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Stogie Reviews: Partagas Serie D No. 4 (Cuban)

16 Aug 2007

I have to admit I didn’t know much about this cigar until recently. As it turns out, my knowledge of Cubans is lacking – but I’m looking forward to changing that.

So I turned to the web to do a little background research on the Partagas Serie D No. 4 before diving into a couple that have been gracing my humidor. What I found was a heap of praise making the stogie out to be the greatest robusto ever created. Several reviewers claimed it was the best smoke they’ve ever had.

Needless to say, I was anxious to try the Serie D, one of the top-selling Havanas in the world. It’s reputation as a full-flavored, “New School Habano” with rich notes of wood and spice meant that I couldn’t wait any longer to give the 4.9 inch by 50 ring gauge No. 4 a try.

The golden wrapper is extremely smooth with only a few minor imperfections. With a new-age appearance, the band doesn’t look anything like what you’d expect from a company that has been rolling tobacco since 1827.

After toasting the foot and establishing an even burn with just a few wooden matches, I was underway. The Cuban leaves quickly produce a big taste of cedar and black pepper – very similar to the flavors that are advertised. While the immediate impression is milder than I expected, the strong spice really kicks in during the aftertaste.

After the first third is completed, the $13 to $23 cigar’s true colors begin to shine through. That’s when a buttery almond flavor enters the equation and the stick is at its best.

Unfortunately, I was really disappointed by the physical properties of the two No. 4s I tried before writing this review. While the draw was clear and each puff produced a ton of smoke, the burn required constant surveillance and several touch-ups to remain even and lit. Even though I took all the appropriate measures, I couldn’t prevent canoes from forming. What’s more, the ash is flakey and unstable.

As you can imagine, these construction shortcomings are quite distracting, and they completely interfere with the smoking experience. Notwithstanding the excellent flavor, I found this Cuban to be somewhat of a disappointment – especially considering all the wonderful reviews I had read.

When you get right down to it, I would not feel comfortable paying in excess of $10 for one of these again, let alone the cigar’s commanding price. For terrific flavor and unfortunate construction, I give the Partagas Serie D No. 4 three out of five stogies.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A


19 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Partagas Serie D No. 4 (Cuban)”

  1. Tricky Thursday, August 16, 2007 at 2:02 am #

    Another great review. Thanks once again Patrick!

    Not to step on any toes here, but I was wondering if you were absolutely sure of the authenticity of this cigar? The only reason I ask is because most Habanos that make it America are fake. Hell, even in a lot of countries where they're legal, their mostly fake (i.e., Mexico).

    Also, what was the box code on this stick? Timing could have contributed to burn issues as well.

    Thanks for any reply. I'm glad it at least had a terrific flavor.

  2. Cigar Jack Thursday, August 16, 2007 at 4:23 am #

    The flavors sound spot on from what I remember. This is one of my favorite Cuban Cigars. I'm a bit surprised with all the trouble you had. Also if you do some looking around you can find these for under $10.

  3. Graham Thursday, August 16, 2007 at 4:31 am #

    Looks real to me:

  4. Patrick A Thursday, August 16, 2007 at 4:44 am #

    Thanks for the comments, guys.

    In answer to your question, Tricky, I am almost 100 percent certain the two No. 4s I smoked were authentic. I don't want to go into details about how I acquired them, suffice to say the operation is legit. Besides, I checked out Cigar Aficionado's counterfeit gallery on the cigar, and mine appeared to have all the right characteristics.

    I wish I could say I have the box code, but my two came in a sampler of sorts.

    Cigar Jack, thanks for pointing out these can be had for less than $10. I would feel much better about the cigar at that price.

  5. Cigar Jack Thursday, August 16, 2007 at 12:18 pm #

    I’ve had more burn issues with large ring Cuban Cigars than I do with their Coronas and smaller. I don’t think their quality control is the greatest.

  6. kevink868 Thursday, August 16, 2007 at 3:04 pm #

    I feel a little vindicated by your review, Patrick. I had a similarly disappointing experience with my box, which was mid-2005 production, as did a buddy who got a box at roughly the same time from a different source. When I posted a review to that effect, some posters also challenged the authenticity of the stick. I harbor no conspricacy theories. I just think it came from a sub-par production spell from Partagas. For all I know, the ones coming off the roller's bench today live up to the big D4 rep. The ones I got simply didn't.

  7. RT Thursday, August 16, 2007 at 11:20 pm #

    Living in SoCal I am able to obtain Authentic Cuban Cigars from Mexico. Only buy from La Casa Del Habano in Tijuana since it’s the only Habanos S.A. authorized dealer per their website. If you buy a cigar from a local street merchant then yes they are more than likely fake. I prefer the Montecristo Edmundo or the Hoyo de Monterey Epicure No.2 over the Partagas Serie D No. 4.

  8. RT Thursday, August 16, 2007 at 11:25 pm #

    I forgot to mention that the Romeo Y Julieta Short Churchill is an awesome smoke! You have to try it! Way better than the Partagas!

  9. rudechuck Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 7:01 pm #

    Sounds like the cigar may have been a little “wet.” Cubans are best kept at between 60-65% humidity, instead of the “recommended” 70%.

    Just a thought.

  10. Valdi Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 6:04 am #

    Again one of the best Cuban Robusto’s gets 3 stars. This is a joke.

  11. smoker123 Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 8:36 pm #

    I'd give one of these another try. One they are on, they are fantastic! I've had great construction on recent production and they smoke well ROTT. 4.5/5

  12. John Werner Saturday, February 12, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    Certainly we have all had the same cigar perform differently at different times. That said, I haven't had Patrick's experience over two previous boxes and, so far, a third box.

    Without knowing how the cigar was kept prior to being gifted it may have something to do with that? I was sorry to hear of your problems Patrick.

    I guess I can leave my 2-cents on the cigar when its performing correctly…These are one of a handful of my favorite Cuban sticks. I really like the strong woody characteristic with the coming and going spicy burn. The Series D has one of the most balanced spice profiles I can remember and the burn, more times than not, requires no touch-ups or just one single correction. All-in-all, this is a world-class smoke.

  13. bart Friday, September 28, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

    I just had the first from my box of ten. It burned razor sharp and the taste was brilliant. Being that we are both in chi town I will give you one from the box try again if you wish.

  14. The MLM Ninja Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

    I loved them but I have to say not one Cuban cigar I have ever smoked had anything over aPadron or other premium NC brand.

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