The 10th Annual “Cigars for Troops” drive is underway. This is a great opportunity to give back to those who protect our freedoms and earn the coveted "Troop Supporter" badge at the same time. You can find information here: http://www.cigargeeks.com/community/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=5087... A special thanks goes out to Nathan (nwb) for running the drive again.
October Points Contest is Under Way!
The points contest is under way for the month of October. The 26 members with the most points for the month have a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to Famous Smoke Shop. You can read the details HERE. To view the previous month's contest results see here.
This is a nice, box pressed cigar with a natural Habano wrapper which has a nice dark tan color about it. The wrapper was uniform in color and had small veining, without any large veins or blemishes in the wrapper whatsoever. The appearance of the cigar is amazing and the box press was flawless and very defined.
In the hand the cigar is firm with a uniform fill and roll about it, there are absolutely zero soft spots or bulges in the cigar, very streamlined and straight. There was a small nick in the wrapper by the foot which I think happened when I pulled the aged cellophane from the cigar. Other than that, the cigar has no blemishes, rips or cracks in the wrapper. The concern I do have is that the cap and wrapper seem loose, as if there was not enough glue applied during construction. I am concerned that this will cause burn issues while smoking, or worse, result in unraveling. Considering how perfect this cigar looks, this flaw in the construction is disappointing.
I decided to punch cut this cigar for fear that using a v-cut or traditional straight cut would result in damage to the loose cap. I used my new triple flame torch from Newport Zero with this cigar, which has a convenient cigar punch integrated into the bottom of the lighter. The punch cut was achieved without issue and the cap held together – this cigar appears to have a traditional triple cap, just a loose application on the bottom layer.
Lighting the cigar was done with my triple flame torch without issue, the cigar started with a little of an uneven burn which quickly corrected itself without having to touch it up with the torch – so far so good – the burn remained fairly straight through most of the cigar until the final third when it began to canoe ever so slightly, by this point there was little point in attempting to correct the issue as I was already within an inch and a half of the end of the cigar.
To my complete surprise and delight, the cigar did not develop any construction issues while smoking, even the cap remained intact despite the loose fitting. I was almost sure this cigar would develop an issue, but not only did it not unravel but there were no developments of cracks or splits in the wrapper either.
The ash of this cigar was fairly loose looking, with a salt and pepper appearance and the cigar ashed about every ½ to ¾ inch. This was surprising to me as the cigar felt very full and compact, I would have expected to get good ash hold in this cigar. The draw on the cigar was easy and not obstructed, it wasn’t full open but not closed either, it was a flawless draw, perfect in my opinion.
Overall the presentation of this cigar was very nice, despite the one blemish in the wrapper and the obvious looseness of the cap and limited glue application. With only one major burn issue towards the end of the cigar I am thankful as this could have turned into a disaster a lot sooner. A little more attention to these issues would have been appreciated, however overall this is a very good-looking cigar.
Total Appearance and Construction: 20/25
The pre-light aroma of the cigar provides notes of wood and hints of nuts mixed with an herbal undertone with hints of sweetness. Smelling the foot of the cigar provides a more intense herbal aroma with pronounced notes of wood and sweetness.
Upon lighting the cigar, I am greeted with an odd mix of a dark molasses, earthy tobacco, a faint citrus undertone and spiced tea. This crazy combination of flavors actually mixed well together and oddly worked. These flavors lasted about halfway through the first third before the molasses and citrus started to fade away and pepper and wood entered the flavor profile, mixed with the spiced tea. As I neared the end of the first third the pepper started becoming more pronounced and moved to the dominating flavor.
Moving into the second third the pepper has become dominate and the wood and spiced tea are present in the background. Retrohale leaves a strong tingle of pepper in the nose and there is a long lingering of pepper on the lips and tongue. Halfway through the second third there is a creamy leather which has entered, but also in the background with the spiced tea and wood notes. The second third of this cigar is a definite pepper bomb. Moving into the end of the second third the pepper is actually mellowing out and allowing the wood, leather and notes of tea to come forward in the profile.
Moving into the final third of the cigar the pepper no longer predominant and the tingle of the pepper is gone from the lips and tongue. Wood and leather have moved into the foreground becoming dominate with the spiced tea as an undertone. The wood and leather together create a very creamy taste. As I near the end of the cigar the spiced tea is coming forward to mix with the wood and leather for a very pleasing mix of flavors with a mellow bit of pepper in the background.
The flavor of this cigar started with a “what in the world” mix of flavors, which oddly worked together and wasn’t an immediate turn off. The flavors were pretty balanced up until the halfway point of the cigar when pepper seriously dominated and pretty much washed out the other flavors – literally, pepper bomb is a true description of the second third of this cigar. The transitions of flavors however were very balanced and not sudden, there was smooth as flavors changed. I really enjoyed the spiced tea flavors which while present from the beginning became more pronounced at the end. It was reminiscent of a chai tea, which to me balanced really well with the wood and leather notes. This was a complex cigar as far as flavors go, however the transitions were pretty balanced and with the exception of feeling like I was smoking a pepper mill in the middle of the cigar, the flavors were well balanced.
