso - December 2005

Cgars

Before I get into this review I must give a big thanks to Smokyballs for this stick. This is always the best type of Christmas present. Now for the review......

As soon as I was handed this stick I noticed the soft and silky rapper. It was lightly glossed with a delicious and aromatic amount of oil. The form was very uniform with an excellent 3 ring cap to top it all off.

I cut the cigar and gave it a taste and dry draw. A tingle on the lips and earthy tone in the mouth let me know that this smoke would be very pleasing.

After a pre-burn and light the first few puffs revealed a gentle creamy vanilla smoke with tones of white pepper. This complex flavour combined within the first inch to reveal an interesting maturity.

By the one inch mark this cigar let out a buttery smooth pecan smoke that was thick and full. Every puff was slick and flavour full, hearty yet not to strong.

Once the 2nd inch was found an excellent whipped caramel heart just poured out of this smoke and drew me right in. Loving, full, sweet and earthy.

By the half way point I noticed the real ISOM nature starting to poke its head out. A peppery spice that was hinted at near the beginning was now showing up in the cigar.

Somewhere around inch 4 stronger wooden notes emerged with a back of nutmeg spice that just really turned up the experience.

Finally rounding the bend a strong heavy soily, meaty and toasty flavour hit me with an "OH YEA" reaction.

Overall I must say that this is an excellent Double Corona. It is like eating desert first and ending with a steak dinner. I would recommend this cigar to anyone who likes an alluring smoke. I just loved this one.

So, there it is. Not every cigar is good. This one was. Thanks again to Smokyballs for this great smoke.

Smokem' if you gotem'


I enjoyed reading the first several paragraphs of this review and thought the reviewer made the cigar sound very flavourful. Then I began thinking that maybe he went a little overboard with the flavour descriptions. And for some reason, the description, "strong heavy soily, meaty and toasty" made me wince. That just doesn't sound good to me. But overall, I think the author did a good job and it does make me want to smoke these.
Score: 8 out of 10
Reviewed by: ScottyJ

I was slightly distracted by the spelling errors, "rapper" and "not TO strong" but this was a good, straight forward no nonsense review. It told me what I wanted to know. An effort was made to describe pre-light and changes as the cigar progressed through the burning cycle. There was less imagery than in the second review but the cigar was described in a fashion that suggested I would like this cigar. I felt I was given enough information to make an informed decision.
Score: 8 out of 10
Reviewed by: Darryl Rose

This was the review that really made me want to try this cigar. The easy and friendly style of writing made me feel comfortable .. as though the writer was comfortable and knowledgeable of the subject. The use of adjectives was not extreme but complimentary .. buttery smooth pecan .. creamy vanilla smoke .. sounds delicious .. like you can almost taste it.
Score: 9 out of 10
Reviewed by: Chris Cacciotti

OVERALL SCORE: 25/30



Ramon Allones Specially Selected
Reviewed by Colin Flynn (July 2003)

Cgars

Appearance and Construction - 12
There was a big splotch under the band, and a messy looking cap. The prelight draw was smooth, and the smell was nice, but the taste was a bit bland.

Flavor - 24
The first draw was strong and easrthy, with a peppery note - very pleasing. Strong notes of pepper appeared early on, and a bit of anise was noticeable.

1" - A sort of dry, blackberry taste was apparent, something altogether new to me, and very pleasing. Notes of leather, and toasty tastes were also present.

1.75" - The pepper taste is starting to show as a trend, and is very tasty, forcefully presenting itself..

2" - Hints of cocoa are present, and will be displayed mildly throughout.

3" - Pepper is once again dominating, with a distinctly tasty and complex aftertaste on the tip of the tongue. The finish displayed very nice notes of dry, nutty flavors. This was a very tasty cigar, and, so far, the tastiest i have had all year.

