I’ve been sampling the new additions to the Partagas 1845 line this week. The regular 1845 was released about 2 years ago and I really enjoyed them, I thought it was a solid addition to an already excellent line. This year they’ve come out with two line extensions, the Extra Fuerte and Extra Oscuro. As they’ve recently done with the La Gloria Cubana Serie R Esteli and Black, they’ve earmarked the Extra Fuerte for Brick and Mortar stores and the Extra Oscuro for the Internet and catalog retailers. I’m not sure how I feel about that, by the way. On the one hand, it gives each outlet something special and exclusive, on the other hand, it makes one have to go one place or the other to buy and splits the sale. If you were morally opposed to online shopping, you can’t get one, and if you have no other option than to order online, you miss out on the other. I suppose General Cigar Co. knows what they are doing, or they wouldn’t be so huge. I received samples of each from General Cigar Co. last week and couldn’t wait to smoke them.
So, you all know which cigar I had to smoke first, right? Monday I grabbed an Extra Oscuro and took it for a walk. The Robusto Gordo is 5½ x 52, a very good size for my tastes. It has a Connecticut Habano Oscuro wrapper which is very dark and oily. The purple band looks very nice on this dark wrapper. This reminded one of a bit smoother version of another favorite Partagas, the Black. Back in October of 2011 when I visited the General Cigar Factory, one evening at dinner we were given some unbanded samples and tasting sheets to complete, and I remember one of the cigars had a nice, dark wrapper that I mentioned to Jhonys Diaz, who runs the show for General in the DR, that I thought it was the same wrapper as the Partagas Black and he nodded and winked. I wonder now if those were early blend samples of the 1845 line? Anyway, this cigar had the coffee/cocoa flavors that I so enjoy and had a perfect burn and draw. This is a winner, it’s almost too bad these aren’t available in the brick and mortar stores.
Tuesday evening I thought about smoking something foolish in honor of April Fools Day, but that Partagas Extra Fuerte practically jumped out of the humidor at me. I had no choice but to fire it up. Just about the only similarity between this and the Extra Oscuro is that they use a unique barrel aging process in aging the filler, in the Oscuro it’s the Dominican filler that’s Barrel aged, in the Fuerte it’s the Nicaraguan. I remember seeing this barrel aging when I toured the facility, and I’ve seen it at Drew Estate as well. The wrapper is a high priming Ecuador Habano, and is a nice, dark brown. It’s got an oily sheen and is quite tasty. Again, I enjoyed this one, although I thought that it needed a little more humidor time to really shine. The flavors were maybe a little bolder than the original 1845. This one will be available on your local shops and not online.
The folks at GCC continue to make some very good cigars as far as my palate is concerned. I dig the new La Glorias, CAOs as well as these Partagas. I was poking around one of the coolerdors and came across a sampler from my 2011 visit that had a Benji Menendez Partagas Master Series that I may have to smoke one of these days (along with the other 4 nicely aged cigars that are in there). I have trouble breaking up cool samplers like that for some reason. It’s a disease.
That’s it for now, until the next time,