JohnS' Smoking Diary 2021


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Partagás Serie D No.5 EOT Oct 2016 I would like to thank @Luca again for gifting me this cigar. The Partagas Serie D No.5 doesn't get anywhere near the attention of its big brother, the Partagas

I'd like to take the opportunity to again thank you for taking the time to peruse and support this blog. I would like to especially thank a number of you who have supported me in your gratitude expres

Cohiba Robustos SLE May 2016 I would like to thank @Luca for gifting me this Cohiba Robustos. I knew that I didn't smoke this vitola too often, but when I checked my Smoking Diary on Cuban Cigar

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Partagás Maduro No. 3 TUE Mar 2021

The Partagas Maduro No.3 was added along with the Partagas Maduro No.2 in 2018 to form the Linea Maduro with the Partagas Maduro No.1 introduced in 2015. It is a unique Maduro No.3 size with a 50 ring gauge by 145 mm (or 5¾ inches) length. This was my third Partagas Maduro No.3 from the box after smoking my first one around two months ago and my second one about a month after that.

This third Partagas Maduro No.3 started off with an intense hit of cocoa/chocolate, coincidentally like the Partagas Maduro No.2 I smoked immediately proceeding it, but it soon settled thereafter. I had some issues with the burn due to some bunched leaves up on side of the cigar which affected the ash, but once the burn got past this point (around the end of the first third), the cigar smoked well.

There was definitely less body or fullness of flavour than the Partagas Maduro No.1s or Partagas Maduro No.2s I've smoked, and I wouldn't classify it as a complex cigar. The flavours were again a combination of cocoa/chocolate, sourdough, anise, sour cherry and coffee. For me, that Partagas sourdough was and is most evident in the Partagas Maduro No.3 than in comparison to the other cigars in the Partagas Maduro Linea Series.

In regards to smoking time, give yourself around 90 to 100 minutes for the Partagas Maduro No.3. This one took me around 80 minutes to finish. The reason was due to the issues I had in the first third which necessitated that I smoke a little quicker to prevent the cigar extinguishing on me. Once I got past that point it was fine.

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22 minutes ago, JohnS said:

Perhaps the problem here is that I've had Partagas Serie E No.2s of the highest quality in the past and my recent few just couldn't compete with such lofty ideals. In reality, this cigar wasn't that bad and maybe...just maybe, I wanted it to be stellar. Maybe...

I bought a SOR MAR 21 box the other Month, and whilst I wasn't expecting such a young cigar it to be stellar, I have been happily surprised with the ROTT sample.   I've only ever had 5 boxes in the past, and always been impressed.   Such an unusual Partagas expression, it's got all the hallmark Partagas stuff, but also slips over into floral vanilla aspects of high class Hoyo.   An ingenious blend,  almost like rests on that knife edge point where savoury meets sweet. 

I still can't get over the fact that as much as I want to hate them (for their proportions), the Connie A, QDO 54 and E2 are all pretty epic, and due the respect they've earned. 

