Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Vacation and Cuban Cigars (Ramon Allones)

Just got back from some much needed vacation time in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. This was my first time back to the area in 8 years. Many things were the same and many other things were different the second time around. After the hurricane several years ago that destroyed a lot of the Playa del Carmen, it seems to have been revived and is better than ever. This was the second year of the annual vacation trip my friends and I take each year. Last year we headed to Acapulco, which was an awesome trip. This trip lived up to expectations that were made last year when we announced we all were heading to Playa del Carmen. We ended up staying at the Sandos Playacar Beach Resort and Spa. It was an all-inclusive resort, which was a change from last year's trip where we ate out and bought all of our own drinks. I'm still weighing on the issue of whether all-inclusive is better than going it yourself. All-inclusive is much easier, but the food and liquor are not always what one desires. Luckily our resort had 6 restaurants to choose from, Argentine, Brazilian, Asian, French, Mediterranean, Mexican, and Italian. The food and liquor were all pretty good, not top-notch, but was good never the less; with the Asian restaurant being the best of them all.
As always the town and surrounding areas of Playa del Carmen are beautiful. I might even be courageous enough to say that Playa del Carmen has the most beautiful beaches I have ever visited. I love the fact its far away from the hoopla in Cancun, its a small town with small buildings which equals unobstructed views. But if one wants to get wild, the town provides plenty of venues to have fun. But this trip, we decided for the most part to keep it calm during the night time and just relaxed and drank most of the days. Volleyball, tennis, and snorkeling in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean became our biggest priorities. Cuba libre's, mojito's, Dos Equis Beer, and Margarita's were the drinks of choice during our stay. And I really enjoyed the fact of being able to smoke Cuban cigars.

I haven't smoked cuban cigars in many years, probably not since the early 2000's. Back then, many Cuban cigars were still suffering from construction issues and decreased quality overall. The main construction issue was knots in the tobacco that caused draw problems and uneven burning. During my stay in Playa I got to smoke some Cuban cigars that easily put away those memories from years ago. The cigar that opened my eyes and reminded me of why Cuban cigars are so great was the Special Selection Robusto from Ramon Allones. Me and a friend picked up a few of these bad boys from a shop off of 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen. They cost us about $20 a pop, but we found out that they were well worth it. The closest non-cuban cigar I can compare the Ramon Allones to is the Padron Serie 1964. Both the Padron and the Ramon are boxed pressed robustos, have flawless draws, burn evenly, and taste great. The Ramon Allones cigar brought complex flavors of heavy spice when first lit to a mix of nuttiness, coffee bean, and cocoa throughout most of the length. The spice kick came back at the end, and the tobacco had slight sweetness to it all. The smoke was super smooth and creamy, and was one of the first cigars in a long time that I smoked all the way to the nub. Absolutely fantastic smoke,.......only if I could get a box of them to age in the humidor. While smoking the Ramon Allones and drinking a cold six pack of Dos Equis on the beach with my friend Dustin, we could only sit back and dream of the day when the embargo ends.

Rating: Ramon Allones Special Selection Robusto (4.8x50)= 93-94

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