WRC: Orson Welles/ Partagas Series D No. 4

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Orson Welles and Partagas Series D No. 4


Welles was and is our l’enfant terrible, the boy genius who once called Hollywood— and a film studio more particularly, ‘the greatest electric train set any boy could ever have.’ He created so much of what the highest American Art is and was. His Julius Caesar held in Harlem starring black actors he trained is still considered by many the greatest Shakespeare ever done in the new world. He invented what we call modern filmmaking, his theater and film companies delivered the greatest talents of their age. He was the greatest American filmmaker of all time (at least arguably and if you take issue with that, you haven’t done the homework) at age 24. He was and is still one of— and arguably THE— greatest filmmakers in world history. He bit the big hand that fed the biz. He paid a gigantic price. His art suffered forever from Hearst on but he soldiered on. And that’s what matters. Large, obese, who cares the man had ideas still. Mr Arkadin is immortal. 


He was and is a giant inspiration to me and my life. One of my most stunning moments ever in my life was when Sam Raimi said I reminded him of Welles. Well maybe the cheeks, I conceded. The man who said the makeup department worked harder to make him handsome than to make him old in Kane. Ah Kane. Immortal that too. 

Partagas Series D No. 4

This is one of the most amazing produced cigars from Cuba and fairly ubiquitous— where Cubans are sold. 


The variance in quality can be surprising with many very rewarding examples well made, beautifully blended and aging well.


There are also substandard sticks. Bad blends, poor construction. Uneven smoking flavor. You name it. Hecho a mano. Every single D4. 


The example here, from 2015, is like a steak at a high quality steak house. Seared at high temperature, mahogany in color. Fat rendered. Served warm,  medium rare. A delight. And you are well cared for. 


A D4 smokes on the lighter side of medium and draws up to a medium by the end. Its key is balance. Like a well sprung racket or a humming V6. All the spiciness and richness of hard woods, some baking spices— all of it is sitting in balanced relationship to the whole. It’s refined and gently ramps flavor. 


A lovely wrapper and this was a flawless example in construction and draw throughout. Some cocoa content toward the end. White pepper at times all smoke long. Finished without turning viciously strong. This was a delight.


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