Total Flavor: 20/25
The smoke produced from this cigar was thick and creamy and produced a very woody aroma with a mix of leather and tobacco smells, which I found quite pleasing. The smoke lingered in the air, and felt smooth and creamy on the exhale.
The balance of the cigar was pretty good, starting as a medium body the cigar was at a medium-full body by the halfway point. There was a definite build up in the strength of the cigar, not a sudden change from one level to the next. Moving into the final third I personally thought the cigar gradually moved back to a medium profile for the finish, which worked will with the flavor profile of the final third.
The draw on the cigar was spot on, easy to smoke and never plugged. The cigar maintained its full feel and the burn remained pretty spot on until the end. Overall this cigar performed the way you would want a cigar to smoke.
Total Smoking Characteristics: 25/25
This is a very nice cigar which provides a pleasurable smoking experience. If you are a fan of very peppery cigars then this cigar will definitely be in your wheelhouse, for me personally the pepper bomb half way through the cigar was almost over powering. I was pleased that the pepper mellowed out near the end of the second third and I was very pleased with the ending flavor of this cigar. Even more impressive for me however was that the cigar held together all the way to the end. I was sure that this cigar was going to have construction problems due to the lack of glue application, so being able to finish this cigar was both a surprise and a delight. It would have been nice if these issues weren’t present to begin with however.
Total Overall Impression: 22/25
I would classify this as a second shelf cigar, this isn’t a world class cigar you want to save for a special occasion, but it isn’t exactly an everyday smoke you would want to waste on mowing the grass either. This is a cigar that is best enjoyed after a good dinner, as the power of the cigar does ramp up pretty high and the nicotine hit it provides in conjunction with the intense flavor could be a little much for a middle of the day cigar or a smoke on an empty stomach. Overall, this is a nice cigar to have in the humidor and one that deserves a place in any smoker’s lineup, even if its not on regular rotation. The Ortega Serie D Habano receives a B+ rating with an overall score of 87/100
This is a sexy cigar – the barber pole presentation of the Maduro and Corojo wrappers is flawless – very uniform roll, with even width on the wrapper stripes, just beautiful. The Corojo and Maduro wrappers are both oily, blemish free and very uniform in color – there are very small veins and the transition between each wrapper leaf is nearly invisible, as if the wrapper was a single piece and not a combination of two separate leaves. Just an impeccable presentation and a beautiful cigar.
The cigar was firm, there were no soft spots or bulges in the body of the cigar and it felt uniform in firmness from the foot to the head. The construction of this cigar is nearly perfect – the cigar smoked for this review had some flaws in the wrapper at the head, removing the foot band revealed that the foot was a little ragged and there were a couple of cracks in our wrapper.
I decided to v-cut this cigar, which was easily achieved and looking at the cut I could see the Corojo and Maduro wrapper went all the way to the cap – this cigar appears to have a traditional triple cap, and cutting the cigar did not cause any damage to the head.
Lighting the cigar is quickly achieved using my triple flame torch, and the burn begins a little uneven because of the ragged edges of the foot. This uneven burn had corrected itself by about a half inch into the cigar and maintained a fairly even, although a little wavy burn line throughout the rest of the smoking experience. It is important to note that many barber pole designed cigars have burn issues, however the A-10 never canoed or angled in the burn, which is impressive.
The cigar maintained its pre-light construction throughout the smoking session, despite the few cracks in the wrapper, there was no issues with unravelling or compromised burn. No additional cracks or splits occurred during the smoking of this cigar either, which was a pleasant surprise. The ash of this cigar has an outside coloration of a medium gray with dark gray, likely due to the combination wrapper – the internal ash is a fairly uniform medium gray color. The ash itself is tight and does not fray out from the cigar as smoking. The first ashing occurred at about 1.5 inches, the second ashing around the halfway point of the cigar, a third ashing about an inch after and the cigar was laid to rest with a good 1.5 inches of ash still attached to the cigar.
Overall the presentation of this cigar is just beautiful, and I tip my hat to the rollers that achieved a barber pole cigar without the common barber pole issues that many other brands have shown. I was a little disappointed in the construction issues of this cigar, especially considering this is an anniversary issue cigar, which to me means that every cigar that makes it to a box had better meet the strictest quality control standards – I can understand small cracks in a cigar wrapper as this is likely due to transport issues with changing humidity, but to have obvious wrapper imperfections at the head and a ragged foot is poor quality control and should have been culled to a seconds bin.
Total Appearance and Construction: 20/25
The pre-light aroma of the cigar provides notes of cedar and spice mixed with a peppery undertone and hints of sweet tobacco. Smelling the foot of the cigar provides aromas of a more intense baking spice with notes of coffee, cedar and sweetness.
