My first foray into the Partagas line of cigars was the Presidente, without derailing this review too much, I liked the Presidente quite a bit and have been fond of Partagas cigars ever since. When I was informed that I would be getting to try the Partagas Black Label cigar I was excited as it has been a year since I last touched a Partagas branded cigar. I smoked my Black Label cigar soon after I got it, and while I enjoyed it, I could not recommend it to a casual or amateur cigar smoke; this cigar is the definition of bold tobacco in a full bodied package. Thick smoke and excellent burning time, but not as flavoured as some might expect.
When I received my Black Label cigars, they did not come packaged in anything distinctive – simply plastic wrapped and bare. The cigar is accompanied by an eye catching band, using gold accents, with a black base and white lettering. The first thing you will notice about the cigar itself is that it is very thick and sports a dark brown wrapping. The bare minimum packaging is probably attributed to the fact that these cigars came from their original box. Of course, as a smoker you should not base your entire opinion of cigars on the packaging, but for the sake of this review, I think you the reader, should know all aspects of the cigar at hand. Regardless, both Black Label cigars that I received cut nice, and the wrapper failed to lose any integrity tin either of the cigars that I had cut. The wrapper is not incredibly soft, but it is not rugged either, it has a level of stiffness to it that does not seem to be the result of poor storage.
The Black Label’s flavouring is not that complex, and tastes predominantly of a bold well-rounded tobacco. Within the first five minutes of the burn however, you are greeted to an almost bitter cocoa flavouring. Reiterating, the tobacco is the most predominant flavour in this cigar, but unlike other full bodied cigars I have tried of this size the after taste from the tobacco never becomes overwhelmingly bitter. The best way to describe the taste of the tobacco would be smooth but bold. About half an hour in, I would say the flavour stays consistent. An aspect of the Black Label that makes it enticing is it’s excellent draws accompanied by nice thick smoke. The only issue I have had with the Black Label is that it appears to burn unevenly, and while I initially chalked this up to me not lighting this thick cigar properly, attempts at preventing uneven burning in my second Black Label proved futile. The ash is a light grey, and stays quite structured throughout the burn, meaning you will not be ashing the Black Label too often. In addition, the burn time of this cigar is most pleasant, with both Black Label cigars lasting me within the hour range. Furthermore, even down to the last quarter of this cigar it did not taste of harsh filler tobacco like you might expect from a cigar of such thickness, which goes to show the excellent crafting of this cigar. I must note however, that for less seasoned smokers the boldness of the flavour and thickness of the smoke may be off-putting.
The Partagas Black Label cigar is not for the casual smoker. In addition, I would argue that a cigar of this caliber deserves to be smoked sparingly due to it’s bold draws and long burning time. If you enjoy full bodied cigars and want something bold and long lasting, then this is the cigar for you. Throughout the full burn time, the tobacco’s boldness never becomes gross or bitter, and the accompaniment of the cocoa flavouring serve to make this a well rounded full-bodied cigar. For seasoned smokers who want something bold (note: that’s the keyword for today) then I give full recommendation for the Black Label cigar.
If you are interested in trying the Partagas Black Label cigar, check out Cigar City for excellent prices on this great full bodied cigar.