Shorts Cigars: Great Pleasures for Brief Moments.


18/12/2011
By Fernando Fdez Milian

Every civilization has a need for luxuries. That’s why the Cuban cigar is part of the luxury industry at times when its supremacy becomes evident. And even though people relate this product to the big cigars, few can imagine that we can take the same pleasure provided by a Churchill, or a Double Corona, from a Minut, a Perla, or a Petit Robusto.

Short Cuban cigars have made their way up amidst so many anti-smoking campaigns, reducing smoking spaces and the little time left to enjoy them.

For such reasons, the short Cuban cigar makes up a new phase of consumption, where the image of the bar and its guardian, the barman, rise to higher levels when it comes to enjoy the “charismatic” cigars.

In recent years, Habanos S.A. has developed a whole line of cigars that are small in length but with a quite big ring gauge.

Which are those blends and what are their characteristics? Chubby and squat, they are singular cigars that beef up and diversify Habanos S.A.’s highly competitive portfolio. Among them we find, for instance:

- Bolívar Petit Belicosos. 2009 Limited Edition
- Partagás Series D No.5. 2008 Limited Edition
- Montecristo Petit Edmundo
- Trinidad Short Robusto T. 2010 Limited Edition
- Hoyo de Monterrey Petit Robusto
- Cohíba Secretos. Line Maduro 5
- Cuaba Divinos
- San Cristóbal de La Habana Príncipe.

The first five have 50 or 52 ring. Of the last three, Cuaba Divinos is a double figurado - notable feature-; while San Cristobal’s Secreto and Minuto’s ring gauge are 40 and 42, respectively.

These cigars are usually 110 mm in length or shorter, offering a less than 25-minute smoke.

They are some of the best cigars of those created for a short smoke and casual moments, in a time when consumption patterns are dictated by the rhythm of life and the season of the year.

Among their main features is the fact of being thick and short; the thicker the cigar is, the bigger is the volume of smoke for every puff, smell molecules are less burned by combustion, and therefore, the cigar is enjoyed in all its splendor, favoring the aroma.

Perlas, Minutos, Franciscanos and Petit Coronas, being highly in tune with this concept, can be included in this group either to connect them or to pair them with the best-known Cuban and international cocktails.

Complementing these emblematic cigars with famous cocktails can take us into the wonderful world in which Cuban cigars enhances the prestige of the bond with those drinks, some aromatic, others intense; yet all of them easily to drink and full of charm.

Out of the most legendary liqueurs most frequently found in bars, we can’t fail to suggest accompanying the smoke with a shot of a Grand Marnier, Drambuie, Tia Maria, Kahlua, Southern Comfort, Benedictine, Chartreuse green, Amaretto, or Frangelico,  just to mention a few.

Recommended matches for them could be Half Corona of H. Upmann, Julieta of Romeo y Julieta, Reyes de Trinidad, Montecristo Open Junior or Ramon Allones Small Club, whose taste and qualities, despite not being among the best of the short ones, are not to be overlooked.

These cigars can capture us either when passing by a bar, as a dinner or lunch starter, or for an after-meal talk, accompanied by a drink, and always chasing the pleasure in these novel cigars whose delightful smoke surpasses time limitations.

And if it comes to pairing short Cuban cigars with cocktails, we’ll take the initiative of putting out some suggestions:

BOLIVAR PETIT BELICOSOS

This figurado boasts a beautiful, dark, silky wrapper, a little bit smooth at the beginning, with a true woody flavor. It fits right in the mouth, and becomes stronger as it draws with earthy finish and displays of chocolate and roast. Very nice flavor at the end.

Cocktail recommendations:
Manhattan Dry (Blended Scotch Whisky, Dry Vermouth, Martini glass)
Havana Libre. (7 Years aged rum, Golden aged rum, passion fruit, lime, 8 oz glass)
For the after-meal talk it is recommended Old Fashioned (Bourbon Whisky, Angostura, sugar and orange skin in an Old Fashion glass)

PARTAGAS SERIES D NO.5

This Petit Robusto of a dark, shiny and very homogenous wrapper starts impetuous, straight with dark tobacco aromas, and a prevalence of woody and dark-roasted notes. As it burns, the smoke becomes wider in the mouth, with a bitter taste in the long aftertaste. Powerful, full-bodied, homogeneous; it is a great little cigar.

