Help with Partagas Black Label - damp basement taste

Apr 2018
Hi there,

I am a newbie to this forum.

I am stumped by my experience with Partagas Black Label.
I bought some a year ago from the Duty Free Shop at Hong Kong International Airport, and found I really liked them. The ones I had burned well and the taste and aromas are so strong and deep. The wrapper looked really oily and black.
In short, they were my instant favourites.

I have tried other maduros and dark cigars, but nothing compared to the Partagas.

So I was so happy when I found them at an online outlet (probably the biggest online outlet there is). I bought some from the online retailer, but to my extreme disappointment, I found that while the cigars looked the same as the ones I got from Duty Free, it tasted and burned horribly. I would describe the taste and smell as salty, sea water, damp basement type of taste and smell. And the cigar burned badly as well, canoeing and burning only the centre, leaving the wrapper in tact.

I thought may be I didn't keep it in the humidor long enough, so I left them in there for a few months. I recently just smoked another one from the online retailer. While it burned better this time, the musty, damp basement taste was still there, but not as strong as I remembered (may be I was expecting it, so it wasn't such a shock to my system as the first time).

Has anyone here had similar experience with this particular cigar or other cigars?

The saddest part is I just went through the Airport in Hong Kong last week, and they have a new company doing the duty free outlets, and the cigar selection has been reduced to almost nothing - no more Partagas there...

I am really suck because I really love Black Label, but want to make sure future ones I get will not have the damp basement taste.