2010 Gordito de Allones-Edicion Regionale

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The last cigar I’ll talk about from our road trip a few days back is the Canadian release for 2010, the Ramon Allones-gorditos de Allones.  I have to admit that it was quite a day for trying different cigars, an extravagant experience indeed.  This Edicion Reginale was purchased the same day a year ago along with the Bolivar B2 and they had a year to age in my humidor, giving them the time needed to give off the ammonia that alters the taste of a young cigar.  In the case of this cigar, I was very happy I waited as long as I did.  That being said, I find that Ramon Allones is a Cuban brand that I can smoke quite happily when they are young, but aging a cigar always helps.

I found the construction of this Robusto Extra to be perfect, with a smooth dark caramel wrapper, slightly spongy feel from head to foot and no hard spots or lumps which would harm the draw.  This cigar’s draw was, in my opinion, perfect since I really love a bit of a wind tunnel.  Pre-light draw only revealed subtle barnyard notes, somewhat grassy and mild, but upon lighting, the first few puffs were spicy and revealed the unmistakable Ramon Allones flavor I love.  The first third was very similar in taste to the “Specially Selected”, with it’s dark chocolate and sweet spice, but maybe had a bit more power.  The burn was perfect going into the second third, the darkish ash held firmly and, as a cigar usually behaves, this cigar was starting to build in strength and flavors were starting to evolve.  The sweetness of the cigar stayed throughout, as did the flavors of dark chocolate and herbs, but the cigar never became bitter.  As we smoked this cigar, we were quite amazed with it’s construction, great burn, easy draw and full flavor.

Anyone who loves the Ramon Allones brand and who have smoked this cigar would easily be able to see that the best of all worlds were represented in this Robusto Extra.  When you smoke a more rare cigar, there’s always a feeling of exclusivity in knowing that not all cigar smokers world wide are tasting, or will ever be tasting, what you have in your hand. In this case only 2.500 boxes of 10 cigars were produced for this Edicion Regionale, making it a small number of 25,000.

Something that leaves me scratching my head is the fact that the Robusto Extra at 5 3/5 inches long and with a 50 ring gauge is a size that is used rarely in Cuban cigars.  The Trinidad Robusto Extra and the San Cristobal de la Habana La Fuerza are the only Cuban cigars in regular production that comes in this size which leaves me asking why so few?  The robusto is a size that is very popular with cigar smokers and these two are roughly half an inch longer, giving you probably 8 to 10 more minutes minutes of smoking time.  But………………… Havana, through the years, has produced a number of cigars in this size for regional editions and limited editions, making this the size for a special occasion. I guess I can get used to that.

Ramon Allones Celestiales Finos…2009 Edicion Regionale Asia Pacifico

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One Cuban brand that uses the figurado shape with all of their regular production cigars is Cuaba. A figurado is an irregularly shaped cigar that is more difficult to roll and preferred by some smokers but the one pictured above is a perfecto from Ramon Allones.  This 2009 Edicion Regionale, exclusive to the Asian Pacific region, was initially met with mixed reviews but two years later, aging in the humidor, and we have a cigar who’s time has come.

Initially, this cigar was a bit of a powerhouse with strength and nicotine that had some smokers reeling but all this cigar needed, like many young Cubans, was a bit of time to settle down.  I, for one, have a difficult time letting my cigars age and feel that they’re burning a hole in my humidor.  I open the lid of a humidor, smell the aromas that come wafting out and marvel at the wrappers, bands and colors of the cigars that seem to beg to be lit.  I think the keys to letting a cigar age is to have MANY cigars to choose from, limit the number that you smoke monthly and keep replenishing your supply.

Ramon Allones is a Cuban brand, whose very distinct flavor profile is nutty and a bit herbal, but last night I noticed there were more notes of leather and pepper in this cigar as I paired it with a straight dark rum.  Smooth and with medium strength, this cigar showed that age was what was needed in order to mellow out the slight harshness it originally exhibited 2 years back.  I had no draw issues, which amazed me when you look at this shape, and the burn was even to the end.

As years go by I smoke more and more cigars with a larger circumference but this 46 ring gauge, 5 1/2 inch figurado was very pleasant and truly enjoyable.  Once again, I feel that a few years aging can change a cigar’s hot tempered personality into a calm and agreeable smoking experience.

Ramon Allones Extra- Edicion Limitada 2011

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Anyone who loves Cuban tobacco will surely recognize the name Ramon Allones from some of the great cigars this brand has given us like the Specially Selected, one of the world’s finest and most popular Robustos and the massive Gigantes which is a classic Double Corona with unique flavors that have won the hearts of countless aficionados.  Ramon Allones has presented many Regional Editions but this year will mark the first time this respected Cuban brand will deliver an Edicion Limitada and with a unique white and gold band accompanied by a second gold and black band, we should have a cigar that is very special to smoke and age.

Of all of the Regional Editions this brand has given us, my favorite would have to be the mighty Phoenicio that was distributed to Lebanon a few years back.  That hard to get cigar was worth all the effort taken to acquire and as years go by, that one gets mellower and sweeter in the humidor.  This size, a 44 ring gauge and 5.6 inches long was a regular production cigar for Ramon Allones but was discontinued in the 70’s.  I smoked few cigars back then so this will be a great opportunity to get used to a new size and blend from this brand.  An interesting thing about the releases for this year is that the majority of new cigars from Cuba have quite a bit bigger ring gauge so this will be an opportunity to taste a different kind of blend.

I have to admit that I have a real passion for aged cigars but in the past few years I’ve seen new cigars that were wonderful as soon as they showed up.  I really do believe that we are in a golden era of Cuban cigars so this vitola could be stunning as soon as it gets into our cigar shops and even better after a few years of aging.