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  1. How are 2016 Ramon Allones Superiores smoking? Any experience with boxes with the ETP factory code? Thanks.
  2. This cigar starts with heavy fruity, spice, pepper and woody flavours followed by nut, cream, coffee, tobacco notes after going through 1/3 of a cigar. These aromas are combined so nicely with the complexity throughout the end that makes me not to stop puffing it even once. What a great Robusto for both cigar connoisseurs and beginners who want to try medium-full strength fruity Robusto! -Mr. Knight Brand: Ramón Allones Size: 50 x 124 (Robusto) Country: Cuba Box Code: Received as a gift from our member, Raskol (ndchow) Price: Received as a gift from our member, Raskol (ndchow) Score: 96
  3. Greetings again dear friends! Below are a number of video reviews of cigars which I've termed 'uncommon' due to their discontinuation (or hiatus), premium exclusivity or simply for the fact that as cigar enthusiasts we're more unlikely to reach for them from our humidors! Again, like the 2017 Xmas Sampler Series, I'd like to say that speaking 'on-the-fly' about cigars is certainly a challenge and I will need to acknowledge errors throughout this series (so bare with me). Also, please feel free to share your thoughts on these cigars in this thread. If you have views or opinions contrary to what has been stated, please feel welcome to express your thoughts and say so, after all, my own views here is intended to serve as a guide.
  4. I picked up this box at Fincato in Rome on my Honeymoon. Little over a year, and I've heard such good things I figured why not try one for the Ramon Allones Review Weekend. I've been lucky that most of my boxes don't have giant stickers, but this one has a nice Italian one that, I believe, translates roughly to "if you need someone to smoke these with, call Francisco at 800xxxxxxx". Something like that anyway, I took French and Spanish, and may be a bit rusty. My cigar buddy was over helping with some garage things, and since he's a huge fan of Belicoso/Pyramid type cigars I gave him the BBF you see in the pics. He enjoyed, but is still a confirmed Monte 2 fiend. It's been quite a week - my wife and I joked it's the week of Guy: Masters Monday, Boston Tuesday for Red Sox home opener, then the Braves on Friday night. And tonight is final season of Game of Thrones. Quite a week. Construction good, but I'm getting spoiled with PSP sheen. Is that a common malady suffered by people here? I would think so. A nice cedar smell, and I used my usual V cut. Nice draw, nice even burn, good conversation and drink and smoke. Cedar and a little peanut. Delicious. I'm definitely keeping more of these around, when I *finally* get to Cuba I'm going to grab a couple boxes and keep my eyes open for PSP variants here.
  5. Ramon Allones Hunters & Frankau Aniversario 225 Review Vitola: Gorditos 50 ring gauge x 141 mm or 5.6 inches How does one follow-up smoking a Cohiba Gran Reserva Cosecha 2003 Siglo VI? Answer: with great difficulty! And so it was that after Trevor and I enjoyed that sterling cigar, I offered my humble split of Ramon Allones Hunters & Frankau Aniversario 225 cigars. I too, was able to get some of these thanks to @LordAnubis (or Mus as we know him), so a big thank you to you! For those of you wishing to know the background of this special United Kingdom Regional Edition, please kindly read below: About this cigar: To mark Hunters & Frankau's 225th Anniversary, we are offering a very special Havana cigar and a commemorative humidor. Just 50,000 of the cigars have been produced in numbered SLB boxes of 25. Master blender Arnaldo Vichot at the Partagas factory, created the rich mixture of leaves for the cigars. Two different blends were submitted to a tasting panel in November 2012 and once the blend was chosen by H&F representatives, production of all 50,000 cigars took place between February and May 2013 and was undertaken by just three top grade torcedores. In the traditional British manner, the cigars were then shipped to the UK and aged for a period of two years in their condition-controlled warehouse so that they would be fully matured before being released to the market. Popular Vitola: H&F 225th Aniversario Factory Vitola: Gordito con Cabeza Tumbada Ring Gauge: 50 Cigar Length: 141 mm / 5.5 inches Body: Medium - Full Hence, as can be seen in the notes above, it was intended as a special cigar (the very fact that the head is tapered, like a Numero 109, alludes to this, visually). But if you've tasted it, what exactly is special about it? After sampling it, I was most impressed, as was Trevor. However, I believe this is because of the fact that this cigar has been aged a few years and utilised a blend that was, in my opinion, a touch under medium body, unlike your standard Ramon Allones cigar which tends to be fuller-bodied. @Jeremy Festa wrote a review recently stating that this cigar had notes of madeira cake and was floral. I feel that this is an apt description of what this cigar is like... A Ramon Allones cigar that is like madeira cake and is floral, and medium-bodied? Surely not! Alas, this is what this is, and if you are an archetypal Ramon Allones aficionado, then dare I say, this cigar may not be for you. So whereas Rob and Ken didn't mind this refined offering... our dear friend from the UK, Laurence Davis, didn't like it in quite the same way. FoH Forum member @Luca and I regularly discuss Laurence's preference for larger ring gauge and powerful cigars, and his passion for fine cigars, so I can understand why the RA H&F 225 Aniversario was not to his liking. And so the question remains...if you enjoy your Ramon Allones cigars fuller-bodied with a rich 'Christmas cake' profile, is this 'pared' release, in comparison, for you? While you ponder that, below are some other references on our forum to this cigar. One thing I know for sure, if you have these, and you feel you need to age them further, I'd say they won't improve much more than what they are now. This is definitely one cigar you can enjoy now, if it suits your profile.
