For the first time in the long history of the brand, non-Cuban Partagas cigars now have a version made with light, Ecuador Connecticut wrappers. The new line, called Partagas Cortado, started shipping earlier this week and is intended to be milder in body than other Partagas cigars.
Ecuador Connecticut wrappers are grown from Connecticut seeds but do not require the cheesecloth tents (or tapado) used in other countries like the United States or Cuba to filter the sun’s rays, as Ecuador’s natural cloud cover provides the shade required to produce smooth leaves that are lighter in color and strength.
The rest of Cortado is composed of an Indonesian binder around a filler blend of Honduran tobacco from Jamastran, Mexican tobacco from San Andrés and Nicaraguan leaf grown in Condega and Jalapa.
“With interest in the Partagas brand continuing to grow, we felt it was the right time to expand the brand portfolio with a mellow-to-medium-bodied blend,” said Matt Wilson, senior brand manager for Partagas.
The cigars are made in Nicaragua at the STG Estelí factory—another first for the brand—and come in four sizes ranging in retail price from $6.39 to $8.99: Corona, at 5 1/2 inches by 42 ring gauge; Robusto, measuring 5 by 50; Toro at 6 by 52; and the Presidente, a huge double corona coming in at 8 by 54. All sizes are presented in 20-count boxes, save for the Presidente, which comes in boxes of 10.
The Partagás brand was born in Cuba in 1845, and at the turn of the 20th century it came under the ownership of the Cifuentes family. After the Cuban Revolution, the Partagás brand (along with many others) was nationalized by the Castro government, and Partagas brand owner Ramon Cifuentes fled the country. He forged a deal with General Cigar to make his Partagas cigars outside of Cuba, for sale in the United States, and the first non-Cuban Partagas cigars hit the market in 1977.