- Price: $15.50 for a single. $310 for boxes of 25.
- Made By: Partagás Factory
- Factory Location: Cuba
- Dimensions: 4 7/8″ by 50 ring gauge
- Shape: Robusto
- Filler: Cuban
- Binder: Cuban
- Wrapper: Cuban
- Cold Draw: Broken-in Leather, Barnyard, Sweetness, Cayenne Pepper, Cinnamon
- First Third: Barnyard, Honey, Cayenne Pepper, Cinnamon, Sweetness, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Nuttiness
- Second Third: Sweetness, Nuttiness, Vanilla, Black Pepper, Salt, Black Coffee, Cedar Broken-in Leather
- Final Third: Sweetness, Hazelnut, Black Coffee, Black Pepper, Honey, Spicy Cayenne Pepper
From the traditional band to its tidy milk chocolate brown wrapper, the Ramon Allones Specially Selected hits all the visual notes of a cigar with a classic look. The stick is consistent with little veining, outstanding construction, and the slightest bit of oil. At the same time, the simplicity of the wrapper and the band speak to a bygone era of readily available, glorious Cuban cigars where enthusiasts celebrated such a simple, rustic look.
The cigar’s straightforward band seals the classic look with its graceful statement. Its primary color is gold with “RAMON ALLONES” and “HABANA” in white against a brown hue that is a shade darker than the wrapper. This lettering wraps around a gold crown against a red background. The simplicity of this band against the wrapper is enough to draw you in with an almost intuitive feeling that there’s something special about this smoke, even before knowing it’s a Cuban banger named the No. 2 cigar of 2015 by Cigar Aficionado with a jaw-dropping 96 rating.
The Ramon Allones Specially Selected cigar appears slightly box pressed, though many claim this results from its boxing. Either way, I have a feeling this slight press will work in my favor as it should deliver a cooler draw and make it easier and more enjoyable to differentiate the flavor notes.
The stogie is Robusto shaped like the E.P. Carrillo Pledge Prequel cigar and measures in at 4 7/8″ by 50 ring gauge. This short, plump cigar shape is the most popular in America, and it’s easy to see why. Not only do Robusto cigars make the smoker look like a real badass lost deep in thought, but they are also easy to hold, fit well with each pull, and take less time to smoke while still revealing all the flavors and nuances of the blend.
Taste & Draw
The Ramon Allones Specially Selected cigar is a medium to full strength Cuban with a captivating complexity. The burn line remains even throughout the smoke, and the sturdy ash is quite enjoyable to watch. The cigar’s construction is top-notch, and I experienced no issues with the draw.
Within the vast cloud of thick smoke, you’ll find spice and pepper notes well balanced by sweeter notes like honey, salted caramel, and more. A backdrop of sweetness props up the other notes throughout most of the journey. One thing I found fascinating about this cigar is how specific notes interacted with others to form something new. Read on to see what I mean.
Broken-in Leather, Barnyard, Sweetness, Cayenne Pepper, Cinnamon
Okay. Let’s pop right into the cold draw and see what flavors this Cuban beauty may be concealing. Right off the bat, I’m picking up a broken-in leather note. I take another cold draw and taste barnyard. Right behind the barnyard, there’s sweetness, which is a strange, yet surprisingly enjoyable combination. On its own, the sweetness reminds me of that on the cold draw of the Deadwood Leather Rose cigar.
I pull a few more times and taste a lively cayenne pepper flavor combined with a cinnamon-style note. The anticipation builds as we head into the first third.
Barnyard, Honey, Cayenne Pepper, Cinnamon, Sweetness, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Nuttiness
I add fire, and we’re off to the races. Immediately I can tell why many list this stick among the most sought-after Cuban cigars. I’m hit with a blast of flavor and smile as the notes begin to define themselves. The barnyard from the cold draw carves out its own space. Right behind the barnyard, there’s a tasty honey note.
A few more puffs, and I’m tasting creaminess and sharp hits of cayenne pepper. At this point, the cigar is already medium to full bodied. The cinnamon from the cold draw is still in the mix. These spicy notes are waking me up big time, though sweeter notes like salted caramel are putting in work to keep things nice and balanced. The sweetness from the cold draw provides a fantastic backdrop for everything else. I’d say the strength of this great smoke is currently medium to medium full.
