Romeo y Julieta Fabulosos No. 6 Colección Habanos 2004

I’m perched precariously on an inner-city windowsill on an autumn night. A gusty cool breeze blows in from the south – it’s not cold enough to make smoking unpleasant, but I suspect that it will blow every puff of tonight’s cigar back through the open window, and entirely defeat the point of my sitting out here. My cigar tonight is the 2004 entry in the Colección Habanos, the Romeo y Julieta Fabulosos No. 6, weighing in at 52 x 180mm, something like an overweight Churchill. It’s not entirely clear what the significance of the number six is in the name, as there are only two old cigars that carried the name Fabulosos, not five (and neither of those wore a number as a suffix).

Romeo y Julieta Fabulosos No. 6 Colección Habanos 2004 unlit

I lift the cap of the cigar with a sharp knife, and find under it a substantial divot, the mark of superior construction. Lit with a humble Bic, it begins fantastically well, with heavy cream and sweet toffee, and a note of green apple, something I’ve never tasted in a cigar before. The toffee flavour is so distinct and so specific that it triggers in me a long forgotten sense memory: in Red China when I was young there was sometimes a man in the market beyond the walls of our compound who would make toffee lollies. You would pay your money and then spin a wheel that would select for you an animal from the Chinese zodiac, and the man would lay a stick on the table and with liquid toffee make the design of your animal around it, setting it with water. The end result was something like an elaborate Chinese lollypop. The dragon was far and away the best design (aside from being the coolest animal in the zodiac, it was four times larger than anything else) and many times while waiting in line I watched other children successfully spin it up. I never managed it, always landing on a lowly rat or snake. In the west I’m sure the dragon would have sat at the top of a price structure, and imperialist children could have had it freely if they’d complained to their parents enough, but not me; I grew up in a communist country, and what you landed on was what you got. Well, I’m sure my father could have greased the vendor with a packet of cigarettes or something and got me my dragon, but I didn’t know that at the time. Anyway, that’s what the toffee in the Fabulosos No. 6 tastes like: ‘90s Chinese street lollies.

Romeo y Julieta Fabulosos No. 6 Colección Habanos 2004 with a Coffee Cocktail

Around the halfway point the Fabulosos No. 6 still carries a deep cream flavour, the tobacco being very light. There is some grassiness, and a little nutmeg. It is an incredibly elegant cigar, although it has lost a little of the flavour depth that it had at the start, and has become a little one dimensional, although that dimension is the best possible dimension for a quality cigar.

Alongside the cigar I’m enjoying a Coffee Cocktail, a recipe I got out of my Savoy Cocktail Book, which makes a point of noting that the name is a misnomer as coffee is not to be found among its ingredients. In my interpretation the drink is a shot of tawny port, half a shot of brandy, a liberal dash of Cointreau, a sugar cube and the yolk of one egg: add ice and shake it all to hell, strain into a wine glass and dust the result with nutmeg. The more you shake it the closer you will get to the intended appearance, which vaguely resembles milky coffee. The Savoy Book is the classic cocktail book, and despite several new editions its recipes are largely unchanged since the 1920s (and as a result many of them call for long extinct liqueurs). Around 90% are some tiny variation on one part gin, one part vermouth, a dash of absinth, shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. In every event they are cocktails for serious drinkers who like the taste of booze and complex aromatics: you will not find pineapple being used to mask the taste of vodka in the Savoy Book, and very few of its recipes turn out much less alcoholic than a whiskey on the rocks. The Coffee Cocktail is no exception; the egg gives it a creamy texture and it tastes sort of like mulled wine. I’ve been making them a lot recently, and generally they’re followed in fairly short order by a Whiskey Sour as I need to do something with the left over egg white. The sours aren’t as good.