  6. I was curious what folks think of recent production of Ramon Allones Gigantes? I'm in the market for a box of prominentes and these have piqued my interest. I've heard they're similar is flavor to the RASCC which I love. Anyone have any thoughts? The fact that they share a name with my favorite baseball team doesn't hurt, and maybe I'll have one for opening day.
  7. Ramon Allones Club Allones - Edición Limitada 2015 (AUM Jul 2015) Vitola: Club Allones (47 ring gauge x 135 mm or 5.3 inches) Introduction: Just like the Partagas Seleccion Privada 2014, I've been meaning to visit this cigar for some time now, again as much as 12 months. Again, you rated it highly. A recent thread below discussed the two best Limited Editions of the past three years and the Ramon Allones Club Allones got many of your votes. Alas, unlike the Partagas Seleccion Privada, the Club Allones has enjoyed a 'longer life' than most Limited Editions by being available for acquisition well into 2017 (well, it didn't come out until 2016 though, didn't it?). In the annual FoH Top 25 Cigars for 2016 poll, you voted it 9th overall . El Pres requested your thoughts on the Ramon Allones Club Allones when it first came out and the consensus was positive... A quick note on the wrapper, the Ramon Allones Club Allones has been noted for its dark wrapper, although these aren't Cuban Maduro wrappers, which are a different thing altogether . I find Ramon Allones, as a marca overall, tends to attract a higher proportion of Colorado Maduro (and darker) wrappers than other marcas, and this has been true of the Ramon Allones Club Allones, like Limited Editions cigars in general. A poll in 2014 indicated that FoH members prefer Colorado Maduro shaded wrappers to other wrappers, is this one of the reasons for the popularity of the Club Allones? This Limited Edition cigar has enjoyed multiple reviews on our forum, and I must admit that in writing this review I find that I would struggle to say anything new that hasn't been said before. Perhaps I can add what Habanos S.A. wrote about this cigar on their website when it was released... Ramón Allones Club Allones (47 ring gauge x 135 mm length) is the other 2015 Edición Limitada. This vitola is unique within the range of sizes of the brand and it is characterized by an intense and complex flavour. Club Allones is an opportunity for those smokers who enjoy full flavours Habanos and who now can taste them with the particular characteristics of the Ediciones Limitadas. Aroma and Cold Draw: Again, as is typical of Limited Edition releases, the aroma was refined yet strong. The wrapper was a distinctive Maduro wrapper shade that is common with this cigar (although please note, they aren't maduro-leafed wrappers). The cold draw exhibited characteristics of strength, with a earthy and tobacco combination, yet the draw was very good and construction was excellent. First Third: The first few puffs gave me a nice smooth taste of a combination of espresso and dark cocoa flavours. A few more draws and the 'Ramon Allones stewed fruit' profile came to the fore, giving this cigar a nice balance between it pleasant sweetness and its strength. There was excellent smoke per draw. Second Third: The strength picked up, this is definitely a medium-full bodied cigar, and it remained that way. The combination of espresso and rich, dark cocoa and stewed fruit is similarly intensified. A highly enjoyable cigar! . Final Third: Normally the final third is where your cigar is most intense, flavours drop off and acridity or bitterness can build up forcing you to extinguish it early. This was not the case today. I had no issue whatsoever with drawing this down to the nub, and although the flavours that I enjoyed in the first two-thirds weren't anywhere near as evident, the wonderfully strong toasted tobacco richness in the final third more than compensated. Conclusion: Why this is a great Limited Edition cigar ultimately comes down to a number of factors in my opinion. Firstly, I think the vitola is just right, it would be prefect if it was a 42 ring gauge, in my view, yet the fact that it's not over 50 ring gauge is just ideal, as is its length. At 135 mm in length it is about halfway between the length of a Petit Corona (129 mm) and a Corona (142 mm), which again I consider ideal. Simon Chase wrote an in-depth article for Cigar Journal last December lamenting the steady decline of Ramon Allones as a marca, yet praising Habanos S.A. for encouraging Regional distributors the freedom to nominate their own marcas and vitolas for their annual Regional releases. Simon stated in his article that around one-third of Regional Editions have been Ramon Allones cigars, thus, amongst aficionados and the public in general, Ramon Allones still courts favour. Finally, what about comparing this Limited Edition to the LCDH Superiores from 2010? The Superiores is a Corona Gorda at 46 ring gauge x 143 mm (or 5.6 inches) in length and is similarly popular. I find the Superiores a milder smoke, with more elements of lighter cocoa and a sweeter fruit profile. Ultimately, I think there's a place for both the Superiores and Club Allones in your humidor. Below are some other reviews and discussions on this cigar for your perusement. The Ramon Allones Club Allones is an outstanding cigar, get it today if you haven't done so already.
