A few days ago I met a few friends at the Vancouver Cigar Company, set up a few tables, lit a few cigars and played some cards.  After standing in front of the new humidors for what felt like an eternity, I opted for the Partagas Serie C No. 3.  It was the first time I lit one of these up and wasn’t sure what to expect.  There are many Partagas cigars from Cuba with different sizes and shapes, from the full flavored Serie D No. 4 down to the slightly milder Serie P No. 2, a wonderful torpedo with a strong following.  I’m a big fan of the recent Limitadas from Partagas, their Serie D No 5 released in 2008 was, and still is, an incredibly rich, full flavored petite Robusto.  The Partagas Serie D Especial Edicion Limitada 2010 is now performing at a peak with nicely aged, three year old cigars.  With all of these Partagas Special Edition cigars doing so well, I had no reservations when reaching for the Serie C No. 3.

Since smoking this cigar, I’ve gone online and checked out a few reviews and noticed that there are mixed descriptions of this Edicion Limitada’s strength.  Some consider it to be a real powerhouse yet, and maybe this was just because of a certain box we were smoking from,  but my friends that night all were in agreement that this was a medium strength cigar.  Easy to smoke, was what I kept hearing and, I have to agree, that this cigar started it’s first third being slightly on the milder side of medium.  Right away I detected notes of hay, leather, cedar and black coffee, this was a very nice Partagas, easily keeping up with the Special Editions from recent years.  The favors intensified into the second third and became very delicious but still that easy approach appeared with every puff, it was also behaving very nicely with a steady even burn.

What struck me about the Serie C No. 3 is how good the cigar is today, it has only had a year to age but has become a cigar you can smoke and offer friends right now.  No doubt this will become a great cigar in 5 years time as well, but it is refreshing to taste something this good this young.   Cuba has recognized the enthusiasm that follows the marketing of these Special Editions and certainly put in the time and effort to produce cigars of extraordinary quality.  Its always exciting to try these double banded cigars each year as they are released.

Sancho Panza Belicosos In The Morning


Sancho Panza Cuban cigars were first originated by Emilio Ahmsted in 1852 which makes this an old established name in Cuba.  These cigars were named after the servant of Don Quixote, the title of the book written by Miguel de Cervantes in 1605.  There is a spot in my heart for cigars named after literary figures like Romeo y Julieta and Montecristo, I guess it is the romance along with the great taste of Cuban cigars that I have so much passion for.

The Sancho Panza Belicosos in the picture above is probably the most perfect morning cigar for enthusiasts who love a cigar after breakfast.  The mild subtle flavors work well with coffee and sunshine out on the deck.  As I was smoking this cigar I couldn’t help but think that this would also be the perfect cigar for new smokers to try.  The profile is a bit herbal and grassy and is really quite mild until the second third when the flavors start to build in strength.  Notes of cedar will also tingle on your tongue as will a nutty flavor that becomes a bit creamy and sweet.

Once again I have to say that a cigar with a 50 ring gauge is quite pleasing and the 5 1/2 inches will guarantee that you’ll be smoking this fine mellow cigar for over an hour.  I’m a big fan of the Bolivar Belicosos Finos but the shape is the only thing that these two torpedoes have in common.  The Bolivar is robust and full of rich flavors that seasoned aficionados gravitate towards but the Sancho Panza may not give someone with a full appetite for power and strength, what they are looking for.  Don’t let that steer you away from choosing one of these mild to medium strength cigars, we all need a cigar to match the moment and an early morning smoke with Sancho Panza could be just what you’re looking for.

Partagas 165 Pre-Release


Now and then you run into a cigar that is difficult to acquire and then the question is, do I smoke it or hang on to it forever.  Well, I was lucky in that I was able to get my hands on a few of these and decided to smoke one right away and hang on to the other.  A friend of mine was in Havana last November and attended the Dinner that was given to launch the Partagas 165 Aniversario.  That night many cigars were given out, some with bands like the one in the picture and many that were un-banded.  I was lucky enough to get my hands on both.


Since my Spanish is non-existent, I had to look up on the ‘net what Encuentro meant and I got Encounter, which tells me that, like my buddy said, these were handed out to friends of Partagas.  Hmmmm, I’m guessing that these are rare indeed.. Well, let’s get down to the cigar and how it tasted..

The size of the cigar was very close to a Churchill and so I’m guessing that it was around 6 1/2 inches long and about a 47 ring gauge.  Nice reddish brown wrapper and gave off the most wonderful barnyard smell.  The first few puffs told me that this was a young cigar with a whole lot of spice and continued like that for about the first inch or so, but settled down to a smaller amount of spice and more of a balance of cedar and hay as the cigar burned down.  This one will need at least 6 more months in the humidor to lose a bit of it’s youth.

As I smoked, I was a bit confused about the profile because nothing about this one reminded me of any Partagas cigar I’ve had yet.  What I really kept thinking was that I was tasting a Bolivar Belicosos Finos, which made a lot of sense because Bolivar is rolled in the partagas factory.  Hmmmm, quite puzzling but very very tasty and very much the Bolivar spiciness that we get from that shorter torpedo.

