Thursday, March 20, 2008

Partagas Spanish Rosado Sabroso
Size: 5.88 x 44
Wrapper: Honduran
Filler: Dominican/Mexican/Honduran
Price: $5.95 (retail-single) / $3.40 (internet-box price)

My only previous experience with Partagas was a wretched Partagas Black in August 2005, possibly the worst cigar I've ever smoked. I vowed back then never to give Partagas another chance, even though I've continued to read a lot of good things about this classic brand. I was in a local B&M a few days ago, looking to try something different, and I figured "What the heck?" I risked six dollars on the uniquely named Spanish Rosado. (What I really wanted was the Fuente Sun Grown Double Chateau, but I thought $12 was just obscenely expensive).

This cigar turned out to be a great investment. It had a dark reddish-brown wrapper, with a few veins but no visible blemishes. I sniffed but could not discern any prelight aroma. I was enticed by a unique, almost fruity taste.

After lighting up on my drive home from work, I soon realized this was going to a very sophisticated smoke. The aroma was odd, with a vague scent of fruits--or was it tea? The taste was very dry and dusty, although lightened by occasional draughts of sweetness, medium in body. The finish and aftertaste was heavy and full and slightly bitter, which of course made a great contrast with the sweet fruitiness of the initial taste on each draw.

I didn't want to waste this cigar, so I pulled my car over in Shelby Farms, turned up some blues music on public radio, and spent 15 minutes just savoring the first day of Spring. I have no doubt this cigar will get a second look in the near future--though probably in larger ring gauge.

By the way, General Cigar's website calls the Spanish Rosado "the richest cigar in the world". The name is derived from the spicy cameroon wrapper that is grown exclusively for General Cigar in the San Agustin Valley in Honduras.

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