As I keep smoking, the complexity of the Ramon Allones Specially Selected reminds me of Michael Jordan’s favorite stogie, the Partagas Lusitanias Cuban cigar. Toward the end of the first third, I’m tasting vanilla and nuttiness, and it’s safe to say that I’ve found my own Cuban heaven on earth.
Sweetness, Nuttiness, Vanilla, Black Pepper, Salt, Black Coffee, Cedar, Broken-in Leather
As I move into the second third, the flavors are more intense and more defined, which is wild since I already thought we hit the ceiling there. It almost feels like smoking into uncharted territory, which is always a welcome surprise for the seasoned smoker.
From the first third, we still have sweetness, nuttiness, and vanilla. The cayenne pepper is pretty much a memory by now, replaced by a black pepper note. I’m not tasting the salted caramel anymore, though I’m hoping that winner comes back. While the caramel is gone, the salt is not. I keep smoking and start tasting black coffee and cedar. Oh, and the broken-in leather from the cold draw now has skin in the smoke game.
So far, the smoke output is incredible. Blowing out these thick and smooth billowing clouds is satisfying enough on its own. Adding this mouthwatering buffet of flavors takes things to the next level. Now at the end of the second third, I have experienced zero burn line issues, and the mesmerizing ash is equally well behaved.
With still a third to go, I think it’s safe to say that this blend, without a doubt, belongs in a top-ranking spot in your humidor
Sweetness, Hazelnut, Black Coffee, Black Pepper, Honey, Spicy Cayenne Pepper
With the end now in sight, this complex blend is starting to show off in the best of ways. The flavors blend together flawless, with each seeming to play off the other and still somehow remain in their respective silos. Is this a cigar or magic show? I think the safe answer here is a bit of both.
The sweetness is still doing its thing, and the nuttiness has taken on more of a hazelnut flavor. The black coffee and black pepper have become firmly established. This black pepper note is reminiscent of that throughout the stellar Oliva Serie V Melanio cigar.
As we close in on the nub, the honey and cayenne pepper notes are back. It’s spicier than before and a fine send-off from an award-winning Cuban cigar.
The Ramon Allones Specially Selected cigar is a delightfully complex smoke. It earned the No. 2 spot of Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 Cigars of 2015 with a more than impressive 96 rating. Made in Cuba using only Cuban tobaccos and Cuban cigar production techniques, this highly celebrated stick is medium to full in body and strength. Like most cigars of this caliber, it builds in complexity until reaching a high note so captivating that all you can do is laugh about its top-shelf greatness.
Among the many notes you’ll experience along the way: sweetness, salted caramel, cinnamon, spicy cayenne pepper, black pepper honey, vanilla, and hazelnut.
Ramon Allones Specially Selected Cigar Pairing Notes
A lot of people feel pairing a cigar with the ideal drink can be a daunting task. While there are certainly proven methods to pairing, sometimes it’s the wildcard that delivers a cosmic style match. Can you pick out the wildcard below?
- Knucklenoggin Salted Caramel Whiskey
- Triple Barrel Big Bad Baptist Stout by Epic Brewing Co.
- Henry McKenna Single Barrel (excellent vanilla notes)
- Root Beer
- Gold IPA by East Brother Beer Co. (great sweet honey notes)
Ramon Allones Specially Selected Cigar History
The Ramon Allones cigar brand is one of the oldest from the Habanos S.A. cigar portfolio that is still in production. Ramon Allones is credited as the first cigar brand to incorporate decorative branding on its boxes and labels, a now routine practice for any cigar company.
Founded in 1837 in Cuba by two brothers, the Ramon Allones brand switched hands numerous times before the famed Cifuentes family took the reins, moving production to the Partagás Factory where the sticks are still manufactured by hand today.
Ramon Allones Specially Selected cigars may not be the most recognized Cuban cigar brand, but they are widely known and coveted among connoisseurs. With their sweeping complexity, these cigars are masterfully blended and remain well balanced throughout the smoke. It’s hard to claim you’re a true aficionado without a few of these gems holding prime positions in your humidor.