In 2005, Habanos S.A. launched its Edición Regional program. It’s somewhat interesting to know what the company thought the program could turn into, certainly not what it actually is some 13 years later.
For that inaugural year there were five, or four, cigars as part of the program.
- Punch Robusto (4 7/8 x 50) — Switzerland Exclusive
- Punch Superfinos (4 1/3 x 42) — Italy Exclusive
- Ramón Allones Selección Suprema (5 5/8 x 46) — Italy Exclusive
- Ramón Allones Eminencia (5 5/8 x 44) — Switzerland Exclusive
- Ramón Allones Belicoso (5 1/2 x 52) — U.K. Exclusive
The confusion lies in the lattermost cigar. The Ramón Allones Belicoso was released only for the U.K. market in 2005. Unlike the other four cigars—a pair of which went to Italy and a pair to Switzerland—the Belicoso featured neither a secondary band, nor any real indication that this was not just a regular Ramón Allones. In fact, chatter on cigar boards indicated that some believed the Belicoso might have been able to get wider release at a future date, something that never happened.
As for the other four cigars, they featured unique secondary bands that simply read Edición Regional, without the designation of the country. Compared to how the Edición Regional bands are today, the originals are almost what you would expect on a fake.
To make matters more complicated, three of the four cigars—all but the Ramón Allones Selección Suprema—were re-released in some capacity in 2007 with regular Edición Regional bands. Today, I’m reviewing one of those cigars.
The Ramón Allones Eminencia is a 5 5/8 (143mm) x 44 corona that was released to Italy. In 2005 there were 1,220 boxes released in 2007 another 1,221 boxes were shipped.
- Cigar Reviewed: Ramon Allones Eminencia Edición Regional Suiza (2007)
- Country of Origin: Cuba
- Factory: n/a
- Wrapper: Cuba
- Binder: Cuba
- Filler: Cuba
- Length: 5 5/8 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 44
- Vitola: Franciscos
- Est. Price: $13.50 (Boxes of 25, $337.50)
- Release Date: 2007[ref]The cigars were originally released in 2005, this sample was part of the 2007 release.[/ref]
- Number of Cigars Released: 2,441 Boxes of 25 Cigars (61,025 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 2
As part of our score sheet we give one point—or no points—for appearance. It’s basically a question of whether anything is visually wrong with the cigar before we start. It is by in large a formality and I cannot recall ever taking away a point, though I thought about it a while here. The wrappers have a beautiful color but are littered with bumps and veins that makes this almost look like a farm roll. There’s not a ton of aroma off the wrapper, but the foot has a beautiful gumball-like sweetness. That carries over to the cold draw where it is dominant though there are faint hints of a tequila-like mixture of sweetness, woods and a bit of burn.
The Ramón Allones starts with deep coffee and woods alongside some wet grass, all around the medium-plus level. There’s an odd vegetal flavor I can’t place on the upper part of my mouth, but the hearty woods in the tongue are incredible. Unfortunately, 15 minutes in and there’s some sourness that is developing. A bit over an inch in and the sourness takes over the profile. It’s just a shade stronger than the earthiness, but it’s an unfortunate case of the negatives outweighing the positives. Otherwise, things are great: a medium-full flavor profile, medium-plus body and medium strength.
While the sourness disappears in the second third, a harshness seems to be emerging. My guess is this is related to the touch-ups, two of which are needed in the middle portion of the cigar. Through the nose there’s some floral flavors, the vibrant earth, blood orange and some graham cracker. But there’s also the harshness. The Eminencia reaches full in terms of flavor intensity, but the body and strength remain the same.
As is so often the case, when burn issues start, they rarely go away. There’s more touch-ups needed just to get to the cigar to the end and that certainly isn’t helping the flavor. There’s some blueberry jam, hickory, woodiness and some herbal flavors—the latter of which are not a good thing. The harshness is there, oddly a bit more restrained than the Eminencia’s’ middle portion.
- I’m sure there are some who will argue that I am wrong and this is a great cigar. Here’s the thing, unless you’ve smoked one in the last month or so—we might both be right. Cigars are a living thing and they change. Some go through simplistic changes and are great fresh and then begin a progressive decline. Others go through their ups and downs. This could very well just be a down.
- Interestingly, there have only been three Ramón Allones for Switzerland; four if you count the re-releases.
- While the lancero vitola is probably my favorite vitola, this is actually about as good as it gets for me in terms of actually smoking a cigar. It’s thin, but not too thin where the burn has to be worried about. The length isn’t overly long. Much of my fasciation with lanceros comes from curiosity, but I’d much rather smoke cigars of this size.
- On a similar note, this is one of my favorite band/secondary band combinations.
- I’m curious as to why there was one extra box made for the re-release.
- I’ve had these cigars for over a year. They’ve been stored in my 62 percent humidor ever since I got them.
- Intertabak AG, the Swiss distributor of Cuban cigars, is part of the Villiger group of tobacco companies.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 35 minutes.
Like too many cigars before it, the Eminencia showed so much promise before the cigar was lit. Many cigars that show signs fail to deliver on the first puff, but that's not what happened here. The first inch of the Ramón Allones was excellent and then without any detectable rhyme or reason, things got sour real quick. There were other problems: harshness, burn issues in the final half and an herbal flavor that certainly was too strong for my liking. While there's tons of life left in this 11-year-old Cuban, the two cigars I smoked make a more than compelling case that now is not the time to smoke them.