I’m very happy to have these cigars and will be hanging on to them for a while but if any of you can shed any light on this cigar, I’d really love it if you could leave a comment and tell me your thoughts.. Thanks.

Por Larranaga Belicosos Extra… Edicion Regionales 2008


There’s something about the color of this cigar that tells you that it’s time in the humidor since 2008 has been well spent.  The slightly darker wrapper here and there reveals that oils in the tobacco during the fermentation process have been subtly altering the color and presentation of this Asia Pacifico release.  When this cigar first came on to the scene it was a nice medium strength Belicoso but had a slightly harsh final third, something that happens to many young cigars, but all that has changed with over 3 years of rest.

Pre-light draw I tasted last night had an earthy flavor mixed with a bit of woodiness and the draw offered the perfect amount of resistance, there was no wind out on the deck last night so I was hoping for a perfect burn.  The cigar started out being quite mellow and smooth, even the first few puffs, but developed into a creamy caramel profile that stayed well into the first third until a bit of citrus started to appear with a wonderful barnyard addition to the flavors.  The second third revealed some cinnamon and along with the caramel I was in Heaven.

This is a 5 1/2 inch 52 ring gauge cigar so I expected to get at least an hour and a half of slow patient smoking and I came in at just under that time.   The aroma of the smoke was beautiful in the air and I heard a few comments from a few folks that, they too, loved the smell.  I think that the Gold band mixed with the silver and red striped band decorate this 2008 gem with a great flash and class, I always get excited about cigars that are rare and in limited number.

Aged Bolivar Belicosos Finos

I thought that with a fresh palate and a coffee after breakfast, an Aged Bolivar Belisosos Finos would be the way to start the day.

I have a friend, Charley, who is a cigar smoker and a traveller who ran into a bit of trouble with his humidor full of cigars that wasn’t maintained properly when he was out of town.  He brought it over and asked if I’d take a look at things and bring these slightly dry cigars, both Cuban and Non-Cuban, back to life while he went out of town again.  After about 2 months I thought I’d try one of these favorites from Bolivar, and knowing that this is about an 11 year old cigar, I couldn’t wait another day.

This 5.5 inch long, 52 ring gauge torpedo shaped cigar ( campanas ) started off being full of flavor but incredibly smooth and mild as it revealed the typical Bolivar earthiness that I love but I knew this wouldn’t last long as this cigar would probably get a bit stronger.  Sure enough, as I was well into my first third and enjoying this to the fullest I started to detect the spiciness that I usually get from a Belicosos Finos.

An older cigar will have a more pronounced front, middle and finish.. The front being the first flavor you get as you take a puff. The middle is the second taste you have in your mouth and the finish is theh long lasting taste you have in your mouth after you’ve blown the smoke out.. Sometimes a finish can last a very long time.. A younger cigar will have a more subtle middle and finish so those who prefer aged cigars will get used to the three dimensional approach their older cigars supply.  What a treat!

There was the spice throughout that I love from this cigar but a certain smoothness that accompanied the spice and woodiness stayed well into the final third and this one was smoked right down to the nub….


Today I got my “Vancouver Cigar Company” newsletter and Trevor spoke about the Bolivar brand.  Funny thing was just after I read Trevor’s info on Bolivar the phone rang and I had a parcel to pick up from my mother in law.  She is always sending us gifts because she is hooked on shopping and buying shirts, towels, chocolate and items that was always love and use but today’s parcel contained cigars!!!! Well, she certainly raised the bar this time…

I phoned her right away to thank her profusely and I was very excited about the 2 Bolivar Belicosos Finos, Montecristo Open Eagle and Partagas Series D No. 5 Edicion Limitada 2008….. Wow!!!!! What a great surprise.  She told me that she wants me to tell her which ones I like the best so she can get more for me at a later date…. Did I mention yet how much I love her????

The Bolivars are some of my favorite from that brand.  The Bolivar Belicosos Finos is a powerful 52 ring gauge at 5 1/2 inches long and wow, what a powerhouse.  Like Trevor said in his newsletter, this is not a brand for the faint of heart. These cigars deliver very very rich flavors and have a lot of strength that true experienced Cuban cigar smokers love like no other…

Por Larranaga Belicosos Extra 2008 Regional Editions for Asia-Pacific

Por Larranaga Belicosos Extra

This cigar has all the trademark aromatic caramel sweetness, cloaked in a shroud of complexity waiting to be discovered by cigar aficionados. Its size makes for a full flavored smoke. These cigars have a double ring band and are packaged in Cabinets of 25. Each box is serial numbered. Due to the limited quantities (7,400 boxes) produced, these cigars are sure to be much sought after by cigar aficionados and collectors worldwide.

The Por Larranaga Belicosos Extra can be seen here Vancouver Cigar does have limited quantities of these great new Edicion Regionale.