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James Suckling

A Good Robusto

Posted: Jun 28, 2007 9:16am ET
I smoked a couple of Ramon Allones Specially Selected over the last week with some friends from Hong Kong. One is Alex Wong, who I believe is the greatest cigar collector in the world. He actually keeps the collection with his dad George.

Anyway, we smoked a RASS from my cellar, which was current production. It was boxed in July 2006. And we also smoked some from his collection, which were from 1996.

I found his robusto stronger and slightly bitter compared to mine, which had plenty of earthy, spicy, coffee and chocolate character. Mine was clearly a better smoke. It was balanced and flavorful without being harsh. 91 points. Try to get some if you get the chance.

The 1996 bothered me because of that bitter character. Alex thought that "it needed more age to come around," but I was not convinced. It was just too harsh and aggressive in the end. I was happy I had my cigars instead of his!

It’s good to see current production Cubans finally outdoing what I believe was a Golden Age for Cuban cigars, from 1988 to 1996.

Comments   7 comment(s)

Robert Funk — California —  June 28, 2007 11:18pm ET

James, it most likely was the Tuscan setting that made your RASS stand apart from the Hong Kong version. Seriously though, the '06s seem to be great right out of the box. It's nice to have a habano that you can smoke now instead of waiting for it to come around. I never quite understood why cuban tobacco needed such a long resting period compared to "domestic" tobacco. Can you briefly explain? Thanks.


Jose Blanco June 29, 2007 7:42am ET

James the best Ramon Allones I have smoked ever, was the one you gave me a couple of years ago when you visit us at the factory,A Petit Belicoso that was sold only in England, that cigar was out of this world,the magic word was flavor, flavor, flavor, very complex and it was medium to full, thats one I will not forget.


James Suckling June 29, 2007 10:45am ET

Hey Jose. Thanks for the message. Let's smoke a cigar together soon...


James Suckling June 29, 2007 10:50am ET

I think it is a question of the richness of the tobacco in the blend. Cuban ligero tends to be stronger and richer tobacco than those used for "domestic" smokes and they need more aging as well as longer fermentations. So it also needs more time in the box to mellow.


Jose Blanco July 2, 2007 12:15pm ET

James the funny thing about cubans is every one thinks that all of them are strong and that is not true,I think that Bolivar is full and you take like a Montecrito Edmundo its med, I have found some Hoyos to be mild with a lot of flavor.


Alexander Wong — Hong Kong —  July 2, 2007 1:35pm ET

Hi James, I am now back in Hong Kong and I just smoked a Ramon SS 2006 from cabinet of 50. What a bomb! I think you may be right, these new cigars are really first class! I have smoked alot of new cigars recently, (D 4s, Epicure 2s, petit Edmundos, regional releases) and I must say I have never enjoyed young smokes more. The quality of the cigars coming out of cuba in the last year or so is the best I've seen in a long while. Keep it up!


John Bowman — NY, NY —  July 4, 2007 6:46pm ET

James,Thanks for the RASS suggestion. The Boli RC support was spot on, so I'm going to try these right away.



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