Smoking Characteristics - 24
Draw is slightly tight at the beginning, making it a bit hard to get a full mouth of smoke. Around 1" the draw loosened up and began producing brilliant mouthfuls of billowing smoke. The burn was a tad flaky, but did not at any time need to be corrected, and stayed even throughout. Ashed at 2.25" and did not ash again for the rest of the burn

Overall Impression - 34
This was an incredibly tasty little cigar, and altough i did not notice any of the floral tones many talk about with this cigar, it was very complex, with wonderful development, and tasty little surprises all along the way. Best cigar i have smoked all year. Absolutely wonderful.

OVERALL SCORE - 94

--- Colin Flynn a.k.a. The Big C IM Screenname - GreenPlastiColin


This was another straight forward review, although a bit lacking in character and detail. Taster covered all the expected points, but it could have had greater depth.
Rated 8/10
Rated by Frodo

I am not a fan of the Cigar Aficionado scoring/tasting method, though it does encourage a thorough analysis and description of the cigar under review. This review is a good example. It is straight-forward and prosaic.
Score: 8/10
Reviewed by Van55

Good, straightforward cigar review. Would have liked a little more prose included (the environment, any drink pairing, etc).
Rating: 8/10
Reviewed by James R aka John Shaft

OVERALL SCORE: 24/30



Ramon Allones Corona
Reviewed by James Turner (March 2002)

Three Ramon Allones Coronas arrived at home on the Saturday before Christmas. When I inspected them they appeared to be in great condition. The wrappers had little or no veins and displayed a mid-dark colour. Each felt solid and well packed.. The aroma was almost choclately. I have a humidor which my father made for me so I rested them with the intention of enjoying them over the holidays.

I must admit that I am a big fan of Montecristos and, with regard to Cubans, I have rarely strayed away from this brand . I had never before tried Ramon Allones so I decided to investigate a little bit of their background. I checked out Julian Holland's "Cigars of the World" 1999 Lorenz Books. It transpires that the "Ramon Allones" was a Spaniard who founded the factory in Havana in 1837. It appears that Allones was the first manufacturer to use the colourful designs and labelling that traditionally appear on Cuban cigar boxes - he used the Spanish Royal Coat of arms. Ramon Allones cigars apparently are the second oldest in production in Cuba and have been made at the Partagas factory since the 1920's.

Before describing my experiences with the cigars I would like to make a possibly controversial point by saying that I am extremely skeptical of my or anyone else's ability to define exactly the smell (aroma) or taste of a particular cigar. Defining smell and taste objectively is, in my view, an impossible task. They are inherently subjective qualities. Sight and touch are less subjective I accept, but the point is that what I may find in a cigar may not be what another taste tester necessarily agrees with. I do not claim to be a connoisseur but I do know what I like. I am also of the view that one's opinion can be as much influenced by the origin and manufacturer of the cigar as by the qualities of the cigar that are apparent upon smoking it. It is not unknown in wine circles for instance for so-called experts to declare average wines as exceptional chiefly because the bottle labels the wine from a high prestige region.

It may be a point that has been raised before but I think that for taste tests to be worthy of the effort that both C.Gars Ltd and the testers put into them, then ought they not be blind tests ? If I know I have a couple of prestige Havanas to enjoy will I not already be convinced of their quality even before I smoke them ? A selection of mystery cigars where the taster is asked to pick a favourite may produce some surprising results. For instance, I have smoked many fine machine rolled cigars that I have enjoyed at certain times in certain places but my experiences show that these are rarely praised by commentators.

Cigar One
I waited until St Stephen's Day ( 26th December 2001 ) to try the first. I was clay pigeon shooting with some friends in a bog in an area near Tankardstown in County Meath , Ireland . It was extremely cold. On reflection I think it was a mistake to smoke the cigar during the shoot. The smell of gun smoke was obviously in the air and this detracted from the aroma. The cigar cut easily and lit gently. The initial draw was smooth and the ash remained attached for a good inch and a half. This is a strong, powerful smoke in my opinion. There was a definite spice flavour over the first half of the cigar but I found that the draw became less relaxed towards the end. Perhaps the cigar was rolled too tightly or the conditions were not suitable - cold weather can affect a cigar's performance in my view. Overall I was slightly disappointed but perhaps for faults on my part rather than the cigar.