Romeo y Julieta Fabulosos No. 6 Colección Habanos 2004 half smoked

In the last few inches the cigar becomes earthy, some sandy soil and burning cedar. The cream flavour, the most delicate of the flavours I commonly find in cigars, generally leaves within the first inch or so, but in this cigar it lingered well past the halfway point. There can be no doubt about it: this is an excellent cigar. Flawlessly constructed it is subtle, elegant, and relaxing. That said, however, it didn’t knock my socks off. This is great when I think about it, but if I had smoked it among friends, thinking more about the discussion at hand than the cigar, I wouldn’t have noticed how good it was. A truly great cigar is undeniable, and won’t brook distractions.

But that said, it would take a hedonist of the highest order to walk around a party with a beer bottle in one hand and a Fabulosos in the other – if you’re in the market for one of these, then you are no doubt serious enough about smoking cigars to smoke this one alone, or with like-minded aficionados. In the sphere of the Colección Habanos it’s better than the Hoyo and not as good as the Trinidad. In the world of Cuban cigars it’s among the very best. Recommended.

Romeo y Julieta Fabulosos No. 6 Colección Habanos 2004 nub

Romeo y Julieta Fabulosos No. 6 on the Cuban Cigar Website

Trinidad Torre Iznaga Colección Habanos 2006

An autumn night under the full Easter moon and not even the slightest breeze is blowing. I’m in a seaside town on a Wednesday night, and only the very occasional purr of a car on the distant highway serves to indicate that I’m not the last man on earth. The air is crisp, but it’s nothing a light coat and some fortified wine can’t handle. The next port on my voyage through the Colección Habanos is 2006’s Trinidad Torre Ignaza, named after a tower, and appropriately so, as it’s a 52 x 170mm fat-boy. Trinidad is a brand I’ve tried to like, but I’ve never really come around to it. I have high expectations of it, as I think of it as a sort of Cohiba Jnr: they both have the same lineage, being born out of the diplomatic gift circuit, and they both feature my preferred style of cigar (long and thin) very prominently in their line-up. I’ve smoked a lot of Trini’s, however, and they almost always disappoint. How will this, a cigar that is about ten ring points overweight, and from a series that has thus far proved to be pretty hit-and-miss, fair? My expectations may be high, but my hopes are not.

Trinidad Torre Iznaga Colección Habanos 2006 unlit


I peel off the pigtail and apply a little heat. The draw is loose, but the flavour is excellent, medium tobacco with a great, full taste of freshly turned earth, cedar and subtle nutmeg spice. Half an inch in and the earth leaves in favour of roasted chestnuts, the meat greasy on the tongue. The smoke is thick and blue, and the night is so still that it wafts skyward in a column that is uncompromisingly straight.

I’m sipping a Seppeltsfield Para Grand, the $25 entry level tawny in a range that includes Australia’s most expensive wine, the world’s only annually released 100 year old vintage, which is to say that starting in the nineteenth century, someone had the foresight to set aside a barrel every year with the intention of opening it only after a century had passed, and that those barrels somehow managed to survive unopened through three generations of ownership changes, wars, recessions, fires, floods and fiscal crises before they started tapping one per year in the late-1970s. That 100 year old is a bit expensive for my blood, but its poor cousin is quite acceptable, a generic sweet wine that you can put half a bottle of inside you without really thinking too much about it; a good after dinner drink for the closet alcoholic.

Trinidad Torre Iznaga Colección Habanos 2006 one third smoked

At the halfway point the cigar turns on me for just a minute, the fantastic flavours fading to nothing but dirty ashes, but just as I delightedly prepare to write this off as another disappointing Trinidad it comes back, the ash disappearing and leaving a very light tobacco, clean new-wallet leather and roasted bean.

