First and foremost, a huge thank you to Partagas for including me in this Tasting Lab opportunity! It was my first chance to participate in one, and I appreciate being chosen.
My palate tends to gravitate towards full-bodied, spicy sticks, so this isn’t a cigar I’d normally pick up at my local cigar shop. But I’m always excited to try new things, and I ended up really enjoying this creamy little smoke.
I had some rare quiet time alone in the lounge one morning, so I decided to make this my first smoke of the day so that I could give it my full attention. The first thing I took in was the pleasant, slightly sweet aroma of the caramel colored wrapper and unlit foot.
Upon lighting, I was hit by a citrusy note. The flavor deepened but remained mellow in the first third. I became keenly aware that my palate is not at all fine-tuned for lighter, creamy cigars. But the flavor is very nice, and my interest was definitely piqued.
Moving into the second third, I really start to settle into the cigar. The medium-body smoke is satisfying but not overwhelming, but I’m still struggling to pick up on specific notes that jump out at me. I eventually decide that it’s enough to just enjoy the stick without analyzing it deeply. The wrapper is slightly sweet on my lips, but not cloyingly so.
Things start to pick up in the lounge, and just as I start to get a bit distracted from the cortado, it hits me. Grapefruit. But not just any grapefruit, and maybe only people from Texas will fully understand what I’m talking about…Rio Red grapefruit. Whatever is going on with the individual flavor notes in this cigar may elude me, but working in harmony, the blend is like the mildly sweet citrus of the bitterness-free red grapefruits grown in the Texas Rio River valley, and it’s fantastic.
It may not be the kind of cigar I’m usually inclined to buy, but I’ll definitely be picking some up for my humidor. The price point is great and I’m looking forward to sharing them with friends whose palates trend toward milder, creamier sticks. Maybe they’ll be able to point out the detailed flavors I missed, but I’m perfectly fine with locking it in my mind as the “Rio Red Partagas with the Red Band”.
Thanks again, Partagas, for granting me the opportunity to try something new and outside of my comfort zone!