Ramon Allones Superiores La Casa del Habano | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Cuban
Binder: Cuban
Filler: Cuban
Size: 5.625 x 46 Grand Corona
Strength: Medium
Price: $12.00-$25.00

Today we take a look at the Ramon Allones Superiores La Casa del Habano.
This was a gift. A 2015 issue.
I just reviewed the Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure de Luxe La Casa de Habano on 2-20-2018…a phenomenal blend.

BACKGROUND:
Production: 5000 boxes
Due to its limited production, I found pricing to be as much as $25 per stick.
From Cigar Aficionado (10-20-2010):
“Ramon Allones, a small production, high-scoring cigar brand from Cuba, finally has a corona gorda size. Yesterday the Cuban cigar industry announced the upcoming release of the Ramon Allones Allones Superiores.

“This 5 5/8 inch long, 46 ring gauge cigar is coming out in certain markets next month and will be sold only at Cuba’s La Casa del Habano stores. The Allones Superiores will be limited to 50,000 cigars, or 5,000 boxes. They will be released in stages to various shops and regions and prices will vary from market to market. German and Italian cigar retailers said they would be priced at around 8 Euros (a little more than $11) per cigar.

“Habanos S.A., which runs Cuba’s cigar industry, said the cigars will come packed in dress boxes of 10.
“Ramon Allones is one of Cuba’s older brands, dating back more than 150 years. The sizes in the brand have been culled down to three, not counting this special release and Regional Edition sizes. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Smaller production means all Ramon Allones cigars are made in once place, the Partagas factory in Havana. (Many of Cuba’s bigger brands are made in various factories.)

“It’s a connoisseur’s brand,” says Ajay Patel of La Casa del Habano in Teddington, England, the United Kingdom’s sole Casa del Habano. “The guys who know cigars, they’ll go for that.”

“Ramon Allones’ three standard sizes are very high quality indeed. In a vertical brand tasting of Ramon Allones published in the April 27 Cigar Insider, the trio of core Ramon Allones cigars all scored in the 90s, with a 92 point showing for the Ramon Allones Gigante, a double corona (or prominente) and the Specially Selected (a robusto). The diminutive Small Club Corona scored 90 points.

“This is the third 2010 La Casa del Habano exclusive so far. It follows the August shipment of the Bolivar Gran Belicoso (the 2010 edition of the Habanos Collection) and the October release of the H. Upmann Noellas in glass amatista jars. Cigar retailers are still expecting to receive the La Gloria Cubana Inmensos this year, also as a Casa del Habano exclusive.”

DESCRIPTION:
A roughshod wrapper covered in large veins, lumps and bumps, visible seams, soft spots in several places, a decent triple cap application, and offers a ginger/cinnamon oily wrapper.

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW POINTS:
From the shaft, I can smell expensive milk chocolate, cream galore, cinnamon, strong nutmeg, cedar, (earth, wind, and leather), chocolate covered peanuts, butter, and a variety of malts.

From the clipped cap and the foot, I can smell black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate, cedar, peanuts, butter, cream, and malt.

The cold draw presents flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, cream, butter, cedar, black pepper, espresso, and malts.

FIRST THIRD:
The draw is tight despite the soft spots. There is a plug underneath the cigar band. Out comes my PerfecDraw cigar poker and make that plug disappear.
Flavors that seek out infamy come first: Creamy, malts, butter, butterscotch, graham cracker, cinnamon, black pepper, cocoa, coffee, earth, wind and leather, and honey mead.
Nice start.

Strength is mild/medium.

Zappa is playing “Catholic Girls.” Clearly, not sufficient amounts of Zappa on the air waves. KC and the Sunshine Band? Should be shot and hanged like Mussolini.

The complex nature of this blend kicks in immediately. No putzing around. Down to business. Transitions begin to rotate like forcing your kid brother on a butt plug when you were 11.

A very mellow smoke. Smooth and transcendent. I’m being lifted to one of my favorite places…the Cyclone Racer roller coaster at The Pike in downtown Long Beach, CA. And a place where sailors got drunk, stood up, and got thrown off the coaster every year since its inception in 1930. Ignore the last sentence. I never stood up on it.

OK. Flashback over.