  8. I've decided to post my 2016 Xmas Sampler Review in the Review Section for future reference purposes. It was originally posted in February this year in the 'Daily Smoke' thread... Cigars I've smoked lately... The 2016 Xmas Sampler (dedicated to our dear friend @Hurltim) Did you happen to pick up El Pres' 2016 Xmas Sampler? These cigars represent Rob's most consistent quality cigars for 2016. I smoked through these fine cigars during my January vacation time, on my own, watching sport, watching movies and sometimes in the fine company of some other dear fellow cigar enthusiasts. I promised Hurltim I'll review these when done, but as February is a busy month in Australian work life culture (as a result of everyone returning from leave en masse!), I've finally been able to find some time to share my findings! Firstly, below are the 13 cigars included... They are, from left to right, Diplomaticos Bushido, Diplomatico No.2, Bolivar Coronas Gigantes, Partagas Lusitanias, Montecristo No.1, Fonseca No.1, H.Upmann Magnum 56 LE 2015, Ramon Allones Club Allones LE 2015, Punch Punch, Bolivar Belicosos Finos, San Cristobal de La Habana La Fuerza, Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo du Prince and Cohiba Robustos. My review will follow in chronological order... 1. Ramon Allones Club Allones LE 2015 (SOM Dic 15) I decided to start off with the 'powerhouses', the most full-bodied of the lot. I smoked this and the BBF watching the Boxing Day Cricket Test, which is traditionally Australia's most watched and attended event of the sporting summer. The Australian cricket captain, Steve Smith and leading bowler, Mitchell Starc were hitting runs aplenty on this day of the test, and it was exciting to watch Australia comeback to bowl Pakistan out and win the game. This cigar was so strong, much stronger than other RACA I've had. It had the traditional stewed profile that I enjoy in Ramon Allones, but the nicotine buzz of this wore me out by the late afternoon. 2. Bolivar Belicosos Finos (TOR May 16) So, by the time lit this in the early afternoon I was somewhat feeling a little drowsy, on account of the strong Ramon Allones Club Allones LE I had earlier and the warm weather of this particular Sydney afternoon. I thing I enjoy about BBF's are when they have an element of cream to them, alas, no such luck here. It had typical flavours associated with this vitola such as earthiness, leather, sour dough spine dipped in coffee and dark chocolate. Still, I hold hope for the next BBF I smoke! 3. H.Upmann Magnum 56 LE 2015 (MEG Mar 16) This is the special cigar I decided to have on New Year's Day this year. I made a Brandy Alexander for myself and my wife, and together with my standard long black espresso coffee, this cigar was one of the highlights of my summer! What can I say in regards to accolades about the H.Upmann Magnum 56? Smoke aplenty, mild chocolate (like all limited editions, eh?), toasted tobacco, licorice and so beautifully refined. Yes, I wish it wasn't 56 ring gauge, but I used my Credo 3-in-1 punch cutter again on this and 'sipped' it from the back. 95 minutes of pure joy and yes, I gladly nubbed it...look below! 4. Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo du Prince (TOR Jun 16) When I smoked this on the 3rd of January, little did I know that I would be saying goodbye to a dear friend. Why, oh why did I not get more boxes? Oh well, I'll live with what I have and I'll try to get some more this year, if I can. Still, I'm in disbelief in regards to this fine cigar being deleted in 2017. Rob mentioned in his tasting notes the following,..cream, cedar, bitter cooking chocolate and black coffee. This description is about spot on for me. My recommendation for all Le Hoyo line HdM, is to age them. If you enjoy them young, try to smoke through half a box, and rest what's left for a minimum 5 years. That combination of cream and cedar, when aged, is just so ineffable. Some of you will know what I mean. 5. Punch Punch (ALO Mar 16) Did you get yourself a 50 cab of these recently? Well, I certainly hope you did. The Punch Punch will be around in 2018, but only in 25 dress boxes, there's something nostalgic about this in 50 cabs that this cigar deserves. Again, I very much enjoyed this, cream, leather, spice...just Punch at its finest, and how surprised was I on account of its youthfulness? I wish there were two of these in the sampler! 6. Diplomaticos No.2 (TOS Mar 16) This was the very best of all the cigars I smoked from the Xmas Sampler. Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Sourdough...just 100 minutes of sweet joy that I hope Habanos S.A can replicate for this cigar for sometime. If you've put this away, or are smoking through some TOS 15/16 Diplomaticos No.2 currently, you are truly fortunate! 7. San Cristobal de La Habana La Fuerza (TOS Mar 16) Cocoa, coffee, molasses and sweetbread...this is quintessential San Cristobal de La Habana. This is a marca I absolutely adore because I'm a sweet tooth. This cigar was very, very good and I was well-satisfied, but it goes to show how good the Punch Punch and Diplomaticos No.2 were on this day for me to rate those vitolas higher. 8. Cohiba Robustos (ETP Jun 16) This, and the next two cigars, I enjoyed in the company of some fine Sydney Friends of Habanos members at a get together at my house. Again, it was a warm Sunday summer's day, but this Robusto was still distinctively Cohiba, with that combination of grass/hay, honey, citrus and cream we all know and love. 9. Fonseca No.1 (UME Mar 15) Apparently this cigar has been deleted a few years ago, but it just seems to go into production now and then ever since the announcement. Wood, floral notes, soft marshmallow and very, very mild. This is suitable for a change of pace. Construction on this was outstanding! 10. Montecristo No.1 (BUM Abr 15) How good is it to have this Lonsdale cigar smoking this well? This was the third cigar of our get together and I think I saved the best for last! Montecristo cocoa, cream and leather in a 1 and 3/4 hours smoke. I don't think I have these often enough! 11. Diplomaticos Bushido (TOS Oct 15) This is an incredibly special Asia Pacifico Regional Edition release. You know this from the very fact that the cigar is tapered at the head, a Numero 109, a vitola saved for the very best cigars. And, this is one of those cigars so deserving of that praise. I saved this for a get together with Trevor and Alex to discuss Cuban Cigar Website on a mid-week day in January. Unfortunately, the day was extremely hot, over 100°F (38°C). Still, I savoured that Diplomaticos sourdough and cinnamon goodness, and the fine, fine company! 12. Partagas Lusitanias (OBM Jun 16) I can't remember the last time I had a double corona, but after having this, I made sure to pick up a box from a 24:24 sale soon after. I found this like a milder Partagas Shorts...mild, smooth spice, coffee and sourdough. It went for 2 hours and 5 minutes and after I finished it I wanted to light one up immediately thereafter! 13. Bolivar Coronas Gigantes (PUR Mar 16) I smoked this watching 'La La Land' with my wife and boy did this cigar send me there. Oh what a pity it's being deleted, and even though Bolivar is not favourite marca on account of the earthiness in its profile, still, I can appreciate the spice, coffee and toasted tobacco spine. How apt I should end the Sampler series on this cigar. Farewell will be long remembered!
