Friday, February 28, 2014

Partagas 1845
Size: 5.5 x 49 (Robusto)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan
Price: $9

I'm pretty sure this is a leftover cigar from my Las Vegas Big Smoke two years ago.  I can't imagine how else it ended up in my humidor.  I know some people swear by Partagas, and their annual limited-edition Christmas cigars get stalked almost as badly as the Fuente Fuente Opus X and God of Fire.  I've had a couple, but other than one Spanish Rosado I loved, I just haven't seen the appeal.

This cigar, like other Partagas I've tried, was just very meh... It wasn't bad.  It was a just a medium body cigar with no distinguishing characteristics.  This is something I'd smoke if it was handed to me, but I wouldn't buy one. It certainly doesn't hold a candle to many of its lower-priced competitors like Pinar del Rio Sun Grown or 5 Vegas High Primings.

Perdomo Habano Corojo
Size: 6.5 x 54 (Torpedo)
Tobacco: Nicaraguan puro
Price: $9

I've smoked probably 3 or 4 of these over the years, but oddly enough I've never reviewed one.  These are very good cigars, albeit a little pricey, and the construction is flawless like just about every other Perdomo I've ever had (bar the very young fresh-rolled bundles at Cigars International).

I don't normally go for the hyperbole you find on cigar websites, but Tabacalera Perdomo sums up the taste almost perfectly:  a "bold assortment of deep flavors, including earth, almonds, and a sweet, oak-filled spice".

Just reading that description brings vivid memories of the Perdomo Habano I smoked at a cigar lounge in Rome, Georgia one night last year.

This is what you expect from a Nicaraguan puro (although, in truth, I don't know if its technically a puro since the tobacco comes from three different regions:  Esteli, Condega, and Jalapa Valley).  Pairs well with a complex single malt or a rich, thick draft stout.

Something Old, Something New

Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur Legend
Size: 5.25 x 50 ("Challenger")
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican
Wrapper: Havana-seed Connecticut
Price: $7.50

The HdM Excalibur was invented a while back--the 1970's, I believe-- because the public wanted the vintage taste of Hoyo de Monterrey in a milder, more palatable form. Fast-forward 40 years, and now the few cigar smokers left in America are in love with stronger, spicier, more flavorful smokes.  

So, introduced in 2008, the Excalibur Legend is being billed as the full-bodied younger brother of the now-classic mild Excalibur.  You can easily spot the Legend by the red stripe on the band.

I have no idea how one of these offshoots found its way into my humidor, but I'm always game for something new, so I gave it a taste.  Full-bodied is a little exaggerated, in my opinion.  I would say this cigar has hints of spice, medium body, a long finish, but a stub nose.  

It was a good cigar, paired well with a strong bourbon.  Would also do fine with a light scotch like Ardmore. It's very similar, in fact, to the traditional Hoyo de Monterrey.  I suspect General Cigar Co. may have just printed some new bands and slapped them on the same cigar they've been selling for decades.