Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Cigar Review: Ramón Allones Grandes Edición Regional España (2008)

When I first lit this Habano up I was confused. I got confused because it has been sometime since I lit up a Ramon Allones that was a regional with the older band, (the crappier and classic band) s there was a double take at first before I remembered the age that was on this regional release. As many know, I am a huge fan of the Ramón Allones brand and love the Gigantes. I believe it to be one of the best double coronas on the market, if not the best, so when I saw that there was an additional double corona offered for the brand at one point, I was eager to see how the Habano would smoke. I have been fortunate in my experiences with regionals from Spain thus far, same for the regionals in the Ramón Allones brand, so today I look at the Ramón Allones Grandes Edición Regional España (2008) and see how this tweaked double corona smokes.

Released in 2008, the Grandes was a regional edition for Spain that consisted of 12,000 boxes of ten, or 120,000 Habanos. The Habanos came in numbered varnished boxes, and the packaging was in the 8-9-8 format, having the Habanos layered 3-4-3. The Habano itself measured 180 mm (7.1") with a 49 ring gauge, and it was a slightly shorter Double Corona, half an inch shorter than the Gigantes. The Habano is well constructed and is finished with a perfect triple cap. It is firm throughout, with a nice little give, and it offers an excellent cold draw. The wrapper sports some minor veins throughout, and there are a few medium sized ones present as well. The coloring is that of solid Colorado, and it has a nice dry red clay coloring. The aroma on the foot is that of tobacco, rich earth, sweet spices, and stone fruit, and the wrapper is showing some tobacco, wood, and leather notes.

The Habano opens up by showing some solid earth and coffee notes, and there is a nice tobacco and sweet spice present as well. It has a very faint stone fruit quality, but it is very subtle and not overpowering It is a tame Ramon Allones compared with some others, but it is nice offering and enjoyable. The flavors are around the medium level and the same goes for the body and strength. It is a Habano that has aged wonderfully and you can tell that this smoke has seven years on it. The construction thus far has been spectacular and it is showing an even burn line with a solid charcoal ash on the end. The draw is cool, producing a solid amount of smoke, and it has a very soft finish that is flavorful and enjoyable. So far, a nice offering and something different for the Ramon Allones name in my opinion.  

I am in the second third of the Habano now and I am finding that is continuing to deliver the flavors that were present in the first third. It is showing those earth and coffee notes predominately, but there are some spice and tobacco notes with that. The stone fruit notes have faded completely and it has become a mellow Ramon. You can get the age on this Habano, but I am slightly disappointed with where the blend is. The flavors are still smoking at that medium level and so is the body and strength. In some ways, this is not what I think of when I smoke a Ramon Allones, but it is a regional so I expect some changes. The construction though continues to be great and it is delivering a beautiful ash with a perfect burn line. The draw is cool, producing a great bit of smoke, and it has that nice coffee and earthy finish that is increasing when I get to the end. 

The final third shows some growth and resurrection in my opinion, and it is in this third that I am picking up some barnyard, earth, and coffee notes. There are some spice and pepper qualities, and it has a faint bit of cherries present on the end. There is a part of me that thinks this is a whole new Habano, and it is a shame that it is just now opening up. The body and strength are smoking at a medium-full level in this third and the same goes for the flavors. It went from being a solid medium to a medium-full Habano, and this is where the Habano should have been throughout. The construction in the final third remains perfect, as it was in the first and second third, and the finish is cool and flavorful, producing a nice bit of smoke as I enjoy the Habano down to the nub. 

I enjoyed the Grandes, as it is a smoke that is showing age and softer flavors, but there were some aspects that left me curious and disappointed. To begin with, I don't understand why you would have a double corona made in this brand when you have the Gigantes. I mean it's practically the same size, only half an inch shorter, and I find that regular production Gigantes are superior to this young and with age. It would have been better to do a Churchill or something new. While I did like the flavors offered, and it showed some nice qualities present with the brand overall, I was hoping for a little more. In all honesty, I was expecting a better Habano with the age it had, and a little bit more complexity. For the first two thirds, it did not smoke like a Ramon Allones that I know and love. Going into the Habano, I thought that I would be thrilled to have a "shorter offering of the Gigantes" because it would make me want another one afterwards, but instead I felt that the Habano should have ended sooner. Maybe additional aging will enhance the Habano more, but in my opinion it is where it will be. I am giving it a rating of 86-88. 

Young Rating: Inconclusive
With Age Rating: 86-88