Upon lighting the cigar, I am greeted with a mix of pepper, tobacco, cedar wood and an undertone of leather in the background. The flavor profile has started very mild, and the pepper while in the forefront is not overpowering. By the halfway point of the first third the tobacco flavor has faded to give way to baking spices, and cedar with a remaining undertone of leather. The flavor profile and body of the cigar has ramped up to medium profile, which is nice. On a retrohale there are more pronounced notes of baking spice and cedar in the nose.
Moving into the second third the pepper has returned to the profile, mixed with cedar and a more pronounced leather, with baking spices moving to the background and joined with hints of coffee and sweetness. By the halfway point of the cigar the flavor profile is that of woody, a little earthy with hints of pepper and the coffee and sweetness moving forward to become more noticeable. The profile of the cigar in both flavor and body id now a medium-full. Rounding out the second third cedar wood and earthy flavors are predominant with still subtle notes of espresso and sweetness in the background. On a retrohale there are definite notes of backing spices and sweet tobacco left in the nose, with a subtle note of cedar. Moving into the final third of the cigar the pepper is coming back to the profile, with earth and cedar wood. Espresso and sweet spices linger in the background. The pepper is gaining in strength as I make my way closer to the end of the cigar, with the espresso and baking spices fading away leaving only predominant pepper with cedar and earthy tones – pepper now lingers on the tongue and lips and tickles the nose. Finishing the cigar pepper is the predominant flavor with earthy and woody notes in the background.
The flavor of this cigar was complex yet balanced, there was no point in smoking where a flavor seemed like it didn’t belong – flavor transition was gradual and smooth, no sudden changes from one to the next. I was very pleased with the subtleness of the pepper in this cigar until the very end where it became the dominant flavor, almost as to leave that lasting impression, a bold farewell. The earthy and woody flavors from the Corojo mixed beautifully with the subtle sweetness and coffee – just a well-balanced profile. For me, I think the flavor and body of the cigar reached a maximum medium-full, despite being advertised as a full-bodied cigar, however I think it worked well and if I could change anything about the flavor of the cigar would be to have some more depth on the baking spices and coffee, but overall this was a great smoke and well balanced. I am anxious to see how the toro size compares to this gordo.
Total Flavor: 25/25
I don’t generally smoke the large ring cigars; however, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this gordo sized cigar didn’t feel overwhelming. I think that going with a v-notch cut contributed to this as with the v-notch the draw was perfect, not too easy nor too tight. The cigar lit fairly easy, albeit with a few more passes around with the torch than my usual robusto vitola. Once lit the cigar never needed touching up or a relight. The smoke flowed from this cigar at a very good rate, the burn was slow and deliberate, with a final smoking time of about an hour and thirty minutes.
The smoke produced from this cigar was thick, and lingered well in the air, with earthy, wheat like aromas, mixed with cedar wood and straight tobacco smells. A pleasing aroma that is reminiscent or an old barn in the dead of summer. The smoke has a creamy feeling on the exhale, flowing slow and deliberate across the lips and through the nose, hanging in the air before dissipating.
As stated the balance of the cigar was well crafted, without harsh or sudden changes in either flavor or body of the smoke. While the flavor profile did start fairly mild it quickly bumped up to a medium profile and gradually made its way to medium-full.
Total Smoking Characteristics: 24/25
This is a beautiful cigar that provides a smoking experience that is both pleasing and memorable. There was nothing disappointing about this cigar in way of flavor – my only complaint about this cigar was the obvious manufacturing defects that made it past quality control, however based on the merits of the cigar, its flavor, how it smoked and the overall smoking experience, this was hands down an amazing cigar that is worthy of being an anniversary blend for such an iconic line of cigars.
Total Overall Impression: 23/25
I would classify this cigar as a top shelf smoke, this is a cigar you want in your humidor for those times when you want to sit back and relax with a nice drink and be able to pay proper attention to the flavors of the cigar you are smoking. I enjoyed this cigar so much that I put through an order before writing up this review so I can get more in the humidor. This cigar is a pleasure to smoke, a pleasure to be around when smoked and gets our recommendation for being added to anyone’s lineup. When its all said and done, the Rocky Patel Edge A-10 has earned an A rating with an overall score of 92/100
This is a well-constructed cigar that shows attention to detail in every way. The Corojo wrapper is expertly rolled around the long filler tobacco, with hard to see seam lines and perfect fill. The cigar features a traditional triple cap, and when rolled in the fingers it is full from head to foot. There are no bulges or soft spots in this cigar, giving the cigar a perfect, well rolled feeling.
The wrapper is perfect in every way, small veining, without blemishes or color variations. The wrapper is dark, leathery and a bit oily. A beautiful cigar even in such a small vitola. There were no rips or cracks in the wrapper of the cigar, however upon removal of the band revealed an area where the wrapper appeared to have folded over on itself during rolling – an oversight that shouldn’t have made it past inspection in our opinion. Despite the wrapper issue, the presentation of this cigar is flawless.
