Size: 5 1/4″ x 54 (Clasico)
Wrapper: Sun Grown Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder and Filler: Nicaraguan Ligero and Dominican Piloto Cubano Ligero
Price: Under $4.00 a stick
Behind the Stick:
This Partagas Black Label came into my possession a few months ago from a local B&M where I actually was handed this cigar as I entered the shop. It so happens that I entered this store in search for some new smokes on the same day that a Partagas Event decided to arrive. I am not sure about most of you, but I always feel rude if I purchase non-event cigars at such a time, so I bit and ended up with a handful of new Partagas smokes. I ended up going through the line and some were good and some were alright, but when I had my first Partagas Black – I knew right then I had to stash it in the humidor until I was ready to review it. Funny part, they had a drawing for those who bought 5 sticks or more and I ended up winning. . . a wine cooler.
For those who do not know the history of this smoke or the reason for the extra dark coloring, The Black Label was created by master cigar blender Daniel Nunez, who worked for over a decade to perfect the Medio Tempo technique for cigar wrappers. Within this technique, one would keep some of the leaves on the stalk longer than normal thus pushing more nutrients into the leaves and creating more flavor. Amazingly enough these wrappers are Connecticut Broadleaf but are much darker in color, thicker in feel and richer in flavor due to this extra time on the stalk and extra exposure to the sun. To build the base for this wrapper, they used Nicaraguan Ligero and Dominican Piloto Cubano Ligero for the binder and filler expounding on the deep flavors.
It really is hard not to fall for these cigars, and to be honest that is one of the main reasons why I picked them up in the first place. I had never had a cigar this ‘black’ before, it almost looked like it had been painted but no, this is the natural coloring from their processes. Well packed from head to mid-section, the foot seemed to be a little more spongy but honestly nothing I would be worried about for it rebounded instantly. The burn started off a little off center, but within the first half inch corrected itself and never needed a touch up.
As one would expect from a smoke like this, the flavor profile was very dark to begin with but did surprise with just enough spice in the first 1/4 of an inch to ensure you don’t write it off too quick. Once the cigar has had a chance to warm up I started to notice that the wood and earth like flavor took the foreground. Towards the middle to last portion the cigar opens to coffee and chocolate undertones and finishes with the same overall wood and earth notes from before.
If you are a fan of dark, full body cigars then I must say that this is right up your alley. The darkness had a nice offset with the chocolate and coffee notes, and although the complexity was not as deep as some other Partagas cigars – when it comes down to the price you can’t go wrong. I highly suggest you run out and at least pick up a pair and give them a shot!