Cigar Two
This cigar was enjoyed with friends in a public house ("the West End Bar") in a small town in County Donegal called Ardara on 31st December 2001 . It was a much better experience than the first. I enjoyed the smoke with a few pints of Smithwicks (ale). Again the cigar cut and lit without difficulty. The spice taste was there again and I recalled how the first had really packed a punch. The combustion was not quite as even as the first but that in no way diminished its enjoyment. The draw towards the end was much more free. The aroma overall was pleasantly woody and was complimented completely by the pub's turf fire. My wife Karen loves the smell of cigars but does not smoke. Karen thought this cigar smelt wonderful.

Cigar Three
9th January 2002 in my home town of Belfast . We had just enjoyed a fine Italian dinner and I had ordered a Strega from the bar. This cigar felt slightly more loose than the others but I think that this helped the draw considerably. This time the burn was very even and the silver ash stayed with the cigar for what seemed an impossibly long time. The spice was there and the woody aroma appeared more substantial on this occasion. I had read a previous tasting note on these cigars and the reviewer had mentioned a coffee and cream taste. I just couldn't get that from it but potency definitely increased towards the end. Overall I think the Ramon Allones are excellent cigars. I found them more enjoyable indoors in the evening after dinner. They are not a daily smoke in my view but are more a special occasion cigar. I would recommend them. Many thanks to C.Gars Ltd for allowing me the opportunity to try these great cigars.



Ramon Allones Specially Selected (Revisited)
Reviewed by Joe Gellman (27th November 2000)

Some time ago I did a tasting note on this cigar. I was moderately enthusiastic about the selection I bought from C.GARS Ltd. Over the past several months I have been gifted, have traded, and have bought, other RASS. The following is an updated review of these cigars.

This brand and vitola are some of the best Cuba has to offer. There are, however, differences in almost all aspects of this cigar, depending on where it is bought and how old it is. All cigars were at least 6 months old and one was two-years old. The samples tasted were from C.GARS Ltd, Switzerland, Spain, and Germany. Each cigar was laid to rest at least 60 days before tasting in my humidor. The settings in this particular humidor were 66/66, and I keep my best cigars in it.

The sample from C.GARS Ltd and from Germany were the best of the lot. The ones from C.GARS Ltd were 50 x 4 7/8 and the German, 50 x 5. Each weighed 11g. The German selection was two-years old and C.GARS Ltd's were 8 months old. This vitola was originally produced for Hunters & Frankau, the UK importers, and C.GARS Ltd's source. Not unexpectedly, C.GARS Ltd's selection had the mark of perfection; they were exactly the same gauge, length, and weight.

The German selection was less attractive; none were the exact same shade nor did they all have the same feel or sheen. They were not the silky smoothness I found in C.GARS Ltd's selection yet they were attractive; the German selection was duller. The test between the two, of course, was in the smoking.

Both selections lit well. The draw on the German selection was not as easy as C.GARS Ltd's and I had to relight the cigar twice. In addition, the German selection "ran" after about 5 minutes whereas C.GARS Ltd's burnt evenly to the very end.

I expected a darker ash on the aged German but this was not to be the case. The ash was uneven and had was spottily gray. C.GARS Ltd's was a deep, dark gray and was somewhat powdery in appearance.

Having just returned from Cuba I have to make a somewhat subjective comparison regarding the color of the selection from C.GARS Ltd; the silky, rich, dark, smooth appearance was not unlike some of the most beautiful women I observed in Havana. When asked by a friend, which I liked better, the Cuban women or the Cuban cigars, I was left in a quandary. Frankly, I want/like both, one after the other!

C.GARS Ltd's selection was earthier and had a more pronounced cedar/musky aroma. In fact, the Swiss and Spanish selections lacked the depth of aroma of the others. Only C.GARS Ltd's selection had a woody aroma.

The German, Swiss, and Spanish selections had a subtle spice to them but, C.GARS Ltd's selection had a deeper spiciness, lasted throughout the entire smoke, and was never overpowering. As with my first tasting, C.GARS Ltd's selection had a delightful sweetness the others lacked and carried an almost imperceptible fruity/floral undertone. All the other selections were spotty in this category marking the distinction between the best and the "others." As with my first tasting notes, C.GARS Ltd's was the most well balanced and firm to the very last draw.