  9. I have an APR 16 box of RASS from our lovely host purchased last August. Should I let these sit for a while longer or is it within the window to start smoking?
  10. I came across the following article of interest from Simon Chase, the British 'Cigar Sage' who worked for Hunters and Frankau from 1977 until his retirement in 2009. I always find what he has to say of interest, due to his passion and experience for Habanos cigars. The article below details how Ramon Allones was once a premier brand (in Simon's view, a gigantic brand), which has now been left with 3 primary vitolas, the Gigantes (Double Corona) , the Specially Selected (Robusto) and the Small Club Corona (Minuto). If we include the 2010 LCDH Exclusivo release, the Ramon Allones Superiores (Corona Gorda), then it's four main vitolas. Ramon Allones (and Bolivar) always comes up amongst the top six favourites marcas on our forum when various polls are conducted from time-to-time, so why has it been decimated over the years? On the plus side, Simon mentions the great number of Ramon Allones Regional Editions recently as a validation of the marca. Once a Gigantic Brand, Ramón Allones has Faced a Steady Descent One of the saddest stories of my time in the Havana cigar trade has been the steady, sometimes precipitous, decline of Ramón Allones. It matters to me for two reasons. One is that, between 1911 and 1927, the brand was owned by Hunters, the British cigar importer that is now part of today’s UK Habanos distributor, Hunters & Frankau, where I spent most of my career. As a result I feel an almost proprietorial responsibility for it. And the other is because, for many years, my standard response to requests for the name of my favourite cigar has been the Ramón Allones Specially Selected. In its heyday under Hunters’ ownership, Ramón Allones was a gigantic brand. The company’s 1924 catalogue lists a total of sixty-two different sizes to choose from. A range on this scale continued after the brand was sold in 1927 to Cifuentes, Pego y Cía, which owned the Partagás factory, right up until the outbreak of the Second World War. Wartime currency restrictions prohibited the importation of Havana cigars to Britain completely until 1952 and even then the quantities were limited. Hunters’ 1957 catalogue listed a modest ten sizes in seventeen references for Ramón Allones. Nevertheless, it was a big brand in the UK, with sales far outstripping the company’s other major player, Montecristo. Photo: Hunters & Frankau Apart from the inevitable Coronas and Petit Coronas, in those days, the Ramón Allones’ range encompassed two interesting slender vitolas as well as a group of heavier ring-gauge sizes. On the slim side were the Private Stock (40 x 6 3⁄8 in/162mm) and the perfecto-shaped Ideales de Ramón (36 x 6 3⁄8 in/161mm). And under the heading of ‘cigars of extra bold girth’ came the Magnum (46 x 5 5⁄8 in/143mm), the Allones Grandes (44 x 6 1⁄4 in/160mm) and the Allones Specially Selected (48 x 5 1⁄8 in/130mm), although it was a different shape to my favourite cigar of today. After the Cuban revolution in 1959, things stayed much as they were for the subsequent decade. One notable addition to the Ramón Allones range was a unique form of packaging for its Coronas, the 8-9-8 cabinet selection, with its contents of 25 cigars arranged with eight on the top row, nine in the middle row and eight on the bottom row. In fact, this innovation was first introduced in 1958, just before the revolution at the request of Hunters. Photo: Hunters & Frankau The 1970s heralded a period of change; at first positive and then negative. In 1972 there was a rationalisation of sizes between Ramón Allones and Partagás, which saw the Magnum and the old Specially Selected disappear, but the addition of the 109-sized Gigantes, the Dalia-sized 8-9-8 (called the Churchill 8-9-8 in England), a thin Ninfas known as the Selección No. 55, a Franciscano called the Allones Extra and a tiny Panetela named the Ramonita. The Specially Selected returned as a 50 x 4 7⁄8 in/124mm Robusto size in 1975. At this point things looked good for Ramón Allones. However, there were forces at work that were set to undermine it. First, it was a brand, the sales of which were focused on just two markets: the UK and Switzerland. Partagás, on the other hand, was more widely known around the world. Then there were the rising fortunes of other Cuban brands, particularly Montecristo. A surprising fact that I unearthed shortly after my arrival at Hunters was that Ramón Allones’s UK turnover in 1970 had been three times higher than Montecristo’s. But, by 1980, that position had been reversed and Montecristo’s sales had become three times higher than Ramón Allones’s. What caused such a dramatic shift I have never fully understood, but fashions change, I suppose. It was lucky that, in 1978, I photographed the whole Ramón Allones range as it then was. Because that same year, Cubatabaco started a process of rationalisation. The 109-sized Gigantes became a standard Prominentes, or Double Corona, and the Private Stock, Ideales de Ramón, Allones Grandes and Selección No. 55 disappeared completely. Over the next two decades, many more sizes fell by the wayside, until the early 21st century, when just three standard sizes remained – the Gigantes, the Specially Selected and the Small Club Corona. As a final indignity, when Habanos S.A. rated all its 27 brands by order of importance, Ramón Allones was placed in the lowest category as a ‘local brand.’ On the face of it, you could argue that the time has come to close the door on the history of this venerable brand. But one factor suggests a different course of action. Since 2005, Habanos S.A. has permitted its distributors to request special sizes in less well-known brands to sell exclusively in their markets as Regional Editions. It is staggering that over 150 of these specialities were produced up until 2015. But it is equally remarkable that the brand chosen most often, accounting for one in every five Regional Editions, is – you guessed it – Ramón Allones. With such a vote of confidence from Habanos S.A.’s distributors in all corners of the world, surely it’s time to give Ramón Allones a lift. And there are plenty of sizes from the past that I, for one, would enjoy smoking again. Source:
