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

Virtuozity - - Event -

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.

The venue

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.

The cigars

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.

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