So if you haven’t noticed yet I have been a Cuban spree and so it continues. This weekend was a beautiful weekend which allowed for a wonderful amount of time outside enjoying nice wines and great cigars. When one thinks of Cuban cigars there are names that are frequently brought up but what comes to mind for me is a certain vitola. This vitola offers wonderful balance with complex flavors and a great amount of smoking time…. the Double Corona. Double Corona’s are not as popular in the United States and instead of having a cigar like this we go for Churchill’s and Gordo’s. The Double Corona measures 7 5/8″ with a 49 ring gauge and because of the amount of time needed to smoke it, around two and half hours, the flavors and strength of the cigar grow every inch in. The Partagas Lusitnia and the Hoyo de Monterrey are probably the two most well known of the six lines that carry the size but I tend to reach for the two that are in the middle of the road. I have had all six Double Coronas offered by Habanos S.A. and these two always seem to be top notch. I am talking about the Punch Double Corona and the Ramon Allones Gigantes. It was skimming over my latest Cigar Aficionado and seeing the two ratings by these cigar that I decided to review them. These cigars always do well by Cigar Aficionado, actually all the Cuban Double Coronas do, but they never seem to make their final cut. There is a massive amount of speculation/comments/conspiracies by cigar fanatics but I don’t fall into that category. I should clarify that last statement by saying that I am a cigar fanatic but I don’t fall down the rabbit hole with all the other Alice’s out there by chasing the clothed White Rabbit. The size is probably one of my favorite sizes and is one size that I don’t some often because of the size. Both the Ramon Allones and Punch line are one of the oldest in the Habanos portfolio but unlike the Punch line the Ramon Allones portfolio has been cut back dramatically because of lack in demand, fortunately for me they kept three great sizes which are among my favorite.
|Ramon Allones Gigantes|
The Ramon Allones has a beautiful milk chocolate colored wrapper and is fairly silky to touch with very little oils. The aroma is very pleasant with lots of notes present. Their is a good amount of sweet spices that is accompanied by cocoa and nutty flavors. As I light up the cigar it starts off strong like most Ramon Allones cigars do but the flavors balance it very well. There is a plethora of flavors from the get go showing signs of Brazilian nuts, earth and black pepper. The cigar being so large really blends slowly together so that there is not a clear transition between the first third and the second. When I am around the second third range of the cigar I begin to pick up lots of more coffee and cocoa notes with hints of almonds and fruit bread qualities. The cigar by this point has definitely begun to be full in body and I can feel it in my stomach. Entering the final third the flavors of mocha hit you strong with orange zest and slight notes of dark cherries on the finish. The flavors are incredibly exceptional and the burn was lovely the whole way. I had to relight the cigar a couple times throughout but with a cigar this large I am glad it wasn’t burning too fast and hot. A very lovely smoke with a nice cool smoke down to the nub.
|Ramon Allones Gigantes|
Very different but equally enjoyable is the Punch Double Corona. The cigar is packed with wonderful flavors and like the Ramon Allones great body. The wrapper is not as dark as the Ramon Allones but has a brownish red clay color to it. The aroma is of strong tobacco with notes of coffee and dark fruit. As I light the cigar, flavors of dark cherries emerge right away with notes of coffee and cocoa. The cigars flavor really open the further in the cigar I get and the tobacco flavor is very present. With the second third the flavors of cherries are really strong but there are still nice notes of roasted coffee and spices. The cigar is probably as full bodied as the Ramon Allones but the flavors are not as dark but more lively. With the final third the flavors really become complex showing lots of vanilla, nuts, oak and of course cherries and coffee. The cigar burned very evenly and like the Ramon Allones I had to relight it a couple times. The smoke was smooth and cool all the way to the nub. Beautiful smoke.
|Punch Double Corona|
Finishing up these cigars I am glad that I still have a couple left in my humidor. Both of these cigar were equal in quality and body but different in flavor. I would have to give these Double Corona’s both 94 ratings and believe them to be the best in vitola in their lines. Both smokes burned evenly and except for some relighting issues on both they were incredible smokes. If you have the opportunity to try Cuban cigars reach for the Double Corona size and set aside a couple hours for a great smoking experience. If I ever owned a Cuban cigar shop I would make a Double Corona sampler and have it available at all times. Hope at least one of you has the chance to try out one of these great smokes.