The Ramon Allones Superiores La Casa del Habano serves up a nice surprise with a touch of almond butter.
I’m a fan of the RASS. Reviewed it here in July, 2017 plus two other RA reviews in 2013 & 2016.
There is the Cuban twang…best described by Andrew at SBC:
“You may have heard of the infamous Cuban twang by now, and it’s perceived differently by different people. Some describe it as sourdough bread flavors, others as citrus notes, and I’ve even heard musty as a descriptor.”
Good enough.
Sourdough is spot on. Citrus has not shown itself other than in tiny specks. The mustiness is merely the tobacco talking to me. It is not dusty musty…but rather musky. Testosterone drips down the length of the cigar.

A bad run on the burn line needs quick attention.
While an interesting blend, the Ramon Allones Superiores La Casa del Habano is no Ramon Allones Specially Selected (RASS).
It does have the magical mark of the wizard in that it improves with every puff. Never stand alone or stationary. Onward Christian Soldiers. We Jews will be upfront collecting fees. (Ah c’mon. If an old 68 Jew can’t make fun…)
Despite the significant soft spots in the kielbasa tobacco sausage, the cigar is smoking remarkably slow.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 35 minutes.
Strength hits medium.

Very complex in the same way as it is explaining to your wife that you really needed those cigars and you got a very good deal. (Falls on deaf ears matched with a stink eye look from honey poo).

Transitions occur faster than costume changes at a transvestite club. Think “The Birdcage.”

A better description…The Ramon Allones Superiores La Casa del Habano delivers a special mood that comes from a gentle smooth cigar experience. No hiccups or cigar related interruptions. Tasting what the blender wanted you to enjoy. A look into his masterful blender brain. It’s a shame that we don’t know all the names of Cuban blenders and those that help in the process. I would think that the Cubans would be proud of their accomplishments and scream to the heavens all the names of folks who make cigars. But then they may worry about defection to Central America or the U.S. It’s still a commie country so who the hell knows what they’re thinking.

Another bad run. Starting to piss me off.
The halfway point is here after 45 minutes of smoke time.
This must be the official lift off point. Flavors make that quantum leap from pleasant to near flavor bomb status.

Creamy, twangy, chocolate covered peanuts, butter, malts, black pepper, graham cracker, nutmeg, unexpected floral notes; very perfumey, butterscotch, cedar, and honey.

A good cigar can be described as a blend that never gives you hints of what is about to come as it moves forward in a splintered forward trajectory always surprising you with new subtleties and plenty of nuance to soothe the savage breast.

What a great blend. I guess the first third was a warm up. That’s OK as long as it delivers in the second half…and it does so in a smashing manner.

Lots of $10 sticks out there. Lots of good ones. Here is a Cuban that is every bit as good as most Central American sticks for the same price. Just because it is a limited edition, don’t be a schmuck and pay $25 per stick.

I’m in such a good mood, I slap in my DVD of Joe Bonamassa “Live at the Greek Theater.” Now we’re cooking.

Not a single construction issue with the wrapper. With enough winter cigars braving the cold weather here in Wisconsin, I am beginning to think that the cigars who disassembled while smoking them has been due to poor construction; not so much the cold. I’ve seen a pattern now. I won’t name the brands but I’m seeing wrapper dissolution on certain types of cigars. I will now take the heat off myself as a poor keeper of the humidor.

The char line issues are going to nail the final rating. But the offset of tremendous flavor profile will pull the cigar to the finish line in fine style.

I’m exactly at the place in the Ramon Allones Superiores La Casa del Habano where any cigar smoker; regardless of experience will say to themselves, “This is a great cigar. I don’t taste all those flavors that that idiot Kohn tastes but I know what I like…and this is it.”

There are a lot more duds from Cuba than there are stellar adventures. This blend lay in the second category. A work of passion and art.

Hall of Fame drummer, Hal Blaine, told me while we were recording at Sunset Gower Studio in L.A., about working with the Mamas & Papas. We had taken a break and did a toot. He said no thank you. He said that every day they were in the studio; Papa John Phillips always carried a professional doctor’s bag into the studio. When opened, it displayed a pharmacy of illegal drugs that boggled the mind. And these drugs were prescribed to the rest of the band during the sessions. We gave it some thought but didn’t imbibe in the huge assortment that Phillips thought necessary to the artistic experience. At $250 per hour in 1981 meant that it wasn’t a good time to party.
Second flashback deceased.

Strength hits medium/full. Wasn’t expecting that. Lots of smokers will keep their Cubans for years. Sure, flavors can really mix and morph but the blend loses its pizazz. I’ve smoked long aged Cubans and while they were very good, they didn’t have the punch I like in my sticks. So a year or less is good for me.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is one hour 15 minutes.

