The Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas line is a story that goes back to 2005. It was at that time that General Cigar decided to release a cigar containing ten year old Cameroon wrapper. The series would run in a limited production until 2009 and garnered a strong following among cigar enthusiasts. In 2009, General Cigar would discontinue the Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas. Fast forward to 2019, and after a ten year hiatus, General Cigar released another limited run of the Partagas Decadas. The following year in 2020, General announced a new limited edition release of the Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas. While the Decadas 2020 still used a ten-year-old Cameroon wrapper, it would feature a different blend and a different shape. Today we take a closer look at the Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas 2020 edition.
One thing that I found interesting is General releasing a Cameroon wrapped cigar. The month of October saw the company release three different Cameroon wrapped offerings. While General Cigar is a large company, this is still quite unusual. First came news of the 2020 edition of the Warzone, a collaboration done with Espinosa Cigars. Later in the month, the return of the CAO Vision was announced – this time using a Cameroon wrapper. Finally, near the end of the month was the Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas 2020. It’s quite possible the COVID-19 stacked up all of these releases for an October announcement. If there wasn’t a pandemic, I’m not sure this strategy makes sense.
Each Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas 2020 is packaged in a glass tube with a wax seal. However, the cigars used for this assessment were provided by General Cigar Company and did not have the glass tube packaging.
And one final note. Since the release of the Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas 2020, Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG), the parent company of General, has split General into two separate entities: General and Forged Cigar Company. Essentially some of General’s brands were moved into the Forged Cigar Company portfolio. The Partagas brand was one of them.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
As mentioned above, the common denominator with the Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas has been using aged tobaccos which are all at least ten years old and the Decadas 2020 is no exception. The Cameroon wrapper has a minimum of 11 years of age. The San Andres tobacco in the binder and filler is from a 1997/98 crop, and the Dominican Piloto Cubano tobacco in the filler is also 11 years old. Production for the Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas 2020 is handled out of General Cigar Dominican in Santiago, Dominican Republic.
Wrapper: Cameroon (2008-2009)
Binder: San Andres (1997-1998)
Filler: Dominican Piloto Cubano (2009) and San Andres (1997-98)
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: General Cigar Dominicana
The Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas 2020 is offered in one size – a 6 3/4 x 43 Dalia. This is a size that was known as the No. 3 in the original Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas line. As mentioned, each cigar is packaged in an individual tube. There are ten tubes packaged per box. The cigar itself is a limited production release.
The Cameroon wrapper of the Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas 2020 was one on the darker side. It had a roasted coffee look. There was some mottling on the surface of the wrapper. The wrapper also had a light coating of oil on it. This was a wrapper on the bumpy side with some visible veins and thin wrapper seams.
There are two bands on the Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas 2020. The primary band is gray with gold adornments. The center of the band has a frame design to it. Near the top of the frame is the text “FLOR DE TABACOS” in white font. Just below that text are two gold shields. The text “PARTAGAS” is just below that in a larger white font. The center of the band has a large gold “10” surrounded by the text “FLOR” and “FINA” on the left and right respectively in small white font. Below the ten is the text “DECADAS” in small white font, and near the bottom of the frame is the text “1845” in small gold font. The left and right sides of the band feature a medallion with the number 20 on it. The far right of the band has the text of Ramon Cifuentes Sr., one of the legendary cigar makers who owned the Partagas brand.
There is a secondary band resting just below the primary band. This is a gray brand with gold pinstripes near the top and bottom. The center of the band has a portrait of Ramon Cifuentes, Sr. The left and right sides of the band have the text “LIMITED RESERVE” in gold font.
Prior to lighting up the Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas 2020, a straight cut was used to remove the cap. Once the cap was removed it was on to the pre-light draw phase. The cold draw delivered a mix of coffee, citrus, and earth. Overall, this was a satisfactory pre-light draw experience. It was now time to light up the Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas 2020 and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas 2020 opened up with a mix of cocoa, citrus, earth, and white pepper notes. During the first third the cocoa and citrus moved into the forefront. Both notes alternated in intensity with the cocoa notes providing the edge. The combination of cocoa and citrus delivered sweetness early on. The earth and white pepper settled in the background. On the retro-hale was a combination of citrus and red pepper varietal.
Later in the first third, the citrus started to become sourer. As the Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas 2020 moved through the second third, the citrus moved into the forefront. The cocoa moved into the background and joined the earth, citrus, and white pepper. There was a slight baker’s spice note that emerged during the second third too.
By the midway point, the cocoa and earth notes in the background both dissipated and were replaced by a coffee note. At the same time, there was an increase in the pepper spice. Going into the final third, the citrus notes still had the edge. The pepper and coffee notes were close secondary notes with some residual baker’s spice notes remaining. This is how the cigar experience closed for the Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas 2020. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas 2020 performed excellently when it came to the burn. The cigar maintained a straight burn path and straight burn line with minimal touch-ups needed along the way. The resulting ash was on the firm side with a silver-gray color. Meanwhile, the burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
The draw of the Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas 2020 also performed excellently. This is a cigar that had a touch of resistance. If you have read many of my reviews on Cigar Coop, you will know this is a positive in my book.
Strength and Body
The Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas 2020 delivered a medium strength, medium-bodied smoke. There wasn’t much in the way of variance in the strength and body along the way. When comparing both attributes, the body maintained a slight edge over the strength.
On the positive side, the Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas 2020 is one that has excellent construction, and it does offer a decent amount of complexity. It’s a cigar that starts out promising, but once it heads out of the second third, things go downhill. The citrus flavors brought a sourness that was at times unpleasant and threw the balance off the flavor profile. Once the pepper increases, it makes things worse. At $17.99, this is not an inexpensive cigar. While there are some positive points, this isn’t a cigar that performed as I would expect a $17.99 cigar to perform. In the end, this is one I would recommend trying a sample first.
Key Flavors: Cocoa, Citrus, Coffee, Earth, Pepper, Baker’s Spice
Complexity: Medium Plus
Finish: Very Good
Value: Try a Sample
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted