In 2011, Habanos S.A. brought back the older green on white band that was once featured on Ramón Allones cigars for the 2011 Edición Limitada, the Allones Extra. Many, including yours truly, enjoyed the throwback approach and now, Habanos has found a reason to bring it back.
In November, Intertabak AG shipped the Ramón Allones Perfectos to retailers in Switzerland with the familiar green band. The 5 2/5 (137mm) x 48 perfectos is the 2014 Edición Regional for Switzerland.
For those unfamiliar with the Edición Regional program, I gave a brief background in the news story:
The Edición Regional program sees Habanos S.A., the marketing and distribution company behind Cuban cigars, create unique, limited vitolas for its distributors around the world. Sizes must be those that are in the Habanos S.A. portfolio, but not amongst the regular production offerings for the brand, although some discontinued regular sizes can be created. New vitolas created for a certain brand are also not eligible to be used. In addition, the “global” brands—i.e. Cohiba, H. Upmann, Hoyo de Monterrey, José L. Piedra, Montecristo, Partagás and Romeo y Julieta—are not eligible to be made into an Edición Regional.
Since 2012, distributors have been limited to a single release per year, a change from prior years when some distributors would receive multiple releases per year. Distributors are the ones to initiate the idea of a new release, and the cost for any new Edición Regional must be underwritten by the distributor. There is no guarantee that any particular region will get a new release in a given year.
The Ramón Allones Perfectos is limited to 5,000 numbered boxes of 10 priced at 155CHF ($152.24) per box.
- Cigar Reviewed: Ramón Allones Perfectos Edición Regional Suiza (2014)
- Country of Origin: Cuba
- Factory: n/a
- Wrapper: Cuba
- Binder: Cuba
- Filler: Cuba
- Size: 5 2/5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 48
- Vitola: Británicas
- MSRP: $15.22 (Boxes of 10, $152.24)
- Release Date: Nov. 7, 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: 5,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (50,000 Total Cigars)[ref]There were also 100 humidors of 50. See the Final Notes for more info.[/ref]
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
Even without the bands, this is one of the prettiest boxes of cigars I’ve opened up of late. While there are water spots down most of the cigars, the front of the wrapper is beautiful with a consistent honey-color and a fair bit of oils. There’s a mixture of coffee, generic sweetness and a bit of grass from the open end of the perfecto. There’s sweet floral flavors, creaminess and grapefruit from a relatively mild cold draw. I end up taking a second clip from most samples after the initial cut due to a tight draw.
There’s still some sweet citrus notes once the cigar gets started, but coffee is the dominant flavor of the first few puffs. A deep wet earth note emerges on the finish, but it subsides pretty quickly into the cigar itself. The grapefruit returns, sweeter than it has before, but it’s behind coffee, mushrooms and a salty grass. Some puffs are better than others with harshness occupying five minute segments of the Ramón Allones. Smoke production is great, particularly after the first 10 minutes, although the draw on two of the three samples requires an additional clip somewhere in the first third.
Fortunately, the draw gets better. The additional uses of my cigar scissors obviously help, but there’s some natural improvement in the cigar itself. While the saltiness and harshness both stick around, the flavor takes a pretty clear transition with nuttiness become the dominant flavor. Behind it, the Ramón Allones shows creaminess and a touch of green apple skin. Midway through, Chinese five-spice is present through the nose on two samples, masked a bit by some harshness. There’s a big uptick in strength hitting the medium-full mark.
There’s not a big transition in between the second and final thirds, although the harshness is becoming a more frequently player in things. Black pepper sticks around for the first time in the cigar, albeit only for 10 minutes. One sample has a burn go awry, but for I don’t bother to touch it up and the cigar resolves it without any issues.
- The size is the same as the Bolívar Británicas that the U.K. received in 2012.
- Like many Edición Regionals, that Bolívar was actually part of the 2011 program but didn’t arrive until 2012. The Ramón Allones Perfectos was the first 2014 Edición Regional that I know of to ship and actually showed up in 2014, a rarity of late.
- A commenter noted the complete absence of Cuban cigars on our top 25 and I think the Ramón Allones Perfectos displays the problem quite well. For the list, we rank new cigars, cigars that debut in a particular year. The obvious response of regular Cuban smokers to this review will be “you need to wait a few years before these will show their true potential.” I don’t disagree with that statement in most cases, but cigars like this just are not close to some of their non-Cuban counterparts fresh.
- This was one of the best-looking boxes of cigars I’ve opened up in a while with the wrapper nearly glowing.
- There were 100 humidors of 50 made for this release, designed to mimic the band. With some of these special humidors, they use cigars from regular boxes, in some instances, distributors have had additional cigars made beyond the numbered boxes.
- Ramón Allones had five releases as part of the 2014 Edición Regional program.
- While the draw could have been better, the smoke production was great. When resting a small amount of smoke consisnelty left the foot of the cigar and then upon each puff, a big cloud of thick smoke appeared on command.
- Two of the three samples I smoked featured a bit of a strength pick-up towards the end, ending things at medium-full.
- 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.
- The box code was RAE SEP14.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 40 minutes on average.
For better or worse, the Ramón Allones epitomizes a lot of what people don’t like about Cuban cigars. In short, it’s a cigar with a lot of youth and a draw that is oftentimes a bit too tight. There are spurts of the cigar that are a lot of what I like: deep nuttiness, a great balance between the saltiness and the rest of the profile and a great weight to the smoke—but there’s an equal, if not greater amount of mediocrity. There are Edición Regionals that don’t get better and end up being examples of overpriced marketing, but I’m willing to bet this turns into something much better.