Thursday, January 21, 2010

Partagas - Benji Series Master Blend

The Benji Series - made by Partagas is a limited production cigar, blended by General Cigar's master blender, Benji Menedez. Hence, the Benji part. It is said the company tested about 200 blends before they gave this one the nod for production. The cigar is known as a full flavored stick.

Prelight- The Benji is a nice-looking cigar with a dark Cameroon wrapper, Connecticut binder and a special mix of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco. This cigar has a great, soft but firm feel to it and is consistent in color and construction. The wrapper has a few veins but is rather smooth. The prelight draw has a sweet yet peppery taste.

Sparking it - Right off the bat the cigar is full of flavor. Not extremely complex, but tasty. I like to inhale through my nose a little bit to get as much as I can out of a cigar's aromatic qualities - and this cigar gives a faint but pleasing tingle to my nose. I taste some coffee and pepper as the 1st third of the cigar burns. As strong as this cigar is at the beginning, I was a little concerned the end would be overpowering, but I was happy that it didn't.

Smoking it- Like I said before, this Cigar's flavor isn't too complex but there are enough flavors and aromas from the get go for this to be an enjoyable cigar for those that like medium to full flavor sticks. The burn was even and overall the cigar is well-constructed. I smoked this stick till there was about an inch left and it didn't get too harsh. The last third of the Benji started to taste earthy and wood.

Overall- This is a great cigar. I would, will and have smoke the Benji again. A lot of peppery flavor and some hints of chocolate through most of the smoke. The cigar burned like a champ and would go great with a coffee or tea. (I drank a coffee with it) This cigar earned the #15 spot for 2009 in Cigar Aficianado and is well worth the $10 I paid for my stick. I would definitely put this in my top 10 of cigars in the $8-11 price range. It took about an hour and 15 minutes to burn this beauty, so grab one and take your time to enjoy the flavors and construction of the Benji Series.

Score- B+

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