  11. I think the title says it all. Yes, when I lit up this cigar I had all sorts of descriptors and metaphors to describe it. I have since forgotten them! As usual (for these), this is one of the better cigars that I have smoked this year. It was just a fantastic, complex, enjoyable and well spent hour with a cigar. Competition, well, I could give a rats ass, but I did want to share the cigar. Frankly, I wish I had enough to send you all one. If I could have bought a thousand of them, frankly I would have! Discontinuing these was a serious hit the Habanos world. Do they care? I think not! Beautiful cigar! Beautiful evening! Storybook burn (if that means anything).... To continue.... ... now I'm done! -the Pig
  12. This Ramon Allones is a discontinued small Belvederes size. This is from a box of machine made cigars from 2002, so already quite old. These tend to suffer from construction issues that influence both draw and the continued smoking. This particular cigar also needed extensive relighting and careful smoking. Taste wise they are not very refined, offering a smoking experience that is quite harsh but distinctly Cuban. Lets just say it was an OK smoke but I have better cigars in my humidor
  13. Cubacigar is the distributor for Benelux region which services Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. After Habanos S.A. started doing Regional Editions in 2005, Cubacigar came out with their first, a variation on the RASS that we have all come to know and love. This new cigar was a Gran Robusto. The same ring gauge (50) as the RASS but 1.225 inches longer. First introduced in limited quantities in 2007 with a little over 25,000 cigars made, they did something unusual for a Regional Edition in bringing it back in 2008. This time it was a larger release of 65,000 cigars. 1,400 boxes of 25 and 600 cabinets of 50, of which I have one of the 50 cabinets that I received recently. I was going to let this cigar rest longer but for the purposes of the review, I thought this was as good an occasion as any to try my first one. The cigar has sat at a consistent 66%rh since it’s arrival and we have a nice fall day to smoke it outside with the temperature in the 60’s and the humidity at 49%. Not sure how many more of these days I will enjoy outside before the temperature gets too cold. First the smell cold, I would compare it to a cappuccino with some chocolate notes as well. As I couldn’t find my usual punch cut, I opted for a straight cut. The construction was good, not perfect but I am a little surprised at how nice the cigar looks considering it’s age. The wrapper has a nice oily sheen on it which invites me to light it and try it out. Upon first light I am greeted with a nice aroma and nothing harsh about it. There is a little saltiness, similar to what you would find in a fine European butter, that balances the cream and coffee flavors that start out the cigar. The draw is excellent. Not as tight as by Monte Anejados nor as open as I find the Upmann 56 EL. In spite of the fact that this cigar traveled half way around the world to get to me and has only spent 5 days in the humi, I am surprised with how perfect the burn is on it. As it burns through the first third, I also detect the stewed fruit that is so common in the Ramon Allones marca. Also, at times, I get the taste of vanilla. Sometimes a little carmel. After 8 years, this is an amazing cigar and my only regret, not having gotten a second cabinet but then again, my understanding wife might have stopped being so understanding of my “hobby” if I had. Still, this has got to be one of the best cigars that I have ever enjoyed. The smoke production is good, better than your typical RASS. As we get into the second third, I sense more of a coffee flavor but nothing overpowering. Cigars like this are what make it almost impossible for me to smoke NC’s anymore. So much flavor, so much complexity. This cigar is a pleasure to smoke versus the peppery spice bombs from other countries. Not to say that this cigar doesn’t have any spice because it’s there. At times some white pepper and certainly a sharpness at times as well but nothing distracting and the cigar continues to impress me as the flavors changes with each puff. The second third started out with coffee, 7 pulls into it, now I get a little more stewed fruit. Sometimes walnuts. Always a little salt, sometimes the cream comes back. The burn is a little off but doesn’t seem to need correction and I will remind you that this cigar has only had five days to settle before I smoked it. The strength is a solid medium, just where I want it to be. I have heard some complaints that people had on the draw when it was first released but if this cigar shows me what to expect from the other 49 in the cabinet, I am going to be in for a wonderful ride for years to come. This is truly a cigar to be treasured. As we get into the final third of this cigar, there is nothing harsh about the cigar and the aging has only helped smooth out the flavors without reducing the complexity. I think that this cigar will continue to age nicely. The fruit and floral flavors seem to come and go. Then you taste the walnuts again, then a little carmel to add to it. I even found the taste of cinnamon at one point but never overly spicy. The flavors are always there but balanced in every way. They complement each other and one never overpowers the other. The ash has held well but not going to set any records as it usually falls before it gets more than an inch or so. The cigar gains a little in strength but still not much more than medium IMHO. The puffs that I take as I write this are more floral in nature with a little white pepper and still some of that saltiness that I enjoy. I wouldn’t say that this cigar was different as we got towards the end but instead, the flavors just kept going and would come and go with one more noticeable than the other. I have every intention of smoking this down to the nub and appreciating the craftsmanship that went into this cigar. When I was considering purchasing this cigar, it was a debate between the cabinet of this or a cabinet of the Siglo VI. I am very happy with my choice as this will be a cabinet that I will treasure for many years to come.