As for the Swiss and Spanish selections, I would hesitate to purchase them as they do not represent the best this vitola has to offer. Because of the differences between the German and UK selection, I have to opt for C.GARS Ltd's selection. One ought to be mindful that C.GARS Ltd gets to select the primo cigars from Hunters and, in my opinion, that makes the difference in me decision to buy his.

This cigar remains one of the best to buy and never be out of.



Ramon Allones Specially Selected
Reviewed by Josh Humphreys (October 2000)

I was first introduced to C.GARS Ltd about 3 years ago while living in Wausau, Wisconsin. The first order I placed consisted of a group of various cigars, one of those being the Ramon Allones Specially Selected. Needless to say I was pleased to find 3 of them in my mailbox a few weeks ago. I decided to utilize the knowledge of a great friend in the taste testing process. We had an excellent time enjoying these fine cigars and the comments are somewhat a combination of our tastes.

The construction of these cigars is flawless. They are a medium-dark brown and just slightly box pressed. Very few veins are present. The Specially Selected were in superb shape in terms of firmness. The colorful Ramon Allones band completes the cigar perfectly.

From the initial cut and light, the complexness of this robusto began. The draw was smooth and easy. There seemed to be a hint of spice in the beginning, not too harsh with a very pleasant taste. As this enjoyable cigar was coming to an end, the taste became spicier with hints of coffee and cream. The finale of this beautiful vitola was pleasing to the palate with the continuing and heartier spice taste. The burn was consistently even and produced a nice pewter ash. With the ease of the draw, one would think that the amount of smoke produced would be high. It seemed with these smokes that the output was low but included a nice aroma.

I would recommend these somewhat complex cigars to anyone that might be looking for a short yet powerful smoke. Accompanied by a glass of aged Puerto Rican rum, these smokes were are some of the best and most consistent Cuban's I have smoked. Thanks to C.GARS Ltd for allowing me to partake of these wonderful Ramon Allones Specially Selected.



Ramon Allones Specially Selected
Reviewed by Joe Gellman

For those of you who like to read the last page of a book, first, this is a very special cigar which, in my opinion, rates as close to a perfect 100 as possible.

Forget whatever you might have read about this cigar, you must experience it for yourself. Having smoked many RASS' in the past, I can say, without embarrassment, that the ones C.GARS Ltd sent were the best. I seriously consider it a great error not to order this cigar, if available, from C.GARS Ltd (the ones from other sources pale in comparison).

The cigars were all an exacting 50 x 5, and all weighed 11g. This is the first time an entire box of cigars were dopplegangers of each other. Each cigar looked as if it had been lightly brushed with oil! The sheen was impressive and there was bloom forming on most of the cigars. They were all maduro (not to be confused with what passed as "maduro" from other countries); a deep, rich, brown, almost as dark as any Cuban cigar I have seen. I am sure the resplendence of oils helped to give this appearance.

Each cigar was silky smooth and firm. All caps were typical of the hand of a top torcedor, and I would love to have his chaveta to mount on my wall, in a prominent place. Take a look on page 89 of "Havana Cigars" by Gerard Pere et Fils - my selection of RASS' make his picture look bland by comparison (I also disagree with his tasting notes, as you will see).

The aroma of the cigar, out of the box, is one of cedar notes. The wrapper, likewise, tastes of cedar and musky wood. The cap cut without a problem (my companion smoker, Jenny Green cut hers while I used a punch). From the very first the cigar's flavor was of cedar; this did not diminish at all, throughout the smoke, but was melded with other flavors and aromas.

The cigar started out subtly spicy and developed a stronger spicy flavor, but never was it overpowering. Within the first few minutes one could taste a blithely sweetness and an almost imperceptible fragile vanilla taste.

There was a hint of fruit in the smoke, one which I was unable to identify, but there, nonetheless. The cigar was fresh, full, medium bodied, and held on to its very enticing flavors and aromas to the end.

