As I carried on in the same evening from my previous review on the H. Upmann Monarch tubos, I took a quick rest inside the house (the winds were picking up), and then with my wife joining me in the hot tub, I got to enjoy Round 2 of my cigars that night, a stellar example of a Ramon Allones Mille Fleurs.
I love Ramon Allones. Yup. That I do. So, I figured I’d enjoy this stick, regardless of….gasp…being a dreaded “machine-made” variant.
Okay. I tried to say that with a straight face.
I personally don’t get the disdain that some have for certain machine-made cigars. Granted, I definitely have a grumpy experience with some of the “lesser brands”, or “cheap and cheerfuls” as many refer to them as well. But a machine-made can still be a beautiful thing. While it misses that certain human-touch in its artistic quality, if the tobacco itself is good, it can still be a top-notch experience for a relatively inexpensive cost.
This stick is a beautiful example. A cigar from one of the multitude of trades that I’ve been able to do with great BOTL Chris / “chanceschmerr”, a fellow CF member who’s across-the-pond at a special navy offi-sure school right now, this was a special cigar he sent for me to enjoy. These RA Mille Fleurs are cellophane-wrapped lovelies which he snagged from a nice little shop in Andorra on a past mission rest-stop. These are solely machine-made sticks which were discontinued in 2005.
Reviewed Cigar: Ramon Allones Mille Fleurs
Box Date: Nov 2002
Factory / Manufacture Code: EAR
Packaging: 25-count dress box of cellophane-wrapped cigars
Price per cigar: Unk. (traded stick)
Length: 5 1/8″, or 129 mm
Ring Gauge: 42
Format: Petit corona
Weight: 9 grams / 0.3 oz
Construction/Appearance & Pre-Light: The overall tobacco quality and finish on this cigar wasn’t bad. A smaller stick, I’m impressed that something like this can be done as efficiently as they are with the type of older machines that Cuba has.
Nice wrapper colour, and no soft spots throughout the cigar itself. With a this machine-made stick, I noted that the cap had a fair bit of a wrinkle / crease to it, and the triple-cap was horribly sloppy. As these machine mades are hand-finished, it’s a bit of a sloppy finalizing, though the rest of the wrapper was applied very well, and the band was finished well (and I love the older / smoother / less-refined RA bands too).
The cello had a nice very slight yellowing to it, and the foot (as can be seen in the below pictures) showed that the bunch was packed amazingly tight on one side, but fairly loose and with holes on the other. Again, no soft spots or issues there, but just an example of how a machine-made stick can’t have that artistic-finishing quality that human hands can.
After a cut and at cold, not too shabby. Slight caramel sweetness, a bit salty, and with a fragrant aged tea tone.
Other construction notes? Wife was sporting a new(er) bikini – me likey!
Opening Impressions: A wonderfully aged smoke. This thing just started right in. Caramel flan tones to start – caramel, creme brulee, vanilla, breadfruit doughy-ness. Loving it.
First Third: Into the first third, light leather with burnt caramel edge. Not a lot of the stewed fruit aspect that I normally get in Ramon Allones’ sticks though. Some brown sugar, hay, and well-aged toasted tobacco. Very refined toasted tobacco tones coming through full volume.
Second Third: Into the second third, a lot of the same. Swaying back and forth with the burnt caramel, and bready, toasted tobacco.
Final Third: Into the final third, creme brulee coming to the forefront again. Vanilla, burnt / carmelized brown sugar, and bready goodness. Almost a bread pudding kind of flavour tone (you know – that traditional kind of bread pudding, made with eggs, milk, bread chunks, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, etc.); just wonderful.
Still unfortunately not getting the heavy stewed-fruits / Christmas fruitcake tone that I so love with RA. Kind of wished it was there, but this stick, for its fair size, was still giving me lots of performance value.
A good cigar to go along with a great view. 😉
Finishing Comments / Overall Impression: This cigar burned impeccably well for me too. Burn was relatively razor sharp, and did not require any relights that I recollect. The aged refinement that this cigar had was wonderful. The slightly perfumy, aged, toasted tobacco tone throughout, along with the tag-team of a caramel, creme brulee hit, made this just a great little cigar to enjoy.
I know Habanos has got rid of machine mades. While I don’t necessarily disparage that, it would be nice if this Mille Fleurs blend was still offered in a handmade. Hell, even if a handmade, “luxury” version of the RA Mille Fleurs was offered perhaps as an RE from a cunning distributor, I think it’d be quite a hit – I’d LOVE to see that done, a box of 25 cellophane wrapped sticks to bring back that vintage look, and in a size format where a 25-count box wouldn’t make it beyond the reach of many.
Dollar value, these are excellent – inexpensive machine-mades can definitely be worth an addition into someone’s smoking stock, provided it was a good quality run. Though these are all discontinued, the fairly extensive age on any remaining at vendors will make it well worth the search. That perfumy aspect of nice aged cigars are a great taste to experience.
Final Score: 92
Total Smoking Time: 42 minutes
Date & Time Smoked: February 18th, 2015; lit up at 8:58 pm, done at 9:40 pm
Paired Beverage: Havana Club Anejo 7 Anos and Coke
Last Meal: Haddock and chip dinner w/ coleslaw, 5:20 pm
Smoking Conditions: In the hot tub, continuing chilly and fairly windy night, -12 degrees Celsius and dropping rapidly, 68% RH
Thanks for reading my review. Hope you enjoyed it.