So you don’t get confused as there are 2 brands called Partagas, this is a quick story about the Cuban one ! Partagas was founded in 1845 by Catalan Don Jaime Partagás y Ravelo. He was very famous for owning some of the best plantations in the Vuelta Abajo (Cuba’s best place to cultivate tobacco), being very good at choosing and blending tobacco leaves, and is renowned for being the first to hire lectors to read and sing to his employees while they were working.
After Don Jaime’s murder on his plantation, the brand was working under his son’s gouvernance, and some parts were sold a couple times between 1868 and 1960. Fast forward to 1960, when all plantations were nationalized by Castro once his revolution got through. Until today, Partagas has been very successful as they have many kind of cigars and is very appreciated by aficionados.
The 8-9-8 is, like all Cubans, a puro. All tobacco comes from Cuba, and most precisely from the Vuelta Abajo. It is a lonsdale cigar, with a ring of 43 and a length of 6 3/4 inches. This one is from 2016 (aged 2 years approximatively)
The 8-9-8 has a colorado claro wrapper, with a more silky than oily touch. It is quite long and narrow and is feeling nice in the hand.
Before the light up
At cold, the cigar smells of pepper and earth.
The cap is easy to cut, yet the wrapper kind of peeled off. It didn’t happen to my friends though, so maybe I’m just a sucker cuter ! The ash had a classic Cuban colour, dark grey, yet hold better than most Cubans I had. The burn was very even, proving an exceptional construction. The draw was a bit too easy for my taste, but not too easy that it’s unpleasant.
The first third was very smooth, with some quiet notes of cedar wood, earth and hay. The smoke is very light, almost non existent in the mouth. While it comes closer to the middle, it gets more and more power, growing slow but steady.
The second tier is raging in full power, with classics Partagas spices. I missed those and I’m happy that they have joined the party. It continues with leather and roasted coffee beans, the former more incisive than the latter. no creaminess unfortunately, but the smoke is quite dense, which is a nice improvement from the beginning.
Final third is explosive with spices and cereals, and a little balance with acidity. The smoke is tamed a bit yet big enough to be pleasant. It is very rare that I smoke a cigar until I burn my fingers, yet this is what happened !
This is a classic Partagas with everything that makes Partagas…well…Partagas. The spices and the big smoke are appreciable. The format is pretty awesome, being very classic and elegant.
We were three friends smoking 8-9-8. There seemed to be concerns about equal quality. Mine was very good, with a bit too easy draw. Alex’s was also very good but the draw was harder than normal. Ben’s was…well, he had to throw it down the toilet…it was just impossible to smoke :/