One marvel of the cigar was how well balanced it was. It was firm to the very last draw, which draw was always easy and cool.

I mention the ash, last, though the lucky smoker of this cigar will notice it at all times. The ash was a very deep gray, almost verging on black. It was firm and had to be removed with some little force. It was solid and crunchy to the touch and showed a perfectly even burn. The ash did not give off any "ashlettes" which generally find a resting place on my shirt, tie, or slacks.

I would be remiss if I did not urge the reader to buy a box. The price is right.



Ramon Allones Specially Selected
Reviewed by Joe Gellman

For those of you who like to read the last page of a book, first, this is a very special cigar which, in my opinion, rates as close to a perfect 100 as possible.

Forget whatever you might have read about this cigar, you must experience it for yourself. Having smoked many RASS' in the past, I can say, without embarrassment, that the ones C.GARS Ltd sent were the best. I seriously consider it a great error not to order this cigar, if available, from C.GARS Ltd (the ones from other sources pale in comparison).

The cigars were all an exacting 50 x 5, and all weighed 11g. This is the first time an entire box of cigars were dopplegangers of each other. Each cigar looked as if it had been lightly brushed with oil! The sheen was impressive and there was bloom forming on most of the cigars. They were all maduro (not to be confused with what passed as "maduro" from other countries); a deep, rich, brown, almost as dark as any Cuban cigar I have seen. I am sure the resplendence of oils helped to give this appearance.

Each cigar was silky smooth and firm. All caps were typical of the hand of a top torcedor, and I would love to have his chaveta to mount on my wall, in a prominent place. Take a look on page 89 of "Havana Cigars" by Gerard Pere et Fils - my selection of RASS' make his picture look bland by comparison (I also disagree with his tasting notes, as you will see).

The aroma of the cigar, out of the box, is one of cedar notes. The wrapper, likewise, tastes of cedar and musky wood. The cap cut without a problem (my companion smoker, Jenny Green cut hers while I used a punch). From the very first the cigar's flavor was of cedar; this did not diminish at all, throughout the smoke, but was melded with other flavors and aromas.

The cigar started out subtly spicy and developed a stronger spicy flavor, but never was it overpowering. Within the first few minutes one could taste a blithely sweetness and an almost imperceptible fragile vanilla taste.

There was a hint of fruit in the smoke, one which I was unable to identify, but there, nonetheless. The cigar was fresh, full, medium bodied, and held on to its very enticing flavors and aromas to the end.

One marvel of the cigar was how well balanced it was. It was firm to the very last draw, which draw was always easy and cool.

I mention the ash, last, though the lucky smoker of this cigar will notice it at all times. The ash was a very deep gray, almost verging on black. It was firm and had to be removed with some little force. It was solid and crunchy to the touch and showed a perfectly even burn. The ash did not give off any "ashlettes" which generally find a resting place on my shirt, tie, or slacks.

I would be remiss if I did not urge the reader to buy a box. The price is right.



Ramon Allones Petit Coronas (Revisited)
Reviewed by Joe Gellman

There are those who swear by this Brand, and anyone who does not agree is in for a fight. I understand.

While I enjoy the Specially Selected, Gigantes, and Coronas for any time of day or year, I have never been especially fond of the Petit Coronas. Well, things change.

To put the cart before the horse (an Americanism), let me say, at the outset, that this was one really fine smoke.

I find that this Brand maintains an earthy, woody taste. By now you are probably aware that these two qualities are among my favourites. I do not think you will be other than very happy with this smoke.

There was not much in the way of aroma when I removed this cigar from its packing, which concerned me, greatly. If you read my first review of this cigar you will most certainly wonder if I am smoking the same brand. While I almost think that the boys at C.GARS Ltd suck out the aroma before shipping cigars in order to foil the Customs agents in their attempt to smell packages for Cubans: Upon a closer look, however, I noticed that this cigar came from a source in Germany, therein lies the vast difference, I believe.

The color of this cigar was Colorado Maduro, with a few green spots in the foot area. The cigar was smooth and firm. It was pleasing to look at as the wrapper was perfectly rolled on all the selections sent for my review. My trusty calipers confirmed this cigar was 129mm by 17mm. I did not think this cigar had much age, from the condition of the wrapper.

