Perhaps one of Cuba’s most understated cigars, the Partagas 898 is a true “insider’s cigar” if there ever was one. Named the “898” because of the packaging, a cigar “wheel” of 8 cigars at the base, 9 on top of the base, and another 8 on top of the 9. A dahlia that began life in the 1970s, it’s a cigar close to my heart because of when it was introduced (the same time i was born) and also because it is a cigar that represents what i like about Cuban cigars: strong, clean tobacco flavour, undeniably of the red soil of Cuba, and they age remarkably well.

Over the years, they have suffered somewhat from consistency issues; i would say nearly as high as 15% miss rate — when they miss, the cigar tends to be bland, bitter toasty, and overpoweringly strong to the point of displeasure. Construction issues in the late 1990s and very early 2000s did not help it at all, and thus the cigar went underground, given a miss by most, unrecommended by retailers for fear of giving the customer a poor experience. But those who knew and liked the character of the 898 kept the faith, and hoarded it greedily; traditional belief is that it’s unsmokable with anything less than 5 years on it, but i’ve detected that the newer boxes have been a bit more forgiving, likely a very minor change in the blend. It’s unknown how this change will impact it’s aging qualities.

A full review will be forthcoming right here on My Cigar Blog, in the meantime, enjoy the porn. Click through for the larger versions (recommended!) on Flickr.

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