Published on March 4th, 2014 | by2
Partagas Naturales Toro
There are only a handful of cigar brands that I would consider as “household” names in the cigar world. Partagas is certainly among them. Though Partagas started as (and continues, though not the original) a Cuban cigar company, it has been reborn as a Dominican Republic brand that fills the shelves of nearly every cigar retailer across the country. The Partagas Naturales is a mild-medium strength, medium flavor cigar that tries to continue its Cuban tradition despite the embargo. In my opinion, it is a very average cigar that neither impressed nor disappointed me.
- Made By:General Cigar Dominicana
- Binder:Mexican San Andreas
- Filler:Dominican (Piloto Cubano) and Mexican
- Average Price:$7
- Ring Gauge:50
- Length:5 1/2"
The Partagas brand began in 1845 in Cuba (hence this date being on the label). Like many cigar brands, the Cuban Revolution led the Partagas Company, run at that time by Ramon Cifuentes and his son of the same name, to flee the country and start anew. The Cifuentes family landed in Dominican Republic and, several years later, continued making cigars under the Partagas name. Of course, Habanos SA continues to use the name as well, producing Partagas for everywhere but the U.S.
Now under and produced by General Cigars, Partagas has long been a top selling brand in the U.S. The company has tried to produce cigars reminiscent of their Cuban predecessors. Of course, they have also gone in other directions as well, but not so with the Naturales. It has been described by many as a very Cubanesque cigar in both appearance and flavor.
Though there seem to be a few different vitolas, this Partagas Naturales is the 5.5 x 50 size. The samples for this review came from Partagas/General Cigar. As usual, we are grateful for their generosity. However, that will not impact the rating/review.
As I mentioned earlier, the Partagas Naturales has a Cubanesque appearance. What does that mean? Well, it has a natural, Colorado shade wrapper that appears to be rather thin with some minor veins and visible seams. It appears to be packed pretty well. The one thing that is out of character is that the cap looks a bit rough.
The classic band adds to the Cuban look. It is red and gold with white print. The date 1845 is on it along with the Cifuentes name. The only major difference in this one and a real Cuban is the boldness of the color and the absence of “Habana” on it.
When I squeeze and stroke (sorry, couldn’t help it!) the stick, I notice it has a couple of bumps, but feels solid otherwise. The wrapper has a silky feel as well, though not quite as smooth as a Cuban.
When I smell the foot, I mostly detect a sweet grass aroma. The barrel also has the grass plus a white pepper scent. This is in line with what I assumed I might get.
I go for the trusty CRA cutter and clip the cap. I give it a few dry draws and mostly taste dust and a fair amount of hay. The hay is okay, but not so crazy about the dust. At least the airflow is really good.
When I light the Partagas Naturales up, it does so quickly and evenly. Just like before, the draw is great and there is a good amount of smoke on each puff. Both the burn and draw remain excellent throughout the cigar. I never have to relight or touch it up.
Another good thing about this cigar is the ash. It is mostly white and very solid. The first one lasted a little over an inch. I usually knock it off after that just for good measure. This one didn’t want to go anywhere! I had to give it several taps to make it drop.
So far, the appearance and construction on the Partagas Naturales have been reminiscent of its Cuban cousin. The one thing that Dominican (or other) cigars have difficulty in matching is that Cuban flavor. Let’s see how close it comes.
In the first third, I am greeted with a light dust flavor. This comes along side some wood, nut, salt, and black pepper notes. All of the flavors are pretty mild at this point, but I can definitely pick out the dusty flavor over all of them. As it progresses, the nut and wood take over, with a hint of grass. The dust started to fade out, but comes back rather quickly.
The second-third continues with a dusty wood and grass combo. There are also nut and faint black pepper notes as well. As this section develops, there is a nice butter flavor that is present on the finish. This creates a bit of a cream note on my palate that helps balance out the dust.
The final third continues with the dust, wood, and butter combo. Soon after, a nice floral note develops. Just as that really settles in, the flavor starts to get a little funky. I can’t really identify what it is, but is seems almost chemical. I continue for a moment, hoping it doesn’t last, but it just gets stronger. With an inch left, I let it go out.
The Partagas Naturales is a mild-medium flavored, medium strength cigar that has a pretty classic flavor profile to it. Though it has moments that remind me of a Cuban cigar, it is not as refined or creamy. Smoke time was right at an hour and probably could’ve been 10-20 minutes longer.
Would I Buy It Again?
No, it’s just not the type of cigar I enjoy.
Is It An Everyday Smoke?
For a beginner, definitely. For me, no.
Would I Buy a Box?
If you like a very classic flavor or are a beginner, then I say yes. Personally, I would not.
The Partagas Naturales is what I consider to be a classic cigar for several reasons. For one, it has a classic name with Cuban origins. It has been around for decades in its current form (Dominican). It is produced and distributed by a large company (General). The look and flavor profile are also in line with cigars that try to rival the flavor of a Cuban cigar. In general, I think it lives up to that classification quite well.
Though I am not a big fan of “classic” cigars (mostly because I smoked a ton of them in the 90’s and early 00’s and got bored with them) that is not what affected the rating. I have had more than a fair share of the Partagas Naturales in the past and do not remember a dusty or chemical flavor being present. Though the profile is not something I care for now, at one time, I thought it was a pretty good cigar that never had any construction issues. In this case, the construction was excellent, but those two flavors were just not enjoyable. It was probably just a sub-par stick I got. It happens!
In general, I would say this is just an average cigar that can be found for a good price. I recommend it for anyone who is new to smoking or just really likes a milder, classic flavor. If you are used to the bolder flavors that are all the rage these days, this is probably not the cigar for you.