Cigar Review: Partagas Legend

  • PartLegend_straightVitola: Toro Leyenda
  • 6.25” x 54 ring gauge 
  • MSRP $14.49
  • Samples provided by General Cigar

Background

Partagás is one of the oldest names applied to cigars, dating all the way back to 1845 in Havana. It was started by Don Jaime Partagás, who is also credited with instituting the tradition of lectors to read to the cigar rollers as they worked. After Don Jaime was killed, his son José Partagás took over the business before it was sold to José Bances, who invited Ramón Cifuentes Llano to join him as a partner. Ramón Cifuentes Toriello continued on with operations after his father passed away until the Cuban revolution occurred. The government “intervened” and stole his brand; he was offered the job of heading up the state-owned tobacco monopoly, but he declined and moved to the United States. There he re-launched the brand with General Cigar Company, where it has continued to this day.

The Partagás Legend was launched at the 2018 IPCPR trade show in 3 vitolas, each of which honors one of the 3 legends above (Jon Jaime, Ramón Sr., and Ramón Jr.) with their story inside the box lid. The blend consists of Dominican Piloto Cubano filler leaves, a Honduran Olancho San Augstin binder and a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. The blend was developed by General master blender, Jhonys Diaz, who describes the cigars as “refined, medium-bodied and befitting of the Partagás name.”

The packaging is meant to “allude to the future of the brand” with “sophisticated, white lacquered boxes that bear the updated look of the brand.” The box-pressed cigars come in boxes of 20. I have smoked several samples of the Legend, in a variety of sizes. The review sample here was provided by General Cigar Company. Some background above came from the Wikipedia article on the history of the brand.

PartLegend_bandPrelight

Like the box, the band of the Legend is pure white, with a minimum of very small black text. The major part of the design is simply blind embossed in the white, so is very difficult to make out unless the lighting is just right. Interesting and elegant, I guess, but to tell the truth I’d rather have a more traditional band where you can appreciate a great design.

The wrapper leaf is not described as “Maduro” although that’s what the majority of Broadleaf ends up as. This one seemed slightly lighter in color than most Broadleaf, with a definite reddish hue, along with some darker smudging and mottling. I’ve said it before…Connecticut Broadleaf is a bit of an ugly leaf, but when you fall in love with the flavor, it’s much better to the eye, as well. This was a fairly severe box-press…very boxy with fairly sharp corners. The wrapper smelled of earth along with touches of leather and cocoa powder. The foot had a rich, sweet hay aroma, followed up by ripe earth and bell pepper.

After clipping, the prelight draw was very good and I got flavors of graham cracker, semi sweet chocolate and hay.

PartLegend_footFlavor

The Partagás Legend took a good amount of time to get lit properly and evenly. Once going, though, I got cocoa powder and coffee notes up front, with cedar coming in right behind that, followed by a finish that had earth and pepper spice to it. As the first third continued, the Legend developed into a full-bodied blend that was still very smooth, with plentiful espresso bean and chocolate notes, lesser flavors of graham cracker, and just a little pepper.

The second third continued much the same, although the pepper spice diminished even more as I got deeper into the cigar. There was also the introduction of a hazelnut note and a little more earthiness from time to time.

In the last third, the Partagás Legend got more leathery and the pepper spice made a slight comeback. The sweeter chocolate notes were subdued but still sticking around and the nuttiness was a minor accent flavor.

Construction

This sample had a great draw, solid ash and a burn line that only needed occasional touching up. Other samples I’ve smoked have had issues with tunneling, so my experience over many samples has been a little shaky.

PartLegend_angleValue

I like the blend, in spite of the somewhat elevated price. I’m on the fence a bit when it comes to “does the experience justify the price” but I’m going to err on the side of “yes” at this point.

Conclusions

I believe this is the best thing I’ve had from General with the Partagás label on it. It was rich and complex, smooth and full-bodied, keeping my interest from end to end. Honestly, the Corona Extra size they produce is probably a little better than this size and I did have a little trouble with construction on a few of the Toro samples, but when construction issues are taken out of the equation, it’s a very nice cigar.

By-The-Numbers

Prelight: 2/2
Construction: 1.5/2
Flavor: 4/5
Value: 1/1
Total: 8.5/10

David Jones

David has been smoking premium cigars since 2001. He is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Leaf Enthusiast. He is a full-time retail tobacconist, working for Burns Tobacconist in Chattanooga, where he has also organized the Chattanooga Tweet-Up for the last four years. He is also an independent graphic designer and typesetter. Twitter: @dmjones1009

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