Cigar Reviews

Ramon Allones Specially Selected (Cuban)

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Well, as the last post of 2011 I decided to grab a cigar out of the Cuban humidor. It was a little chilly outside so I opted for something short and found a Ramon Allones Specially Selected. This is the Robusto vitola offered by this Cuban cigar manufacturer. And Happy New Year to all our wonderful readers!

The Ramon Allones brand isn’t too popular, but the Specially Selected seems to have garnered a fairly faithful offering. The brand actually began way back in 1837 by it’s two founders, Ramón and Antonio Allones. After a variety of ownership changes the company was eventually purchased by the Cifuentes company who also owns the Partagas brand. Manufacturing for all Ramon Allones cigars also comes from the same Partagas factory in Cuba.

The brand used to have a much larger vitola selection but since 2001, when Altadis bought a heft portion of the company, a lot of the sizes have been discontinued. The Ramon Allones brand is also heralded as one of the first Cuban cigar manufacturers to use full colored emblems on their boxes and possibly one of the first to produce the infamous 8-9-8 style of packaging.

As of current research, Ramon Allones is currently selling cigars in 4 vitolas along with an occasional Regional Release or Special Edition to round out the line. The particular cigar I will be smoking today comes from a box with a fairly recent date of May 2011. It will be interesting so see how this cigar performs early in the aging process since the recomended age time for this cigar is roughly 3 years.

Cigar: Ramon Allones Specially Selected
Drink: Innis & Gunn Spiced Rum Finish Oak Aged Beer
Vitola: Robusto (4.8 x 50)
Wrapper: Cuban
Binder: Cuban
Filler: Cuban
Price: About $7.00 in Cuba
Burn Time: 1.5 Hours

• Each of the cigars in this box had a consistent soft box pressed shape to them
• The Ramon Allones Specially Selected also has very few larger veins
• The triple cap atop this cigar looks clean and well applied
• Although fairly firm, the cigar has a nice little spring to it when squeezed
• The foot looks to be very well packed
• The cap cut off cleanly leaving just a little mess in the ashtray
• The band unfortunately had a little too much glue on it and took some of the wrapper with it when removed
• The draw was good but I somehow got a huge tar buildup on the cap so I had to clip it a little further at around the half way point of the cigar

• Toasting was a bit uneven and long but it evened out with a little extra effort
• At first the Specially Selected was burning nice and even but then one side started burning much faster than the other so I was left with a huge wave that needed correction
• I actually find this to be a pretty common problem on a lot of my Cubans for some reason
• After that one minor burn issue the cigar has been progressing well without any need for corrections
• I like how the RASS is staying lit easily without the need for constant babysitting

Smoke & Ash:
• Each draw brings a little less smoke than I’d like
• Surprisingly though, the resting smoke is off the charts at times
• The ash is a disappointing looking dark grey and black, not very attractive at all
• It does have some strength to it though, the ash is clean and lasts about an inch or so before I tap it off
• The second ash lasted another inch with the same consistency, the colors weren’t so dark this time possibly because I didn’t need to touch it up at all

Tasting Notes:
• Pre-light draw was all about the cedar, lots of fresh cedar aroma coming off this cigar
• Initial draws brought more of the fresh cedar flavors and a bit of earthiness
• There also a touch of the signature saltiness on my tongue
• The body overall has started fairly mild and there is no bite on the retrohale at all
• The whole experience has a nice cedar finish to it, even on the retrohale
• As the cigar progresses I’m getting a creaminess being added to the mix that is balancing well with the cedar and earthy notes
• One unique note I’m picking up here and there is a licorice type of flavor, very interesting and it would be nice to see it develop a bit more
• The licorice is dancing around with the cedar and I’m getting some mild spices peeking in here and there
• Just past the halfway mark I noticed a decent tar buildup on the cap, lucky for me I caught it before I touched it with my tongue, so a quick clip and I was good to go.
• The rest of the cigar proceeded tastefully but I really wish that licorice flavor would have jumped out a bit more

Final Thoughts:
The Ramon Allones Specially Selected turned out to be a nice mild to medium classic Cuban cigar. I don’t think it does anything new or special but it’s one of the more affordable Cubans you can find and they seem to be constructed consistently well from the ones I’ve had a chance to enjoy. The cedar and earthy flavors are enjoyable and the hint of licorice and spice brought an interesting layer to the mix that kept my attention. I did get some tar on some of the ones I smoked but it wasn’t anything terrible, one quick clip kept it at bay. I can see myself possibly getting some more of these in the future but I’d be curious to see how they age first, maybe I’ll revisit them in a year or so and see how things have changed. Good to know they are tasty and not overpowering while fairly fresh, so grab a few to try if you can.

Another Innis & Gunn you say? Of course! These guys make some awesome beers and I keep finding more new ones to try. Today’s choice is called the “Spiced Rum Finish” and came as part of the Winter Sampler pack. I’ve never had this particular brew before so I was curious to see how it turned out given my awesome track record with this brewery. Well, what an interesting beer this turned out to be. At it’s core, you can tell the classic Original Oak Aged style is there but it has an extra punch. Each sip gives just a tiny little spicy kick of raw cinnamon or cloves, maybe even a touch of pepper. Very unique that’s for sure and damn tasty if I say so myself. Very disappointed to see that it’s only available in the holiday pack cause I would easily vouch for a case if it were available to me. This paired perfectly with the mild to medium bodied Ramon Allones Specially Selected and would pair very well with other medium bodied cigars. Other suggested pairings for this cigar would be coffee or other lighter amber brews, maybe even a Tripel.

Daniel T. (a.k.a. Dalamscius) is an IT Professional from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He enjoys cigars, scuba diving, hockey, fishing, nature and anything that challenges his mind. If he's not sitting on his big comfy couch or at work you can usually find him in a boat on top of the water or 100ft under the water enjoying a dive. He is engaged to a wonderful Fiance and looking forward to his wedding. Feel free to contact Daniel anytime via email (dalamscius[at]gmail[dot]com). And make sure to follow him on twitter


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