I decided to v-cut this cigar, which in hindsight was a poor decision on my part considering the gauge of the cigar. Cutting with a v-cutter was accomplished, but with a little difficulty – despite the difficulty of cutting through the thick triple cap of this small cigar the head remained intact without damage, which was honestly a surprise.
Lighting of the cigar is quick and effortless using my triple flame torch, and the burn begins quite straight and uniform. The cigar maintained its pre-light construction characteristics without splitting, cracking or unraveling through most of the smoking experience. In the final third of the cigar the blemish in the wrapper caused a slight uneven burn, but despite this problem the construction of the cigar remained perfect.
The ash of this cigar was a medium gray color and very tight – I think that had this been a larger vitola the ash would have stayed on the cigar far longer than it did in this corona size. The first ashing occurred at about an inch into the cigar, maintaining a tight construction throughout the smoking experience. Second ashing occurred around the half way point, and the final ashing did not occur until I put the cigar down with only about half an inch remaining.
Overall the construction of this cigar and its appearance was beautiful, the fill of the cigar was uniform and perfect, never developing and soft spots during smoking. As a testament to how well the cigar is constructed, the total smoking time of this cigar came in at about 50 minutes, which for a corona sized stick exceeded my expectation.
Total Appearance and Construction: 20/25
The pre-light aroma of the cigar is amazing – notes of cocoa and sweet tobacco with hints of coffee and baking spices tease the nose, with an underlying note of wood, with cocoa being the dominant aroma. Cutting the cigar and taking a pre-light draw provides strong flavors of tobacco and an almost herbal taste with undertones of pepper.
Upon lighting the cigar, I am greeted with a mix of spice and herbal notes, with sweet tobacco all very creamy and balanced well together. Moving through the first third the beginning notes of sweet tobacco and herbal fade and give way to a predominant peppery spice mixed with notes of wood. The spice lingers on the lips and in the nose, but is not overpowering. The flavors are pronounced and medium in body, all making sure that they are known without smacking me in the face. The body of the cigar is medium in the beginning and remains this way through the first inch of the cigar.
Moving into the second third the spiciness moves to the background, making way for a more pronounced wood and leather taste with the peppery spice lingering on the finish. The body of the cigar is increasing to a medium-full. At about the halfway point of the cigar the peppery spice starts to give way to an underlying sweetness, which is mingling with the wood and leather and creating for a very relaxing, intriguing flavor profile.
Moving into the final third of the cigar we finally see flavors of cocoa that emerge, and for the beginning of the final third cocoa and hints of cream are in the forefront with notes of leather and wood lingering in the background. The cocoa and cream don’t stay long, almost like a sweet reward for smoking the cigar, as they slowly fade to the background and the wood and leather again emerges to the front. Halfway through the final third and nearing the end of the cigar pepper makes a strong come back, like a final salute and is long on the finish leaving the lips and nose tingling well after putting the nub down.
The flavor of this cigar was so balanced and while changing it did so slowly, introducing the new flavors in the background as they steadily made their way to the front, and faded back again to make way for the next. I wish there would have been more of the cocoa and cream that I experienced at the end of this cigar, as it balanced to well with the undertone of wood and leather. I am anxious to try a larger vitola in hopes of experiencing a longer presence of this profile.
Total Flavor: 23/25
This cigar was very easy to light using a triple flame torch, and I suspect would have been easy to light using a match or spire as well. I was surprised that the small gauge was able to maintain such a straight burn line down the cigar – another testament I believe to the expert craftsmanship when bunching the filler. The cigar maintained an almost razor-sharp burn line all the way to the wrapper blemish in the final third, and even then, the cigar did not canoe or burn at an angle, just became a little wavy on that side of the cigar.
The draw on this cigar is something that I would describe as perfect – even with a large open notch cut the draw was not extremely easy, nor was it hard. The smoke flowed at a nice, consistent rate, with little effort.
The smoke produced by this cigar is thick and hangs in the air well, with a creamy feeling on the exhale – the aroma of the cigar during smoking is another experience of itself, with a lovely mixture of cocoa, sweet tobacco, baking spice and wood – I think I would have enjoyed being the presence of this cigar being smoked almost as much as I enjoyed smoking the cigar! Combined with the flavor profile of the cigar, this was a smoking experience that I would have been happy with lasting for much longer.
The balance of the cigar was perfect, there are no harsh or sudden changes in the flavor profile nor the body of the cigar. It started medium in body and gradually made its way to medium-full by the second third. Flavors mixed together and changed in graduation, balancing each other out, without fighting for dominance. Just a fantastic example of tobacco blending in this cigar.
Total Smoking Characteristics: 25/25
This was an impressive cigar. I don’t usually choose the smaller vitola’s, but while at my local brick and mortar store several months back I saw this stick and decided to add it to the humidor – it was the only vitola they had so I wasn’t left with much option on sizing. Despite its small size, this cigar doesn’t disappoint in any way. With a nearly flawless construction, impeccable burn, bold and consistent flavors and body, this cigar has definitely made it to my must buy more list.