I had the pleasure once of participating in a blind taste test of Graham’s four aged tawny ports, at 10, 20, 30 and 40 years old respectively. There were four of us blind that night, and we were in total agreement as which port was which. We were also all totally wrong, nominating the 10 as the 40, the 20 as the 30, the 30 as the 20 and the 40 as the 10. I can’t speak to the logic of the others, but for my own part I based my decision largely on smoothness. All the wines were great, and once the labels had been revealed I revisited them all, meditating on the flavours. The truth that I took away from the evening is that as tawny ports, when first put into the barrel, essentially taste like Ribena: they are sweet, and smooth, and I imagine would be consumed with no complaints if an irresponsible parent were to serve them at a ten year old’s birthday party. As they age they certainly become more complex – a complexity that the aficionado no doubt appreciates – but with that complexity comes a strength of flavour, a sharpness, an alcohol burn, the tang of citrus rinds, the tannins of wood and so on. I like to think that were I to present a novice smoker with a Torre Ignaza and a more humble cigar, they would choose the Torre every time – its quality is self-evident and unmistakable. With the Graham’s port I suspect that a novice drinker would prefer the 10. And that 100 year old Seppeltsfield must be bloody awful.

Trinidad Torre Iznaga Colección Habanos 2006 final third

The Torre Ignaza ends with a slight bitterness, more good espresso than bad tar – I don’t feel even the slightest need to spit or cleans my palette after a puff, which is my dividing line between ‘good bitterness’ and ‘bad bitterness.’ The burn has been mediocre throughout: I’ve had to relight three times and touch up a handful of others. Smoking time was a hair over three hours, and for the past two I’ve felt intensely relaxed, the cold of the night and the ever present threat of mosquito bites wafting from my mind like so much fine tobacco smoke. When all is said and done, this is a fantastic cigar, supremely balanced, incredibly elegant, by far the best Trinidad I’ve ever smoked, and one of the better entries in the Colección Habanos. It’s hard for anything at this end of the spectrum to ever live up to its price tag – for the cost of one of these you could easily get five top notch sticks from the regular production – but if you’re the kind of person for whom a $100+ cigar can ever constitute value, then I don’t think you’d be disappointed in the Trinidad Torre Ignaza.

Trinidad Torre Iznaga Colección Habanos 2006 nub

Trinidad Torre Iznaga Colección Habanos 2006 on the Cuban Cigar Website

Hoyo de Monterrey Extravaganza Colección Habanos 2003

The third release of the Colección Habanos, 2003’s Hoyo de Monterrey Extravaganza is an odd looking brute; the wrapper changes shade significantly along the length of the wrapper leaf, which gives the cigar something of a barber-pole stripe pattern not unlike the one you see on exotic fakes from time to time. In true Cuban style the embossing on the band’s crest is appalling, which is to say that it is essentially not embossed, just a nondescript gold blob on a white background. The consensus seems to be that the name of this cigar is the Extravaganza, although there is some room for doubt, as the official Habanos web page for the release refers to it as the Lusitania, which was the name of a long departed HdM Nro. 109. Is this a recreation of that cigar? The sizes are the same, but are the blends? For me, the point is moot: the Lusitania was discontinued in the 1980s and I haven’t had the pleasure, and were I to acquire one now the age difference would spoil the comparison.

Hoyo de Monterrey Extravaganza Colección Habanos 2003 unlit

I set the cigar alight and lean back, closing my eyes and luxuriating in the pale autumn sunlight. The opening centimetre or so is pleasant, giving a very mild tobacco with strong grass and herbal notes, particularly in the aftertaste, which includes a sharp nasturtium tang. There’s quite a bit of wood, the sap from freshly split logs. It’s not entirely my thing, to be honest, but you can tell that this is a first class cigar, and I’m sure it would be right up the alley of someone with a slightly different palette to my own.