  14. I got this box a couple of months ago and have enjoyed a couple of the cigars already as they have been taking their siesta in the humidor. This cigar was a special format that was exclusive to the Netherlands. A 50 ring gauge but only 4 inches (102mm) long, this is a good looking cigar with no noticeable veins or other imperfections. The smell is a nice leather smell with hints of coffee. The construction is great and the cigar is tightly packed as I would expect from Ramon Allones, my favorite marca. I used a punch cut for this cigar and upon lighting, the first thing that I notice is the draw is good and smoke production is greater than I am used to with RASS. I tasted more spice than the Gran Robusto from the other night. This is not as creamy as other Ramon Allones cigars although there is a nice balance of sweetness and spice. This is also a young cigar so maybe over time this might change and I feel that this is a cigar that you can age. So far, in the first third, the burn is spot on and I taste tart raspberries and leather. The ash holds well so far and there is also an earthiness to this cigar. The cigar burns slowly. In the second third, the creamier, buttery flavors come out and the spice goes more in the background. Also more of a woodsy flavor as well with a slightly salty finish. Smoke production is good and the cigar does not require a relight even as I pause to talk to my wife briefly as she gets home from work. The retrohale is pleasant as well. The burn is only slightly uneven and the ash has still yet to fall off. As we get into the final third, the burn becomes a little more uneven and the leather flavor comes out a little more leaving the cream more in the background. Still some saltiness but not as much as earlier. Very woodsy towards the last nub. Also, the cigar does get a little bitter but as we understand, it’s a young cigar and a couple more years rest would probably do it some good.
  15. Bought these cigars some time ago and they have enjoyed a nice rest in the Humidor. I am a big fan of the Ramon Allones marca and am already thinking that I will do three reviews this week for the contest. I smoked a couple of the Superiors when I first got the box but I don’t think that I gave them enough time to settle. With someone posting a review of a 2014 cigar, it only seemed appropriate to compare the 2012 version to the 2014. The construction is pretty spot on with minimal veins present. The o reminds me of a nice cup of milk chocolate. Not too dark and with still a nice oily sheen to it. The cold draw is sweet and a little cedar present. Now for the light. First, I should note that I use a punch cut and drinking a cup of coffee with this. As I take the first draws, I detect some cream and nice tobacco flavors right off the bat. I also detect fruit too which offers some contrast to the cream. Kind of like when I had fresh picked raspberries in heavy cream at Grandma’s house as a child. I would agree with the white pepper in the retrohale but nothing overwhelming. Nothing like a NC. The burn is good, pretty perfect actually so far. The cigar draws well too and is packed well with tobacco. Not too lose, not too tight. I would say this is a solid medium cigar. As I am in the middle of the first third, I just got a taste of peaches. Something that I have never noticed before. Not a lot of smoke but wonderful flavors. The burn remains perfect and the ash continues to hold and is very white in color. The fruit flavor evolves more to something closer to cherry and the creaminess continues but falls a little bit more in the background. There is a little salt in the finish which is complimenting the cream sensations. Buttery? Did I say Buttery? Had to take a call for work and the cigar went out but lit easily back up. As we get into the second third, the creaminess remains but a leather flavor starts to come out in front with some stewed fruit. The burn continues to be even and no touch ups are required. I really enjoy the salty finish while I smoke. Smoke production is a little stronger or maybe I am just enjoying this cigar too much and need to slow it down a little in between puffs. If I had to compare this cigar to what the previous review stated, I think that the creaminess is stronger in this “older” cigar and the salty finish is more predominant. Still a little white pepper in the retrohale but not really part of the flavor profile when you smoke it. I am enjoying the complexity of the cigar and finding it hard to continue work as I focus on the changing flavors that I am picking up. In the final third, the leather notes increase but not overwhelm. This is a wonderfully balanced cigar. The burn continues to be perfect and no issues with it going out either. I notice a little pepper finally but it could be as much the retrohale as the burn gets closer to the nub. I would agree with the other review that this is a great cigar. Complex, well constructed and considering the price point, a great value too. I would rather have a box of these almost any day over most of the other more expensive EL’s.
