Ramon Allones is definitely in my top three favourite brands, if not my favourite. With my love for robusto-sized cigars especially, a good RASS is in my top five for sure. RA, as a brand, just generally has a nice dark and sweet tone – that dense, heavy, rich Christmas-cake lusciousness to it. Stewed fruit – think of cooked dark cherries and such, boysenberries, perhaps mulberries – dark, cooked cherry-pie-filling, but without the heavy sugar added. Mixed with molasses and rum, some brown sugar and walnuts in there too, heavy butter and cream.
Damn, I’m getting hungry.
This particular smoke was from a trade with a fellow member on the FOH forum, my last stick of a 5-stick or so swap with him from back in 2012 or so.
Reviewed Cigar: Ramon Allones Specially Selected
Box Date: Jun 2011
Factory / Manufacture Code: ROA
Packaging: 25-count dress-box
Price per cigar: Traded stick (approx. $22.70 CDN value per stick)
Length: 4 7/8″, or 124 mm
Ring Gauge: 50
Weight: 11 grams / 0.4 oz
Construction/Appearance & Pre-Light: This was a fairly nice stick. Decently thin and supple wrappers, with a healthy oily sheen. Not quite as dark and rich as I like to see from RASS, but pretty damn nice overall, and not too far off. No prominent veins to the wrapper, nice construction. Fairly good aromas, if not a slight bit muted.
Good weight and construction overall. Cap was perfect, and the bunch on the foot had nice colouring (a good blend of seco, volado, and ligero leaves), but just a bit lopsided and slightly overbunched it seemed.
After cutting the cigar and tasting at cold…not bad. Fairly present RA flavours there, but with a tinge of dryness. Perhaps hay and a grassiness there.
Opening Impressions: Ahhhh. RASS. Such a consistent performer. Such a consistent go-to stick.
First Third: Into the first third, the experience was pretty nice. Some RA Christmas-fruit-cake was right there in the forefront, but with some leather and hay tones added in.
Smoke volumes were nice. Not a huge amount when “at idle”, but nice slightly viscous smoke on the palate when puffed on. Definitely a cigar that you know you’re smoking – grabs your attention just enough to remind you what’s going on.
Into the hot tub…
Second Third: …and into the second third. Fairly flaky ash (not holding for 1/2″ plus), and somewhat wonky burn at times. Smoke and flavours right where they should be though. Leather backing off a bit, perhaps with an ever-so-slight backing of a dark chocolate / dry cocoa tone there.
The band was noticeably loosened from the cigar, a fairly consistent sign of a cigar with some age on it, especially with the larger ring gauges (comes from the cigar slowly “shrinking” over time compared to when rolled).
Final Third: Into the final third, still consistent RA fruitcake tones. The leather came back in front, with a slight citrus tanginess / sourness to it, but not in a way that was a put-off.
Not quite a full nubber (it definitely absorbed some of the hot tub’s humidity, and started to slow down and sour up near the tail end). But finished well.
Finishing Comments / Overall Impression: Some slight burn and construction issues didn’t really hurt this stick. The flavour profile was pretty much spot on, and kept me attentive just enough.
This RASS, to me anyways, was distinctly noticeable though in that ever-so-slight difference between dress-box RASS and cabinet RASS. Aside from two partial RASS dress boxes, all my own RASS are from 50 cabs. There’s just such a slight, but yet ironically enough distinct, difference to the cigars taken from these two packaging methods (though they’re the same essential cigars from the ground up), that I’m a cab-cigar convert. While it may not be a “blind” tasting decision, I would definitely say that quality cab RASS have a general 2-3 point difference minimum in extra enjoyment for me. Something about the difference of a perfectly-round and artisan-intended original robusto, compared to the slightly box-pressed versions, just make enough of a difference to the burn, combustion, smoke development, etc.
All that said, these are generally always consistent for me and enjoyable. I can count on them to give me an 86-93 point performance each time and every time. If you can’t find or afford a 50-cab of these, much less fit them into your humidor or other cigar storage means, a 25-count dress-box of these should definitely be within everyone’s top 10 list of cigars to keep in stock. Obviously, with this blend, the darker and richer and oilier the sticks, and the more pungent the barnyard aroma, the better.
Final Score: 89
Total Smoking Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Date & Time Smoked: May 23rd, 2015; lit up at 9:35 pm, done at 10:45 pm
Paired Beverage: Blended margaritas
Last Meal: Domino’s Pizza and italian cheese bread, 6:30 pm
Smoking Conditions: In the hot tub, 14 degrees Celsius and 46% RH outside, with an 11 kph light breeze.
Thanks for reading my review. Hope you enjoyed it.