A Brand Reinvented

From our friends at General Cigar, specifically their Foundry Tobacco Company division, comes a new cigar based on an old label.  Foundry has long been known for their interesting and off-the-wall endeavors such as their steam-punk themed cigars, their ventures into outer space, their elements series of smokes, and even the Chillin’ Moose line. Surprisingly enough, they decided to stay a tad more mainstream this past year… they took two old Cuban classic labels, Bolivar and Ramon Allones, which General Cigar also produced for many years,  but fell by the wayside.  The thought was to take these two heritage brands from the past and move them forward to the present in a reimagined way but to also attempt to keep them somewhat rooted in their storied past.  I smoked the new Ramon Allones this past week and what I found was an interesting cigar.

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I am still not positive if Foundry was reinventing the original Cuban version or the classic General Cigar version. First appearances of this new cigar showed very bright and colorful band, probably paying homage to the fact that the original Cuban Ramon Allones were the first to have the colorful lithograph bands we now see on nearly all cigars. I also found tail cap and a shaggy uncut foot, which is something new and different.  The wrapper is an Ecuadorian Sumatra Habano which has a nice dark sheen that bears a closer resemblance to the Cuban version than the lighter Dominican wrapper on the non-Cuban counterpart.  The cigar has a very tight and dense feel to it which is very similar to a Cuban cigar.  First appearances and touch made me think of the Cuban Ramon with a new and modern band and an odd pigtail cap with a shaggy foot.

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There was definitely a tight draw on the first third of this smoke. Not overly tight but definitely resembling many Cuban cigars. I found flavors of earth and leather and a little dark coffee in the background.  It didn’t produce a lot of smoke but it was very tasty and medium to full-bodied. This cigar has Nicaraguan binder and a filler blend of all three major Nicaraguan regions; I pick up a little of that spice and pepper the area is known for.  The cigar burned very well and the draw loosened up around the halfway point and the flavors really came through. The most interesting feature at the halfway point was the emergence of a mineral flavor which I seldom find in non-Cuban smokes but does pop up in certain Cuban blends.  While this mineral note may not be to everyone’s liking, I found it a nice background to the heavy earth, leather, and coffee and spice notes.  To me this cigar was quite Cuban in flavor and strength and very impressive. A cigar I will look forward to smoking again!  These just recently arrived and starting to hit our stores so be on the lookout for them and give one a try for a new experience!

Stay smokey!

Steve Mungeer, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits Category Manager: Premium Cigars and Craft Beer

Follow me on Twitter @abccigarmungo

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