I’m pairing the Extravaganza with a bottle of muscat from 2007. I was poking around in the back of my wine cupboard this morning looking for some port to make a coffee cocktail, when my hand fell upon the muscat and I decided that today would be the day. It bears a label from the Cigar Society of Australia and New Zealand, with the subtitle “The Final Chapter: 28-June-2007.” The Cigar Society of Australia and New Zealand was a club run out of a cigar store in Melbourne that once upon a time would host an annual dinner in the ballroom at the Grand Hyatt, packing the place with a few hundred aficionados, and giving them a heavy meal and three cigars a piece. By desert the ballroom was filled with a fog so dense that visibility was reduced to just a few meters, and staggering aficionados would loom suddenly out of it like ships in the night. I acquired this muscat at the last of dinners, where the society held a mock funeral for their order, and cigar smoking in general. The president of the order was brought in in a casket; his burial presided over by a famously outspoken Catholic priest. Three days later smoking indoors was banned in Melbourne. I think the Cigar Society persisted for a few years with smaller events, just drinks on a rooftop patio some place, but it wasn’t the same. Nowadays their URL times out, and Google only returns ancient news articles. The cigar shop still exists, so perhaps the society is still around in some form, their internet presence toned down for an age where cigar smoking is an activity allowed only behind firmly closed doors.

Hoyo de Monterrey Extravaganza Colección Habanos 2003, half smoked on a glass of muscat

The muscat is pleasant enough, a simple fruity drink for a simple fruity man. With a strong plum flavour and a smack of honey in the aftertaste, it’s not overly complex, but is better than you’d expect from a free wine. The cloying sweetness on my palette is enough to knock off whatever sharp edge the Extravaganza was presenting (or perhaps it has mellowed of its own accord: the edge is gone at any rate), leaving a very nutty, barnyard sort of flavour, a simple, approachable cigar for the gentleman farmer to puff off as he casually surveys the fences on the back of an old, faithful work horse. His aging retriever follows a while, but eventually gives up and returns to the house to lie on the battered wicker loveseat on the porch.

That final cigar dinner fell on a Thursday night (I remember it because I wore a suit jacket to work that day in anticipation of it, and as soon as my boss saw me he pulled me into his office and demanded to know where I was interviewing: we were not normally a formal workplace). The smoking ban came into effect at midnight on Saturday night, which worked out well for everybody, one glorious last hurrah for the social smoker. Myself, three friends and four Montecristo Number 2s got ourselves prime position, a table right in the middle of the dance floor of a particularly fashionable young nightspot. It was a chilly night, as June nights in Melbourne are, but we were left more or less alone in our cloud of blue smoke, the bulk of the bar’s population of pretty young things choosing to shiver out on the semi-enclosed patio rather than enjoy the aroma of fine Cuban leaf. They’d walk past us to refresh their drinks, more than one giving a dirty look or sneering “that stinks.” At midnight we had a small ceremony and tossed our nubs into the ashtray, which the wait-staff promptly cleared, never to return. Like a ruptured dyke the pretty young things flowed indoors, filling the dance floor, and put off by the noise and constant jostling we smokers decamped to the now vacant patio, where we began the first evening of our never ending exile.

Hoyo de Monterrey Extravaganza Colección Habanos 2003, final third

In the final few inches the tang returns, along with a peaty taste and something not unlike a coffee factory burning down. It’s still very smokable to the last. The burn throughout has been perfect, with not a single touch up or relight. The Hoyo de Monterrey Extravaganza is not an amazing cigar, but it’s very pleasant on a mild day. The price of admission on these is well over $100, and it’s definitely not worth that, but if you can find one at an estate sale for $25, you shouldn’t hesitate for one moment.

Hoyo de Monterrey Extravaganza Colección Habanos 2003 nub

Hoyo de Monterrey Extravaganza Colección Habanos 2003 on the Cuban Cigar Website

Cuaba Salomones Colección Habanos 2001

NB. A friend of the harem recently made a request: he wanted to see a retrospective of the first decade of the much maligned Colección Habanos, and more importantly, he sent the cigars. This review is the first in that series.

