Partagas Lusitanias 2005 

Ok so it hasn’t been a vintage summer as yet but it has been pretty dry and light evenings and a lack of rain  mean a few things but primarily cigars. So a few days ago Tino, Egon, Mr S and myself met up for a few smokes in the west end and some Lebanese food in the middle. The first smoke was supplied by Tino a Saint Luis Rey Petit Corona they were from a five pack and as this cigar in that packaging was discontinued (don’t get a lover of Cuban cigars onto a rant about the smokes that have been discontinued) in 2009 this was certain to have had at least 4 years age. The smoke was on the mellow but not light side, probably just under medium for strength and medium or just over for richness and flavour, just what you want to get the taste buds firing. A lovely balanced smoke from a size I love, just fits the hand right. After a couple of bottles of wine and some good food at Fairuz, go for the set menu, we went to another pub and managed to grab a table.

Out came Mr S’ big boys and the Mojito’s were ordered. The smokes were Partagas Lusitanias (TBR AGO 2005). Now these are a “proper” size, Double Corona, and are one of the iconic smokes of Cuba. It was rather an omission but much as I love Partagas I had never had a “Lusi” before. The construction and look was lovely, just right. The opening had a lot of class about it, a little Partagas spice and some leather. I just loved the mellow completeness. It was just on the lower side of medium but the quantity of smoke was great and the chat flowed. I often try to think of where on the scale of flavours – from dark espresso and dark chocolate to older leather and tea – a smoke comes and this was definitely at the latter end. Very refined. Almost flawless to a fault. A delicious smoke but, and there doesn’t need to be a “but”, it never quiet built up or got richer. This isn’t so much a criticism as a fact. If I had to rate it is would get a very solid and very enjoyable 90/100. My experience of older or at least middle-aged smokes is not great but this has helped. A cracking evening all round.
Back at home last week and I just had a 40 minute gap after supper and wanted something that would have some richness and a rustic flavoursome edge and frankly that almost always means a Partagas short or what I went for on this occasion – Por Larranaga Petit Corona MLO FEB 2012. It is such a good smoke. Doesn’t look too polished or perfect but just gives loads of rich smoke and a molasses like flavour with a meaty savoury edge too. It was just the job. I also noticed for the the first time a dry spice on the lips when smoking it, almost like a sort of green chilli or wasabi flavour, not too dominant but very interesting. The last smoke on here was after a lunch at Otto’s and it was a small one, a minutos, the same as a Partagas Short, RASCC or Monte 5. The San Cristobal El Principe AME NOV 2012 was a lovely little fire cracker, darker chocolate good smoke, some younger leather and a cracking finish. Not overly strong but nicely punchy for a small size.
The range of cigars out there is great, get smoking!