  16. (Review of my first experience with the Superiores) Ramon Allones Superiores – 5.6 x 46 This cigar is a “limited edition” (although they keep coming it seems) Cuban from Ramon Allones. An estimated 5000 boxes (boxed of ten only) were made. Most responses are positive for this series and many call it a high quality medium bodied cigar that stays true to the Ramon Allones DNA. I’m somewhat skeptical of that since most limited editions take on a very different profile vs. the norm except maybe Montecristo. Most limited edition cigars provide a chocolate profile regardless of the brand so we shall see what this brings. Look & Feel This cigar looks nice medium brown wrapper with an ever so slight red hue to it. The veins are tiny and there are only a few of moderate size. The seams are invisible and the wrapper has a slightly oily/waxy look and feel to it. The pre-lit draw offers good resistance and give a slight leather and woody note. The aroma of the cigar brings leathery and a slight earth smell. This is a beautiful looking cigar and I can’t wait to get started. Foot Third To start, leather with some earth and a general nuttiness. Medium body and very smooth, no spice to speak of. The retrohale was really smooth with a slight white pepper. The draw is perfect and the burn is sharp and a tight long ash. The flavors add an apricot and fruitcake flavor to the leather and earth. Late in this third you get a cream added as well. The finish remains leather and earth and is fairly long and the smoke is plentiful but moderate in thickness. Very enjoyable in every way, what a great start. Body Third The body starts with all of those fruit flavors with the leather and slight earth. The retrohale provides a nice white pepper with occasional sweet spices. Construction is great and you find yourself enjoying and looking for all of the flavors. Midway the flavors shift to a leather and deeper earth with an earthy finish with white and light black pepper. Creamy and occasional floral notes come and go which are nice hints throughout this third. The complexity so far is pretty high. Head Third This third started to move back to the apricot and fruit cake with sweet spices on the draw with leather as the binding flavor. Earth has really moved to the finish and the retrohale is smooth and white and black pepper are your main flavors. Towards the end of this third you add citrus notes with the apricot flavors, orange rind is the flavor and gives you a very nice switch. (Others had woody notes but I did not detect those) This cigar was not hot at all until the burn was at my fingers! The enjoyable flavors lasted until my fingers blistered. Summary This cigar was a great cigar even at 18 months of age. Being a special edition, I was surprised it had a similar profile to the actual brand as many Cuban LE cigars don’t. (most are chocolate and espresso profiles) The construction was great and the flavors were just as good. The value on this cigar is also good. At nearly ten dollars per stick when purchased by the box, it is hard to say they are not worth the money. Flavors of leather, apricot, fruitcake, earth, cream, white pepper, black pepper, sweet spices, and orange rind are all present at different times. Well-balanced, well-blended, well-constructed, and well-priced, what else could you ask for? Great job to Habanos on these cigars! L&F-92 Construction-95 Flavor-97 Value-97 Overall- 96
  17. Just a quick hello. A few of my cigar smoking friends told me about the site and I thought I'd check it out. Currently trying out Ramon Allones, Allones Superiores.
  18. Had the chance to smoke quite a few Ramon Allones Club Allones LE 2015s while down in Cuba. Compared a few box codes.
  19. When Rob posted this little contest i figured what the hell, its a good time to delve into a cigar that I usually just either say Meh...or needs more time. In the case of the RACF, its one of those cigars where everytime i smoke one im wowed. But for some reason when i dig into my cooler, I always seem to reach for something else, because in my mind, the RACF is a great cigar, a powerhouse, and one that i feel needs more time. Well its time for me to check up on this and see how its progressing. I smoked this cigar saturday night at the Rib n Reef's cigar lounge in Montreal. I used the smallest punch on my creedo triple punch cutter. This cigar was paired with a G&T. First third : Took a few draws for the flavours in the cigar to wake up. I feel that is always the case when it comes to cigars in the Britanicas size. Once i smoked through the "bulb" the cigar started to open up. I'm getting deep dark cherry flavours from this cigar. the cigar is producing volumes of smoke. I'm glad that i deceided to use a small punch on this cigar rather than a traditional cut. the cigar is smoking beautifully. Second Third : The dark cherry continues to be dominant in this cigar. This cigar is definitely on the full side on the power scale. As the second third goes on, the dark cherry starts to disappear and i'm not getting what i would call an Amaretto Liqueur flavor in this cigar. This is a first for me. Its like a mix of almond and fruit. Almost like a Fruit and nut chocolate bar minus the chocolate. Last third : Power has been turned to 11 on this one in the last third. for a cigar that has 6 years on it, its still a mongrel. Its defenitly not acting its age in the last third. You'd expect a cigar with 5 + years of age on it to be more refined in the last third. not this one. It throws up both middle fingers and yells at you NOOOOO i dont want to grow up! Stewed fruit, burnt almond in the last third. Overall impressions : Its a great cigar, no doubt about it. PCC have done a great job as usual with ther Regional program. Like most if not all PCC cigars, they are blended to be aged long term. This cigar is defenitly built to be aged long term. If you can find a box of these, i defenitly recommend buying it. Its very good now, but will be amazing with a couple more years under its belt. Final score : 92
