Here are my tasting notes and ratings for the first three limitadas, which are now on the market. Prices are for a box of 25 in Cuban cigar shops:
Romeo y Julieta Hermosos No. 1, super hermoso, 48 ring gauge by 6 1/2 inches long, $123: a rich and round smoke with chocolate and coffee character. It's medium bodied and very satisfying, with a smooth and mellow taste. You might think it should be stronger but it shows elegance. 92 points.
Partagas Serie D No. 2, super robusto, 50 ring gauge by 6 1/8 inches, $139: Very similar to the No. 3 but lacks some of the depth of flavor. The cigar is full bodied, with plenty of character but slightly one-dimensional. It needs some box age to really come around. Give it two or three years. The smoke grows on you. It gets better and better. 92 points.
Hoyo de Monterrey Piramides, torpedo, 52 ring gauge by 6 1/8 inches, $141: This is a rocket. Love this stuff. It has fabulous flavors and aromas of coffee and spice, with the full body and sweetness and flavor character of Hoyo. Very long in flavor. Super smoke. 93 points.
As I have previously written, the three cigars above are among the five Limitada 2003 that will be on the market. The other two are a Cohiba Prominentes, double corona, 49 ring gauge by 7 1/2 inches, $418, and a Montecristo "C," corona gorda, 46 ring gauge by 5 5/8 inches, $236. They should be out later in the year.
As in the past, all the limitadas, are made in limited numbers in specific factories and with two-year-old wrapper from the top leaves, or corona, of the tobacco plant. The wrappers are not maduro, but colorado oscuro or oscuro, or dark brown to very dark brown. They tend to have a richer, slightly more spicy flavor profile than normal cigars in their respective brands.
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