Partagas Lusitania (Cuban) | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Cuban
Binder: Cuban
Filler: Cuban
Size: 7.625 x 49
Body: Medium/Full
Box date: May 2012
Price: $11.35 (Cuba) $38 (Alberta)

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Purchased from a Cuban hotel in Miramar, Havana several months ago.
Today we take a look at the Partagas Lusitania (Cuban).

There is a strange anomaly I discovered while researching this cigar. Some people refer to the cigar as Lusitianias and some Lusitania. The box says Lusitanias. Which I think may be a reference to the plural use of the word. Cigar Aficionado calls it Lusitania so that is what I will use.

I want to thank a good friend, that prefers to remain anonymous, for gifting me this cigar. Plus three more different Cubans from his trip there this Spring.

BACKGROUND:
From Cigar Aficionado (The 25 Best Cigars of the Year 2010- #21- Rated 92):
“You don’t truly know how great a large Cuban cigar can be until you have smoked a Partagas Lusitania at its best. Long a mainstay of Cuban cigar aficionados who know a good smoke when they see one (they are the favorite of Mexico’s Max Gutmann, one of the most experienced cigar aficionados in the world), recent-production releases of Lusitanias are balanced and harmonious smokes with rich and complex flavors of nuts and orange peel. When you have the time that such a double corona demands, perhaps in front of a crackling fire with a glass of single-malt Scotch or a well-aged Cognac or Port, this is your cigar to enjoy, savor and reflect upon.”

DESCRIPTION:
What a tree trunk! An ugly one on top of it. It is wrinkly like an old man. It has lumps and bumps, lots of veins, highly visible seams, and a nicely applied triple cap.
The wrapper is an oily butterscotch.
I’m not a fan of mild/medium body cigars but after reading reviews, the consensus is that this is one of the greatest cigars in the world. Really. So I’m sure this is a full flavored cigar.
I’m anxious to light it up. It has a little over 3 years box aging. So this should be quite the treat.

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
Along the shaft, I smell floral notes, sweetness, and hay.
From the clipped cap and foot, I smell sweet peaches, cocoa, spice, licorice, and rich tobacco.
On the cold draw, I get notes of hay, ginger snaps, and earthy tobacco.

FIRST THIRD:
The aroma from toasting the foot is out of this world. A rich, woody and earthy aromatic that has a touch of Hippie incense.
First impressions are sweetness, cream, and vanilla.
A few moments later, black pepper rises to the occasion.
The strength is very mild.
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I guess reviewing Cubans is a very hip and happenin’ thing to do because I saw more so called reviews for this cigar than any I’ve seen before for any other cigar.
I had a good laugh reading these blogs. They must have an audience of their friends and family because the reviews went something like this:
“Named after the ship sank by German U Boats. Very good tasting. I highly recommend it. A little on the expensive side. Thank you. Thank you very much. The End.”
All right; a bit of an exaggeration but not much.

An inch in, some fruitiness appears. More summer stone fruit than anything else but still a bit elusive as it only hits the palate lightly.
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Nuts are introduced. Along with a strong study of fresh orange. I can smell the freshly peeled fruit.
Either the Partagas Lusitania is a late starter or 3 years box time and several months of humidor time isn’t sufficient. I’m almost 2” in and while it is a pleasant cigar, it isn’t making me swoon with pleasure.

I am far from being a Cuban cigar expert. Thankfully to the good graces of several readers, I’ve had the opportunity to smoke some great sticks. I haven’t reviewed them all because all info was lost as far as the year and background. I can hardly review a cigar in which I don’t even have a clue to which year the cigar came out. So instead, I just enjoyed them.

The strength moves up to mild/medium. An element of espresso joins in. It ramps up the creaminess and sweetness. The nuttiness is toasted almonds.

This is a difficult cigar blend to discern. Which explains the whole bunch of generic reviews from bloggers that are probably newbies and haven’t spent decades in the trenches and developed finely tuned palates. There is no shortcut. “Time is the longest distance between two places.” Tennessee Williams.

