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Partagas Serie E No. 2 Cigar Review

Partagas Serie E No. 2 Cigar Review

by Syafiera Rosidi

The Partagas Serie E No. 2  is a heavyweight participant when it comes to beefy, regular production cigars. A vitola released in 2011 and inspired by the Romeo y Julieta Duke (released back in 2009 alongside the Serie D No. 5 and the H. Upmann Half Corona), the Partagas Serie E No. 2 shares the same dimensions and measures at 54 ring gauge by 140mm—or 5 and ½ inches.

Available in attractive, minimalist red and black aluminium tubes in cardboard sleeves of three, the format is ideal for sharing. The sturdy design also lends itself to portability if one does not possess a travelling humidor or cigar pouch.

Taking advantage of the glorious sunshine with no wind and all the rays I could enjoy, I ventured out to the local canal trail to fire one up this past weekend. Unveiling one of the cigars on inspection, the wrapper had a lovely glossy and oily sheen with a dark Colorado maduro colour; there was some mottling to the exterior, one would say freckle-like in its pattern. I also noticed that there was a degree of uniform fuzz on all the wrappers—not quite toothy, but more light, tiny hairs present on the surface.

On the initial notes, the cigar was smooth in draw and flavour, and medium-to-full bodied; I tasted notes of a well-made, silky flat white. Without purposefully retrohaling, there was a fiery, peppery presence that coated the back of my nostrils as I exhaled the smoke—a consistent component throughout the journey of this cigar.

A third of the way in, I got a mellow, slightly spiced creamy smoke, verging on oaked Chardonnay/malolactic fermentation. As the cigar developed, there was a slow build-up of tingly spice, not only on the lips, but also on the surface of the tongue, cheeks and overall palate. There are persistent flavours of fresh-cut wood, as well as a variety of nuts: toasted white almonds, skinned macadamias and baked pecans.

Approaching the halfway mark, I tasted fruit cake coming through with some peanut brittle. Retrohale was fiery and delicious. In essence, even at this point, the Serie E No. 2 shows itself to be worthy of the Partagas nomenclature.

Partagas Serie E No. 2 on EGM Cigars

As the cigar develops to the final half, more complex notes of savoury and sweet start to emerge and integrate. Notes of Irish cream liquor, spicy nuts, but also the presence of frothed, milky coffee. On retrohale, I experienced a little perfume and baking spice.

Finally, we arrive near the end. On the finish, the palate was rich—still mellow—flourished with burnt honey, melted dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans. I clocked around 110 minutes smoking time for this cigar (or longer if you happen to be in the presence of company). The ash was speckled white and grey, and held. A few touch ups here and there. My smoking buddy noticed that his cigar had gone out a few times over due course and had to be constantly re-lit, but this did not deter from the consistent flavour he got from the cigar. Overall a rich, super mellow and delicious experience.

I have always found the Serie E No. 2, in comparison to the rest of the regular production cigars, to be mellow, rounder in palate and flavour, and in effect, the least spiciest out of the range all the while maintaining its full-body status. As a whole, the Partagas portfolio in my mind is distinguished by power and its savoury spice profile, the burnt biscuit sweetness and sometimes fruit cake elements. Against these, the Serie E No. 2 produces more straightforward coffee, mature wood notes as well as a range of toasted nuts.

Of course, it is also worth mentioning the Serie E No. 2 Gran Reserva. A release that follows the standard rules of all previous Gran Reservas, this particular cigar will be presented in lacquered boxes of 15 units, with only 5,000 boxes produced. The tobacco used in these cigars will have been harvested in 2015 (as noted on the box as its Cosecha), and aged for a minimum of five years prior to being rolled, rested and released. A highly anticipated collector’s item that is well worth the wait.

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