  20. RA Eminencia 2005 Swiss RE Mini Review A good friend handed one of these over to me not too long ago. I thought I'd fire it up sooner than later as I enjoy all things RA (minus the RAE ) Released in 2005, these cigar has more of less hit the 10 year old marker. If I knew the box code I could be somewhere more exacting but that's not too big of a concern. This is my first ever Eminencia so I will not have the benefit of knowing what these smoked like when they were fresh. Date Smoked: August 13. 2015 Vitals: Dimensions: 44 * 5.6" Vitola: Corona Pre-light observations. Aroma at cold. cakey, fruity.. very sweet. Hints of cinnamon on the wrapper. Firm draw. Reviewers Notes: My style of cigar reviewing is “open”. I try to jot down what I’m experiencing with every draw. When you see a “//” consider that a break in between puffs. What I leave out in fancy prose is made up with observation. Consider each segment a play by play. This style works for me. I hope you enjoy it. This min-review is a bit light in comparison to previous reviews. I hope you enjoy it nonetheless. First Third. great initial draw. sweet, christmas cake. // lush, smooth flavour // some tanginess on the finish // christmas cake // never tried one fresh but id say 10 years of age hasn’t been bad for it // nutmeg // hint of cayenne // firm draw, great burn // smooth, semi-sweet earthiness, best i can put it // cakey // smooth cigar, very refined // cake again // very much a dessert cigar thus far // slightly stronger hit of cayenne // good hit of cedar // lush smoke // cedary draw // Second Third cedar // cinammon // cayenne picking up, close to RACF // flavours getting bolder // nice taste of almond on the finish, unique to me // good balance draw of sweet and strong // earthy flavours // cedar notes // some more hints of almond on the tongue // Third Third //earthier draws // rich, tea flavour // bit of nutmeg // minty // earthy // woody, dry draw // touch of saltiness on the finish // hints of black pepper in the back of the throat // dark, rich tobacco flavour, best i can put it // sweetness has pretty much disappeared and has turned more into a savoury cigar // black pepper // toasted nuts // spicy draw with a really nice smooth finish, like a latte // woody & earthy draw // hints of almond on finish once more // very sharp cedar // earthy, BBQ // savoury now // nutty now // getting smooth again // draw got bad all of a sudden // flavour still savoury and earthy // a few more puffs of cedar and earth // FIN Final Thoughts. This was a Jekyll and Hyde stick. The first half was sweet and "desserty". Whereas the second was more savoury and salty. Overall it made for a great smoking experience. I always enjoy a cigar whose flavours are constantly in flux. It echoes the experience of a multi course meal vs having a quick snack. And given the favourable flavour range, this might be a good indication that RE's tend to age better then EL's? This is the oldest RE I've had yet. I've smoked the 2000 Partagas Piramide, which IMO was a faded cigar. The closest comparison in age that I've smoked from the EL releases was the 2004 Cohiba Sublimes. A very good cigar but not as great as the hype built it up to be. At least as I experienced it. Nonetheless. A very interested theory. Which releases are better suited for the long haul? I'm not qualified to make that judgement so I'll throw that notion out to the rest of you. Overall, the Ramon Allones Eminencia is a winner in my books. Probably very HTF and expensive now; which makes getting more somewhat difficult. I was glad to have tried at least one and that it was an engaging smoke. Score: 94
  21. Full review with pictures: Each year the regional releases for each Cuban cigar market are looked forward to with anticipation. The Canadian Regional market tends to be one of those high on the list. With extremely high taxes, a cigar needs to be exceptional to play in this market. It was produced in 2010 in 10 count boxes with 2,500 boxes shipped. For me the 10 count box is an ideal size for the Canadian market. I’m also a big fan of most of the production lines of Ramon Allones. Vitola: Robusto Extra Size: 5-3/5” x 50 Ring Gauge Wrapper: Cuban Binder: Cuban Filler: Cuban Cigars Smoked for this Review: One per Reviewer Price Point: $15 Cigar Purchased: Box buy Quick Note: For this review we used Logan’s rating system. You can view it in detail here. Overall Cigar Federation Average Review: 90 AKA “Box Split” “I didn’t find it to be super complex but you won’t care because you’ll be too busy enjoying it.” Surgeon’s Rating: 90 AKA “Box Split” The nose on this surprises me with a combination of hay and light white pepper. I don’t often get pepper on Cuban cigars so I’m intrigued. The first third kicks off with that sweet unmistakable Cuban tobacco flavor and some milk chocolate undertones. Wow, we’re really off to the races out of the gate. There is almost a sweet cherry on the retro-hale. Delicious. The middle third more of the same flavor profile with the addition of dry wood notes mixed in. The last third has some spices coming through to build on the flavors carried through from 1 and 2. This is an extremely tasty Canadian regional edition. I didn’t find it to be super complex but you won’t care because you’ll be too busy enjoying it. I’m very glad I went in a group box buy for this. A fantastic addition to the Canadian regional line-up. I really appreciate the 10 count boxes because you don’t need to invest deeply and can always grab a second box if you fall in love with it.
  22. I blazed this cigar last night, but I wanted to type up the review on the laptop, rather than the phone, so this is what we will call a #latergram review... I paired the cigar with a Stone & Wood Pacific Ale (current favourite) and a Glenmorangie Extremely Rare 18 as the chaser. Notice my radical stand? Many thanks to @rye for this work of art, and the opportunity to obtain one via a fabulous instagram auction for a great cause. #frothing On to the cigar...with an ever so slightly cracked foot, this was the worst looking Belicosos, Piramides or Churchill in my tower at home. And at 4 years old, the time was just right to take it to the flame and review the hell out of it. Apart from the cracked foot, construction felt great. Head was nice. Wrapper slightly veiny, maybe a little toothy. Great colorado colouring. Was well packed, no soft spot, all the way to the foot. Pre-light draw was absolutely perfect, with a very floral aftertaste. However, once taken to the flame, this cigar was completely different. Possibly one of the sweetest and fruitiest cigars I've ever had. It was delightful. A perfect dessert. Actually reminiscent of a Ramon Allones Specially Selected, juiced up on steroids. Now at this point, the leaf at the bottom of the pool has really annoyed me. But I was quickly snapped out of it, because at the end of the first-third, those floral notes that I expected started to come through. Paired with the Stone & Wood, this was a lovely transition in the cigar. Still very sweet, but the floral nose was a fabulous addition. Apologies for the dark shot, but this is how I took my notes for this review. It was at the halfway point that some nuttiness and a touch of salt became apparent. Really impressed with this cigar now. Quite complex. By the end, I was really disappointed it was over. Which is always a great indication. This was a one-off cigar for me. I think my mate Johno gave it to me, with a bunch of other regionals a couple years ago. Retrospectively, it is close to a Ramon Allones Celestiales Finos, but not quite as good. I would give this cigar a solid 90, maybe a 91. Happy Friday everyone!
  23. RASCC What's the story with how these are released? I totally screwed up the last time I ordered them, and only got one box, and I haven't been able to find them in stock anywhere for a long time across more than one source. Is HSA releasing them very intermittently? I googled, and can't find anything on EOLing them. My inventory is dwindling, and I really like these. They even smoke great young. Any intel? Saint

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