I was a little disappointed in the wrapper flaw, and more disappointed that rather than the stick being culled, the flaw was covered with the band and put into a box.
Total Overall Impression: 23/25
This is a cigar that we would classify as a top shelf smoke, and is something you want to keep around for when a good smoke is desired that not only tastes and smokes great, but is a pleasure to be in company of as well. While the price point of the stick might turn some smokers in the opposite direction, we would encourage you to give these Eiroa cigars a try. Fully impressed with this offering, we can tell that the makers of this cigar have a history in the business, earning this cigar an A rating with an overall score of 91/100.
Heft: This cigar is well constructed, so well in fact that we were hard pressed to even see the seam lines of the wrapper and cap! The cigar doesn’t have any noticeable bulges or soft spots. The roll is a little spongy throughout the cigar however, more so at the foot, but not as firm as many premium blends – the wrapper has an almost suede feeling about it and is noticeably oily. During smoking the spongy feeling of the cigar increased and felt very soft in the fingers. The cigar didn’t form any definite soft spots, but didn’t quite have that premium cigar feeling when rolled in the fingers.
Appearance: This cigar is a beautiful specimen. The wrapper is flawless with small veining and a tight wrap around the cigar with no rips or tears. The cigar has a very uniform roll from head to foot, with nearly invisible seam lines. The wrapper is an incredibly dark chocolate brown with uniform color and no blemishes or discolorations and a slight oily sheen about it. The cap appears to be a double cap, not as impressive as a traditional Cuban triple cap, but the application is so well done that the cigar looks like the wrapper rounds out and is all one piece – this cigars construction and appearance is quite impressive.
Construction: The construction of this cigar is flawless, with no rips, tears or other blemishes in the wrapper. Pre-light the cigar is a perfect example of what a quality cigar should look and feel like and I am anxious to see if the construction holds up during smoking. I decided to punch cut this cigar, as is my preference for larger ring cigars, which was accomplished without incident and was quite easy using my bullet punch. The punch cut has confirmed my suspicion that the cap is only a double cap, that or the Oscuro wrapper is quite thin, as there is a very thin level of tobacco between the cap and filler.
Lighting of the cigar is quick and effortless and the burn begins pretty uniform. The cigar maintained its pre-light construction characteristics without splitting, cracking or unraveling during the smoking experience. Despite the cap being fairly thin, there were no issues with the head until I reached the final third of the cigar, and the cap started to come away from the cigar and the head got really loose.
The ash of this cigar was a cement gray color and very loose – I was honestly surprised at how well the ash held on considering how loose it looked and how much the outside ash frayed away from the body. The first ashing occurred at about two inches into the cigar, again surprising me that it held on so long. The ash maintained this loose, frayed appearance throughout the smoking experience. Second ashing occurred around the half way point, not hanging on near as long as the first ash. The final ashing occurred with about a little over an inch of the cigar remaining, and was the last ashing before putting the cigar down.
Overall the construction of this cigar and its appearance was beautiful, however the fill of the cigar and the feel of it in the hand was lacking compared to most premium cigars. The loose fill of the cigar was completely evident by the appearance of the ash, and also impacted the smoking time of the cigar. A cigar of this size I would expect to smoke for a minimum of an hour and thirty minutes, however this cigar smoked in about the same time as a smaller robusto cigar, with a total smoking time of only about an hour.
Pre-Light aroma: The pre-light aroma of the cigar is an enticing mix of baking and herbal spices and tobacco with hints of chocolate and earth, it reminds me of the pre-light aroma of the Gurkha Ghost but without the cinnamon notes. Just smelling the cigar has me eager to light this baby up!
Pre-Light Flavor: The pre-light flavor is close that that of the aroma, with a more noticeable presence of earth and tobacco and less flavor on the tongue of the baking spices. While pleasing even before putting flame to it, I am hoping that the baking and herbal spices and chocolate notes from the aroma are present during smoking.
Beginning flavor: The beginning flavor of this cigar was an immediate disappointment – the pre-light flavors of earth were predominant, with a mix of hay and barnyard on the undertones. I was really hoping for the baking spices and chocolate to make an appearance however these flavors never entered the mix. Flavors are quite mild, as is the body of the cigar – I was expecting bolder flavor considering the pre-light draw and aroma. Half way through the first third notes of wood and pepper enter the palate, with the earthy notes in the background.
Continuing flavor: Moving into the second third of the cigar, the pepper has subsided and now earth, hay and wood are in the forefront of the palate. Still no baking spices or chocolate as indicated by the pre-light aroma. The flavors again flip flop back to a predominant peppery spice moving in to the last of the second third, with the earthy tones and wood in the background, now a little hint of leather is in the undertone as well. The flavor profile on this cigar is like a merry-go-round, I keep seeing the same things over and over. At least the flavors have increased in intensity and are now more pronounced. The body of the cigar has moved up a notch to medium by this point.