SECOND THIRD:
Chocolate shows up.
Fingers crossed that at the halfway point, I see some action.
I drop the cigar and splat goes the nicely tamed ash. Whatever it is that is plaguing my brain has had me dropping cigars a lot. I get this uncontrollable twerk and whatever I am holding heads right down to the floor.
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I also read some very articulate reviews. And I’m not getting what they got.
After my research yesterday, I was expecting the cigar experience of a lifetime.
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HALFWAY POINT:
Flavors perk up. Strength hits medium body.
Eureka! Huzzah! Huzzah! We have hit pay dirt.
Everything I had hoped would happen just kicked in.

Wow. Like a light switch. And because it is such a damn long cigar, I still have 3-1/2” to enjoy.
The Partagas Lusitania is soaring on eagle’s wings.
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Here they are: Spice, wood, creaminess, fruit, almonds, orange, floral notes, and coffee.
The Partagas Lusitania is screaming laughter like a sea of swarming simbas.

I guess another year or so would bring this current sweet spot to the front of the cigar instead of the middle.
I read, consistently, that this is a 2 hour smoke. I’ve invested well over an hour. I expect to break that record.

This is what I had hoped for. Help me Rhonda! Help, help me Ronda!
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I’m having some minor burn issues but ones that can be remedied with the smallest of touch ups.
The Partagas Lusitania is mega complex now. And the strength hits medium/full.

I saw several web sites selling this cigar that called out the strength as either medium/full or full bodied. Yet the big boy reviewers said it was mild/medium. There is such an abundance of info on this cigar; it is difficult to wade through it to find the truth.
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A creamy woody flavor is just bozo crazy.
Nicotine kicks in. Uh oh.
The Partagas Lusitania is so jam packed that is a slow roll.
The sun came out from hiding for over 4 days. The rain stopped and it is a beautiful Milwaukee day.

LAST THIRD:
There is something about a great Cuban that is unlike any Central American blend. Some call it the Cuban Twang. I have no idea what that means.
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This is from Gregory Mottola of Cigar Aficionado:
“Cuban twang is nothing more than too much acidity in the tobacco. It is connotatively referred to as “aspereza” in Spanish—anything harsh or unrefined. Comes from cigars rushed to the market and is generally considered a negative trait, though some people say they like it. One of the purposes of aging cigars is to allow the acidity to dissipate, making way for more sophisticated floral, sweet and savory flavors.”

OK. So now you know. This cigar has zero acidity. And is awash in sweet, savory, and floral notes.
The strength is encroaching on full body. The nicotine is in check.
The flavor profile hasn’t changed: Spice, wood, creaminess, fruit, almonds, orange, floral notes, and coffee.
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Smoke time has been an hour and 45 minutes. 2-1/2” to go.
Full body has been attained.

Ever wonder why most Cuban cigars don’t show the name of the blend on the cigar band?
The nicotine has kicked in hard. I’m not sure I can finish the cigar. I’m swooning like a Justin Bieber groupie.

The black/red pepper ratchets up big time. The tip of my tongue burns.
So much for the Partagas Lusitania being a mild bodied cigar blend.
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The Partagas Lusitania was a wonderful cigar experience. Everyone should try it at least once.
Final smoke time is 2 hours and 10 minutes.

PRICE POINT:
Prices are all over the place. I’ve seen them as high as $100 per stick.
My friend got a great deal at his hotel in Havana. But $38 Canadian dollars ($30.75 USD) is a little much.
The Lusitania comes in this one size only.

SUMMATION:
My only criticism is that it took nearly half the cigar for the blender’s intent to kick in.
In the past, before retiring, I bought Cuban cigars and allowed them to rest for years.
Now? I can’t afford it. Buying a box of cigars and then putting them away and forgetting about them is out of the question.
Which brings me to how grateful I am that some very cool readers have sent me sticks in which they have done all the work.
I have a pretty Hoyo de Monterrey Petit Robusto to review tomorrow. From the same reader and friend.
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