A Guide To Partagas Cigars
A brand which has always occupied the upper echelons of strength in Cuban cigars, Partagas are considered one of the most definitive ways to enjoy Cuban tobaccos, due to their simultaneous straddling the realms of both raw, unbridled power and refinement and poise, which is no easy feat to achieve. Additionally, part of the appeal of Partagas has been the tumultuous tale surrounding the brand and their storied history; shrouded in mythology, mystique and intrigue, from the sheer innovative prowess of their founder, Don Jaime Partagas y Ravelo, to the revolutionary techniques he devised which are still in use today, and ultimately his mysterious murder on one of his own plantations. It would be a grievous understatement to assert just how important the presence of Partagas has been to the entire world of cigars and just how much they helped to shape and mould the product we know today.
So without further ado, let's take a dive into the vast swathe of vitolas currently offered by Partagas!
As with many brands, there is no specific moniker which applies to the range of vitolas Partagas produce which are not housed within their legendary ‘Alphabet Series’ or recently developed ‘Linea Maduro,’ for the purposes of this section, we’ll designate them as ‘Partagas’ for simplicity’s sake.
For the most part, Partagas’ core range of offerings takes the form of a stunning array of Corona variants, beginning with the smallest entry: the Partagas Short, a phenomenal Tres Petit Corona measuring in at a modest 4 ⅜” (110mm) x 42 ring gauge, which while diminutive in stature brings flavour by the truckload and we like to consider the ultimate “pocket rocket” stogie. Next up in size, we have the Partagas Capitol, immediately recognisable as a ‘Mareva’ size vitola (other great examples of this size include the legendary Montecristo No. 4 and Cohiba Siglo II). The Capitol itself is a recreation of a formerly machine made vitola of the same name and dimensions produced in the 1970s and forms the basis of Habanos S.A.’s new Linea Retro range, with the vitolas being packaged in retro themed tins of five, but this time “Hecho a mano” (made by hand) unlike its predecessor.
Also included in this range are the Partagas Petit Coronas Especiales (featured in our “Top 5 Partagas Cigars for 2022” guide) and the Partagas Presidentes, 8-9-8 and Lusitanias (featured in our “How To Choose The Right Partagas Cigar” guide)
You can always be guaranteed a phenomenal smoke from Partagas’ core range of offerings, but some of their most iconic and beloved vitolas are housed within the next product range which we’ll be covering, namely:
The ‘Alphabet Series’
One of the most immediately recognisable product ranges in the realm of Cuban cigars, Partagas’ legendary ‘Alphabet Series’ can be spotted from a mile away, with their striking red band and gold lettering/trim.
Created in the 1930’s, this range of vitolas started life as a roster of 16 vitolas with varying lengths and ring gauges. Over time this selection would find itself whittled down to but a scant few offerings and ultimately ended with the Partagas Serie D No. 4 as the lone survivor of the range. Quite possibly the first commercially viable and successful Robusto vitola in history, measuring in at 4 ⅞” (124mm) x 50 ring gauge, the Serie D No. 4 found itself also discontinued in the mid 1960’s, but was resurrected a few years later due to popular demand.
The ‘Alphabet Series’ lay mostly dormant for the most part until the 2000’s, with a few of the original vitolas reappearing as Edicion Limitada and Regional Edition releases here and there, but in 2005 a brand new vitola found its way into standard production, the Partagas Serie P No. 2!
As a Piramides size vitola (measuring in at 6 ⅛” x 52 ring gauge, with a tapered end), the Serie P No. 2 joins a star studded fraternity of ‘torpedo’ shaped stogies, alongside the legendary Montecristo No.2, H. Upmann No. 2 and Diplomaticos No. 2 to name but a few. Received incredibly well by aficionados worldwide, the Serie P No. 2 is by far the strongest Piramides being produced in Cuba today, though with some ageing these phenomenal sticks mellow out fantastically while still retaining a bold and imposing flavour profile!
In 2011, the ranks of the ‘Alphabet Series’ would grow once more, with the inclusion of the Serie E No. 2 and the Serie D No. 5, and finally with the Serie D No. 6 in 2014 (all featured in our “How To Choose The Right Partagas Cigar” guide), creating a roster of phenomenal sticks appropriate for virtually every occasion!
The innovation wouldn’t end there however, as Partagas still had a few tricks up their sleeve, bringing us to:
Partagas’ Linea Maduro range was formed from a relatively humble beginning, with the release of the Partagas Maduro No. 1 in 2015 as a Habanos Specialist Exclusive. Taking the form of a unique vitola known as a ‘Discretos’ in the factories of Cuba (measuring in at 5 ⅛” (130mm) x 52 ring gauge) which thus far has only been utilised for the Maduro No. 1 and the upcoming Bolivar Edicion Limitada 2021 release, the Regentes. Received to much critical acclaim due to its richer, sweeter flavour profile, the Maduro No. 1 was the progenitor of what would become a tremendous trio of triumphant vitolas, with the release of the Maduro No. 2 and Maduro No. 3 following swiftly along in 2018.
Much like their elder sibling, the Maduro No. 2 and Maduro No. 3 were both unique vitolas for the Habanos portfolio, with the Maduro No. 2 being presented as a Short Piramides, a small torpedo shaped vitola measuring in at 4 ¾” x 55 ring gauge, and the Maduro No. 3, which is currently known in the factories of Cuba as a “Maduro No. 3,” demonstrating just how new the vitola shape/size is (measuring in at 5 ¾” x 50 ring gauge). Again, continuing the tradition of the Maduro No. 1, these vitolas were very well received by the cigar community at large, with the Maduro No. 2 consistently flying off of cigar shop shelves as soon as they arrive even today!