Ending flavor: Moving into the final third the pepper has become more intense with a long finish lingering on the lips and in the nasal. The earthy flavors are pretty much gone now, however wood and leather has become more pronounced and is definitely present with the pepper. The cigar finishes with strong pepper, wood and leather, and absolutely zero baking spices or sweetness about it.
The flavor of this cigar was a complete disappointment – the pre-light aroma and draw gave indications of a nice baking spice, chocolate and a hint of sweetness, but I was left with a smoke that couldn’t make up its mind of whether it was a spicy peppery cigar or an earthy, grassy cigar. I enjoy notes of wood and leather in a smoke, but personally think they go better with nutty, buttery, creamy flavors. The grassy barn yard flavors were a strong turn off for me.
Light: Very easy to light this cigar, a few seconds with the torch and the cigar was lit around and burning well. The burn started pretty even and maintained an even burn until about the end of the second third when the burn formed a perfect 45-degree angle and didn’t correct itself through the end of the smoke. This cigar did not require a relight during its smoking, however about the time of the burn going sideways it did seem to have less combustion for a few draws before returning to its normal burn.
Draw: The draw on this cigar is very smooth and open, allowing for an easy smoke with very little effort and maintained this draw throughout the entire smoking experience. I am happy that I decided on using a punch cut and not clipping the cap or using a v-notch cut as the cigar was very open and I think anything more than a punch cut would have been overwhelming.
Smoke: The smoke itself is a light gray, thick smoke that hangs in the air and produces a surprising aroma of fire cured tobacco, which made absolutely no sense to me considering the cigar had no fire cured flavors or pre-light aroma – the smoke also had a mix of straight tobacco and wood aromas about it, making it a pleasing aroma but one that didn’t match the smoking experience in any way.
Texture: Smoke texture is thick in the mouth and creates a nice thick cloud on exhale. On a retro hale the smoke feels thick through the nasal, hangs in the air and is slow to dissipate.
Balance as smoked: The balance of this cigar was pretty insane – a constant flip flop of flavors that seemed like it couldn’t make up its mind on whether it was a peppery cigar or an earthy cigar. The beginning of the cigar was fairly weak in flavor and body which set the tone for the entire experience. The transition of flavors was fast and sporadic, with no real concern on the ease of transition. The cigar started as a very mild smoke and turned to a mild-medium body by the halfway point and maintained this strength through the end of the cigar. It wasn’t until the end of the second third that the flavors really became bold and tasted more than an afterthought.
I was really looking forward to this cigar based on the amazing aroma it had coming out of the cellophane, an aroma that had me salivating at the flavor potential of the cigar. I was left baffled and disappointed at how a cigar that smelled and tasted so good before being lit could turn out to be such a flop during smoking. The old saying of don’t judge a book by its cover is definitely applicable in this case.
The appearance and presentation of this cigar was flawless, it looks like a premium top shelf cigar and is just beautiful. The construction is great, and had the cigar been fuller it would have been perfect from a construction and appearance point of view. I was pleased that the cigar maintained it construction through till the end and even more surprised that with such a thin cap that I didn’t have cap issues sooner. I was both disappointed about how fast it smoked for a large ring cigar, but at the same time relieved to get off the flavor merry-go-round of this smoke. The flavors of the cigar were not well balanced at all which is the most disappointing aspect for me about this smoke – had the cigar maintained one theme of flavors throughout the smoke then I could have enjoyed this cigar more, but the constant back and forth between earthy and then peppery was a head spin – starting out with one profile and then easing into the other would have been better than the back and forth.
This is one of those cigars that you throw in the humidor for when you have buddies over that don’t know a good smoke from a horrible smoke – it looks great, smells great and to a less experienced smoker it might even taste great to them. Now don’t get me wrong, the flavors in the cigar were good, however they didn’t mix well, didn’t transition well. This might be a good smoke for those days your running the mower and don’t really care what you’re smoking, because its definitely better than a gas station cigar, but just not one that I would keep in my rotation. Its one of those looks better than it is, like a movie that has amazing previews, but the previews were the best part of the entire movie! Now I’ve only found two online retailers that carry this cigar, Cigar Page and Mars Cigars – they run $15 for a 5 pack at Cigar Page, less for smaller sizes and less than $30 for a bundle of 20. Maybe a different vitola will produce different results, but I’m hesitant to spend any more money on a 5’er of toro or robusto size sticks to try them – I suppose at the dirt-cheap price point it wouldn’t hurt to give them a shot, but its not likely. In the end I give this cigar an C+ rating with a final score of 78/100.
A very solid, almost completely hard cigar, and I've had this in my humidor at least 5 years, but it has never softened up, so I decided to smoke it (maybe its supposed to be like this?) Burn began tunneling, but not more than a quarter inch, and stayed that way the entire smoke. It took almost 45 minutes to smoke through this short cigar. Flavor notes were smoked meat and charred oak. Strength was medium full. I haven't smoke a lot of Indonesian puros, so I don't know if the construction and flavor profile is typical, but its probably not for me.
