Partagas Black Label Short Cigar Review

Pre-Smoke: It’s a big, dark and oily cigar that looks a little rustic. Oh, and by “oily” I mean really, really oily. Almost to the point of being too oily. This Partagas Black feels a little too soft to the touch. I am smoking the Magnifico (6″ x 54) vitola.

Smoke: Unfortunately, the draw is intermittently too tight. During those pockets when this cigar has a decent draw I do get some good flavors coming through. Chocolate, burnt pistachio and a robust earthiness. There is a salty sweetness that is left on my lips and that lingers in my mouth. It is also extremely bitter. A medium bodied cigar with a horrific burn.

After-Smoke: The funny thing about the Partagas Black Label is that all of this has happened to me before. In January I smoked one of the Partagas Black Label Magnificos and I gave it 82 points. The really befuddling thing about this line is that I gave the Partagas Black Label Piramide (6″ x 60 torpedo) 93 points.

1 point

Price Range: $5.50 – $7.50

Partagas Black Label webpage

Partagas Naturales Natural Cigar Review

This cigar brand started back in Cuba way back when, actually, way before Castro. This isn’t one of those Cubans though. But it is made by the same family, the Cifuentes, that was making these cigars in Cuba before Castro’s merry men took that Caribbean island, just south of Florida, over.

Partagas cigars are offered in a ton of different vitolas (it is offered in three different vitolas with the maduro wrapper); if you can’t find your favorite size with this line then you probably won’t find the right cigar anywhere. They are offered with a natural (Cameroon) wrapper and a maduro wrapper. They are priced anywhere from $4.00 to $10.00. I’m smoking the Naturales vitola with the Cameroon wrapper for this review.

Upon first glance it does look a little rustic. There are bumps all over the place and it is not perfectly cylindrical in shape. With a small crack near the foot, a couple of raised veins and a really hard feel to it one would be forgiven for dismissing this cigar. But, working in its favor, is the fact that it is an oily cigar. And, truth be told, you can not ever really tell how well a cigar will be until you light it up.

Cigar Stats
Length: 5 1/2″
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Cameroon
Binder: Mexico
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: around $6.00

Flame Flickering!

Unfortunately, the draw is tight – I guess being too tightly packed does matter. It is not too tightly packed as to make this Partagas unsmokable but it’s bordering on that. On the bright side, the burn is pretty even.

Tobacco is the main flavor for this mild-medium bodied smoke. There is also some burnt wood flavors coming through. Near the end of the cigar there are some sweet and salty notes.

82 points

Partagas Black Label Magnifico Cigar Review

I basically told you yesterday what I thought about this cigar. It just wasn’t that good. Which was weird because I thought the pyramid version of this cigar was excellent. Anyways, here is my review of the Partagas Black Label Magnifico:

Tons of oil. Jet black cigar. Perfect construction. There seems to be nothing wrong with the construction of this cigar. I am drinking Maker’s Mark and a glass bottle of Coke with this cigar.

Cigar Stats
Length: 6″
Ring Gauge: 54
Wrapper: USA/Connecticut
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dom Rep, Nicarauga
Price: $6.50

Scrubs Flame!

I’m watching a great show, Scrubs, while smoking this cigar so I am in a good mood. Right off the bat I am getting chocolate and earthy notes. It’s like a sweet earthiness though. Not sure that I like it all that much.

The draw is great but the burn is awful. I know I will have to fix it soon. This cigar would be a lot better if there was a strong bitterness to it so that it could cut the sweet earthiness. As it stands a quarter of the way through the cigar the major flavor I’m getting is sweet grass.

About halfway through the chocolate flavors take over. It is just barely a full bodied cigar. Even though the earthiness has mostly vanished I still cannot say that I like this cigar.

What started out as a subtle sour taste has only gotten worse. I don’t know what’s wrong with this cigar but it’s just bad. The sourness kills any good feelings I had for this cigar.

Maybe I am being a little too harsh about the sourness. It’s only an intermittent flavor. In between the sour flavors the cigar is fairly good. Unfortunately, for me at least, I cannot get past the sourness – it ruins the cigar.

82 points

How Can Two of the Same Cigars be So Different?

Last night I smoked a Partagas Black. It was just plain awful and I know that it can be such a great cigar since I gave the Partagas Black Label Piramide 93 points. So, how can this happen?

Different Size

Maybe the difference in size had something to do with it. The one I gave a 93 to was a pyramid and the one I smoked last night was a toro. The pyramid has a larger ring gauge and, maybe since it’s more difficult to roll, it might have had a better roller.

Normal Variation

Cigar making isn’t a science, it’s an art. There are going to be differences between cigars even if they are from the same line and are the same size. Different rollers, maybe a slightly different blend, a longer or shorter amount of time in the humidor, or maybe the flavors of the other cigars in my humidor could have rubbed off on the Partagas the wrong way. Cigar making isn’t a six sigma process, after all.

Wrong Drinks

Normally, I have Wild Turkey and a Cherry Coke with my cigars. For my cigar last night I had Maker’s Mark and a glass bottle of Coke. While I don’t think this accounts for the major difference between the two cigars, it might have had a negative affect on the cigar last night.


I have to smoke outside and sometimes that is a pain because it can get quite cold, even in Southern California. Last night it was especially cold. And when it gets cold I don’t enjoy myself as much. But again, I don’t think that can account for the major difference between the two cigars.

Are there any other reasons why two of the same cigars could be so different? And, if you are curious, I will have the review for the bad Partagas up tomorrow.

Partagas Black Label Piramide – Cigar Review

As luck would have it, just a couple of days ago I saw a great review of one of these cigars (it was the Classico, 5.25″X54) over at the Stogie Review. The reviewer, Jerry (follow him on Twitter @jcruz), had smoked one of these a while ago and thought it was a great cigar. Then he smoked it again within the last week and basically said that while it was a good cigar it was no longer a must have favorite.

So, what do I think? Here’s my review.

A very oily cigar, almost jet black. While there are a couple of raised veins I am not overly apprehensive about this cigar because the whole look of it is just amazing. It should be a very good cigar.

Cigar Stats
Length: 6″
Ring Gauge: 60
Wrapper: USA/Connecticut
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dom Rep, Nicarauga
Price: $7.50

Black Light!

Right from the beginning this is a full bodied monster of a cigar. There is spice (especially through the nose), just a hint of sweetness, coffee and chocolate. It’s been a while since I smoked a cigar that is so well balanced and offers a good amount of punch.

Even though the draw is slightly tight it is still fine. Although, with a bigger cigar you would think that the draw would be better – minor complaint though. I’m loving this mix of flavors and it doesn’t seem like these flavors are going away anytime soon.

I am smoking this cigar, which was last night, while watching the last season of 24, which appeared two years ago (damn that writer’s strike!) and I can’t think of a better accompaniment to Jack Bauer ripping a man’s jugular out with his mouth then this cigar. I’m guessing that this cigar is in Jack’s humidor.

Little over halfway through now and this is a great cigar, there is just no denying it. There is a lot of nuance to these flavors and they are truly amazing flavors as well. I absolutely love this cigar.

It even burns evenly! I am nearing the end of this stick and all is well. There is no way that this is the best cigar I have ever smoked but it is right up there with them and I will definitely buy this one again.

93 points