Cocktail recommendations:
Cubanito. (3 Years Aged Rum, tomato juice, English sauce, lime, salt, Tabasco, 8oz glass)
Black Russian. (Vodka, Tia Maria, Old fashion glass)
For the after-meal talk we recommend Rusty Nail (Blended Scotch whisky, Drambuie, lime skin in an Old fashion glass)

MONTECRISTO PETIT EDMUNDO

It is a very nicely-made cigar with a sticky, shiny Maduro wrapper. Delightful to the eye, reveals smooth in the mouth, aromatic, with tannery, spicy notes. As it draws, a dark-roasted flavor emerges, giving way to an elegant finish with a long bitter flavor. A dream cigar.

Cocktail recommendations:
Cubabella (7 Years rum, 3 Years rum, Mint Liqueur, passion fruit, lime, sugar, 8oz glass).
Sangrita with aged tequila, consisting on 45 ml of Sangrita and 45ml of aged Tequila. The Sangrita (lime juice, tomato juice, orange juice, English sauce, Tabasco, salt, pepper)
For the after-meal talk we recommend Godfather which contains blended Scotch whisky and Amaretto, served in an Old fashion glass.

CUABA DIVINOS

Though being the smallest of double figurados, it is not less interesting. Intense tobacco, dry and woody flavor, evident roasted notes resembling hazelnuts, sugary finish with quite smoky notes. A very different cigar. An authentic jewel.

Cocktail recommendations:
Tequitini. It’s a variety of Martini (White Tequila, Dry Vermouth, Martini cup).
Presidente. (3 Years Rum, Red Vermouth, orange skin, cocktail glass)
For the after-meal talk we recommend Godchild which contains Vodka and Amaretto in an Old Fashion glass.

TRINIDAD SHORT ROBUSTO

It is one of the small ones which has had the biggest impact on me. It is a pleasant surprise of a brand brimming with surprises. It has a beautiful sticky wrapper, a nicely-tight costume. It’s an intense cigar, with a very nice dark tobacco flavor, featuring notes of dried fruits, with almond and hazelnut going hand-in-hand. It is rich to the mouth, full bodied, with an evident dark chocolate flavor; delicious and unforgettable.  

Cocktail recommendations:
Havana Special. (3 Years Rum, Marrasquino, pineapple juice, cocktail glass)
Bloody Mary (Vodka, tomato juice, English sauce, lime, salt and pepper)
For the after-meal talk we recommend Sidecar (Brandy, Cointreau, lime juice, lime skin)

COHIBA MADURO 5 LINE SECRETOS

A Cohiba line created in 2007. It is the smallest one of its three members. This petite corona is intensely enjoyed. Due to its matured wrapper, it releases aromas with cedar notes, dark tobacco, fine pepper, earthy-like notes, and smoky touches in its flavor. It’s very nice and long lasting. A small one for connoisseurs.

Cocktail recommendations:
Whisky Sour. (Blended Scotch whisky, sugar and lime, cocktail glass), and
Mulata. (7 Years aged rum, Cacao Liqueur, lime, cocktail glass)
For the after-meal talk we recommend to smoke this cigar with Brandy Alexander, containing Brandy, Cacao Liqueur and Milk Cream in a Martini glass.

HOYO DE MONTERREY PETIT ROBUSTO

The first Petit Robusto to enter into the market. Light and milky wrapper, delicate aroma, with a prevalence of notes of caramel, milk and chocolate, and light but constant woody-like, dark tobacco flavor with very elegant bitter flavor. Delightful finish. Irreplaceable for the beginning of a meeting.

Cocktail recommendations:
Classic Mojito. (3 Years aged rum, Angostura, lime and mint, 6 oz glass.)
Extra Dry Martini. (Gin, Dry Vermouth, an olive, Martini cup)
For the after-meal talk we recommend a Typical Martini containing Golden aged rum, Triple sec, in Cognac cup.

SAN CRISTOBAL DE LA HABANA PRINCIPE

It’s one of the four minutes of Habanos S.A.’s portfolio. It came out with the brand in 1999, at the beginning of the 21st century. Remarkable aromas of dark tobacco, with smooth notes of white pepper. Of rather sweet pre-taste , it’s a light cigar, with a long aftertaste. A curious strength ready to defend its aroma and flavor.

Cocktail recommendations:
Kamikaze. (Vodka, Triple sec, lime juice, Martini cup), or
Ron Collins. (3 Years aged rum, sugar, lime)
For the after-meal talk we recommend the Rum Alexandra, prepared with 7 Years aged rum, Coffee liqueur, Milk Cream and coffee grains.