The Colección Habanos is an annual release of a book-shaped libro humidor, typically containing twenty large format cigars. The number they produce each year has gradually increased – for the last few years it has been 2000, but in the early days it was only 300. The colección is criticised for a few reasons: firstly, they are too big – more than anything else, these are the tip of the spear as far as girthy Habanos are concerned. Secondly, they are too expensive: prices vary year to year (Cohiba commanded a considerable premium), but you rarely get away for less than $100 a stick, and finally, because they’re one of the more esoteric annual releases. The Reserva and the Gran Reserva series represent the best of the best, the Edición Limitada and the Edición Regional both have a stated purpose, as do the commemorative humidors, but what exactly is this series supposed to be? These, arguably along with the Replica Ancient humidors, are true collector’s items; nobody owns just one of the Colección Habanos: you either have the set or you don’t have any.

I’ve already reviewed two cigars from the colección in my brand verticals, the Monte Maravillas No. 1 and the Partagás Serie C. No. 1, but today I’m smoking the granddaddy of them all, the first in the series, 2001’s Cuaba Salomones.

Cuaba Salomones Colección Habanos 2001 unlit

It’s a gorgeous looking cigar, no doubt about that. The wrapper is silky smooth, and a beautiful deep glossy brown. Construction appears to be flawless. You can pretty much pick your own draw on a perfecto like this – cut it higher if you want it looser – and mine is exactly how I like it.

I light it and inhale. It’s disgusting. I haven’t smoked a Cuaba recently enough to remember what they’re supposed to taste like, but this one is bitter and tannic, with a sort of chemical aftertaste, vaguely reminiscent of burning rubber. I have a policy of taking every cigar to the nub, but that is going to be a serious chore if this rubber fire continues for the next two hours.

There aren’t many brands that are more universally disliked than Cuaba. It was created in 1996 (at the height of the cigar boom) supposedly as a premium brand, intended to sit alongside Cohiba and Trinidad, offering something a little special and unique in the Cuban line-up (at a price point befitting their standing). They specialise in figurados, cigars that come to a point at both ends, an old Cuban style of cigar that had fallen out of favour, and is still almost non-existent in the standard line-ups of other brands (they are reasonably common amongst exotic and limited cigars, and as such they are over represented on this website).

When the sales of a particular cigar brand are low to non-existent (Fonseca, for example), and yet the brand remains inexplicably in production while far more worthy cigars are discontinued, the rational Habanos generally gives is that they are “popular in Spain.” Cuaba has been popular in Spain for a while now. A cigar store clerk friend of mine once told me that he has a customer in his store that buys a box of five Cuaba Diademas (the 55 x 233mm [9.1″!] flagship – a massive foil-wrapped cigar, that although spectacular to behold, is totally unsmokable) every week, no doubt accounting for the majority of global sales.

Cuaba Salomones Colección Habanos 2001 a third smoked

Fortunately, after about the first inch the bitterness departs, and the cigar settles down into a fairly one dimensional but not unpleasant grassy flavour. It reminds me of a parched field of dead grass at the height of summer, the sort of place one might lie while watching an indie band at a country wine and produce fair. It remains in this casual, inoffensive place for about an hour of smoking time, until I reach the halfway point, where it develops a sort of ashy taste, with a sour aftertaste, which, within a few centimetres starts to show tar. It only gets worse from there.

Cuaba Salomones Colección Habanos 2001 final third

This first release of the Colección Habanos is unique in a few ways, and it’s obvious that at the time they didn’t really know where they were going with the series. It’s by far the rarest: there were other years when they released as few units as they did in 2001 (300), but this is the only one where there were just ten cigars in the box. In every other case the cigars were something unique or at least unusual for the brand, but this cigar is one that is available in the regular Cuaba line-up. When Cuba releases a standard production size in a special release without going to great lengths to explain what makes these particular cigars unique, it generally means that they have just packaged the standard production in a fancy box. I imagine that this is the case here, although I rather hope it isn’t, and the regular production cigars are better that this.

