Before Habanos S.A. officially had the Edición Regional program that is so ubiquitous now, there was the Ramón Allones Belicoso.
Debuting in 2005 and only available in the United Kingdom, the 5 1/2 x 52 Belicoso was produced in the Ramón Allones brand specially for the U.K. market by the distributor Hunters & Frankau. There were an unspecified number of boxes of 25 of these cigars released and unlike virtually all Edición Regional since, there was no secondary band added. In fact, other than the vitola—which has never been a regular production size in the Ramón Allones marca—there is no obvious indication that this was a special release at all, either on the cigar or on the boxes themselves.
Here is what I said in my original review back in 2012:
I have made no secret of the fact that most of the recent Edición Regionals have disappointed me, oftentimes because they just seem to be boring and somewhat bland examples of cigars, both in flavors and profiles. These sticks from 2005 are quite a bit sweeter than the classic Ramón Allones profile, but it seems to me that they take the normal Ramón Allones profile and complex it up quite a bit. Wonderfully rich and complex flavors, and excellent construction makes the Ramón Allones Belicoso UK release not only easily one of the best Edición Regionals, but also one of the best Cubans I have had in quite a while. These are worth the price that are paid for them all day long, and if you are looking for a classic Cuban in the making, look no further.
- Cigar Reviewed: Ramón Allones Belicoso (2005)
- Country of Origin: Cuba
- Factory: Francisco Pérez German
- Wrapper: Cuba
- Binder: Cuba
- Filler: Cuba
- Length: 5 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Belicoso
- Est. Price: $30 (Boxes of 25, $750)
- Release Date: 2005
- Number of Cigars Released: n/a
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 1
As with the cigars for my original review, the Ramón Allones Belicoso is covered in a light nutty brown wrapper that is quite smooth to the touch. There is very little oil present, but there are plenty of veins running up and down the length of the cigar, and it is a little more spongy when squeezed than I remember the first time around. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of milk chocolate, leather, manure, cinnamon, nutmeg and cedar, while the cold draw brings flavors of aged leather, aromatic cedar, earth, bakers spices and dark chocolate sweetness.
Starting out, the Ramón Allones Belicoso features a multitude of flavors on the palate, all of which are fighting for dominance: milk chocolate, light coffee, cinnamon, cedar and earth, with almonds, cream and a slight, smooth floral note bringing up the rear. There is a surprising amount of white pepper present on the retrohale along with an almost negligible amount of spice on my tongue that was gone almost before my mind registered it. In addition, the cigar features a huge caramel sweetness that I remember from the first review, but it is even more distinct now, coating my mouth and integrating itself into every other flavor that is present. In terms of flavors, the second half is much the same as the first, but the spice is long gone by the halfway point and the white pepper on the retrohale continues to lessen as the cigar burns down. In fact, the white pepper eventually fades to nothing by the time the final third starts, but the caramel sweetness remains a dominant note—albeit relegated entirely to the retrohale—until the very last puff.
Construction-wise, the Ramón Allones is completely trouble-free from the first puff to the last, with an amazing draw, a burn line that never wavered and an ash that stayed on for more than two inches before falling for the first time. Having said that, the overall smoke production was a bit reduced from the last time I smoked it, and the finish was a touch dry at certain points, especially during the second third. The overall strength ended near the medium mark, but never came close to pushing over that point, and the nub was warm but not hot when I put it down with less than an inch to go.
Being that this was the last Ramón Allones Belicoso I own, I was apprehensive about sparking it up, but I can safely say that I am glad I did. While noticeably aged, the profile continues to impress, with smooth, rich, and undeniably complex flavors that make the astoundingly good construction the second best thing about the cigar. While this cigar was a flavor bomb the first time I smoked it four years ago, it is obviously better now, and I have no doubt it will continue to evolve as the years tick by. This is what just about every other Edición Regional release wishes they could be. Editor's Note: Because of changes to our scoring system, the score is actually lower than the original score.