Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Cigar Review: Partagás Serie P No. 2 (2013)

When it comes to the pirámides I am not the biggest fan. I am not a fan of the tapered heads and would rather smoke something smaller like a Corona Gordas or Robustos with your standard cap applied. Heck, if I am looking for a larger smoker, I will reach for a Churchills. Yes, it is a lot longer, but it has a smaller ring gauge and that is what I am about. While the tapered head does allow the smoker the ability to choose the opening that the cigar will have, smaller even with a larger ring gauge, I would still rather smoke a smaller ring gauge overall. Now, there are a couple examples of terrific cigars that are in the pirámides group that I smoke, but I do not smoke them that often. I believe everyone knows that I am a large fan of the H. Upmann No. 2, and I respect the Montecristo No. 2, but my second favorite smoke in this format after the H. Upmann No. 2 is the Serie P No.2. For some mysterious reason I have fallen in love with the Habano and believe it is enjoyable young and terrific with age. Today I am going to be looking at that smoke and seeing how it perfors. 

Introduced in 2005, the Serie P No. 2 was the first pirámides for the brand. It is the same vitola offering as the classic Montecristo No. 2, and measures 156mm (6.1") with a 52 ring gauge. The Habano is available in a wide variety of offerings, and can be purchased in ten count boxes, 25 count boxes and three count packs in tubos. I love the tubo packaging because it is very modern in my opinion and I love the matte black coloring. It is composed of Vuelta Abajo tobacco and production is coming out of the El Rey del Mundo Factory. The pirámides is a firm Habano and there are very few veins present in the wrapper and it has a lovely soft Colorado coloring which is a classic coloring for the brand. With the wrapper coloring often present on the smoke it really makes the classic band on the smoke pop and give a great appearance. The aroma on the wrapper is showing some light hay, cedar and dry earth notes, and on the foot I am picking up some notes of similar qualities with some subtle cherry notes.

The first third opens up by showing some nice soft spice notes and it has some bits of pepper present as well. There are some very soft coconut shaving notes present as well and it has some subtle stone fruit qualities with that. I am getting faint notes of rich earth and it is very unique. I have had some of these smoke differently, very rich and showing a lot of stone fruit notes, but I have had some smoke along these lines and produce a different flavor profile that is still very enjoyable. In terms of construction the Habano is showing a nice burn line, not perfect but still very solid, and it is producing a lovely light charcoal ash on the end. The ash is holding on firmly and it has a cool draw with a nice bit of smoke. I would say that it is smoking around a medium level in terms of strength and the body is right there as well. There is a reason I love this smoke and that is because each and every time I smoke it they perform wonderfully. 

The second third shows an increase in the spice notes and with that are some terrific stone fruit and leather notes. It is predominantly that of dark cherry, and it is truly wonderful. There are those classic earth, Asian spice and coffee bean flavors present as well and this is one of my favorite pirámides because of that. I believe the H. Upmann is superior, but this is a close second in my opinion. These are not as heavily produced as the D4 and I believe that because of that quality control is always top notch with this Habano. Construction really improves in the second third and it is now showing a razor sharp burn line with a dark charcoal ash that is holding on well to the end. The draw is very cool and this is wonderful smoke for the evening. I would say the body and strength have increased some in this third and it is now slightly softer than being medium full overall. 

The final third shows some returns of the flavors that were present in the first third and I am getting some interesting notes of cedar, light coconut shavings, stone fruit and pepper qualities. There are some hay bits as well, abut there is also this lovely earthy flavor profile that was in the second third that make it very complex. It has a dry finish overall and on the end I am getting some tobacco and wood notes. Overall the smoke is very complex but very clean and a smoke that is easy and enjoyable. The construction in the final third is like the second third and it is producing a razor sharp burn line and with that is a charcoal ash that is holding on firmly to the end. There is a nice bit of smoke production with each draw and the final draw is flavorful and cool. I would say that the final third keeps those medium full qualities that are present in the second third and it is in this third that I say the Habano is a smoke that you finish the day with. 

I don't buy boxes of this Habano, but I do buy plenty of tubo three packs. To me I would rather buy a box of D4, Lusitanias or D5, but I love the tubos because the presentation is great and when I smoke them I often find myself traveling. I do not believe this to be the best vitola in the brand, but I would say it is in the top five and it is probably the second best pirámides by Habanos. It shows all the wonderful characteristics of the brand and offers them in this particular format. I believe they age wonderfully, and if aging them, take them out of the tubos. They are going to be great to smoke when they are young as well, but you really get the flavors out  of them in a couple years. If you are a fan of pirámides and have not reached out to these before, then I would strongly recommend you get your hands on them. I always find the construction is top notch and it is a solid medium to medium full body Habanos. While young they would get between an 88 and 90, with age they can get up to a 92-94.

Young Rating: 88-90
With Age Rating: 92-94