Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Cigar Review: Ramon Allones Allones Extra Edición Limitada 2011

When it comes to limitadas I love to hate them and I hate to love them. You don't want to fall in love with the Habano, it is not going to be around forever, but at the same time you can't help but reach out for them and want as many as possible so you can enjoy them for those special occasions down the road. I have always struggled with limitadas and regional editions, I tend to find myself preferring the core line releases, but there are those occasions when a limitada is released that shows the true greatness of the brand. In 2011 Habanos announced that the Ramon Allones would be receiving a limitada and it would be the Allones Extra. The Habano took a unique form, much smaller than most limitadas in my opinion, and was close to a traditional corona. I heard mixed reviews on it and so I never took the plunge in picking some up. Fortunately for me, my good friend in the Bayou sent me some Habanos to enjoy and review and this was included.

The Allones Extra is classified as a corona in name and the factory refers to the size as a Franciscos. It is almost a crossover between a corona and a corona gorda, and I would say it is a short Lonsdale. The Habano measures 143 mm (5.6") and has a ring gauge of 44. All the tobacco is two years old after fermentation and other processes before rolling and is composed of only Vuelta Abajo tobacco. The Habano possesses an aroma that is this classic mocha aroma and I am getting some definite coffee and dark chocolate notes on the foot. The wrapper shows some earthy and oak notes and it is a wonderful aroma.The Habano has a wrapper that is beautiful in coloring and it has some tooth present as well. It is an easy maduro and it reminds me of the Maduro 5 wrappers. There are few veins present and it is firm in hand with a wonderful cold draw. The cold draw is producing some terrific flavors, mostly those aromas from the wrapper and foot, and I am looking forward to smoking this Habano.

The Habano begins by showing some great flavors that are unique and producing a wonderful combination together. I am getting some soft cocoa and coffee bean notes, but I am also picking up some sweet floral, licorice and herbal notes with that. There is some earthy and woody qualities as well and this is a complex smoke that is incredibly flavorful. I would say that the body is at a level between medium and medium full and the strength is right there as well. It is a smooth Habano and it has a great draw showing terrific construction. I am getting a solid burn line that is not perfect but still solid and it has a charcoal ash that is holding on firmly with that. The draw on this Habano is smooth and cool and I am getting a lot of smoke produced.It is truly a complex smoke and it has a nice bit of depth present with that. For a Ramon Allones, it is very unique and different, but still very enjoyable.

The second third shows some growth as a Habano and it begins to show some dark coffee bean flavors with bits of oak and leather. I am still getting some cocoa notes as well but they are much darker now and a little bitter. I am picking up some faint licorice notes in this third, harsher than the first third, and it is showing some darker and richer flavors that you sometimes get with a limited edition. I would say that the Habano is now smoking at a level which is right above the medium full level, and that applies to the body and strength. This is not a novice Habano, but limited editions are never intended for those the novice smokers to begin with. These are limited smokes that are composed of aged quality tobacco. In terms of construction I would say that the second third shows a much better burn line and it is nearly sharp with a lovely dark charcoal ash. The ash still holds on firmly in this third and this is a lovely Ramon Allones.

When I get into the final third I find that it shows the pattern the Habano was laying out to begin with and it is growing in terms of body and strength. It is still a very smooth cigar with a clean finish, but it is darker and richer at the same time. I am picking up solid anise notes in this third and it has become a much more natural licorice flavor. There are still a good amount of leather, dark cocoa and coffee bean flavors present as well, and it has a rustic earthy and smoked oak finish. Complex is truly a correct statement when talking about this Habano and it does justice to the Ramon Allones name. The strength of this Habano is definitely at a full level in this third and the body is right there as well. It is showing the strength and depth that the tobacco in the blend utilizes and this is a terrific corona. In terms of construction, I am getting a razor sharp burn line right to the end and the draw is cool. There is a nice bit of smoked being produced and has dark, rich and clean finish.

Very different than the core Ramon Allones brand, the Habano shows the rich and strong flavors that the brand is known for, but does so with a twist. The first third begins very complex and unique and grows from there becoming darker and richer. The construction was lovely from beginning to end and with that it produced a wonderful draw that was cool and easy. I loved how the Habano grew from beginning to end and it is a classic example of a Limitada. The Habano showed some of the core flavors that you pick up with a particular brand, but at the same time showed some unique qualities that you get with the aged tobacco. I can say that I love the band and the vitola that the Habano comes in, but overall I prefer the core Ramon Allones brand over this version. I feel that there is a little bit more complexity and simple enjoyment with a Specially Selected or Gigantes, and it will be hard for me to find something that I love over that. This Habano is close to three years old, in terms of the actual boxing, and right now I would say that I have it between an 87 and 89. I think that it will improve more with age for a couple more years, but will then flatten out in a couple years after that.

Young Rating: Inconclusive

With Age Rating: 87-89