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Montecristo No.4 BOE Abr 2019
If we haven't done already, let's discuss the Marevas vitola. This cigar once used to be what I consider the quintessential Habanos cigar, or in other words, the median-sized one. You know, the cigar size that Habanos S.A had the most of in its catalogue. Let's go back twenty years, before Habanos S.A sold 50% of its business to raise foreign capital and consider one's options: Belinda Petit Coronas; Bolivar Tubos No.2 and Petit Coronas; Cohiba Siglo II; Diplomaticos No.4; El Rey del Mundo Petit Coronas and Petit Lonsdales; H.Upmann Aromaticos, Coronas Major, Kings, Petit Coronas, Regalias and Upmann No.4; Hoyo de Monterrey Coronations and Short Hoyo Coronas; Juan Lopez Petit Coronas; La Corona Petit Coronas; La Flor de Cano Coronas; Montecristo No.4 and Petit Tubos; Partagas Mille Fleurs and Petit Coronas; Por Larranaga Lolas en Cedro and Petit Coronas; Punch Coronations, Petit Coronas, Petit Coronas del Punch and Royal Selection No.12; Rafael Gonzalez Petit Coronas; Ramon Allones Mille Fleurs and Petit Coronas; Romeo y Julieta Cedros de Luxe No.3, Club Kings, Mille Fleurs, Petit Coronas, Romeo No.2 and Romeo No.2 de Luxe; Saint Luis Rey Petit Coronas; San Luis Rey Petit Coronas; Sancho Panza Non Plus and Vegueros Marevas. That's 41 cigars!
With the re-introduction in recent times of the 'retro' releases; namely, the Partagas Capitols and Romeo y Julieta Club Kings we currently have 17 options but let's take a closer look at what this entails. The marevas vitola is a 42 ring gauge x 129 mm (or 5⅛ inches) in length cigar. The Petit Coronas is the same length but are they the same cigar or different? The answer is both. This can get a little confusing so let me elaborate. Prior to 2002 cigars of these dimensions were classified as Marevas if hand-made and Petit Coronas if machine-made. In 2002 Habanos S.A ceased production of machine-made Petit Coronas. Some of these cigars still carry a Petit Coronas 'Vitola de Galera' or Factory name. Let's consider them 'lower-tiered' options in this size. Now, of these 17 options which would you classify as 'upper-tier' cigars or 'premium-quality' ones? Judging by the Daily Smoking thread on our forum and the recurrence of this vitola I would opine that the Bolivar Petit Coronas, Cohiba Siglo II, Montecristo No.4, Por Larranaga Petit Coronas and Rafael Gonzalez Petit Coronas are the only ones left. That's five in total. Yes...five!
One could argue a case of the inclusion of the Bolivar Tubos No.2 and maybe even the Montecristo Petit Tubos in the 'upper-tier' classification but I would argue that the Bolivar Tubos No.2 makes a rare appearance on our forum and the Montecristo Petit Tubos invariably never does. In fact, what is a Montecristo Petit Tubos, is it a Montecristo No.4 in a tube? It probably isn't but I raise the question to highlight why that particular cigar is around nowadays and not the Partagas Petit Coronas or Ramon Allones Petit Coronas, perhaps. How about a re-release of the Diplomaticos No.4 or even the H.Upmann Petit Coronas?
So consider this, of the Bolivar Petit Coronas, Cohiba Siglo II, Montecristo No.4, Por Larranaga Petit Coronas and Rafael Gonzalez Petit Coronas what would you smoke the most of? One thing I know, and that is, there's one cigar in that list that may possibly out-sell the others combined on an annual basis, worldwide. However, do you reach for a Montecristo No.4 as often as the rest of the world does and why does it sell so well?
I would make a case that, whilst they vary in quality, and more so than other Habanos cigars, they offer a generic cocoa, milk coffee, perhaps nut, leather and/or citrus twang flavour profile which is very approachable. Perhaps, this is why they sell so well; Monte 4 are more approachable than other cigars in its vitola group. This cigar was exactly that way today, in its generic flavours, but hey...it satisfied me well over 65 to 70 minutes.
I enjoy and smoke the Bolivar Petit Coronas, Cohiba Siglo II, Por Larranaga Petit Coronas and Rafael Gonzalez Petit Coronas semi-regularly but the Montecristo No.4 is always in my humidor. And I mean...always!

Great write up on the Petit Coronas/Marevas.


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42 minutes ago, JohnS said:
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H. Upmann Magnum 46 circa 2021
The H.Upmann Magnum 46 is one of those cigars that I never seem to have luck with. I think it's because in regards to H.Upmann as a marca and it satisfying my avaricious need for that softer quintessential H.Upmann shortbread and coffee flavour profile, well...I feel I can get that in a H.Upmann Connossieur No.1 or Connoisseur A. The H.Upmann Magnum 46 never quite does that for me.
In general, I find H.Upmann needs time, for my taste, to reach its peak and I definitely favour the softer shortbread-laden varieties such as the aforementioned Connossieur A and Connoisseur No.1 and Sir Winston rather than the powerhouse, when young, espresso-laden Magnum 46, Half Corona and (now deleted) Petit Corona. In any case, I will tend to age my Upmann stock, except I'm partial to smoking the aforementioned 'softer' cigars (in terms of flavour intensity) younger.
This Magnum 46 had some lovely opening notes of shortbread and cedar, a core espresso coffee and a little licorice sweetness but the white pepper that kicked in around halfway through the first third and 'overstayed' its welcome until the end, just didn't endear me to this smoke whatsoever. It just wasn't to my preference.
Kudos to you if you love the H.Upmann Magnum 46 and it is in your 'go-to' rotation. One thing I can say about it, it is a dependable cigar; both in flavour and construction, in general.


I also struggle with the Mag 46. I love Corona Gorda size cigars so I really want to like the Mag 46 but I just don't enjoy it to the same level as other HU cigars.


