In 2001, Habanos S.A. launched the Cuaba Salomónes, the first of what has become a mostly annual series known as the Colección Habanos. It showcases unique vitolas, often historical, and packages them in a wooden box that resembles a book. Those boxes are individually numbered and rather limited as far as Cuban cigars go.
In its second year, Habanos selected the Partagás brand for the Colección Habanos release and crafted the Serie C No.1, a 6 7/10 (170mm) x 48 double robusto. It doubled the production from the inaugural release, the Cuaba Salomónes, increasing the box-count from 10 to 20, something that has remained since.
- Cuaba Salomónes — 2001 — 300 Boxes of 10 Cigars (3,000 Total Cigars)
- Partagás Serie C No.1 — 2002 — 300 Boxes of 20 Cigars (6,000 Total Cigars)
- Hoyo de Monterrey Extravaganza — 2003 — 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
- Romeo y Julieta Fabulosos No.6 — 2004 — 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
- Montecristo Maravillas No. 1 — 2005 — 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
- Trinidad Torre Iznaga — 2006 — 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
- H. Upmann Magnum Especial — 2007 — 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
- Cohiba Sublimes Extra — 2008 — 1,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
- San Cristóbal O’Reilly — 2009 — 1,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
- Bolívar Gran Belicoso — 2010 — 1,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
- Obras Completas Edición Única — 2011 — 1,000 Boxes of 30 Cigars (30,000 Total Cigars)*
- Cuaba Bariay — 2012 — 1,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
- Partagás Serie E No.1 — 2013 — 2,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (40,000 Total Cigars)
- Cigar Reviewed: Partagás Serie C No.1
- Country of Origin: Cuba
- Factory: n/a
- Wrapper: Cuba
- Binder: Cuba
- Filler: Cuba
- Size: 6 7/10 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 48
- Vitola: Double Robusto
- Est. Price: $150 (Boxes of 20, $3,000)
- Date Released: 2002
- Number of Cigars Released: 300 Boxes of 20 Cigars
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 1
For a cigar that will set you back at least $100, the foot of the Partagás Serie C No.1 is rough, very rough. It’s not anything outside of what you expect from Cuba, but probably not what you would want to spend that sort of money on. I don’t get much from the wrapper aroma-wise, but the foot provides a wonderful mixture of sweet brown sugar, oatmeal and some fruitiness. Over the years I’ve had a lot of unique cold draws, but this takes the cake. It’s dominated by a huge sweet flavor that reminds me of Juicy Fruit gum, some cardboard and a generic meatiness. There’s a sharp lemon in there, but it’s overwhelmed by the Juicy Fruit flavor. For those wondering, the cold draw is right in the center.
As so often happens, the flavor on the cold draw does not make it into the lit cigar. Instead, the Partagás shows warm nuts, lot of cedar, acidic lemon and grass. It’s medium-full, with decent richness, but all parts of the palate pick up a small amount of harshness. Cinnamon becomes the dominant flavor a half inch into the Serie C No.1, behind that is concentrated lemon, bittersweet earth and white pepper. Construction is wonderful with an even chunk of ash hanging on for a bit over an inch, slightly below average smoke production and a draw that measures middle of the road.
Floral notes break through the profile and add some much desired sweetness. Unfortunately, it seems to get absorbed by a bittersweet cedar and earth mixture. It’s not really what I would describe as a typical Partagás profile, or really a typical cigar, as I find lime peel, green onion and black tea at various points of the middle two inches. There’s a ton of salivation in the mouth, which is great, but the harsh hints still remain and aren’t adding to things.
I’m still heavily engaged by the final third, which transforms into a combination of nuttiness, cinnamon and vegetal notes. The latter, combined with the aforementioned and lingering mild harshness, are not two of the best features of the Partagás Serie C No.1, but it can at least retain the quality of being unique. Eventually though, things get a bit too harsh for my liking and I put the cigar down right under an inch.
- This was an original release Partagás Serie C No.1, not part of the 2011 rerelease.
- My best pricing estimate comes from the November 2011 auction hosted by C.Gars Ltd, where a box sold for £1,800 ($2,742.81).
- In 2012, the Partagás Serie C No.3 was added as an Edición Limitada. To date the two are the only formal Serie C sizes, although a Serie Connoisseur once existed.
- Some of the best Cubans I’ve smoked have come from the Colección Habanos series, including the San Cristobal O’Reilly.
- While Habanos S.A. shipped two Colección Habanos releases in 2014—the delayed 2012 and 2013 versions—it still hasn’t announced what the 2014 version was supposed to be. It will be interesting to see how they handle it, something we will likely know much more about in February once the Festival del Habano begins.
- Construction was great. Smoke production wasn’t at outstanding levels, but the draw was excellent and I didn’t have to touch-up the burn once.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Strength was mild to medium.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 45 minutes.
There was plenty of life left in the Serie C No.1, but anytime harshness and vegetal notes are present it's never a good thing. While the flavor was unique and layered, it was not all that compelling, even without the aforementioned unpleasantries. Twelve or thirteen years is by no means “too much” aging for some cigars, but I’m not sure it did this Partagás any justice. I’m fairly certain I won’t have an opportunity to smoke another, and I’m fine with that. I also didn’t have the opportunity to smoke this fresh, but as is so oftentimes the case with cigars that are supposed to be bold and rich when fresh, aging doesn’t seem to have done many favors.