The early 2000s were a chaotic time for Habanos as they struggled with the Altidas joint venture, with the surge in production levels demanded by the ‘90s cigar boom, with the new strain of Habanos 2000 wrappers, and much else besides. Cigars from this period are notoriously hit and miss in quality, although usually it’s the construction of the cigar that suffers, not the flavour. This cigar was flawlessly constructed, with a perfect draw and razor sharp burn, but at best its flavour was unremarkable, at worst, unpleasant. A Harem of Dusky Beauties is not a particularly good guide for quality, as its stated mission is to review exotic and unusual Cuban cigars, which tend to be at the apex of cigars produced worldwide. Perhaps a less spoiled smoker than myself might be able to find some merit in the Cuaba Salomones, but for me, this is amongst the very worst cigars I have ever reviewed. Collector’s item only. Not for human consumption.

Cuaba Salomones Colección Habanos 2001 nub

Cuaba Salomones Colección Habanos 2001 on the Cuban Cigar Website.

Partagás Roundup

Below is a list, ranked from best to worst, of the Partagás cigars smoked so far on this blog. It will be updated from time to time.

  1. Partagás 109 150th Anniversary Humidor
  2. Partagás Robustos Extra 155th Anniversary Humidor
  3. Partagás Grand Pyramid 160th Aniversario Humidor
  4. Partagás Piramides Edición Limitada 2000
  5. Partagás Serie C No. 1 Colección Habanos 2002
  6. Partagás 109 165th Aniversario Humidor
  7. Partagás Selección Privada Edición Limitada 2014
  8. Partagás Serie C No. 3 Edición Limitada 2012
  9. Partagás Serie P No. 1
  10. Partagás Salomones
  11. Partagás Culebras
  12. Partagás Sobresalientes Réplica de Humidor Antiguo
  13. Partagás Serie D Especial Edición Limitada 2010
  14. Partagás Serie D No. 2 Edición Limitada 2003
  15. Partagás Serie D No. 5 Edición Limitada 2008
  16. Partagás Serie D No. 4

The list above does not represent a complete roundup of the Partagás special releases, even at the time of publication, as unfortunately, I have yet to obtain some cigars. These are listed below, and will be added to the ranked list if and when I smoke them. A fan of Dusky Beauties? Here is your chance to perpetuate it: send cigars. I can be contacted at

Partagás Serie D No. 3 Edición Limitada 2001
Partagás Royals de Partagás 510 Aniversario Humidor
Partagás Serie D No. 1 Edición Limitada 2004
Partagás Serie D No. 4 Reserva Cosecha 2000
Partagás Serie D No. 3 Edición Limitada 2006
Partagás Serie C No. 3 Edición Limitada 2012
Partagás Lusitanias Gran Reserva

Partagás Logo

Partagás Sobresalientes Réplica de Humidor Antiguo

I’m on the waterfront, the docklands, Melbourne’s great urban renewal project of the 1990s. It’s widely derided in Melbourne as a failure, a soulless ghost town, and a disaster of urban planning, but failure is a relative term that rather depends on what you set out to accomplish. The docks, after all, were renewed, were they not? Luxury apartments and frozen yogurt shops have definitely taken the place of the cavernous warehouses and the greasy chip shops that the stevedores of yesteryear frequented. The main criticism is that nobody comes down here, that the streets are empty, but I’m sure the young professionals who live in the luxury apartments here aren’t too bothered by the rural serenity of their inner city suburb. To me, about to enjoy a Partagás Sobresalientes from the Replica Antique Humidor on my own private pier on a wonderfully still, cloudless day, the lack of foot traffic doesn’t seem like such a bad thing at all.

Partagás Sobresalientes Réplica de Humidor Antiguo unlit

I open the end and puff a few times with the cigar unlit, testing the draw. It is very loose, right on the cusp of unacceptably so. I bring a flame to the foot, and after a few sour puffs it turns quite velvety, with a heavy, herbal taste that is reminiscent of a good quality gin. There is a light dusty dryness in the aftertaste.

