Retro-Smoke: Partagas Black Label Piramide
The Partagas Black Label Piramide is one of the most popular and highly rated in the line, and its ebony-cast, sun-grown Connecticut Habano leaf is beautiful to behold. At the core of the cigar are Dominican Piloto Cubano and Nicaraguan Ligero filler tobaccos with a Dominican La Vega Especial binder.
For the most part the cigar smoked smoothly, dominated by a well-rounded mix of deep earthy, woody flavors with just a trickle of espresso, and a stunning aroma. The only problem I had was with the draw. I had to chop a considerable amount of the head, which resulted in about a 32 ring opening. Even then the draw was a little stiff, but the cigar burned well, exposing a nice round cherry, when ashed. At about two inches in, the cigar finally loosened up and hit on all cylinders from that point on.
In 2001 I would have recommended this cigar to only the most experienced cigar smoker. However, by today's standards, although they still pack a nice punch, I would say this cigar will appeal to newer cigar smokers who want to move to a full-flavored, yet non-overpowering dark cigar.
Which reminds me: despite their jet-black color, Partagas Black Label cigars are not Maduros. The wrapper is darkened naturally by leaving it on the plant 50% longer than usual, a process called "medio tiempo" which results in a richer-tasting and sweeter leaf, like a Maduro, but is actually a "dark natural" leaf.
Enjoy, and send me your comments on this cigar if you like.
~ Gary Korb