Appearance: Bumpy, a few wrapper imperfections but nothing to be worried about. Over-glue noticeable on the cigar band.
Aroma: Barnyard and wood, with a faint baker spice.
Cold Draw: Good resistance. Barnyard and wood flavors.
1st: Third - First drag noticeable Partagas DNA. Paprika/Spice, Leather, wood flavors. I'm pairing this with black coffee. I've smoked a few from this cab and they have been good but strong - full strength. Other Cabs I've bought have been more mellow, but so far so good. I hate getting a tight draw on these but I've hit the Cuban lottery and the draw is so good so far. Big body thru the 1st third, flavor has picked up and it's noticeable as I go thru the 1st third just tons of paprika spice in the retro-inhale and a long spicy finish. Construction is a good nice mascara line, a little wavy burn but okay, nice dime stacked ash. Really full body noticeable out of the gate. I find especially with these is to take your time between drags. They can heat up quick if you are smoking them to fast, a nice slow rhythm is key.
2nd Third - 1st Third ash fell off in a nice solid chunk. It's a nice Sunday morning and I find having a nice cup of black coffee with a short is a great morning pairing. It's not too long as in the cigar and the pairing is a perfect start to the day. My goal is one cup with one short and I typically can time it right on. Again just taking it slow taking drags every :30-:45 seconds is key. Putting it down and letting it cool so the flavors don't become a wash is important with such a small ring gauge you can heat these up quickly. Flavor wise the paprika has really turned up. The wood/leather flavor has dialed down. The spicy long finish is more noticeable in the 2nd third. The draw is still nice and open which I love. Nothing worse than feeling like I'm sucking a golf ball thru a straw or reaching for my perfect draw poker. Overall I'm really enjoying this. It never seems to amazing me how flavorful these Partagas Shorts are in such a small format. It really is true that there a mini-D4. Construction wise it's still great. A little uneven but no touch ups, still burning perfectly no worries. Strength is starting to kick in a little - I'm starting to think about all the things I need to do today and I can feel a little nicotine head buzz. I'm kinda on the fence about aging these. I've had them fresh sub - 1 year and they been amazing and I've had them with this much age and there about the same really. So I dunno other Partagas Vitolas it's definitely noticeable the aging. I'm thinking D. 4, P. 2's but these seem good either way.
Final Third - Band came off okay which I was worried about with this cigar. The quality control over at Partagas isn't the best sometimes. It definitely had a few glue spots but all is good. Strength is full. I'm not sure if it's this box again but man these get really strong. Other boxes I've had where never this full strength anyways I just take my time. Flavors have shifted the spicy Paprika is gone. Now more wood and leather. The finish is shorter in my mouth and through my nose. Construction is good no touch ups. right to the nub. As get to the end I'm slowing down my drags as the flavor is getting a little sour but again the most noticeable thing is the strength went from a medium to full in less than 30 minutes. Construction is the same no touch ups no wonky burn. It has a nice burn line - definitely got a winner here this morning!
Conclusion: 9/10 great little morning stick. The Paprika spice is what makes me going back for more. I never get tired of that flavor. It's not a huge transnational stick but for the price point and when you want a short smoke it works great! These again just work so well with coffee I'm a big fan. Hopefully they never discontinue these as it's a staple of my humidor.