Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Cigar Review: Partagás Serie D No.5 (2012)


Partagás is a brand that needs little or no introduction. It is the one of the few brands that actually has a factory with the same name, and the factory is probably one of the most well known factories in the world. The brand is also one of the most well known brands in the world also and it is a brand packed with history. The brand was developed in 1827, being named after its founder Don Jaume Partagás i Ravell, and in 1845 he opened his own factory with the same name, Real Fábricas de Tabaco Partagás. The brand and factory were eventually purchased by the Cifuentes Family, and the family continued to run the factory and brand until the Cuban revolution. It was one of the most well known brands at the time so when the government seized the brand and factory there was no doubt that they would continue making cigars with that name. The brand is composed of some of the most well known Habanos to any connoisseur, and it is a brand that is continuously seeing new vitolas added to it.

The Serie D No. 5 was a new release in 2011 and it has kept a low profile for the past three years if you ask me. It is hard to grab the attention from the Serie D No. 4, but with smokers looking for smaller options, Habanos decided to condense that smoke with this Habano. The smoke is a long filler, like most Partagás smokes, and is composed of tobacco from Vuelta Abajo. The Habano measures 110mm (4.3") and keeps that 50 ring gauge of a robusto making it a true petit robusto. The triple cap is nicely placed and though it is not perfect, it is place quite well. There are no overly soft spots to the Habano and it has a beautiful coloring that is between a dark Natural and a light Colorado. I love the size for this smoke and the aroma on the wrapper is that of cherries, tobacco, earthy notes and some sweet Asian spice bits here and there. The foot shows some rich earth qualities with nice sweetness as well and it is a terrific aroma that is classic Partagás. 

The first third begins by showing some tremendous construction. There are a lot of individuals out there that say the construction on a Habanos is poor, but this smoke proves that wrong. It is showing a beautiful burn line and it is producing a lovely light gray ash that is holding on firmly to the end. There may have been a time when Habanos was not doing well in terms of construction, but that time is long gone. In terms of flavors I am picking up some tremendous Asian spice notes and it is showing some lovely cedar qualities with that. There is a nice rich earthy flavor present as well, and it has that tremendous tobacco and stone fruit quality on the finish. It is a complex smoke and classic Partagás in my opinion. In terms of strength and body, I would say that it is smoking at a level between medium and medium full for both, and it is a Habanos I would smoke in the afternoon or evening without hesitation. This is a young smoke but wonderful thus far.

I am in the second third of the cigar now and it is showing some different and unique flavors. The Asian spice notes are a little bit softer in this third and there is an increase in some black pepper notes which is great. There are some nutty and unique butter notes and it has some lovely tobacco, earthy and woody notes on the finish which make it very complex and enjoyable. The stone fruit notes are much softer than before, but there are some notes there that add a little bit more depth. The construction is simply incredible still and it is showing that perfect burn line with that light gray ash on the end that is holding on firmly. The draw is cool and it is a smoke that I could have back to back without ever being tired. The body and strength are still at that medium to medium full level and it is an afternoon and evening smoke that I would smoke from noon to midnight.

The cigar finishes similar to the first third in the sense that is is showing a lot of stone fruit notes and it has some subtle cocoa and rich earth notes. I am picking up some leather flavors throughout and it has a nice spice and pepper flavor profile which is wonderful. It is a very complex smoke and I have loved the transitioning that has been present throughout. There is a nice bit of complexity and as I get towards the nub I am ready to light up another one. I would say that the strength and body of the Habano are very similar to what it has been in the first and second third, and it is a medium to medium full smoke. To me it is a smoke that I could have in the afternoon without any problem, but to some it would be an evening smoke. The construction is simply terrific on the Habano and it is showing that perfect burn line with a light charcoal ash and the draw is cool and flavorful to the end.

I love the Serie D No. 4 but I can say with ease that I prefer this version much more. I love the smaller format and what is great is that it loses nothing with a shorter length. This delivers all those great Partagás flavors in a compact offering for those shorter times. I look forward to smoking the Serie D No. 6, I have heard it is similar to this and the No. 4, and it goes to show that just because a Habanos is smaller does not mean it is losing any of those terrific qualities that are offered in your standard robusto. These come in ten count and 25 count boxes and I can tell you that only buying a ten count box is silly. I will be smoking my way through these smokes rather quickly and I think that would be the case for so many smokers out there. I loved the flavors, excellent construction, body and strength that the Habanos produced, and it showed wonderful transitioning, complexity and balance from beginning to end. I am giving this particular smoke a solid 91-93 points right now, and I know it will be in the high 90's with some age on it.

Young Rating: 91-93
With Age Rating: 95-97