Appearance & Construction Heft: Cigar is mostly firm when pinched and rolled in the fingers – a minor soft spot in the middle of the cigar but not major. Wrapper has a mild tooth about it – no bulges in the filler, the cigar is very streamlined – the box press presentation is nice. Cigar maintained its pre-light heft after lighting without any new soft or hollow points. Appearance: Cigar has a milk chocolate colored wrapper, darker than a standard Habano due to the Maduro aging – cigar has small to medium size veining, seam lines are nice and the roll appears to be tight. Cigar features a double band, the main RP band followed by a smaller brand title band below, both purple, silver and black in color. An attractive cigar overall. Construction: Pre-light the cigar is constructed pretty well, there are no rips or cracks in the wrapper however there are a few places when the wrapper seems to have little scrapes, the cap looks very secure and the wrapper seams are almost unnoticeable. Cutting of the cigar is uneventful, no fraying of the head of the cigar. Lighting the cigar is very easy, achieved with a single match – the burn starts off even however within about four draws the burn has begun to angle. Within the first inch the burn resulted in a 45-degree angle across the cigar – no canoeing however. The ash is a soft gray color with streaks of darker gray, almost black coloring – ash appears tight on the inside but flaky on the exterior. First ahsing occurs only about 1 ½ inches in and maintains this throughout the cigar, not holding a long ash. At the beginning of the second third the burn has evened out again and maintains an even burn until the final third of the cigar. Unbanding at the half way point of the cigar reveals a pretty significant crack in the wrapper. During smoking the head of the cigar remained in good construction without coming apart or splitting. In the beginning of the final third the wrapper of the cigar began to unravel at the seam which resulted in an uneven burn again. At about halfway through the final third the burn evened back out after getting past the wrapper unraveling. The cigar finished with an even burn. Total Appearance and Construction: 8/15
Flavor Pre-Light aroma: The aroma is quite mild and consists of an earthy, barnyard aroma with a hint of spice – smelling the wrapper alone produces an aroma of an earthy spice, still quite mild. The Pre-Light Flavor: The pre-light draw produces mild flavors of coffee and wood notes with a hint of peppery spice, but again very mild – I hope the pre-light draw is not an indication of the strength of flavor to follow as it will make for a very uneventful cigar. Beginning flavor: The cigar starts with a complex mix of flavors from the very first draw consisting of a mix of coffee, nuts, barnyard and a faint hint of leather. The strength profile starts as a definite full flavor, almost smacking you in the face. Halfway through the first third of the cigar the barnyard and coffee essence has gone leaving a mix of nuts and leather with the introduction of a woody spice. The aroma from the smoke of the cigar is producing a leathery tobacco smell with wood undertones. Continuing flavor: Moving into the second third of the cigar the flavor profile has remained consistent with the nuts and leather and woody spice increasing. There is a brief flavor of raisins that becomes apparent about half way through the cigar but quickly dissipates leaving mostly cedar and oak spice with subtle hints of cocoa. Nuts and leather have faded in the background and are barely noticeable. On retrohale there is a strong essence of cedar and spice left on the nose. The strength profile of the cigar has gone from a definite full to a medium-full. Ending flavor: Beginning in the final third of the cigar the flavor profile has noticeable notes of cocoa with the spice evening out and becoming more subtle – oak and cedar still dominates the flavor palate with now leathery tobacco making a reappearance. By halfway through the final third the cocoa has given way to tobacco mixed with oak and spice. The aroma from the cigar is reminiscent of a wood fire with strong notes of oak and tobacco in the air. The cigar finishes with predominant oak and spice flavor with the tobacco subsiding into the background. The strength profile finishes as a medium-full. Total Flavor: 23/25
Smoking Characteristics Light: Cigar was easy to light with a single match – cigar did not require relighting during smoking. Draw: The draw started a little closed but did not require much effort. By the halfway point of the cigar the draw opened up and became quite easy – smoke flowed through the head of the cigar even at rest. Smoke: The smoke of the cigar started out thin, not much smoke on exhale and the smoke quickly dissipated in the air. By the halfway point when the draw really opened up the smoke production increased and large volumes of smoke were produced on every draw. Texture: The texture of the smoke started out very thin and didn’t hang in the air long at all. By the halfway point the smoke became thicker and creamier, with large volumes hanging in the air for a while before dissipating. Balance as smoked: The balance of the flavors in this cigar was pretty good, there were not sudden changes in the flavor profile, new flavors started subtle before becoming apparent and flavors exited in the same manner, fading into the background as new flavors became dominant. The only exception to this was the brief time in the middle of the cigar when a raisin flavor came out of nowhere, remained for about a half inch of the cigar and disappeared as quickly as it came. Total Smoking Characteristics: 23/25
