One of the most venerable brands of hand-rolled Cuban cigars. The others are Montecristo, Romeo Y Julieta, H. Upmann (JFK send a lackey out to buy 2000 Upmanns before announcing the embargo) and Punch. The Partagas No. 2 used to be my favorite cigar, but since moving to Switzerland I've discovered the slightly smaller and lighter Montecristo No. 4, which is now the reigning contender.

After Fidel's revolution most premier cigar makers fled Cuba and set up shop in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica or other Caribbean islands not as cool as Cuba.

Partagas are generally full-bodied, with a light wrapper. The red and gold band is quite distinctive. Quality of the tobacco and the workmanship is consistently good.

There is another cigar marketed under the brand name Partagas, and is actually made in the Dominican Republic. It's a pretty good cigar, but for a robust Cuba-like smoke in the US you probably want a Nicaraguan cigar. Tourists in Habana usually end up dropping by the ancient Partagas factory, which has been operating since 1845.

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