An old blanket is draped on the slime covered rocks below my position, and has been there so long that it appears to have become one of them, soaked in the same mud that has coloured the rocks, and sharing the same patina from the tides and the same slime pattern. I watch a dozen or so bright orange crabs as they move about, grazing on the muck. There is something going on under the water as well: for the first few meters off the shore it is punctuated by columns of air-bubbles rising to the surface. I can’t imagine what from – they seem far too regular and vigorous to be the work of crabs or photosynthesizing algae, but there’s so many of them that if they’re from a leaky pipe or tunnel then somebody has a big problem on their hands. A black swan, tag number G10 swims sedately by. He spies a floating apple, and, smart enough to pick it out from the non-edible flotsam, has a go at it. It’s too big for him, and after a dozen or so attempts he gives up and drifts away. He leaves the crabs unmolested.

When I lived in Shanghai I always used to marvel at the subsistence economy that existed on banks of the Huangpu and its tributaries, undoubtedly one of the most polluted waterways in the world. I’d often walk the banks of the river during my lunch break, and when the tide was low the rocks would be covered in scavengers, picking them clean of crabs and mussels and other shellfish. When I was a boy it was not unusual to see bodies floating in the Huangpu, presumably belonging to onetime scavengers who had lost their footing on the river’s slimy edge. By the time I returned to China as an adult the corpses were a lot rarer, presumably fished out at one of the gargantuan new dams upstream (or perhaps ground up in their power turbines).

Partagás Sobresalientes Réplica de Humidor Antiguo, two thirds left, with a coffee and some Ray-Ban Aviators

Part way through and the cigar is very mellow, a light tobacco flavour with a lot of wood and straw. There’s not a huge amount to it at this point, especially for a cigar of this ring gauge, but it’s an extremely pleasant, mild and elegant smoke, and perfect for an afternoon like mine. I was enjoying a cup of coffee with this but I finished it a little quicker than I meant to and am enjoying the later part of the cigar on its own – my main observation is that it would go extremely well with a dry, non-threatening cocktail, or perhaps a light white wine.

The Shanghai waterfront was anything but deserted. Once, late at night, I was in need of a romantic spot to canoodle with a girlfriend, and with Melbourne’s desolate waterfront in mind I headed for the river. It must have been one in the morning, and it wasn’t even a weekend, but the place was teeming: a thousand other canoodling couples were there, occupying every bench, bollard, and railing. They were serenaded by cacophonic street musicians and serviced by a range of food carts and several hundred hawkers who zipped back and forth on LED lit roller-skates, each flogging the same selection of laser pointers, electronic toys of the yapping, back-flipping dog variety, and glow-in-the-dark toy helicopters. One particularly stubborn girl selling roses latched onto us, following us for five minutes along the embankment, repeatedly trying to force a rose into my pocket despite my increasingly irate protestations. Eventually driven to breaking point I yelled at her, and made to throw her product into the river, and she skulked away. My girlfriend grew cold on me after that: she denied it at the time, but I suspect that she secretly wanted a rose.

Partagás Sobresalientes Réplica de Humidor Antiguo, two thirds smoked, with a coffee and some Ray-Ban Aviators

The cigar remains mild to the last, never turning bitter, but also never offering the dirty old Partagás flavour of the better Partagás exotics, or terribly much else of note. It’s a very pleasant cigar, a mild, cruisy smoke for mild, cruisy days. It’s totally inoffensive, and better than a PSD4 and some of the lesser limiteds. If you have a box I wouldn’t treasure them. If you don’t have one I wouldn’t seek one out.

Partagás Sobresalientes Réplica de Humidor Antiguo nub, on a coffee cup

Partagás Réplica de Humidor Antiguo on the Cuban Cigar Website