The cigar clipped perfectly and lit without hesitation. The first draw of smoke was fresh, woody, and I thought I could sense a slight sweetness in the wrapper. The cigar produced an ample amount of smoke with each draw, surprising me as the feel was rather firm. The ash was whitish-gray and did not flake or separate.

The ash remained firm, straight, and did not separate until it reached 34mm in length. I tested the ash and noted it was crunchy, and not a bit powdery. The wrapper ash was, as noted, rather light in color and the binder much darker. The filler burned a medium gray and I began to speculate if this vitola had more centro fino leaf than centro gordo. There was no bitterness one associates with a strong selection of corona leaf. I think that the selections I had sampled in 1996 were quite inferior to the ones I now had before me, but, to be fair, much less enjoyable than the one from C.GARS selection.

The aromatic, ripe, woody taste did not falter at any point in the smoke. The cigar burned well and did not overheat, at any time. The aroma was very open, woody, yet I still noted a very feint sweetness on my tongue. The cigar produced a generous portion of smoke and perhaps a little too much, leading to a faster burning smoke than I wanted; i.e. I did not want to end this experience too soon.

Through the body of the cigar I was able to note a richer aroma and less subtly taste. I was surprised that this cigar remained so fresh throughout the first 2/3 of its length.

The ash remained solid and the color did not change. I detected a slight acidity mixed with the very earthy tones of this cigar and was pleased with this as it gave a little more depth to my smoke.

Towards the last 50mm the taste developed more of the earthy, woody notes I expected, and the finish was a 'lip burner'.

The last 15 minutes of my smoke was cool, with a tad more acidic taste, yet it never got lost by having any one flavor dominate another.

The aftertaste was rather nice, and lingered over 1/2 hour. I went to C.GARS website and noticed that the price of this vitola was in keeping with what I call a bargain. If I had the available funds, I would have ordered a box to keep for idle days.

I only smoked two of the three sent and will lay down the third for 6 months and review it again at that time. I hope age will mellow the taste and aromas. I would rate the cigar as an 88, and think time will raise this number beyond 90. In giving this cigar a numerical rating I must add to my review of C.GARS selection and rate it a 93+

It is amazing to note what a difference the source of the cigar can make. It is most likely that, insofar as the German Market for Cubans is concerned, this sample was perfection. When compared, however with the poorer selection from 1996 (from Spain) and the giant smoke from the UK, I will opt for C.GARS for this vitola, anytime.

I have said, before, that there is a vast difference in taste among selections from different countries. In an earlier review I had the opportunity to compare and contrast a Partagas Serie D No. 4 from Brazil, Mexico, Switzerland, Germand and the UK. Although each cigar was put together with a magicians hand, the colors, flavours, and aromas vastly differed. If anyone has the opportunity to engage i this type of tasting, it makes for a great evening and allows one to test their palate.

On occasion I get quite rattled when opening a parcel of Cuban cigars; this happens when I smell a distinct aroma and am unable to immediately place it. Well, today I got 'rattled'. It was the end of the day and I really needed a short smoke before dinner, and, since I was working in the office afterwards, for a few hours. I certainly did not want a 'heavy' smoke.

I opened my most recent arrival from C.GARS and there they were, a little cache of three RA Petit Coronas (not usually my favourites). As I gingerly removed one there was a sense of overwhelming nostalgia. What for, I just could not recall. After a few moments I realised that what I had experienced was a gustatory trip back to the days when my wife and I used to pick ripe walnuts from trees abutting our college. What a great trip that was, back to my youth, back when I actually had a full head of hair and my wife had not yet discovered all my faults (there were far too many for her to uncover in the first two years of our marriage!).

For those of you who have not experienced the taste of freshly picked, shucked and devoured walnuts I direct your attention to the RA Petit Corona. Honestly, folks, its aroma and taste, before lighting, is more akin to the taste and aroma of fresh walnuts than anything I have ever experienced (for my secrets to enjoying fresh walnuts, please email me through C.GARS Ltd).