A luxurious blend. Oozing with character and godliness. A perfect morning cigar when the palate is fresh. A good cup of coffee and some music and it makes this whole megillah a great way to start the day.
OK. I can’t help it. I over use this phrase but the RA is a bona fide flavor bomb. Creating over stimulation to the Gustatory Cortex of my brain leaving me excited and sated.

Cubans get the creamy factor down cold. A buttery flaky biscuit. A touch of nutmeg. Cinnamon graham crackers. Butterscotch and honey. Heavy malts. Black pepper. Honey roasted peanuts. Cedar. Mocha java.
If one were to typically describe a Cuban blend, I believe that the aforementioned list of flavors covers most blends. The type of tobacco having the most influential part of the aficionado’s experience.

Inexplicably, strength hits a potent full. I really expected a very soft spoken blend. But the RA continues to surprise.
Nicotine. Oy.
A shame about the burn issues.

This is an affordable cigar if it doesn’t bother you to spend $11 on a pleasure tube. It’s every bit as good as the now expected price of $12+ per stick if you want to try something new. Pass on those Quorums you were going to buy or those Gurkha Shit Republic CLXXXII.
Final smoke time is one hour 35 minutes.

RATING: 93 (Points taken off due to burn line issues)

And now for something completely different:
1975

We made a bet. Whoever could piss off Darryl Way the most, within the constraints of one 2 hour concert, would be showered with lots of hashish. Darryl was the Napoleonic tyrant of English bands…right behind Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. Over the ten years in pro music, he was by far the most arrogant S.O.B. I had ever met. I’ve heard from friends that he is now a broken down wreck. Too bad, so sad.

The usual Three Musketeers were Stewart, Sonja, and me. We spent an afternoon playing cards at Stew’s flat in St. John’s Wood. Joining us was our favorite full time roadie by the name of Beric Wickens. Now if that isn’t a name right out of Dickens, I don’t know what is.

We drank lots of English ale, smoked hash, and laughed a lot. What kind of prank could we do to Darryl Way that would piss him off but avoid the blame being aimed at us?

And then Sonja won the hand and said quietly, forcing us to lean in; “Why not put acid in his beer. He always insists on closed beers and drinks. He never did drugs and was deathly afraid of them because someone once slipped him acid a long time ago at a party. So we grab a beer, carefully open it without crimping it, drop a tab of acid in it and then close it carefully. And we make sure it is the first available beer for him. We will have to work that out. Whatcha’ think?”
We erupted in laughter. “Huzzah! Huzzah!”

Now, which gig should it be? We had a new tour coming up in a few weeks. We would first do England, then the Continent. Hitting Holland, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Austria.
We decided to play it on the cuff. The tour was to last two months.

It turned out to be Germany. Stew tried to do the mechanics of the bottle operation first and botched it. I didn’t even want to try so Sonja did it and it worked. We decided to make sure there were no beer bottles in the dressing room. I would enter the room with several unopened bottles of beer and hand Darryl the designated beer. I would tell him I had to buy bottles from the bar.

We hadn’t let anyone in on our secret. So Stew and Sonja and I sat in the dressing room watching Darryl drink. We got impatient. But we waited for him to finish. Our only hope was that he didn’t throw up before going on stage; which was a ritual before every gig because of his nerves. The dummy would always eat a big dinner, get queasy, and then puke 10 minutes before hitting the stage.

We were still a good hour before going on and hoped the beer and the acid made it home before his ritual vomiting.

Twenty minutes before stage time, Darryl would always begin to practice his viola. He was always called a violinist in the press, but he really played a viola; which is a bigger and deeper sounding violin. Plus it was made of clear Lucite, had flashing lights inside, and was electric. So he could put on quite a show with that carnival act viola.

We walked on to the stage to thunderous applause and I could hear Darryl moaning in the darkness. I looked over to Stew and Sonja and they nodded.

I have to hand it to Darryl. He somehow got through the two and a half hours without running off stage screaming like a banshee. He had figured out that he had been slipped some acid but thought it was the bar’s fault, not mine. He didn’t think anyone was smart enough to pull a stunt like we did.

