By ANDREW HONG
The Partagas Salomon, number 17 on Cigar Aficionado's top 25 list of 2009, has a handsome golden-brown wrapper that is smooth and tightly bound to the rest of the Cuban tobaccos. There aren't any big veins and there were no soft spots to be found; it is nothing short of elegant. But unfortunately that's pretty much where all the praises stop.
If you are willing to think about nothing other than the flavors from this cigar you might be able to find them. I found hints of nuts, wood, and earth with pepper on the finish, but I really had to search for these flavors. I did get a nice sweet taste when I blew the smoke through my sinuses, but other than that the flavors were muted. I did find that the best part of the Partagas was the aromas of toasted wood. There were moments throughout the cigar, however brief, that I got some solid sweet nutty flavors right on the tip of tongue, but once the smoke was gone, the flavors rapidly disappeared. This Salomon generally stayed the same from beginning to end and by the time I was an hour and a half into it I was thoroughly bored.
The burn was even and the ash held on for a good inch before crumbling away. The draw was somewhat tight and I wasn't getting a good amount of smoke, I had to draw two or three times to get enough smoke to enjoy. The flavors I discovered are normally the flavors I love, but there just wasn't enough of it. If this cigar had been a robusto size that wasn't attached with a price tag of a Ferrari I could see it becoming a nice "yardgar." But frankly, this is too expensive for the dull entertainment I received; I don't see how it ever got on the top 25 list of 2009.
Size: Salomon (7.25" x 57)
CigarFanatic's Rating: 81/100