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Partagas No. 1 Natural 6.75x43

Punch goes to the races with a Partagas No. 1 Natural

Today I drove around and visited several cigar shops, looking for models which match ones that Draw has so we have some more pairs for future review sessions. After being in and out of several humidors I had a powerful hankering for a smoke. Knowing that Draw is unavailable tonight, I picked up this Partagas No. 1 Natural at the last place I visited, figuring I’d give it a try all by myself.

The wrapper is a medium brown and has a fine grit sandpaper feel —  a rough, mat, surface, with a few prominent veins. There is a nice, distinct, component to the aroma of the wrapper — lime, maybe.

I’m deviating from my usual practice of punching the end and cutting it instead, as I don’t expect good results from punching such a thin, 43 ring gauge stick. Wow. After cutting most of the end off, I realize that the head is packed so tight that the draw is impossible — as if I’m trying to suck it with the cap intact. I’ve punch the binder in the middle of the cut to try to get some draw. No joy. Now I’ve cut off a 12 inch trying to get past this dense corkboard part — still no draw. Now I’m going to the garage to get a nail. I have rammed the nail in for an inch, splitting the wrapper at the head and finally have enough draw that I should be able to light it.

The pre-light draw, what there is of it, is nondescript.

Just out of the gate: mild, fairly simple, mostly leather, some nuttiness, no spice.

These thin, wet, pieces of wrapper from the split head remind me of a flap of skin on the roof of my mouth after impatiently biting into a hot slice of pizza.

In the clubhouse turn — after 12 — inch I realize there is no middle or finish — just a simple presence.  As it hits its stride some flavor complexity is starting to develop — woodiness and slight cedar, maybe.

A Kirkland Signature Amber Ale is going real nice with this; both the beer and cigar are maintaining their separate identities.

In the backstretch cedar and leather are neck and neck with spice coming up from behind.

Coming out of the back stretch I’m briefly getting a flavor that I’ve tasted in other cigars — like the Oliva Serie O, that makes me think of rubbing alcohol — it seems to be associated closely to the cedar flavor.

In the home stretch the cedar is ahead by a length with leather in second and spice hanging in there to take third.

Spurn or Burn?

Burn it. Like I seem to often summarize — there is nothing here I find objectionable, with the exception of the trials I had getting it to draw. (I’ll assume that to be an anomaly until I learn otherwise — but be warned.) It starts out simple and mild and builds to medium. It is pleasant and I would not turn one down if given to me. At $6.83 it is right in my price range, and that seems like a good fair price for this, nice, smoke.

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