Partagas‘ founder, Don Jaime Partagas began manufacturing cigars in 1827, but only put his own name to the brand in 1845. This brand has won numerous gold medals during its colourful history; one of the most well known Cuban brands, the Partagas is a firm favourite for many due to its flavourful balance of strength and complexity. The Partagas Lonsdale has a reputation as a very refined, complex cigar. Weighing in with an ample 6 inch length and a relatively small 42 ring gauge, this was to be my first lonsdale, ever.

The box code on this cab of 50 sticks is OSU OCT 02 — Partagas factory, boxed in October 2002. Opening up the box was a tremendous experience. The cigars looked lovely, packaged as they were by the trademark yellow silk ribbon. The aroma wafting from it was superb — a delightful honeyed scent that contained not an inch of harsh-smelling ammonia. This cigar was ready to be smoked.

(Image lost) A lovely cabinet of 50 sticks!

As i examined the cigar, i could understand one of the reasons why its earned its positive reputation — the natural coloured wrapper was outstanding; almost free of any visible veining, the leaf felt clean and undeniably silky under the touch. The construction is top class as well — no hard or soft spots anywhere along its length.

(Image lost) Excellent quality wrapper

Breathing in its aroma revealed a very mild woodiness about it; it reminded me of the time when i once, as a child, visited a fruit orchard early in the morning. The dew-ish, damp, woody scent, mixed with a tiny dose of fruity citrus. Absolutely delightful. This cigar was very ready to be enjoyed.

(Image lost) Burns clean and even

The pre-light draw offered some chalky dryness, something i’ve come to expect from Partagas cigars — i suspect its the nature of the filler and binder blends that creates this distinct flavour. A quick light with the torch and this cigar was away.

Immediately, the cigar said, “Hello” with a burst of those distinct Partagas flavours i’ve come to respect and love — a dose of woodiness and toasted spices that plays a delightful dance on the tongue and lips. However, this spiciness backs off pretty quickly (it comes back later though!), to be replaced in the 1/3 with a ton of woody flavours, mixed with some dried sugar cane sweetness.

(Image lost) Good construction — conical ash

The 2/3 of the lonsdale gets very interesting — the flavours becomes very refined: spicy burnt caramel with an aroma of cedar wood chips toasted over an open fire. In the final third, this cigar delivers power and substance — the flavours become quite nutty and full bodied. The nicotine buzz is considerable and sustained, right at the end.

(Image lost) Right to the nub!

Verdict: A superb cigar. Burns slow and evenly — about 100 minutes were required to tame this lovely stick of tobacco. Has to be enjoyed very, very slowly otherwise the small ring gauge will make it burn quite hot that will do nothing but spoil the flavours. Its a difficult discipline since it tastes so good — but one that is well worth the effort for the rewards this cigar offers. Highly Recommended.