Cigar Review: Benji Menendez Partagas Master Series
From the Mendenz Social website, “After crafting cigars for over 57 years, Benji Menendez presents the Limited Edition Partagas—a name that remains the pillar of premium cigars. A symbol of of discerning taste and “fine smoking”, this bold blend is a reflection of years of experience and cultivation. This limited production Partagas cigar is now available in a boutique offering of only 5,000 boxes. We look forward to you experiencing it for yourself at the Benji Menendez Social.”
Born in Havana, Cuba in 1936, Benji Menendez smiles when he says that tobacco is in his genes. His grandfather, father, uncles and great uncles were considered the royalty of the cigar business during the pre-revolution heyday of Cuban cigars, having developed world-class puros including Montecristo, H. Upmann and Por Larrañaga. During his current tenure at General Cigar Co., Benji has further enhanced his position as one of the world’s foremost tobacco experts. He humbly notes that after 57 years, he is still learning about cigars. While Benji has literally done it all, from planting and harvesting to ensuring quality, he feels he is at his best when he is exchanging ideas with cigar enthusiasts, aficionado and new alike. At the heart of it all, Benji simply wants to be known as a good cigar man.
Cigar: Benji Menendez Partagas Master Series
Size: 6 x 46
Binder: Habano Connecticut
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Appearance and Construction (18/20): The Benji Menendez Partagas Master Series is a mouthful to say, it would of been so much easier to call it the Partagas Signature Series. The golden brown wrapper has a lot of small veins throughout, but it is rolled to perfection with barely a seam present on the roll. The cigar is well packed with no soft spots right down to the well packed foot. The stick has some tooth to it, and has a nice amount of oils showing. The label is your typical Partagas red label with an extention of black and Benji’s signature as well as the blend number.
Flavor & Notes (28/30): The prelight draw of the cigar offers sweet tobacco notes while the foot of the cigar offers a very slight pepper to the nose. Having left my lighter at home the stick lit up very easily with just a single wooden match. From the get go the stick offered some notes of pepper though they weren’t overpowering. The cigar has early notes of nuts and wood. Which seems to be a lot of what I am smoking lately. What sets this stick apart is how smooth it is and how effortlessly the flavors mesh together. As we approach the second third there are some spices that sometimes remind of cinnamon but the note just teases the palate as wood is the primary flavor here. As we enter the final third of the stick the occasional teasing of cinnamon remains with some nutmeg notes and an earthy finish.
Burn/Ash/Draw (24/25): The cigar burns even, slow and cool throughout further solidifying the fact that this is a well blended stick. The ash was medium gray in color with no flake but it didn’t hold too strong. I wound up with a shirt full of ash on more then one occasion. The draw was perfect with just the slightest resistance.
Overall (23/25): It seems my readers have pointed out lately that there are similar smokes for less money with a similar flavor profile. The key word here is similar. This cigar is so smooth and well blended it will give any cigar a run for it’s money. Yes, even a Padron Anniversary cigar. The flavors were so relaxing and the cigar so easy on the palate that this cigar is great for new and seasoned cigar smokers. It has been a long time since I have been ga-ga over a cigar from General Cigar Company but this cigar is a grand slam of a walk off variety. It only loses points here for how limited the sticks are.
Price: $10.00 (Available only at select Brick & Mortar shops)
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