A lot of people subscribe to the idea that you absolutely have to age Cuban cigars before you can smoke them, well in my honest opinion, these current production Cubans offer a very enjoyable smoking experience and have a rough edge to them that I have come to enjoy lately. Perhaps it’s my love for strong Nicaraguan cigars that has drawn me to smoke more fresh Cubans lately, perhaps it’s simply the quality of tobacco we have seen coming out of Cuba in the past three years, I will also say that I have seen far fewer quality control issues as well lately. All of these reasons have made me want to review more young Cuban cigars.
First released in 1980 the Ramón Allones Specially Selected (RASS) has been a favorite local brand cigar of aficionados ever since, coming in at 4 7/8 x 50 the cigar offers a relatively long smoke time and an extremely cool smoke with its short and fat robusto shape. Ramón Allones is currently being rolled at the Partagás factory and actual does bare a strong resemblance in my opinion to the Partagas line of cigars, full flavored and bold with lots of spice and pepper but with a subtle smoothness. Ramón Allones is filled with a casualty list of cigars that were discontinued over the years but today there are only three vitolas in the Ramón Allones line:
- Ramón Allones Gigante — 7 5/8 x 49
- Ramón Allones Small Club Corona — 4 3/8 x 42
- Ramón Allones Specially Selected — 4 7/8 x 50
Habano S.A.’s Edición Regional program has seen a surge of Ramón Allones cigars however and each year it’s no surprise to see four or five different regional cigars from Ramón Allones and in my experience they offer the best ones you can find. We have reviewed a few here and here that have been exceptionally good.
This year Ramón Allones will release a 2011 Edición Limitada, a previously discontinued cigar called the Allones Extra. It will come banded with a replica vintage band bearing a green color. The cigar will come in 25 count boxes and should be available this fall sometime.
- Cigar Reviewed: Ramón Allones Specially Selected (2011)
- Country of Origin: Cuba
- Factory: Francisco Pérez German
- Wrapper: Cuba
- Binder: Cuba
- Filler: Cuba
- Size: 4 7/8 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Robusto
- Est. Price: $6.60 (Boxes of 25, $165)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 4
I never get tired of looking at one of these, I have seen them come in many varieties of shade but this one has a gorgeous milk chocolate wrapper with just a touch of oil, very few veins and smooth leathery feel. It’s packed well with a little give and it has a slight natural box press to it from the dress box it came in. The pre-light aroma is fantastic; it has a sweet tobacco smell with a ton of barnyard, that wonderful mix of wood, hay and manure. There is also a nice hint of chocolate and leather. The cold draw is sweet with nice hints of hay and leather.
Starting off in the first third, I immediately get a rush of flavor and sensation, it’s upper medium body right away with quite a bit of spice through the nose and pepper on the tongue. Initial flavors are a mix of barnyard, nuts, chocolate, and sweet earth. It has a nice spicy and peppery finish.
Coming into the second third the flavors increase, there is a lot of dark chocolate, leather, earth and spice as well as a nice sweetness to balance it all out. The cigar tastes very rounded out, everything is balanced well. There is a touch of harshness and you can sense the youth in it but it’s not overpowering at all. Great construction and draw so far.
Finishing up in the final third the flavors continue, there is a build in spice and dark chocolate at the end, also a little bit of espresso and other darker flavors. It gets a little hot at the end but I am able to nub it nonetheless. The spice and pepper stay strong to the very end.
- This cigar, like most Cubans, has a little ways to go to reach its full potential, but I will never know because I fully enjoyed it and will continue to smoke them until the box is gone. It had a spice and pepper as well as an overall rough, dark edge to it that I just love and I think will diminish as it ages over the years. This is a testament to the fact that the RASS and Partagas Serie D No.4 are among my favorite cigars in the world.
- The construction of these have been amazing over the last year or two, there was a time when I would find ten plugged cigars in a 25 count box, I have smoked eight cigars out of this box and I have yet to have one plugged cigar. They have all been fabulous and I find that it’s been that way lately which is a great thing. Quality has always been an issue with Cuban cigars and it’s nice to not have as much issues anymore.
- Final smoking time was one hour.
This cigar definitely has a little ways to go before it’s the best it can be, but right now as they stand right off the truck they are smoking really well. I really love the sweetness and dark flavors they have mixed with the spice and pepper which fades into an espresso, leathery end. All in all when it comes to a Robusto it’s simply very tough to beat a Ramón Allones Specially Selected, especially these days.