Cigar Review: Partagas 160

I do not condone gambling but let’s face it. Boston and New York is such a rivalry between sports fans it is very rare you find two people that can get along cheering at opposite ends of the spectrum. As a die hard Yankee fan, when I was first contacted by the tea lover from Boston it took all my might to hold my tongue. But Stew from The World According to Stew! turned out to be a nice guy and we joked back and forth about our teams. This is our second joint review, with the last one being posted on his site about 6 weeks ago.

This time our review was brought forth by a bet over a 3 game set between the Boston Red Sox (boo!!) and the New York Yankees (yay!). The bet was the loser had to send the person a cigar of $15.00 or greater in value to the winner. Well, I got this cigar which retails for about 18.00 for around 10.00 so I sent it up to him with a San Cristobal and a Montecristo baseball cap. As you can tell I lost the bet.

The Skinny:

Cigar: Partagas 160
Origin: Dominican Republic
Size: 4.5 x 48
Wrapper: 1977 Cameroon Wrapper
Binder: Mexico
Filler: Dominican Republic & Mexico

Prelight:

Stew!

Barry

First and foremost the wrapper is listed as being from 1977 so let’s keep that in mind. On my observation of this baby, I found the wrapper to be a bit too dry for my taste. Why was it so dry, I really don’t know? I would have to think that it might have to do with the age of the wrapper. I can tell you honestly that I received it in the mail approximately a week ago and placed it directly in my humidor which runs 68/70 so it’s not an operator error in the storage department.The wrapper itself was a nice sight to look at with its beautiful dark color. I was disappointed that it had large noticeable veins because let’s face it this is an expensive cigar and one does not expect this type of feature from a cigar priced so high. The wrapper itself was kind of hard but I’m quite sure that it will not affect the smoke. Other than that, it looks good and I am excited about getting into this smoke.I used a Fonseca guillotine cutter for this task which has a nice sharp blade. Once I cut into the cap, I noticed that the wrapper began to unravel a bit “BUMMER!” Not sure why this happen but again I have to say I personally think it was caused due to the dryness of the wrapper.  The pre-draw was excellent and I immediately tasted a nice caramel flavor on my pallet. I was very excited at this point because the wrapper on this baby has really no smell to it and I never expected to find a strong dry run taste “Bonus!”  The Toasting phase was excellent with the use of my single torch lighter and now we are underway! The one drawback about the Partagas 160 to the naked eye is the wrapper of the cigar. Being that it has been aged for so long, it has a frail appearance. I keep two humidors at home one that I keep cellophane cigars and one that I keep cigars without. I tend to keep my non cellophane cigars in higher humidity to protect the leaf. My Partagas 160 was stored at 72 humidity. I do this to protect the wrapper and prevent it from flaking or tearing. But even at the higher humidity the cigar appeared dry.The wrapper of the cigar has a little bit of a brindle look to it. There are some darker streaks mixed into the brown wrapper. It had some veins, but they were mostly thin and weren’t so much in your face. The cigar had a slight spongy feel to it from the higher humidity, but I did not squeeze as firm as I normally would to protect the wrapper.I used my idiot proof Hippotech cutter on the cap of this cigar and it reminded me I need to take a photo of the cutter to show everyone how great a 4.00 plastic cutter can be. While I am a fan of the Xikar cutters, I am most comfortable using my Hippotech.The wrapper of this smoke was without any scent/notes which I guess is to be expected in a cigar so old. The foot of the cigar offered notes of cedar and spices.  Upon taking a few draws from the unlit cigar I detected notes of caramel and some barnyard like notes. Like dry grass and hay.

Smoke:

Stew!

Barry

The 1st third of this cigar consisted of a rich dark chocolaty flavor paired up with hints of caramel and a wood. The 2nd third brought flavors of caramel, some slight coffee notes, and again that great woodsy flavor. The last third brought hints of pepper, wood, and small hints of vanilla. The draw was perfect throughout my smoke and I can’t really say that I didn’t expect it to be. The burn line had its issues throughout the smoke but corrected itself and I never had to touch it up. The ash was a white grayish color but flaky so keep an ashtray around or you will be wearing it. The smoke was excellent and pleasant to be around. I would have to think that even a non cigar smoker would enjoy the rich scents it gives off. For me the cigar had 1 consistent note from start to finish and that was a strong wood.  In the first third the notes of wood were joined by caramel. As I approached the 2nd third of the smoke the caramel faded and the wood was joined by a subtle cinnamon note with a touch of coffee. Upon entered the final third of this smoke I caught a quick hit of vanilla bean that disappeared in the blink of an eye. The wood in this last section was joined by leather which made the cigar slightly bitter.The cigar was medium bodied with a nice ash, although a bit flaky.

Overall:

Stew!

Barry

Drink of choice? Dr. Pepper
Smoke Time? About an hour and half!
Liked it? Yes, I really did enjoy this one.
Recommend it? Yes, but let’s face it “If you’re not a Kennedy” the price will prevent most of the regular guys from smoking this one.  Hey we only live once so go out and buy one and try it. But make sure you bring your wallet, you’re going to need it (LOL)
I have smoked about a dozen of these cigars, and I wait for them to go on sale before I buy them. This last batch I got from atlanticcigar.com on a weekend special where they had a 4 pack for 40.00. I tend to grab them when on sale as they are a really good smoke. The overall value aspect of the cigar knocks about 3 points off the rating. As always my cigar was/is paired with poland spring water.

Rating: 90 (We both gave it the same rating)
Price: $18.00

A special thank you goes out to Stew! a fine sports fan and a terrific brother of the leaf. Thank you for coming up with this wonderful idea. Let us know if you like the joint review and if the feedback deems it so, the next one will be when the Jets play the Patriots on November 13th and the review will follow somewhere near thanksgiving