At first, when I wrote this prolegomena to my tasting notes, I thought I was a bit too romantic. But then I remembered that the initial aroma of a cigar is very important. Likewise, the taste of the unlit tobacco is a harbinger of things to come.

Now that my interest was peaked, I took out my trusty measure and determined that this cigar was exactly to specs, 129mm x 16.67mm. In fact, I was now so impressed with this unlit wonder that I pulled out my trusty tome, 'The Havana Cigar' by Del Todesco, to take a look-see at what the archetype was supposed to be. Now, please do not fault me but... I placed the cigar onto the photo of the one in the book and ... the fit was perfect. 'Perfect' is a silly comparison, I know. But, please bear with me, here, I was having an epiphany. The cigar in hand was a doppleganger of the one in the book, down to the uneven tilt of the cap. Now I was really juiced up for the smoke. Not believing what the book's description of this cigar to be correct (don't bother reading it since my descriptions are far more accurate), I went for a match.

True to the aroma, the first taste was of an earthy-nuttiness, but not as pronounced as I would have expected. As I puffed on, I began to sense a slight sweet undertone, quite in keeping with the dark-honeyed colour of the wrapper. The ash was a medium grey with silver accents.

The darn cigar was running, but only the slightest. However, my expectations were too great to allow this very minor detail to despoil my enjoyment.

The ash took on an almost cocoon-like aspect, akin to what I remembered as a kid, watching a caterpillar metamorphosing into a Monarch butterfly. No, I was not on 'shrooms or XTC', I report what I sense!

The ash was firm and the foot of this cigar kept shape quite well. I was enjoying a full, woody-nutty taste without any piquant overtones described by some Nabobs. The aroma was enticing, almost round, not quite floral, yet almost amber in quality. This was a comforting smoke, so far, and I had just finished the first 30mm, only. The ash held, the taste remained mellow and the aroma took on a bit of young leather, never giving up the woodsy-nuttiness.

The draw produced a generous, if not a bit too much, smoke, but that was fine with me. The ash abided... well I guess my emotions caused the ash to fall at 35mm. I want to call flavour pronounced, and be a brother to Rudman, but I simply cannot. The flavours were a generous amount of smoke, the cigar did not burn quickly (again, as some have claimed).

I have to admit that Vahe' Gerard is correct when he assigns acidic tones to this cigar. Likewise, he is right on point when he ascribes 'old-fashioned Havana' to this mighty might. Rolling the smoke in my mouth opens up the acidic tones, should you wish to experience what Vahe' and I guarantee in this cigar. As far as the 'old-fashioned Havana' flavour, I pity those of you readers who have not had the good fortune to smoke the Havanas of the 50's and 60's.

Throughout the body of this cigar the aroma remained rich and towards the head, began to produce a hotter smoke yet, it was not an annoyance to me. The taste did not develop much past the body and I was anticipating a grand finale.

The cap began to reveal a sharpness which I found a little unpleasant, and the smoke began a harsh decline. With less than 45mm to go, I was afraid that this cigar would not hold up to is genesis. Of note is that the ash became darker and less soft in appearance, keeping in time to the change of aroma, flavour and at variance to my initial impressions.

I sat back and finished my smoke, happily finding that, to the end, the cigar produced pleasant changes and did not falter more. In the final analysis I have to admit that I could not smoke past the 18mm.

While this cigar was not a lip burner, it was, indeed a very nice experience, one that I shall repeat every few days.



Ramon allones Petit Coronas
Reviewed by Joe Gellman

On occasion I get quite rattled when opening a parcel of Cuban cigars; this happens when I smell a distinct aroma and am unable to immediately place it. Well, today I got 'rattled'. It was the end of the day and I really needed a short smoke before dinner, and, since I was working in the office afterwards, for a few hours. I certainly did not want a 'heavy' smoke.

