The 2013 Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2 Friends of Partagas release was part of the overall cigars that were given out during the festival.
The cigar itself is a regular production cigar that has been adorned with a second band.
This specific year was the 20th Anniversario of the Friends of Partagas festival. A group of us headed to Havana for the Festival. Fun times were had by all.
Let’s see how this is progressing….
This is a robustos vitola that comes in at a 50 ring gauge and is 4.9 inches in length.
This is a regular production cigar that is available in both 25 count and 50 count Slide Lid Boxes.
The wrapper is cracked due to my clumsiness however, I hope it will still smoke well.
The wrapper itself is silky smooth. Aromas of cocoa, nutmeg, milk chocolate and cream emanate from the wrapper.
The construction is good. Firm throughout the cigar with a slight give when squeezed. A little concerned that the top of the cigar feels a littler firmer than the rest of the cigar. Will see how this is when it is time to take a draw. The triple cap looks good and the foot is packed.
A gentle twist from my Siglo multi punch and we are ready to roll.
The draw is surprisingly open. Too open for my liking. Very odd.
Initial flavours from the cold draw are: lavender, light cedar and earth.
Time to take this to the flame…
Earthy notes, light cedar, toasted oak, leather and a touch of lavender start us on our adventure. Strength is at a medium level. A brooding flavour profile so far. Textured with some raw edges.
The draw has tightened but still is slightly more open than I like. Hope it doesn’t lead to burn issues. The burn itself is a little wonky and lots of smoke production. The ash is a ‘Dirty’ whitish grey.
The retrohale brings toasted oak, light cedar, earth tones and leather that moves sleekly through the nasal passages.
The after finish is heavy on the palate. Robust layers of toasted oak, light cedar, earth tone, followed by touches of lavender and oolong tea to round out the flavour profile. Lingers on the palate due to the medium strength level.
This is paired with an old bottle of Bowmore 12 that I won a few years ago at annual cigar event. The sherry notes, vanilla, lemon zest and pineapple from the scotch are a good offset to the heavier earth notes, light cedar and toasted oak flavours from the cigar. A nice palate cleanser between draws…
The flavour profile is tempered with the addition of roasted nuts and leather. The lavender is more pronounced. More rounder and approachable now. The density of the flavours have reduced and are more integrated. The strength continues to be at a medium level.
The retrohale is gentler now as roasted nuts, light cedar, lavender and toasted oak move softly through the nasal passages.
The after finish is more enjoyable now. Roasted nuts, toasted oak and light cedar, followed by leather, lavender and earthy notes. The strength allows the flavours to interact on the palate and then gently dissipate. A welcome change in the flavour profile.
The lavender has picked up and combines nicely with the roasted nuts, toasted oak, leather, earth and light cedar. The strength continues to be at a medium level.
The retrohale is more on the softer side as the lavender and roasted nuts lead the way, followed by toasted oak, leather and earth. Very unique and interesting change.
The after finish has been flipped on its head. Lavender, roasted nuts and leather lead the way, followed by toasted oak, earth and light cedar. very interesting as it is rare that the more robust flavours take a back seat to delicate flavours. The toasted oak, earth and light cedar are noticeably toned down.
Not sure to make of this cigar. If anything, it made me ponder before writing my final impressions.
I haven’t experienced this in awhile, where a cigar’s more robust flavours dissipate and make way for the more delicate flavours, despite a medium strength level.
A confusing cigar to say the least. It makes me wish I had a few more samples to try before making an assessment. I guess I will call this a unique experience and move onto the next cigar….