The Limited Reserve Decadas from Partagas—the brand’s latest limited-edition release—is actually not a new cigar. The line was originally available from 2005 to 2009 as a limited offering and was resurrected at the 2019 IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas, once again bearing the line’s signature 10-year aged Cameroon wrapper. Exclusive to brick and mortar retailers, the 2020 limited-edition release is a new blend, as well as a new size.
“As with previous releases of Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas, this distinguished offering features Cameroon wrapper leaves from the exceptional 2008-2009 growing season. Only an average of three per thousand leaves from that very crop were hand selected to adorn Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas 2020.”
This year’s version features fillers from the Dominican Republic (Piloto Cubano from 2009) and Mexico (San Andrés from the ’97 to ’98 season). Additionally, the binder is San Andrés harvested in the ’97 to ’98 growing season as well. Combined with the 11-year aged wrapper, the 2020 Decadas boasts among the most vintage recipe in the Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas series to date.
Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas 2020 Breakdown
- Wrapper: Cameroon (2008–2009 vintage)
- Binder: Mexican San Andrés (1997–1998 vintage)
- Filler: Dominican Republic (Piloto Cubano 2009 vintage) | Mexican San Andrés (1997–1998 vintage)
- Factory: General Cigar Dominicana (Dominican Republic)
- Production: Limited Edition (2,500 boxes of 10 cigars)
- Vitola: 6¾″ × 43 “Dalia” (Lonsdale)
- Price: $17.99 (MSRP)
The cigars are packaged in a 10-count box, and the concept is quite elegant. The box itself is wrapped with a cardboard sleeve, sealed with gold wax displaying the Partagas insignia. The packaging is glossy gray with a large graphic of the band on the lid. Inside the box, you find the cigars are separately encased in crystal tubes, with the same gold wax used to seal the cap of each tube.
Examining the cigar up close, we have a very rugged-looking cigar, with a dark brown, oily wrapper showing quite a bit of mottling and some tooth. The seams are mostly invisible, while there are quite a few large, raised veins running throughout the surface of the wrapper. One of the samples I smoked had a pronounced curve to it (more on that later). The cigars are all pretty firm from foot to cap, with no readily apparent soft spots. Aroma from the foot is heavy barnyard, with hints of milk chocolate and white pepper. The pre-light draw shows notes of coffee and white pepper, with a little molasses that sits on the tongue.
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The cigar starts off with some pretty rich baking notes that I was actually expecting from the Cameroon wrapper. Chocolate, cardamom, and toasted walnut are the primary notes on the palate, but they are faint. There is also an unusual sourness on the finish that is actually surprising. The retrohale is clean and smooth, with more of the cardamom and a little bit of white pepper that causes just the slightest tingle in the nostrils. The draw at this point is on the firmer side but workable, requiring multiple puffs and holding the smoke in my mouth for quite a bit to get a read on the flavors. The smoke output is light and wispy, and I need to constantly draw on the cigar to keep it burning.
Moving along, the sourness is increasing in intensity in the form of dry cedar, rivaling the faint baking notes present at the beginning. They are still there and are dominant for the most part, but barely. This brings me to the strength and body. The nicotine strength of this cigar is at the lower end of medium at the most, while the body is very mild. The draw is still somewhat firm, and smoke output remains very light. It is at this point that a relight is needed. While the cigar is burning relatively straight, it does not want to stay lit. Again, sitting the cigar down to jot some notes, it is extinguished before the next puff.
Getting to the end of the cigar, it has transitioned from the sweet baker’s notes to earthy and sour, with some dark stone fruit in the mix as well. This is how the cigar finishes. As mentioned above, burn issues continued to be a factor, with the cigar requiring multiple touchups and relights. My thoughts are that this issue had something to do with the sour, leathery, earthy notes at the finish, getting the cigar heated up a little more that it should have been.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
As good as it started out, it would be hard not to give it another go. I plan to revisit this cigar in a few months. I will definitely take them out of the crystal tubes and age them for a little bit in my main humidor to see if added acclimation with proper humidity helps with the burn issues.
- Partagas Limited Reserve Decadas 2020 was announced on Oct. 30, 2020 and released on Nov. 2, 2020.
- I mentioned at the beginning of the review that I had a sample with a distinct curve to it. Well, when I cut the cap, there was absolutely no draw on this one. I tried lighting it to see if it would loosen up and still nothing. I could barely get enough of a draw to get it lit. After exhausting all other methods, I took out my PerfecDraw tool, which I almost never use on a review cigar. After fighting with the obvious plug, I proceeded to pull a large wad of tobacco out, an inch and a half down from the cap. Finally, I had a similar draw to the other samples I smoked. I am wondering if this stubborn plug contributed to the curve in the cigar itself.
- Flavor: Mild-Plus
- Strength: Medium
- Body: Mild / Medium
- White pepper
- Smoke Time: 1 hour, 27 minutes
- Pairing Recommendation: Sazerac cocktail | Barleywine | Milk stout | Medium-roast coffee
- Purchase Recommendation: Single (you have to try it)
- Uses tobacco that is 23 years old
- Mild-to-medium strength makes it smokeable by most anyone
- Great baker's notes at the beginning
- Burn and draw were rough
- Had an off-putting underlying sourness almost from start to finish
- Dull complexity, if much at all