The Partagas line was first developed in 1845 in Cuba, a history that suggests any Partagas cigar is going to be a great smoke. Long before Fidel Castro came into power in Cuba, Partagas cigars were hand crafted in Havana under the supervision of Ramon Cifuentes and his father. Ramon Cifuentes was one of the last of the legendary cigar-makers to leave Cuba. He did so in the early 1960s when he discovered Santiago, Dominican Republic and deemed it the ideal place to manufacture the line. Over the next several decades, Partagas streamlined its production, with General Cigar taking over production of the line in 1978 and bringing the non-Cuban tobacco to the American market. The cigar we are featuring this month is a new blend of the original Partagas 1845 and was introduced in April 2012. This new version features a black band with a rotated image (not to be confused with the Black Label) compared to the original red band.
With several cigar masters, including the one and only Benji Menendez, working over a nine-year period to develop this new blend, the result according to Menendez is “one of the most significant blends I have ever been involved in developing.” With a rating of 89 from Cigar Aficionado, we will agree. Stronger and fuller than the previous blend, it features Dominican Piloto Cubano leaves that are blended with Nicaraguan long fillers from three separate growing areas (some of the long-filler leaves were even aged in rum barrels!), a Connecticut Habano Broadleaf binder, and draped in a unique Ecuadorian Habano viso wrapper. This combination will lead to flavors of hearty tobacco notes, sweetness, coffee, pepper, and cedar. Due to the smooth yet robust flavor profile, we recommend a club soda as an accompaniment.
Though tobacco is indigenous to Hispaniola, the tobacco industry in the Dominican Republic existed in the shadow of Cuba’s dominance through the 1960s. When the exodus of Cuban cigar makers began in the wake of the revolution, many decided the Dominican Republic would be ideal for the resumption of their livelihoods. Unrest in Nicaragua in the 1980s fueled the Dominican cigar industry further. The country now makes more than half of the premium cigars imported into the U.S.
The Cibao Valley and the nearby city of Santiago are the center of cigar production in the Dominican Republic. Three main varieties are grown here: the mild and native Olor Dominicano; the intense Piloto Cubano, brought from the Vuelta Abajo of Cuba; and San Vicente, a milder and more acidic Piloto hybrid. Dominican puros were once unheard of as it was widely thought impossible to grow quality wrapper leaf on the island, but new growing techniques are now allowing some exceptional puros to be produced.
Outstanding Values On Top-Rated Cigars
Our purchasing power allows us to offer exceptional reorder values on highly rated
cigars such as Rocky Patel's Decade Torpedo, rated 95 in Cigar Aficionado.