Overall Impression This is a complex cigar, the flavors start off in multitude and then balance out to specific flavors with subtle hints in the background. While the flavors were balanced and not overpowering the cigar left you wondering what was going to come next. The aroma produced from the cigar was quite pleasant and overall the flavor profile was pleasant as well. Construction and burn issues with the cigar were a bit annoying and not common in my experience with Rocky Patel. The cigar is advertised a full strength however I found that this was only true for a little less than the first half of the cigar as it mellowed out to a medium-full at the halfway point through the finish. This is a relaxing smoke that I think would be enjoyed on a semi-usual basis. It is something I will keep in the humidor and I look forward to what more time to age will do for this cigar. Total Overall Impression: 33/35
Final Notes This is a complex cigar that requires the time to sit back and relax with in order to appreciate the flavors which are produced. If you’re looking for a run of the mill cigar than this isn’t it, but if you are looking for a relaxing smoke and want to experience a diverse flavor profile than this would fit the bill. My biggest concerns about this particular cigar were the construction and burn issues, which are in my experience uncommon with Rocky Patel. I wouldn’t rate this as RP’s best, and it is nowhere near the quality of a Vintage ’90 or Vintage ’92, for this reason I would put it as a second shelf cigar and have given it a B+ rating with a final score of 87/100. Cigar Informer Grade: 87/100
This rested for 82 days at 65% RH. The first thing I will say about this stick is I wasn’t crazy about the paper it came wrapped in and the double band as they were both a little tricky to remove. That aside it was a nice looking cigar with some slightly visible seams and a few visible veins but a very consistent light brown color and solid construction. The pre-light aroma was of grass/hay and I detected a subtle sweetness. The cap was applied well. I used a punch on this and it took the punch with no issues. The pre-light flavor again displayed a slight sweetness to it and grass. Both the pre and post light draws were smooth and delivered a bountiful amount of smoke. The burn lin was perfect remaining straight throughout the entire smoke. The subtle sweetness remained prevalent during the smoke and there was no real spice/pepperiness discernable. Overall while not very complex a decent smoke, it is one I would gladly have as a midday smoke.
Rested exactly 1 year @ 65%, smoked this on Friday night 10/12/18.
Appearance: 8/10 - Beautiful presentation, with a cedar sleeve and red ribbon on the foot. Once I took the cedar sleeve off, it revealed a rather ordinary looking maduro wrapper with a couple of large veins, some tooth, and a little bit of oils. It has a very sweet aroma to it, the cognac being very noticeable to me.
Smoking Characteristics: 16/20 - Overall during the course of this cigar, there was an issue with this cigar seeming to want to go out on me. This required me to puff more frequently than I normally would. It appeared that the wrapper was on the thicker side, and probably would've benefited from being dry boxed for a few days. But I figured that after being stored @ 65% for a year, it would be good to go. The burn line was also wavy throughout.
Taste: 32/35 - The 1/3 seemed a bit overpowering with the syrupy sweetness that this cigar was producing. Very very rich, very very sweet. Medium bodied right away. As this cigar heated up and developed into the 2/3, either my palate adjusted or the syrupy sweetness backed off and allowed that natural tobacco and spice to shine through. This part of the cigar saw much more balance, with earth/cedar/pepper/syrup being the flavors in order. This was how the cigar would end, much more pleasant than it started.
Overall: 31/35 - At the start it was a very strong sweetness that I thought would be overpowering, but the flavors progressed and improved nicely as I smoked through the cigar. Starts off very medium bodied/medium strength, and becomes medium-full in body and strength for me by the end. A little bit of light headedness but it was a nice experience. I just wish the construction was better with regards tot he burn line and the burn characteristics. Next one I will dry box for a few days. I recommend giving this one a try if you haven't already.
Got this from Vroomp (Brad) in the Mini PIF 3 pass. Thanks again!!!
Rested for 10 days in my humi @ 65%
Appearance: 8/10 - A very nicely put together cigar. A darker Colorado Maduro colored wrapper, with a reddish/rusty colored tint to it. Seams are really tightly rolled, hardly any veins to speak of, and a double cap finishes it off.
Smoking Characteristics: 17/20 - Capped clipped neat, and the draw is great right from the first light. The cigar toasted up fine but during the course of the smoke the burn line got a little wonky from time to time. A couple of touch ups required. Cigar smoked cool right down to the last inch.
Taste: 31/35 - Starts off with a bit of a cedar and red pepper kick which leaves my tongue and lips tingling, a little bit of sweetness too especially on the finish. Retro hale has more of the pepper, a nice rounded out flavor profile. Got some mineral notes here and there, never dominant or consistent, but they did pop up from time to time. The overall profile got creamier in the 2/3 and 3/3 but still kept that cedar peppery spice throughout which kept things balanced.
Overall: 31/35 - A nicely made cigar, with a very approachable flavor profile that won't overpower you but will certainly keep your attention and provide a nice 60-75 minute smoke. I would recommend you try this cigar for sure.