|Partagas 8-9-8 Varnished|
The cigar is alluring in hand with lots of oils on the toothy wrapper. It is constructed perfectly and has a light brown color to it. The triple cap is beautiful and has almost a flattened head. There is a wonderful aroma of leather, spices, wood, and a faint hint of rich earth. The cigar is lovely to begin with showing a lot of rich flavors. I pick up hints of cocoa, coffee, earth, leather and a lot of spice on the finish. The burn is impeccable and the cigar is producing a thin amount of smoke. When I get into the second third the cigar becomes fuller in body, becoming medium-full, and the flavors are definitely stronger as well. I am still picking up a lot of the flavors I got in the first third, but I am beginning to get hints of cocoa and stone fruit as well. At this point the cigar is still burning very well the flame is beginning to go out so I have to relight it. I am in the final third now and the cigar is showing wonderful flavor notes and is probably more complex than ever. I am picking up citrus notes, cedar and some leather with a nice sweet finish of cocoa, coffee and spice. I was having some burn issues in the final third but overall the cigar was still showing great flavors and strength and the burn did not play too much of a factor in the rating.
I would give this cigar 95 points and consider it to be one of the most favorable cigars in the Partagas brand. I know the size is not to most smokers liking but it really is unique. You don’t see many non-Cuban cigars with such a small ring gauges, so it is nice to see that Habanos S.A. is still making vitola’s in this size. I feel that Habanos S.A. really understands that you can have amazing and flavorful cigars in this format and that you don’t need a huge cigar to give off flavor. IN fact, most cigar makers will tell you that just because a cigar is big do not necessarily mean it will have more flavors. It will just be bigger! I am not surprised that a cigar like the 8-98 is still popular among worldwide smokers, and I wish that these sizes would be more popular in America. If you have a chance to pick this smoke up I strongly suggest you do, just so you can have the experience of this size. It has a nice length to it and because of that it lets you savor the thin ring gauge for a good amount of time, one of my favorite Cuban cigars. If the trend in cigars for America is that they will all be 56 plus ring gauges, I can see myself smoking only Cubans. Long live the dalias/Lonsdale!