Ramon Allones is a brand I have little experience with, and I hate to say that really, because I adore the RASS and it has always been one of my favorite robustos. I had a box of TEB AUG08 that was legendary, and I wish I never gave them out to my buddies they were so good. There is something about the Ramon Allones profile that hits the palate with a wonderful honey note that drives me crazy. I happened to receive this Gran Bretaña Exclusivo from Perkinke as a gift on the forums, and man I was excited when I saw it. Knowing it was a newer regional release, I did want to wait a bit to fire it up, but I could wait no longer. The size is a petite belicosos, which is a bit shorter then a normal belicosos at 4.9in, but still has the 52 ring gauge. The release came in boxes of 10 in 2012, with 5,000 total being made.
First Third: Sheeeeeeeeeeeeee’s as sweet as, tupelo hoooonaaay! Yup, honey all day baby, right off the bat, smashed my palate with that signature Ramon Allones goodness I love. I got some super floral notes as well, the honey bees were spreading the pollen around on this one. Citrus peel arrived at times, and the floral moved to the nose. Amazing first third; however, the draw was a bit tough and took an extra cut. That did not stop me from chugging away, but I would have used a poker if I had one. At times it the Gran Bretaña seemed candy like on the palate, making for an exquisite first third.
Second Third: The Gran Bretaña began to mellow a bit, with light cream touching the tongue, and the floral notes tickling the nostrils. The blending reminded me of a modern switch really, as most Non-Cuban start out strong, then pull back in the middle. The candied appeal was still there as well. The sugar sweetness seemed to creep precisely down the middle of my tongue, morphing into a light custard as I entered the final third. A return of the clove notes signaled another shift.
Final Third: Sugar kept growing, but with the clove it just had this cool ethnic food appeal. I just recently ate at this Punjabi restaurant that was divine, and had the most odd tasting food, different than other Indian places I had been. This was a similar type experience in that regard, not that it tastes like Indian food, just unique. The candied sugar continued to paint the tongue, and the floral hit the nose again, making for a wonderful ending.
Construction: Draw sucked for the first third, and it needed a poker really, but it just meant I had to draw 3-4 times, as opposed to 1-2. It did not tar though, and eventually opened up.