|194 mm / 7.6 inches
A Partagas Lusitanias deserves time. It needs time. These 7.6-inch double coronas are not cigars to save for a special occasion. A Lusitanias is the special occasion, saved for when you have at least three hours to smoke, savor and reflect.
Partagas Lusitanias Overview
At 7.6 inches and ring gauge 49 this is a meaty cigar that takes a minimum of 2 ½ hours to smoke. Allow three hours to really enjoy the flavor profile. Pre-1976 Lusitanias are a little shorter and fatter. All pre-1995 Lusitanias are a whole lot heavier.
Partagas changed the tobacco mix in 1995 and the blend comes exclusively from the Vuelta Abajo zone, notably ligero leaves famed for their aroma and richness. Such a long double corona requires a pristine wrapper leaf to completely cover the cigar’s 194mm.
Poor crops have created a shortage of these high-quality wrappers, yet Partagas are able to produce Lusitanias year after year, without any noticeable drop in quality. They are widely considered to be among the finest hand rolled cigars to ever leave the island of Cuba. Certainly, among the finest to leave the island year after year.
Post-1995 Lusitanias are a light to mid-bodied smoke and connoisseurs will notice the variations between vintages. Aging is recommended. Lusitanias don’t develop their complete flavor profile until around five years after vintage. With a good humidor they can develop for a further 20 years plus.
Smoking a Partagas Lusitanias
Wrapping and Unwrapping
Authentic Partagas Lusitanias have a silky, oily wrapper marked by visible veins. It’s easy to spot fakes by this lack of hand-rolled subtlety - inspect them closely and every cigar in your box of 50 will have its own veins, from a wrapper made of a single tobacco leaf.
A spongy lightness at the foot contrasts the size of the cigar. Even in hand this feels like a light and manageable cigar, not a boisterous show-off but a cigar to take into a dark corner with a glass of cognac, vintage movie or football game.
Lighting Up and First Third
Other Partagas cigars present bold and rich notes, from shorter and thicker sticks. Lusitanias are smooth and mild, although some vintages are more towards the mid-strength zone. Evenly char the foot then take a couple of puffs. Then a couple more.
Now the magic happens. Honey comb and yellow fruit notes. Resin and pastry dough. Cinnamon and then a slow aromatic takeover from layers of spice.
Complexity and Balance Through the Second Third
Held together by underlying chocolate and caramel, a vibrancy of spicier, peppery notes slowly infuses with your palate. Take your time. Watch the burn - as with any hand rolled double corona there can be inconsistencies. Some vintages present sweeter notes, others develop more cacao and almond aromas. All these cigars provide hints of honey that become more prominent over two to three hours.
It’s a velvety smoke all the way, if the cigar is old enough. Younger Lusitanias that are less than five years old can become a little too powerful in the final third, losing some of the mild, honey characteristics that have been developed. Partagas Lusitanias will soften with age and it’s really in the final third you can taste the aging.
These cigars are an investment and they offer a quality that is easily on par with limited editions, but for a cheaper price. They are becoming more expensive, due to a lack of availability of pristine 7.6-inch tobacco wrapping leaves.
Given their aging potential Partagas Lusitanias do represent excellent value for the cigar connoisseur. But don’t buy a box if you don’t have a decent humidor - the cigar community will struggle to forgive anyone who lets a Lusitania go to waste.
Partagas Lusitania Experience
World renowned quality and consistency naturally make this double corona a top pick for cigar connoisseurs. Smoking one as an absolute beginner is like skipping the entree and main to go straight for the sweet, luscious dessert. However, this Partagas is also a great bridge into more refined cigar smoking and an absolute number one pick for your first proper double corona. If you’re getting into cigars and want to seriously up your game, this is the one.