A heritage brand deserves heritage tobacco and that’s exactly what General Cigar Co. has done with its new Partagas Ramon y Ramon, the newest iteration of the iconic Partagas line.
Through the Mao Project (General’s seed regeneration program), the company has resurrected one of its many archived heirloom seeds and crossed it with a newer varietal in order to produce a new tobacco strain called PM01—a seed that retains all qualities of the vintage tobacco, yet is robust enough to resist disease.
The new PM01 seed was developed under the supervision of Ernest Gocaj, General’s director of tobacco procurement, who also oversaw the development of the new tobaccos found in Macanudo Mao. The seed underwent an extensive regeneration process in both Connecticut and in Mao, which is a growing region in the Dominican Republic.
"In tribute to the legendary Ramón Cifuentes Toriello who carried the Partagas brand from Cuba to the Dominican Republic, our agronomists regenerated a vintage Dominican seed that had been locked away for nearly 50 years," said Alan Wilner, vice president of marketing for General. "We are extremely proud of this blend which showcases the very best of the Partagas brand."
But General did not stop at only one unique tobacco. Gocaj made the long journey to Cameroon, located in Western Africa, to find what he believes to be an exceptional wrapper. What he came back with was a Cameroon leaf grown in the Belita region. This Belita Cameroon differs from the Cameroon normally found on General’s other Partagas and Cohiba lines (which is from an area called Batouri). It’s a high priming, sun grown wrapper that comes out of Belita’s red soil and a microclimate. According to Gocaj, these conditions help to create a darker, thicker leaf.
The Partagas Ramon y Ramon consists of the Belita Cameroon wrapper, a Dominican binder and a filler combination of the proprietary Dominican PM01 and some Nicaraguan tobacco as well. It’s offered in four sizes: Robusto, 5 1/2 inches by 50 ring gauge; Maxim Grande, 6 by 52; Gigante, 6 by 60; and Fabuloso, 7 by 54. The cigars will have suggested retail prices ranging from $7.49 to $8.99 once they reach tobacconists in October.