The Ramon Allones Specialty Selection was a great cigar the first time I had it back about seven or eight years ago. It was a quick, delicious but not overpowering, forty-five minute smoke with decent tasting notes of tobacco, bread and maybe some yeast.
This version I have?
Awful. I hate to say it because I really don’t like to talk smack about products, but this RASS? It sat in my humidor for a good few months before I lit it, and I know the humidor it was in prior til was golden. But this cigar, honestly? Lighting it up, it smokes well. It’s not plugged, the wrapper was clean, shows no veins or blemishes. But taste profile?
I mean it had a very light tobacco taste. Very faint toast.
It burned well all the way to the end, ash held up well too. But I have no idea the age of this cigar, only that it wasn’t what I remembered it being from all those years ago. We’ve talked loosely on this blog about the problem with Cuban cigars and how many cigar makers out of Nicaragua, Honduras and even the Dominican Republic produce higher quality tobacco and products. Oh and let’s not forget about Ecuador. Half of what is on the market (at least) has some form of Ecuadoran tobacco involved. There’s even a Wikipedia article on it.
But the RASS? Perhaps they are meant to be smoked new. *sigh*
At first glance, this dark cigar looks like it’s going to be a powerhouse. The band has a very old world Cuban feel to it in design and because it matches well with the darkness of the leaf, it makes it harder to see.
But for a cigar with such a hefty price tag ($2,500 per cigar), I have my suspicions. Yet, the website (Yamantaka Global) says the cigar is the same vintage tobacco as the 1950s Cubans. It’s obvious that this cigar is also rolled entubado like everything else ACC does. What that means is that the cigars are rolled in a tube-like fashion, and require a higher skill level of roller, else the attrition rate of production becomes really high since older tobacco is more susceptible to damage.
I’ve smoked enough ACC cigars to know the quality behind them has always been top notch, but this is hands down, the most expensive cigar on the market, and the most expensive cigar I’ve ever smoked to date. The other blogs don’t even MENTION ACC and it always kind of pisses me of, because I’ve been made aware of some of the more expensive sticks, but I’m also sure that if ACC made a $4 cigar, it’d beat the equivalent in someone like Gurkha’s blends, which I tend to find disappointing because something is wrong with many of the Gurkhas I’ve smoked.
Same goes for La Palina, sadly.
Cutting the cigar and doing a pre-light draw reveal really smooth flavors that are a little hard for me to identify, and I’m drinking water with this cigar. Upon lighting, the cigar has a smooth taste, with mellow notes of sherry and oak, as one would expect, from a cigar with this name. (Reminds me of the style used by Drew Estate to make their barrel aged cigars.)
The cigar has a beautiful draw, sending a plethora of almost sweet, white/gray smoke into the air. That trademark ACC scent isn’t present on this cigar though, but that’s okay. The feel of the cigar in my fingers suggests plenty of tobacco in the blend and at first puff, one would think, would have a tight draw. But no, the draw is excellent as I mentioned earlier.
Medium bodied, but full flavored, the oak becomes soft vanilla notes across the palate. If I searched hard enough, I tasted the lightness of sherry, making me wonder what style of sherry they used for the casks.
Solid cigar all the way through though. And a great start to me getting into higher premium cigars!
Not only is it complex, but it’s one of those made for red wine cigars. A softer California style Cabernet Sauvignon will compliment the richness of the ACC 1960 Oak Sherry Barrel, but if you have twenty year wines, try those too. Check your vintage charts!