Many smokers consider the Partagas 150 one of the greatest cigars ever created, and perhaps the first from the Dominican Republic that could rival or surpass the finest smokes from Havana. Collectors began hoarding the cigars, which were produced in a limited run in 1995 to celebrate Partagas’ 150th anniversary, almost immediately upon their release, and by 1996, the only place to acquire a 150 was from the humidor of a magnanimous aficionado.
Key to the 150s’ deep, delicate flavors are their Cameroon wrappers, which were aged for 10 years before the cigars were rolled. Collectors’ ecstatic reception of the smokes prompted Partagas cigar master Daniel Nuñez to safeguard a stock of Cameroon wrappers so he could one day produce a successor. A decade has passed, and the heir finally is ready to assume the throne.
The Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas features a 10-year-old wrapper selected from Nuñez’s special stash, from which an average of only three leaves per thousand were judged suitable for the cigars. Each wrapper conceals a Honduran binder leaf that dresses filler tobaccos from the Dominican Republic and the volcanic island of Ometepe in Lake Nicaragua. The completed cigars are aged in cedar rooms to allow the flavors of the varied tobaccos to coalesce.
Beginning in November 2005, Partagas will introduce a new Decadas collection every year. The 2006 line includes a petit corona, a robusto, a Lonsdale, and a Churchill. Although the promise of an annual release may raise your hopes of acquiring one of the cigars, Nuñez’s insistence on using his aged Cameroon wrappers should ensure that each Decadas smoke will prove as exclusive—and, we hope, as excellent—as the 150.
General Cigar, 212.448.3800, www.cigarworld.com