Ramon Allones Belicoso UK regional


aavkk
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This was my very first from a box dated SVF JUN 05. Wrapper color is on the light side and a very typical RA shade. I always make a habit out of selecting the red-headed stepchild of the top row in any DB (and in a cab the one bent by the ribbon) and fortunately they are all uniform in both weight and shade. I am overall extremely impressed by the construction.

I actually forgot how much I love the Belicoso size as it has been at least 6 months since Ive had any. I clip the cap and the draw at cold is dry grass with a slight sweetness. The draw has a preferred slight resistance. I take my time torching the foot and the first few draws confirm a perfect draw with HUGE smoke volume and an immediate confirmation that this is a RA.

1st 3rd: Typically I find that a cigar has to settle down a bit from the opening onslaught but that is not the case here. This thing broke into stride from the moment I lit it and transitioned seamlessly. I typically dont smoke anything with a great deal of age but it seems that 3 1/2 years has done this guy wonders. Flavors present at this point are the abundant dried fruit unique to RA with a mild peppery spice wrapped up in a pure medium body. As great as my 07 RASS and RASCC are this is just a step up in terms of class and sophistication- maybe its the age, maybe its the blend? Its going to be fun to see if my current 07 RASS develop into this but something tells me will be equally good in a different way.

2nd 3rd- I would be perfectly happy if it continued to deliver more of the same throughout but instead I find that this already great smoke continues to creep up to med-full in body and in terms of flavor slighly sweeter with cloves and slightly less peppery spice. What grabs my attention about exactly 1/2 way through is the finish, its something I have experienced in exactly 1 other cigar: red wine! That other cigar happened to be an 02 RA 898V. No wonder you cant find any RA's with age on them.

Grand Finale: It is now full-bodied and that red wine finish is just great. I love the fact that this is unique yet so clearly Ramon Allones. The mild pepper spice that is the backbone of the RA marca remained consistent but on the back burner the entire way through and superseeded by the fruity sweetness with cloves. I would have no doubt that I would pick this is as RA blind.

Its going to be interesting to see where these will go from here. I have a feeling that this is going to be one of those cigars I can go to when I absolutely need a great 70 minute experience. RA is right on the heels of Cohiba in terms of my favorite marca. Some argue that there arent enough sizes but I kinda I feel there are enough and I like that they do what they do extremely well with no fuss. You can easily argue that they make the best cigar in each size they produce and this Belicoso upholds the standard.

Bravo RA! :perfect10:

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thats interesting you mentioned the greenish hue. The 02 RA 898V I had was sporting the greenish hue but not the Beli. To be honest I thought it looked sick but it smoked like a dream. The biggest difference between the 898V and this Beli was IMO the thickness of the smoke itself. I've never had a smoke as dense and chewy as the 898V. Damn that was good.

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The first of these I smoked some time ago, was tight and closed down. Recently, I had another from the same box - totally awesome!

I actually lit it because I knew I might have to leave it unfinished and I did not want a smoke I would be fighting to stay around for. I did have to get moving without my smoke. It was not finished. I was upset and torn. I am trying to get over it....

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Thoughtful review. The RA Belicoso is a very nice addition to the RA line, and it's a shame that it hasn't entered regular production. I agree with you that the blend is somewhat different than the RASS (more subtle and sophisticated) and less robust and spicy than the 2002 898V. To me, it is reminiscent of the RAG's of the same era, but more full-bodied. Thus, it occupies a unique and welcome niche in the marca.

IMO, the 2005 vintage are only now entering a period of "ripeness", and it would be wise to hold off for another several years. I base this conclusion on my experience with other RA vitolas. The 2002 898V has always been a good cigar, but it has currently reached a peak in it's maturation cycle. The 2005 RAGS are superb, but they aren't quite ready either.

BTW, an interesting comparison is the 2005 vs. the 2007 RAB. Like other 2007 RA's, including the RASCC and RASS, it is exceptionally rich and spicy, with a body and depth of flavor that bodes well for future development. I have a hunch that the 2007's will ultimately surpass the 2005's, and if true, that will be worth the wait. A true RA fancier is advised to stock up on this one.

I was struck by your "red wine" comment. This is exactly the same way I described the finish of a 2002 898V in a review written several years ago. In fact, I used the term "mulled red wine". Yes, it's both unusual and memorable.

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I never see these on my favorite retailer's sites. Had one when I was in London last year, have one resting in the humi. Love to get my hands on a box. Someone PM me with some options if you have some insider information as to where I might purchase some.

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