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in some ways, i don't want to post this. 1 good experience, then 1 not so good. here goes anyway.
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H.Upmann - Singulares
purchased from my hotels humidor in the restaurant over a week ago.

figured i'd try a quick before dinner smoke (empty stomach and all). i'm sure this isn't way up the charts on your "must have" or "wish lists", but i figured i'd give it a whirl.
do ALL H.Upmanns smell like this? i just had a #2 a few days ago, and that was easily the best aroma for a cigar i've been around. this one is close.

okay, on to the taste, as that's what matter most.
earthy. hints of the cuban coffee grounds on the finish. y'know it could easily be my inexperienced palatte, but the majority of them have a coffee grounds finish for me..

burnin' rather quickly, but still good flavor. already getting that smooth flavor that seems to coat the back of my throat, i seem to get it in most cubans on the last half, but this one is only an inch into it.

when it burns, the ash is bending in a different direction. but, as long as it falls off where it needs to, i'm cool. seems like it'll be a nice, quick, mild, semi-satisfying smoke. something you'd give to your buddies who want to mooch a cuban. not exactly the smoothest smoke you'll have in your lifetime. a little harsh earthy puffs just now.

damn, went out on me. but started back up with a nutty flavor, almost a chocolaty note... and now they're gone. maybe it was from that damn b. spears video they're showing over here where she's on a plane, then on the back of that ducati 999.. yummy... brittany too, especially in that semi-see through glitter suit, would love to ride both. i have more of a chance with the ducati, both are twin cylinders, big pistons, nice hard seats, undertail exhaust, dual headlights, air cooled....

cigar is going strong, hard ash! no wait.. the cigar is fine... really wish i had the baskin robins palette that most of you have (31 flavors). mine have been peppery, spicy, earthy, coffee, nutty, chocolaty... no loam, moss, corn fields after a fresh rain, toilet bowl after scrubbing, or maggie thatchers well used salad fork. i'll get there one day, be patient with me.

this cheap little guy is holding his own, he's holding up his end of the bargain.

finished itself with more of a straight forward tobacco/earthy taste.
not bad at all...

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excellent dinner at an italian place down the road. homemade salad dressing, nice fresh green lettuce (i don't like the hard spine part - i'm a picky eater). had housemade tortellini with riccota and spinach, covered in a nice mild red sauce i've never had before. the pasta was about the length of a hotwheels car, big! drinking a plain ol' coke (out of coke lite at the time). followed that all up with a nice cappucino with amaretto.

now i'll tell you about the BAD part of the evening.
the AMERICAN ANTI-SMOKING NAZI that was up the stairs in another section... she works with our public affairs section, and was there the last time i was, so before i even lit up, before my meal, she came down and said, "you're not gonna light up your cigar yet, are you?" being the nice guy i am, i even went up there and warned them WHEN i was about to light up. she asked if i could open a window (but the owner said the windows don't open there).

now, it's a good 25 feet to where she's sitting, and this thing wasn't putting out much smoke at all... but, i paid and left after about 1/4" had gone by. the entire time, talking to the owner about how some americans are so "anti-smoking" that they've about made smoking in your own house illegal. she said she'd heard about that, and she's a chain smoking son of a b.., uh, y'know what i'm sayin.

over here, i have sat next to non-smoking europeans, WHILE they were still eating, and lit up a nice cigar. not a PEEP out of them. of course, they'll do the same and not expect a PEEP either. makes me wonder if that american anti-smoking nazi would have said anything to a local? doesn't matter, i'm back in my room now. (NO OFFENSE TO ANY OF THE FINE GERMANS WE HAVE HERE with my explaination of that person)

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RG Pantelas Extra

ultra hard draw, harsh flavors, poor burn and tunneling, went out once so far. aroma isn't bad...

okay, it's starting to get a tad bit better. just plain ol' earthy flavors in this one.

went out again, but flavors have gotten 10x better, not nearly as harsh. failed to mention the wrapper coming apart right now.

you may be saying, "but, IHT, why the fluck are you smoking those cheapy little cigars when you can have any number of top quality cubans?"
i'm trying to find which of the "cheaper" smokes, some machine bunched, taste the best to me, that way i can grab a box or two on my next trip and boost my # of cubans, which STILL taste better than any non-cuban currently residing in my humidor.

also, if i feel the need to smoke a cuban but don't have time, or i might have to put it out to do something at home, i won't feel too bad.. don't know if you guys/gals are like that. i guess it would be considered your "lawn mowing" smoke.

hold on, gotta re-lite it yet again. it almost wouldn't.
one thing this cigar is reminding me i love so much about cubans, they don't taste like dog feces when you re-light them. they go right back to their great flavor, even this troublesome stick.

i know i've made this sound like a terrible experience, but it wasn't that bad. i'm still here with an RG in my mouth, and i had a terrific dinner. i managed to sneak in 2 cigars tonight. the last time i smoked 2 cigars that close together was 4th of july when i used some very long non-cubans to light fireworks (and i'd never had a cuban at that point - wouldn't have used one for that purpose either).

wow, "the killing fields" is on german tv, excellent movie, although i won't be able to understand it. i watched the deer hunter last week like this.

alright, signing off. don't let my not so great experience tonight with this RG disuade you from trying one. most likely my fault for not letting this sucker relax a day or three more from when i bought it (yesterday - also nabbed a partagas 898 varn, fonseca cosacos, boli belvedere). still better flavors than "you know whats". soon i will stop comparing them to "you know whats", i promise.
 

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DymOnamic
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Had a RG Pantelas Extra last August and was pleasantly surprised by how well rounded an inexpensive cigar can be. It was a few years old, gifted by a LLG who had it stored in excellent conditions. Unlike your experience it drew and burned perfect. I got lucky I guess. My review is somewhere in this thread back round last summer.

I wish b. spears would stop calling me for between husbands sex.

Sh*t I just spent a bundle on some fancy Padrons and I think them RGs have just the right amount of edge and balance to outshine them for about 1/2 the cost. Oh well.
 

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Great reviews!

Many folks love the RG panatella extras. I think these folks are just out to find a cheap cigar and must have a cuban... so they tell themselves that they are good. :D Don't get me wrong though. The are decent and better than many medium/low priced domestics. I used to be out on a quest to find a good machine made, but I don't bother anymore. Most of them are either too mild or too harsh. The strong ones will smooth out with age, but I'm not wasting my money on an aged MM when I can buy a box of handmades for not much more. I'd rather not smoke at all or smoke one of my pipes instead of smoking a cheap machine made. IMO, the Pantella extra is mild and tends to turn bitter quickly after the 1/2 way point... as do most machine mades.
 
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