October 1, 2012

Cigar Review: Partagás Serie E No. 2


Partagás
Some would celebrate the birth of their child with a cigar bearing the name  "It's a Girl, or It's a Boy," but I decided to smoke a cigar that was gifted to me for the birth, and also a cigar I have been eager to try since I first read about it. Since the release of this cigar I have struggled in finding them, but just recently a man who has been to Havana gifted me with one. I am not sure if demand is very high for the cigars, or production have been very limited, but this cigar has been particularly tough to find while remaining in the United States. The Serie E No. 2 was the talk of the town when released last year by Habanos S.A., and since then I have heard nothing but praise about the cigar. Some have phrased the cigar as a larger Serie D No. 4, and that is great, but as long as it continues with the wonderful flavors of the Partagás bran, I have no worries. Partagás is one of the more well known brands for Habanos S.A., and it encompasses some of those most famous cigars in certain vitolas, such as the Lusitania, 8-9-8 and Serie D No. 4. The brand has always been known to have a decent strength level while producing tons of flavors. With that being said, let us see if the Serie E No. 2 does that.  


Released in 2011 as a new addition to the Partagás brand, the Serie E No. 2, is a cigar that you can say attracts modern day smokers. Recently we have been seeing that Habanos S.A. has been releasing newer cigar vitolas to the market that are more attractive to smokers, and halting production on older vitolas. The new smokes share one thing in common, and that is that they have larger ring gauges than older production cigars. There were actually two new releases to the Partagás brand, and they were categorized as a Petit Robusto, and a Robusto Extra. The Serie E No. 2 is the Robusto Extra vitola, and it measures 5.5” with a 54 ring gauge. Myself and others have looked at it as a larger Serie D No. 4, and if that is the case I am sure it will be as flavorful and enjoyable, just a longer smoke.

Like all cigars coming out of Cuba, the cigar is a Cuban puro, and this particular smoke is rolled in the Partagás Factory in downtown Habana. The cigar features a great triple cap and this particular smoke features a lighter wrapper. I find Habanos cigars to vary in cigar coloring between being dark and light, but they typically show that standard flavor profile.  The wrapper is a little oily, not major, and it has some veins present throughout. It is very firm in hand, and has a lovely coloring that is almost Natural like. There are hints of Colorado coloring with the cigar, but very light. Holding the foot of the cigar to my nose I pick up those great Cuban and Partagás aromas, and there are some light spices, wood, cherry notes, and even some barnyard earthy notes.

Nice Wrapper
The cigar begins by showing some lovely barnyard notes, and it is more woody than it is earthy. There are some bits of coffee present, but very soft and in the background. It is showcasing a lovely spicy flavor profile, and it is not peppery, but more of a semi-sweet Asian Spice flavor profile. There are really none of those stone fruit notes that you get with some other smokes in the brand, but it is showcasing those classic Partagás flavors. With a great flavor profile, the first third is smoking very well, and producing a firm ash. Most Habanos I find smoke very similar in that there is a large burn line with a slightly wavy burn line also. I am of the mind set that if you have a Habanos that has a thin burn line and it is burning perfect at that, it is most likely not a real Cuban. The ash is showing a nice charcoal color to it, and it is producing a good amount of thin smoke. I would say the strength of the cigar is at a level between medium and medium full, and the finish is lovely. 
First
When I get into the second third of the cigar the spicy notes have really become more prominent, and the barnyard flavors have balanced off to show a lot of earth and woody notes. There is a rise in those stone fruit flavors which is wonderful, and they are balanced by a nice coffee bean flavor profile. The flavors are really those classic flavors now, and it is even showing some cocoa notes on the finish. In the second third the cigar is performing just as well as it was in the first third, and you can't ask for anything better than that. The ash is still holding on to the cigar firmly, and with that it is keeping that solid charcoal color. The burn line is still a little off, but nothing major, and the cigar is producing a nice amount of smoke which is good for an occasional ring. I am finding the strength level to remain identical to what it was in the first third, and the finish going into the final third is still very lovely.   
Second
In the final third of the cigar everything is being shown. I am getting a great amount of cocoa notes, and they are playing off of the stone fruit and coffee bean flavors. There is almost this mocha flavor present, and it is finishing like a cigar should. I am getting some great cedar and rich earth flavors  as well, and the finish is that sweet spic flavor profile. As the cigar comes to a close the burn line and strength level are remaining similar to what it has been through the first and second third. That off and dark burn line are remaining constant in this third, and it smokes well all the way down to the nub. The strength level in the final third has remained at that medium to medium-full strength level which it has throughout, and I would smoke this cigar anytime of the day. I would say it is a great cigar for the weekend or during a game. The finish on the cigar is flavorful, and the last draw is cool and pleasant. This is definitely a cigar you want to smoke again after finishing it.
Third
This was a great smoke, and a classic Cuban Partagás. The cigar really captured all those great flavors that you get with a cigar in this brand, and had a little bit of a twist with the larger ring gauge. I would say it is similar in someways to the Serie D No. 4, but there was a sweeter flavor profile to the cigar more present in that cigar. I do believe that if you love the Serie D No. 4 you will enjoy this cigar, and if you wanted a larger format of it, this is your smoke. Overall I found it to showcase a nice flavor profile, great strength, and be constructed fairly well. It was in someways just a larger Serie D No. 4, but it had some uniqueness to it as well. I am a big fan of this line to begin with, so this was just another great cigar in a great brand. I would definitely recommend these to any smoker, and I could pick up a handful or so to have around when I was looking for a little bit of a bigger smoker in the brand. I give it a solid 93, and what a great cigar to have to celebrate the birth of my first child.
Serie E No. 2