The art of new
We try out the latest Partagas release, the Maduro No. 1, at Tre Restaurant, the latest eatery from famed restaurateur Roberto Rello
After a long summer break, Virtuozity’s events returned with a bang this September. We hosted a strong gathering at Tre Restaurant, at the Radisson Royal hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, to experience two Partagas Robustos, paired with The Dalmore single malts.
Tre Restaurant was created out of a vision from celebrated restaurateur Roberto Rello, the mastermind behind the award-winning Roberto’s in DIFC. Tre is his third restaurant in the UAE, and offers a unique combination of the warmth and style of Italy with spectacular views of Dubai.
Located on the 49th floor of the hotel,
the restaurant makes for a vibrant and social dining destination. And with one of the best wine cellars in the city, it’s little wonder that Dubai’s food fanatics have begun flocking to Tre. But apart from offering stunning food, excellent wine and mesmerising views, Tre is the perfect setting for a gathering such as ours. The colourful yet tasteful décor lends itself well to informal chit-chat and comfortable conversation. What’s more, the relaxing ambiance, with the low lighting that emits blueish hues, puts everyone at ease for a good night.
For the cigars, we opted first for the famous Partagas Serie D No. 4, which is well known as high-quality Robusto. It’s the best-selling Cuban cigar—if not bestselling cigar—in a number of European countries. The fanfare isn’t without merit; this is a fantastic cigar, and it deserves all of the praise that it receives. The maduro wrapper is oily and smooth, without a blemish on it, and its stocky proportions make each example a joy to look at.
From the off, the draw is smooth and easy, producing nice plumes of smoke with a woody cinnamon flavour to them. It’s not quite as strong as you’d expect from a Partagás, but it’s all the better for it; this cigar is easy to digest and a pleasure to smoke. By the second third, the No. 4 offers up notes of green pepper, along with a sort of saltiness that’s hard to place. Either way, it tastes extremely good, so it’s no issue just sitting back enjoying the smoke.
By the final third, the smoke becomes much more complex—not to mention stronger—with floral, wooden and leathery notes all coming into the fray. It may phase any inexperienced smokers, but the seasoned cigar-lover will revel in the balance. Unfortunately, the cigar quiets down toward the end, leaving a flat finish to what is otherwise a pretty much flawless experience.
For our second cigar, we opted for the latest Partagas release, the Maduro No. 1. The 52-ring gauge stick is a limited release and exclusive to La Casa del Habano and Habanos Specialist retailers. And given that
it was only launched in August, it was a great cigar with which to ring in the new season of our events.
As the name suggests, the Maduro No. 1 features a dark Maduro wrapper, which features some veins. However, the texture is relatively smooth, and it’s nice and oily. It appears strongly constructed, and a pre-draw reveals a nice, easy draw. On the nose you get hints of cocoa and grass.
Light up and it’s clear that the construction really is as good as it seems. The draw is easy and smooth, and the burn is totally even. That said, the ash doesn’t stay firm and tower above the burn for anything more than an inch—instead it crumbles as and when it wants to. In terms of flavour, it’s a medium-bodied cigar, with hints of pepper, coffee, cedar and cocoa. The coffee and cedar make up the base notes, while the cocoa and pepper come and go in alternate puffs.
In the second third, the strength intensifies, but you still couldn’t characterise the Maduro No.1 as a full-bodied cigar. The peppery notes become more prominent, as does the coffee – while the cocoa and cedar slide towards the back of your mind. It’s actually a nice change from the previous third, as the peppery notes give you an exciting kick on the palate.
In the final third, things balance out a little more, with the pepper dying down and the cocoa coming back to the fray. It’s actually incredibly smooth, and you’re able to pick out each individual note. What’s more, the strength doesn’t intensify, so you’re able to simply relax and enjoy the wonderful flavours coming through right until the end.