At the end of February 2011, the Partagas Series E No.2 was officially released at the XIII Habanos Festival in Cuba. The Serie E No.2 is the first in a new line of Partagas Serie that will likely be known for its larger ring gauge and unique packaging.
The Partagas Serie E No.2 is available in two different semi boite nature (SBN) boxes: a box of 5 and a box of 25; each with a lithographed piece of paper on the outside and a flap on the inside of the boxes that is meant to make them easily noticeable on shelves. The tobacco used is from the Vuelta Abajo region in Cuba.
The Boxes look like this (photos courtesy of Habanos):
But enough of that, let’s get down to business, shall we?
- Cigar Reviewed: Partagas Serie E No.2
- Country of Origin: Cuba
- Factory: Fernando Perez German
- Wrapper: Cuba
- Binder: Cuba
- Filler: Cuba
- Size: 5 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 54
- Vitola: Duke
- Est. Price: $15.00 (Boxes of 5, $75.00 & Boxes of 25, $375.00)
- Date Released: February 2011
- Number of Cigars To Be Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The Partagas Serie E No.2 is quite large in your hand, but feels a bit light when held considering the size. Despite reports of being a Colorado, the wrapper is a VERY light yellowish brown and has multiple seams running down the length. The Serie E is has the perfect give when squeezed and the wrapper smells faintly of sweet cedar, manure and a bit of chocolate.
The first third of the Serie E starts off with a strong note of dry wood, along with lesser flavors of leather, earth and tobacco and manure as well; although that was mainly a smoke smell. There is a nice sweetness that comes and goes and gets stronger towards the end, but no discernible specific flavor on that yet. Almost no spice at all, but there is some pepper on the retrohale, just not a lot of it.
Midway into the second third of the Partagas and the cigar has less of the manure scent (thankfully) while the earthiness seems to take center stage, flavor-wise. The profile gets progressively more creamy as the second third comes to and end and the sweetness is still in the background as well. I also get some fleeting flavors of nuttiness, but not strong enough to make an impact on the overall profile. Overall strength is increasing as well and it ends the Second Third a strong medium.
The final third of the Serie E No.2 really steps up the game, with a wonderful combination of honey sweetness and some nice spice on the lips that before now was not present. Other flavors include cedar, espresso and hay. The profile is still creamy as well, albeit not as strong. Strength remains firmly in the medium plus range until the end. The cigar started getting hot and bitter at the very end, but that is most likely due to the young age.
- There seems to be a major amount of discrepancies in the color of the wrappers on these cigars, as I smoked three of them from three different sources and all of them had quite a bit different shades. In fact, you can even see the difference in the official box photos above. The one I photographed for the review was the lightest of the three by far. However, as much difference as there was in the color/shade of the cigars, I did not notice much of a difference in profile between them, other than minor spice/strength differences.
- There is quite a bit of dense white smoke that comes from this cigar and while it is not as much as, say, a Liga Privada, I was taken slightly aback.
- The draw was perfect on all three samples and while I had to touch up the burn a few times, it was nothing major or even annoying.
- I did taste some manure in the First Third, but I don’t think it was an actual flavor, but more due to the fact that the smoke smelled so strongly of it. It was an interesting note and while it was not a bad thing, despite what you might think, I am glad it died down quickly.
- Interestingly, while almost every cigar Cuba has released with the No.2 in the name is a Pirámides (Montecristo No.2, H. Upmann No.2, etc) , that is obviously not the case with the Partagas Serie E No.2 or the Bolivar Especiales No.2, which is a Lancero.
- This is one of the largest RG releases that Partagas has in its line and the largest Parejo, albeit not the largest RG. That honor goes to the Partagas Salomone, which has a RG of 57.
- The Final Smoking Time for all three samples was right around 1 Hour and 40 Minutes.
The Bottom Line: I really enjoy the Partagas profile and I came into this cigar wondering if I would like it more than my go to cigar in the Partagas line, the PSD4. Well, it is such a different animal and really tough to compare the two. I found the Partagas Serie E No.2 to be quite a bit stronger and with more spice than the Serie D No.4, but I also found it to be a tiny bit more complex, especially in the final third, which was easily the best part of the smoke. While I was not impressed with the size of the vitola, the blend held up wonderfully and I think these will only get better with some down time.
Final Score: 88