I opened my most recent arrival from C.GARS and there they were, a little cache of three RA Petit Coronas (not usually my favourites). As I gingerly removed one there was a sense of overwhelming nostalgia. What for, I just could not recall. After a few moments I realised that what I had experienced was a gustatory trip back to the days when my wife and I used to pick ripe walnuts from trees abutting our college. What a great trip that was, back to my youth, back when I actually had a full head of hair and my wife had not yet discovered all my faults (there were far too many for her to uncover in the first two years of our marriage!).

For those of you who have not experienced the taste of freshly picked, shucked and devoured walnuts I direct your attention to the RA Petit Corona. Honestly, folks, its aroma and taste, before lighting, is more akin to the taste and aroma of fresh walnuts than anything I have ever experienced (for my secrets to enjoying fresh walnuts, please email me through C.GARS Ltd).

At first, when I wrote this prolegomena to my tasting notes, I thought I was a bit too romantic. But then I remembered that the initial aroma of a cigar is very important. Likewise, the taste of the unlit tobacco is a harbinger of things to come.

Now that my interest was peaked, I took out my trusty measure and determined that this cigar was exactly to specs, 129mm x 16.67mm. In fact, I was now so impressed with this unlit wonder that I pulled out my trusty tome, 'The Havana Cigar' by Del Todesco, to take a look-see at what the archetype was supposed to be. Now, please do not fault me but... I placed the cigar onto the photo of the one in the book and ... the fit was perfect. 'Perfect' is a silly comparison, I know. But, please bear with me, here, I was having an epiphany. The cigar in hand was a doppleganger of the one in the book, down to the uneven tilt of the cap. Now I was really juiced up for the smoke. Not believing what the book's description of this cigar to be correct (don't bother reading it since my descriptions are far more accurate), I went for a match.

True to the aroma, the first taste was of an earthy-nuttiness, but not as pronounced as I would have expected. As I puffed on, I began to sense a slight sweet undertone, quite in keeping with the dark-honeyed colour of the wrapper. The ash was a medium grey with silver accents.

The darn cigar was running, but only the slightest. However, my expectations were too great to allow this very minor detail to despoil my enjoyment.

The ash took on an almost cocoon-like aspect, akin to what I remembered as a kid, watching a caterpillar metamorphosing into a Monarch butterfly. No, I was not on 'shrooms or XTC', I report what I sense!

The ash was firm and the foot of this cigar kept shape quite well. I was enjoying a full, woody-nutty taste without any piquant overtones described by some Nabobs. The aroma was enticing, almost round, not quite floral, yet almost amber in quality. This was a comforting smoke, so far, and I had just finished the first 30mm, only. The ash held, the taste remained mellow and the aroma took on a bit of young leather, never giving up the woodsy-nuttiness.

The draw produced a generous, if not a bit too much, smoke, but that was fine with me. The ash abided... well I guess my emotions caused the ash to fall at 35mm. I want to call flavour pronounced, and be a brother to Rudman, but I simply cannot. The flavours were a generous amount of smoke, the cigar did not burn quickly (again, as some have claimed).

I have to admit that Vahe' Gerard is correct when he assigns acidic tones to this cigar. Likewise, he is right on point when he ascribes 'old-fashioned Havana' to this mighty might. Rolling the smoke in my mouth opens up the acidic tones, should you wish to experience what Vahe' and I guarantee in this cigar. As far as the 'old-fashioned Havana' flavour, I pity those of you readers who have not had the good fortune to smoke the Havanas of the 50's and 60's.

Throughout the body of this cigar the aroma remained rich and towards the head, began to produce a hotter smoke yet, it was not an annoyance to me. The taste did not develop much past the body and I was anticipating a grand finale.

The cap began to reveal a sharpness which I found a little unpleasant, and the smoke began a harsh decline. With less than 45mm to go, I was afraid that this cigar would not hold up to is genesis. Of note is that the ash became darker and less soft in appearance, keeping in time to the change of aroma, flavour and at variance to my initial impressions.

I sat back and finished my smoke, happily finding that, to the end, the cigar produced pleasant changes and did not falter more. In the final analysis I have to admit that I could not smoke past the 18mm.

While this cigar was not a lip burner, it was, indeed a very nice experience, one that I shall repeat every few days.

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