How To Choose The Right Partagas Cigar
One of the most historic and important Cuban brands throughout the industry’s history, Partagas have a history as rich as the notoriously potent blend of tobaccos they employ in their cigars.
Without the works of their founder, Don Jaime Partagas y Ravelo, the landscape of the industry would be an entirely different beast than what we know today; as he is credited with being the first person to experiment with cigar tobacco fermentation and ageing methods which are still utilised today, processes which were devised to increase production and preserve quality. He is also attributed as the first factory owner to employ a Lector to read to his torcedores (cigar rollers) as they worked, without which we likely wouldn’t have other iconic brands named for the favoured books to be read to the torcedores, like Montecristo and Romeo y Julieta.
Suffice to say, the cigar world would be a much sadder place had Don Jaime not emigrated from Catalonia to Cuba in the 19th Century.
Though the brand’s selection of vitolas has somewhat dwindled over the past decade or so, with many less popular sticks finding themselves being led to the executioner’s block, Partagas are still host to well over a dozen thoroughly varied and fantastic sticks, putting them firmly in the upper echelons of the Cuban brands in terms of choice and variety behind only Cohiba, Montecristo and Romeo y Julieta.
For the purposes of this guide, we’ll once again break them down into a couple of categories to help make selecting the right cigar for you that little bit easier, with the categories once more being:
- Thin Vitolas
It is quite easy to categorise the thinner vitolas from Partagas’ range of offerings, as they are the only cigars to not belong to either the “Alphabet Series” or the brand’s Linea Maduro range, but these sticks are among some of the very finest you could ever hope to smoke, starting with:
Taking the form of a Double Corona (5 ⅞” (193mm) x 49 ring gauge), the Partagas Lusitania has been affectionately referred to by many sources as the “Emperor of Cuban Cigars,” which is quite an accolade in and of itself. Sadly, due to the need for significantly sized pristine wrapper leaves combined with less than optimal tobacco crop yields Cuba has faced for the last few years, the Lusitania can be a little on the difficult side to procure, but should you get the chance we’d recommend snapping them up without hesitation, as the smoking experience is nothing short of sublime. Surprisingly soft, sweet and floral before fully graduating to the classic earthy, spicy and woody flavours and aromas one would expect of a Partagas vitola from the 2nd Third of the cigar onwards.
Another lesser spotted vitola these days is the Lonsdale, with many brands no longer producing them the Partagas 8-9-8 finds itself as one of the last of its kind in regular circulation. Named for how the vitola was presented in boxes of 25, with a layer of 8, a layer of 9 and a final layer of 8, the 8-9-8 has had its tobacco blend slightly tweaked in recent years, resulting in a slightly mellower smoking experience than older iterations but still allowing the full spectrum of classic Partagas flavours to shine!
We’d be remiss to put this list together without mentioning the phenomenal Partagas Presidente, a unique vitola across the entire Habanos portfolio. Known in the factories of Cuba as a “Taco,” the Presidente is in an intriguing throwback to the Double Figurado (tapered at both ends) vitolas which were at the height of their popularity in the 19th Century, but have since fallen out of regular production in order to make way for the Parejo (straight sided) vitolas which form the basis of most Cuban cigars today. As it’s a vitola which requires a great deal of skill to produce, only a small handful of the most skilled and tenured torcedores are permitted to roll the Presidente, ensuring a certain degree of quality from each stick!
With modern smokers’ tastes gravitating towards a heftier ring gauge, for many the Partagas “Alphabet Series” is a no-brainer in terms of which Partagas vitola they’ll gravitate towards, with legendary sticks like the Partagas Serie D No. 4 needing no introduction, but with some excellent recent additions to the brand’s arsenal, there’s never been a better time to grab yourself a chunky Partagas!
Formerly a Habanos Specialist Exclusive, the Partagas Maduro No. 1 utilises dark, oily wrapper leaves which have undergone extra fermentation to produce a richer flavour profile with a top note described by many as being sweet. The Maduro No. 1 takes the form of a Discretos, a unique Robusto variant (5 ⅛” (130mm) x 50 ring gauge) which has so far only been utilised for this vitola and soon the upcoming Bolivar Edicion Limitada, the Bolivar Regentes. This stick was so well received that it formed the basis for Partagas’ Linea Maduro range, making it the second dedicated Maduro range found in the Habanos portfolio alongside Cohiba’s Maduro 5 range.
Partagas Serie D No. 5 & 6
Released in 2011 and 2014 respectively, the Partagas Serie D No. 5 and Serie D No. 6 were introduced to add some more options to the Serie D line which bear the ring gauge of a robusto but with a shorter length, a trend pioneered by Hoyo De Monterrey in 2004 with their seminal Petit Robusto. These are always phenomenal options for herfing when time does not allow for a full Robusto length, but when you would prefer the cooler smoke of a wider ring gauge combined with the full-on flavour assault of the Partagas blend!
Measuring in at 5 ½″ (140mm) with a whopping 54 ring gauge, the Serie E No. 2 is by far the chunkiest stick being produced by Partagas today, with the wider ring gauge offering a much more cooling smoke which helps to temper the intensity of Partagas’ legendarily powerful blend of tobaccos, while still providing all the same potent assault of flavour that you would find present across the rest of the brand’s offerings, naturally making it a firm favourite among fans of both modern heavy ring gauge sticks and the Partagas brand alike.
There are a multitude of excellent Partagas vitolas available, but we hope that with these recommendations you’ll be able to select the right stick for you and maximise your smoking experience in the right way.
As always, thanks for reading!