Ramon Allónes 8 9 8 - Cuban Cigar Review
It's not often you get to try a discontinued Cuban Cigar. Luckily enough the Davidoff shop in London had a few Ramon Allones 8-9-8 EMS to try. The Ramon Allones' never usually disappoint, with any luck, this one won't either.
Today I'm going to review a vitola I have never sampled before, the 8-9-8. Taking it's name from how the twenty five of the Cigars are boxed - layering eight cigars, then nine, and then another eight on top. This Ramon Allones line has unfortunately been discontinued since the early 2000's, so when I spotted it for sale in London over the weekend I had to get out my wallet and purchase the stick. A long, slender Cigar measuring at 6.75 X 43, this is a plain, but unassuming stick with very little amount of veins to be seen. The band looks a little muddy, as with many of the other smaller brands from this period.
Age wise, I would assume that this is one of the last batches to be manufactured so I would say there's around eight to ten years of age on this stick. The draw is spot on, and there were no cracking of the wrapper from when I cut the Cigar using my trusty Paleo.
Lighting takes little time due the ring gauge of the Cigar. After a few seconds toasting the foot I'm away. The first flavours you sense is the classic Ramon Allones flavours of dry fruit, leaves and a tiny bit of leather. I would say that the flavours are not intense of a Ramon Allones Small Club Corona or Special Selected; obviously the years have mellowed the Cigar somewhat.
There's plenty of smoke yet it's quite easy going. I had to put the Cigar down for a few minutes yet it did not go out. If you're going to smoke a long gauge like this, I would recommend putting aside a maximum of around an hour and a half. The burn was slow and steady . I found that the Cigar had a great knack of correcting itself without any assistance. There were two times during the first half that the burn got slightly out of hand, but before I could think about reaching for my lighter to correct it, the un-burnt section had caught up! Result!
During the Cigar I did not find much development in terms of flavour other than strength. The taste reminded me somewhat of raisins. I cannot say enough how elegant is this Cigar; I did not need to relight or correct the Cigar once during the hour plus of smoking.
If you are looking for a stick that has plenty of flavour that you want to spend smoking while maybe watching a film, then this could be it.
It's a shame that this Cigar was discontinued, as the Ramon Allones line doesn't have an equivalent other than the Corona Gigantes, which is a more meaty monster smoke. We maybe get a Limited or Regional Edition Ramon Allones every year but unfortunately they don't match the vitola or flavour profile of the 8-9-8. Simon Chase make note!
I thoroughly enjoyed this Cigar. An out of the ordinary Cigar, I would love to try the Partagas 8-9-8 and see how they compare. A Cigar to saviour. Numbers of these are dwindling and they don't come cheap from the prices I'm looking at when browsing UK retailers. Life can be a little annoying sometimes.
- Appearance: 11/15
- Draw & Burn: 19/20
- Flavour & Complexity: 26/30
- Overall: 33/35
- Total: 89/100