Apparently people get free cigars to review these. One of these people isn’t me.
My Rocky Patel was given to me by a buddy who wanted me to try it and to get my observations. Generally cigars in boxes should max out at about $5 per stick, $7 individually. I hate to admit it but I’ve been in the $3 range when they’re “on sale”. My jewishness preserves my health, you see.
My brother’s take on it was roughly the same as the review on her humidor, which was “leather”. Now, one thing I hate about cigar reviews is that “leather” is the generic term for “I can’t taste it”. Sort of like “pepper”, now that I’ve got this figured out I realize that “pepper” is a red flag for doing it wrong. Now, don’t get me wrong, I got a bit of leather out of the light, but then leather or earthy is what you get out of 90% of cigars on the first third. More interesting is the fact that I picked up on the chocolate aroma too. In fact, my first thoughts were TOO MUCH CHOCOLATE, just on the pull and the smell of the wrapper.
After lighting the cigar, there’s the peppery and earthy notes I come to expect. Some reviews, including my brother, called this “old leather”. I personally think most cigars on the first third taste just about the same. There’s variations on how much pepper you get out of it, but generally the first third is “earth”, “leather”, “pepper” or “cedar”.
The middle third is where the CHOCOLATE is. Did I mention this cigar featured CHOCOLATE? I might want to remind you that the cigar is made from, stored in, and pressed together with sweet, sweet CHOCOLATE. Yes, it’s got chocolate. But it’s good chocolate. It’s like coca. It reminds me of dark, creamy chocolate. Almost to the point about being boring. However, my burn by this third was way off the mark and I ended up using a torch to play catch up. Had my burn not been weird, it might have given me something else. Then again it was so chocolatey, I doubt it. I’m not saying it’s bad, and I wouldn’t fault it, just that peppery chocolate is going to be weird if you get the pacing wrong. Next time you open a packet of hot coca, smell it, and that’s the flavor. It’s really well done.
The last third gave me the generic tea flavor some cigars take on when it’s done. Soft of disappointing, I was enjoying smoking hot coca. Nothing really to write here except that it didn’t go sour, it just went bland and boring. If you like the tea flavor, this is a good way of finishing it out. Since I’ve had enough of it, I discarded the butt.
Odds and ends – The wrapper was nice. I just wish it burned better. The labeling was really nice, I think it’s classy and I loved the colors. The label, however, did not come off the wrapper nicely as the flame approached it and I had to knife-tip it off. This is after I had to clean up the uneven burn, so I’m not terribly impressed with the construction here.
I would give it an 7 out of 10: The flavor is nice, but it gets zero points for construction. The aroma is fantastic, I like the label, but the burn hurts too much to ignore. If you’re wondering if I am going to qualify cigars, it’s going to work like this: I start at 10 and every fault I find with it deducts a point based on how much it pisses me off.