Size: 5 x 50 (Robusto)
Binder and Filler: Cuban
Price: Little over $10.00 a piece
Behind The Stick:
A long time worker within the Cuban tobacco business, Spaniard Don Jaime Partagas Ravelo established his factory, Real Fabricas de Tabaco partagas in 1845 in Havana, becoming one of the largest factories of its time. Since Don Jaime owned many of the best plantations in the Vuelta Abajo region and his known status as being a cigar supplier to numerous Asian and European elites, this large factory was not only required but also was another way to display status within his profession. Don Jaime was rumored to have experimented with various methods of fermenting and aging tobacco and has been credited with hiring the first lector to read to and entertain the cigar rollers as they worked, boosting moral and improving quality and consistency within the factory.
Although Don Jaime was excelling and expanding his business by leaps and bounds, in 1864 or 1868 he was murdered on one of his plantations – supposedly murdered by a jealous rival over one of his love affairs. After his death, Jose Partagas, his son, took over the family business continuing production as normal although not much changed during this time period. In 1900 the factory was sold to a banker and then directly to the form Cifuentes, Fernandez y Cia who later acquired the rights to the Ramon Allones brand, also later creating a brand for their owner, Cifuentes.
Once the current owners passed in 1938 and 1940, the Cifuentes family were in sole control of the highly prestigious factory. Later in life, 1954 to be exact, the Cifuentes family began acquiring more brand names including Bolivar and La Gloria Cubana, both from Jose F. Rocha and then relocating the factory, by this time they have become the second largest Cuban Cigar exporter, second only to H. Upmann.
Like many manufacturers of the time, during the Cuban revolution the Cifuentes family fled the country, the now nationalized government taking control of the family fields and factory continuing production with the same brand names. After what seems like a life time, 17 years later, Ramon Cifuentes began to produce Partagas and Bolivar cigars for General Cigar Company on the US market, first being made in Jamaica and then moving to a large plantation and factory located in the Dominican Republic.
The Partagas factory still produces Partagas cigars, among others, and has proven to still be a very popular tourist destination for cigar smokers and enthusiasts taking a trip on the island of Cuba. Although in 2002, the Cigar giant Altadis bought a significant portion within the Cuban government-owned cigar distributor, Habanos SA almost immediately making changes. One of these were to change the brands to either all-handmade or all-machine-made cigars, reduce the redundancy of same size cigars within a brand and stop production on low selling cigars, many long time customers still upset about these decisions.
Evenly packed from head to foot with only the smallest amount of give at the end – damn this looks good. The band had been removed and reapplied, I am assuming on its trip to the states – but – there were no issues to the wrapper from my own or previous attempts. I only had one issue with the entire setup, and that had to do with the very brittle nature of the wrapper, which I can only compare to a Connecticut shade (only in terms of the wrappers brittleness) since the foot on one had a decent chunk taken out of the wrapper. Aside from that, this is another top quality cigar to come out of the island.
Directly from the start this cigar produces a large amount of smoke, perfect for trying to pick out the different flavors and their changes. The natural tobacco flavor pretty much lays the foundation of light grass and an exceptionally smooth earthiness that runs the duration of the cigar. Mixed in with this base flavor profile a solid cedar flavor lends a hand, introducing a (almost harsh) black pepper sensation that really struck gold with my taste buds. An aftertaste of spices (I can’t pin point them but reminded me of cooking spices) mixed with a subtle tingle where I let the wrapper rest on my lips did nothing but add character to this blend. To wrap things up, once well within the last third the almond flavors began to fight with the natural tobacco and pepper creating a not so harmonious mixture of bitter and harshness – time to put it down.
A big thank you to @cigarsthomas who was nice enough to send me this cigar for review – I can’t thank you enough! One of the things I have had to get used to when smoking Cuban cigars is to pay special attention to the feel rather than the appearance. The reason for this, some of the most ugly looking sticks seem to deliver the best – although the ones that seem to come from a painting can do the same but its not as often. The Partagas Series D No 4 is no different, producing a very enjoyable smoke – something I want to return to at another time. I would not put this as one of the most complex smokes out there, nor would I consider this linear but rather this cigar rests somewhere perfectly in the balance. My major complaints would be the brittle wrapper (no way to fix that, I just need to be more gentle) and the random harshness near the middle to end – aside from that – if you can get them I say give a few of these a try, even getting 3 or 4 on a whim would be fine, in my opinion.
Every Cigar Has A Story, Every Smoke A Memory