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14 minutes ago, 99call said:

I bought a SOR MAR 21 box the other Month, and whilst I wasn't expecting such a young cigar it to be stellar, I have been happily surprised with the ROTT sample.   I've only ever had 5 boxes in the past, and always been impressed.   Such an unusual Partagas expression, it's got all the hallmark Partagas stuff, but also slips over into floral vanilla aspects of high class Hoyo.   An ingenious blend,  almost like rests on that knife edge point where savoury meets sweet. 

I still can't get over the fact that as much as I want to hate them (for their proportions), the Connie A, QDO 54 and E2 are all pretty epic, and due the respect they've earned. 

There's a number of members who espouse the virtues of the Partagas Serie E No.2 of late that I'm convinced that I simply must persevere with this cigar! 😉

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13 minutes ago, LLC said:

Great write up on the Petit Coronas/Marevas.

Thank you most kindly! 😊

10 minutes ago, LLC said:

I also struggle with the Mag 46. I love Corona Gorda size cigars so I really want to like the Mag 46 but I just don't enjoy it to the same level as other HU cigars.

Oh indeed I'm with you. The thing is, so many of our members like or even adore this cigar so I can't help but feel that I need to be transparent in my struggles with it. Also, I want to convey an understanding that even if I have issues with a certain marca and/or vitola, it doesn't mean that the particular cigar in question can't or shouldn't be popularly acclaimed.

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15 hours ago, JohnS said:

This Magnum 46 had some lovely opening notes of shortbread and cedar, a core espresso coffee and a little licorice sweetness but the white pepper that kicked in around halfway through the first third and 'overstayed' its welcome until the end, just didn't endear me to this smoke whatsoever. It just wasn't to my preference.

 

Circa '21? That's a young 46 there, John. I'd never smoke one that fresh. But then, I'm not reviewing cigars on a regular basis like you are. I think the question with these is will patience be rewarded and when.

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@JohnS I really enjoy your reviews, and details you put into each experience. I'm grateful that you invest the time into sharing your passion for Havanas, and are willing to dispense your expertise to other devotees like me.

I just wanted to say "thank you" and let you know that your efforts here are much appreciated.

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22 hours ago, JohnS said:

Oh indeed I'm with you. The thing is, so many of our members like or even adore this cigar so I can't help but feel that I need to be transparent in my struggles with it. Also, I want to convey an understanding that even if I have issues with a certain marca and/or vitola, it doesn't mean that the particular cigar in question can't or shouldn't be popularly acclaimed.

I think it's testament to you that you continue to experiment John, after all,  being well acquainted with what you don't like, only succeeds in making you more accurate in locating what you do like.   For me I think the truth is with cigars like JL1's, Mag46, BBFs, Cazzies and the like, is they are still enjoyable in their older states, but they are essentially flavour fireworks, they are at their best when they are edgy, schizophrenic, youthful and strong, 

I continue to sample Cohiba every now and then, hoping the penny will drop for me,  but apart from Medio Siglo and Piramedes extra,  I am still in the wilderness.   I will not give up,   but it is annoying.   My next port of call is Siglo V.

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9 hours ago, joeypots said:

Circa '21? That's a young 46 there, John. I'd never smoke one that fresh. But then, I'm not reviewing cigars on a regular basis like you are. I think the question with these is will patience be rewarded and when.

I believe that particular H.Upmann 46 was a FoH Competition prize win. I have had overwhelmingly positive outcomes from smoking 2020-21 stock of late but yes, I agree with you @joeypots, my luck ran out in this instance! 😄

8 hours ago, griller said:

@JohnS I really enjoy your reviews, and details you put into each experience. I'm grateful that you invest the time into sharing your passion for Havanas, and are willing to dispense your expertise to other devotees like me.

I just wanted to say "thank you" and let you know that your efforts here are much appreciated.

Thank you kindly!

1 hour ago, 99call said:

I think it's testament to you that you continue to experiment John, after all,  being well acquainted with what you don't like, only succeeds in making you more accurate in locating what you do like.   For me I think the truth is with cigars like JL1's, Mag46, BBFs, Cazzies and the like, is they are still enjoyable in their older states, but they are essentially flavour fireworks, they are at their best when they are edgy, schizophrenic, youthful and strong, 

I continue to sample Cohiba every now and then, hoping the penny will drop for me,  but apart from Medio Siglo and Piramides Extra,  I am still in the wilderness.   I will not give up,   but it is annoying.   My next port of call is Siglo V.

I hope that works out well for you Stefan! 👍

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