Darryl’s playing that night was hysterical. But funniest of all was that he always insisted on being the one to count us in to a song with the “1-2-3-4” And while high on acid, he couldn’t remember the numbers. So I started us in, ignoring Darryl. The three of us tried very hard to keep from laughing. Like kids in school or church. We were spewing spittle all over ourselves to keep from just letting out a big belly laugh. Any laugh at all would signal Darryl that we knew what happened.
Although, he would probably never remember it.

Darryl was a classically trained musician. He loved the composer, Vivaldi…who lived during the 17th-18th century and died in 1741. Vivaldi liked to use the perfect circle of fifths, a lot, in his music. That is where you play the root note, and then play its fifth. Then you play the fifth of that note, and so on. It takes 12 chromatic notes to complete the circle. And it is very easy to get lost if you don’t really pay attention. Being stoned was not an option…ever. That was reserved for after the last song of the night and just before the encore(s).

The diagram below shows it simply. Start with the C note at the 12:00 position and move clockwise to see its perfect fifth. Those are the chromatic notes in a major chord. The interior notes are a circle of fifths in the minor key. Both are written in treble clef. For bassists, it will be written in bass clef. Get it? Got it. Good.

The diagram below shows both circle of fifths on the left and circle of fourths (blues) on the right in the Dorian Mode. And shows the musical staffs in both treble and bass clefs. Dorian mode is represented by the natural diatonic scale D–D (containing a minor 3rd and minor 7th). Get it? Got it. Good.

Most blues tunes are based totally on the 1-4-5 chordal changes. The root (1), then the 4th, then the root (1), then the 5th, the 4th, and back to the root (1). That’s all you need to play basic blues songs.

So the band’s theme song was “Vivaldi.” A song dedicated to the composer totally based on that circle of fifths. But instead of repeating the same root over again, after the 12 chords were completed, we went up half a step…go to the sharp (#) on the root note. In other words, the circle starts on the C chord, the next time it comes around, it starts on C# and all the following chords change by half a step, and so on and so on. If you got lost, you were fucked. I’m fucking lost just writing about it.

When I first started playing with the band, I had a couple space outs where I lost my place. Darryl got really angry at me those two times I screwed up. He had no patience whatsoever. He had played that song for years. I had two weeks rehearsal for 2-1/2 hour concerts with all very complex song structures. I also was very nervous as I had never played in front of 20,000 people before. That can shake you up. Really.

The audience never got the joke. Darryl was frying. Darryl was on another plane of reality. Not of this planet.

Darryl kept screwing up the circle and we tried to follow him so as not to make him look bad…and because we didn’t want him to yell at us. Mick, the guitarist, was completely perplexed by what was happening.

Back in the dressing room, after the gig, Darryl was really peaking on the acid. He wanted to be angry but Stew, Sonja, and I talked him down, so to speak. We kept him calm and clucked our tongues at how someone in the bar could have done this to him.

We went back to the hotel. Darryl was the only one of the band who got his own room. The rest of us had to double up. (Ever smell 1970’s British musicians on the road? Yuck. I got made fun of because I took a shower every day. They took showers on Saturdays. No shit. Sonja had G-Strings that could stand up in the corner of the room. Guess whose pussy never got eaten? But she was a masterful giver of head. Truly inspiring.)

I was also made fun of in the dressing room when they saw I wore boxers while changing into my stage gear. Only 85 year old men wore those. Europeans wore underwear smaller than Speedos. So Sonja spoke to my girlfriend and told her she better get me some hip and happening shorts. And she did. And I wore them on the road. And the laughing stopped.
Where was I?

So we three musketeers spent the night with him making sure he did nothing foolish. He finally fell asleep around 6am. We were exhausted. It was a hard fought battle for that practical joke and it wore us out too.

We were late leaving the hotel because of Darryl. The road manager was furious.
The rest of the tour, Darryl bought his own beer at pubs or liquor stores before the concert and never let them out of his sight.
It was a glorious night. And I don’t think he ever figured out who did this to him.

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Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

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6 replies

  1. Your right on point Phil.. Ramon Allones is one of the stellar brands Cuba has to offer..
    Best to Charlotte and Sammy..

    Frank

  2. “Goddamn Pusherman” (Kohnhed) between this review and the Hoyo from last week, you’re gonna make me go broke!
    Vince

  3. I have a box of these from 2012…I can’t wait to light em up!
    You should see if you can get your hands on an H Upmann connoisseur A. I had a 4 year old one a few weeks ago that was nothing short of amazing. And thanks for doing some reviews of Cubans. I’ve been smoking more recently and have found they hit my palette perfectly.

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