September 20, 2015

Foundry Ramon Allones 550 (5 x 50)

Video review HERE.

(Portions of description below taken from CigarCoop website)
Three years ago, Michael Giannini and General Cigar Company launched Foundry Tobacco Company, which would essentially become a subsidiary under the General Cigar umbrella. This year marked a big change for Foundry. This year, Giannini and General have taken two iconic lines with Cuban roots and re-imaged them – namely moving and revamping the Bolivar and Ramon Allones under the banner “Foundry Heritage. These lines made their debut at the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show.

General described the re imaging of these lines in a press release:

In homage to the past and a nod to the future, classics are re imagined. With a passport to forbidden tobacco, suddenly the old is new. You’ve expected the unexpected from Michael Giannini and Foundry Tobacco Company. Once again, the visionaries deliver.

Heritage brands are shone in a modern and contemporary light. Here is a futuristic interpretation of how two storied brands could look 10 years from now. The world’s best tobaccos mixed with the forbidden fruit.

But for now, while those leaves remains locked away, the blends tell the story. The best tobaccos from the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Nicaragua and the USA expertly developed in true Foundry style.

Giannini went through all of the archives and banding in terms of designing the new packaging and banding. Giannini confirmed that the existing Bolivar and Ramon Allones lines are being discontinued and the lines are officially moving under the Foundry brand.

Today I am reviewing the Ramon Allones 550, which is the robusto size of the line.

Ramon Allones is a line that traces its origins back to 1837 in Cuba. The new Foundry Ramon Allones is described as three specific Nicaraguan tobaccos (different farms from the the Foundry Bolivar) wrapped with an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.

The Foundry Ramon Allones is available in three sizes: 
550 (5 x 50, SRP $6.49) (REVIEWED TODAY)
652 (6 x 52, SRP $6.99)
660 (6 x 60, SRP $7.49)

The cigar appears to be well made and has a very dark wrapper. The cap is finished with a pigtail:

The foot is unfinished:

I cut the pigtail from the cap and gave it a test draw. I had to take a little more to get a full draw. After light up the initial flavors were very dark; espresso, molasses, blackberry, and black pepper rated at an 8. The early finish is one of dry oak; not much sweetness at all.

1 inch in I had to remove the band. It's a little long! The flavors are changing a little. There are still a lot of dark roasted coffee or espresso, molasses, cocoa, brown sugar, and light blackberry notes. The finish is now a cocoa and cream with a touch of brown sugar. There is some lingering pepper but not a great deal. The cigar is medium bodied but moving toward medium to full.

Close to the midpoint the ash is still intact. There are now faint butter notes. All the previously described flavors are still there and at any given point one or the other will rise above the others. The finish is unchanged. The cigar is now medium to full bodied. Very impressive ash!

With only a couple inches remaining the ash is still intact! Quite impressive. The cocoa and brown sugar notes are moving forward and the molasses notes are moving backward. There are still some butter notes on the cocoa and brown sugar. The blackberry notes are subtle. As in the previous segment, at any given point one flavor or the other is the lead. The black pepper on the finish has greatly improved, which is always good to me.

As you can see, the ash did finally drop at about 3+ inches!

The cigar ended just as it had been previously with the various flavors bouncing around taking the lead. The brown sugar and cocoa notes are the lead flavors, followed by coffee, molasses, and there remained a touch of  butter. The blackberry notes were subtle but still hanging around. The finish is unchanged. The cigar remained medium to full bodied. The cigar had a great construction, as you can see from the ash. Don't mistake this cigar to be anything remotely like a Cuban Ramon Allones. It is much fuller bodied than any Cuban cigar and the flavors are nothing like the Cuban version. Be that as it may I enjoyed this cigar. The flavor notes are very nice for a dark noted cigar. Good price point so give them a try.

Score: 90

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