Archive for the ‘cuban’ Tag

Rocky Patel 1961 Robusto

I have heard many mixed review about Rocky Patel’s 1961 smoke. You either love it, or you hate it. I personally am not a huge fan of Rocky Patel cigars, but I will try anything once, and the salesman at my local shop seems to be pretty crazy about this smoke, so I picked one up.
Rocky Patel 1961

Rocky Patel 1961

The Rocky Patel 1961 was amongst an array of anticipated cigars released in 2009 at the IPCPR show in New Orleans.

The Good Stuff: The year 1961, from what I gathered, is Rocky’s actually birth year. These limited production cigars were among the first cigars manufactured at the new Tabacalera Villa Cuba, Rocky’s newest factory.

Size: 5 x50  –  Wrapper: Ecuadorian  –  Binder/Filler: Honduran/Nicaraguan  –  Strength: Medium – Full

Rocky Patel 1961

Rocky Patel 1961

Prelight: The first characteristic I noticed was the triple cap. I’m a huge fan of the triple cap as most of my wrapper problems usually occur at the head of the cigar. The cigar itself sports top-notch construction, with absolutely no signs of soft spots, or flaws in the construction. Rocky is known for being a stickler when it comes to the perfection of all cigars manufactured under his rule. The wrapper is very smooth and there were no real noticable veins as far as I could see. The band was remarkable, and unlike anything that I have seen come from Rocky Patel. The 1961 showcased a massive, double band. The top band is black, with light watermarked “wallpaperesque” textured, presented by a large “1961” label positioned over a halftone tobacco plant. The secondary band fits snuggly into the primary band and sports a red shimmer with the “Rocky Patel” label.  There isn’t really a lot of noticable scent coming from the wrapper of the 1961. I picked up light notes of sweetness and cocoa. The foot of the cigar smells very similar, with a touch of grain, and what seems to be something that smells similar to paint thinner. Tom from Tom’s Cigars nailed it in a recent review when he acclaimed that you should NEVER trust a cigar by its smell. Many of the best cigars I have had smelled like complete crap.

Rocky Patel 1961

Rocky Patel 1961

Cold Draw: I was able to pull the paint thinner taste off the cold draw. Not a good sign. Let’s just hope this taste doesn’t carry into the actual smoke. I got a bit of pepper, and mixed almond as well.

First Smoke: THANK GOD the paint thinner taste didn’t make it to the actual smoke. If so, I would have never even went into the cigar for fear of throwing up. The 1961 starts off with a massive burst of pepper and spice. What a wake up call. I wasn’t expecting much taste as I couldn’t really pull anything off of the 1961 on the cold draw. The pepper even got to a point where it started to make my lips, and back of the throat tingle. Most of the undertones at this point were masked under the pepper, but there was a mixed bunch of almond and cocoa in there. The burn line became wavy, and unstable right off the bat. The ash itself was very light colored, and flaked off every chance it got. The 1961 produced an awesomely large draw with thick, almost brown smoke.

Rocky Patel 1961

Rocky Patel 1961

Halfway There: And just as quickly as the pepper came, it went away. The pepper literally just dropped off the face of the cigar. Halfway through the smoke balanced out and became very smooth and creamy. The flavors weren’t as complex as I’m used to, Cracker/grain, cocoa, a bit of sweetness, a bit of cherry/grape, mostly earthy tones. The smoke itself smelled much like the paint thinner I pulled off the cold draw. I wouldn’t recommend smoking the 1961 around people. The burn line is getting more and more wavy as I burn through this cigar. Halfway though the 1961 went completely out on me and I had to relight before the ash actually fell off itself. Classic case of the filler burning faster than the wrapper itself.

Rocky Patel 1961

Rocky Patel 1961

 Finish: The pepper taste I craved never made it’s comeback. Why do you tease me so 1961?! By the time I got the cigar down to the nub I reached a total of 3 relights, and countless touch-ups. For the sake of the review I wouldn’t have bothered to touch up the cigar, but it got to a point where there was more un-burnt wrapper than actual cigar left. The only characteristic that really stayed consistent throughout the smoke was the awful aroma of the smoke. I can’t imagine what made it smell that way. The 1961 started off as a powerhouse cigar. I could feel the nicotine almost instantly. But it finished as gently as a puppy. I just wish this cigar was more consistent.

Rocky Patel 1961

Rocky Patel 1961

Overview: At the beginning of my review I stated that I wasn’t impressed much by Rocky Patel’s cigars. I hoped that the 1961 would renew what little faith I had in the company. Alas, it only made it worse. The 1961 was very bland for my taste. It lacked complexity, and consistently. I do however, see why some may find this smooth smoke attractive. I however, will probably never purchase it again.

Rocky Patel 1961

Rocky Patel 1961

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CAO La Traviata

Up next for review is the long-awaited La Traviata by CAO.

CAO La Traviata

CAO La Traviata

Jon Huber, Director of Lifestyle Marketing for CAO cigars in Nashville TN, sponsors tons of contests almost daily from his twitter account (@caocigars). I was fortunate enough to have won a contest and have a few of these pop up on my door step. If you’re on twitter, and aren’t following him, I suggest you jump on the ball. Not only will you be able to capture great  CAO news, but if you’re lucky you may be able to grab a few sticks before they even hit stores.

The Good Stuff: “La Traviata” is a brand that originated in Cuba over a hundred years ago at the Tabacalera Cubana, Agramonte no. 106 in Havana. CAO basically took this appeal and created am incredible cigar alike closely resembling “La Traviata’s” taste, construction, and Cuban roots.

As stated before La Traviata is just now barely hitting stores. The cigar itself was announced by CAO at this year’s International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association Trade Show in New Orleans. The CAO La Traviata is a full bodied cigar constructed of two different ligero fillers, one from the Domincan Republic and the other from the Pueblo Nuevo farm in Nicaragua. La Trivata uses a Cameroon binder and is then tightly wrapped with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper.

Size:  5 x 50  –  Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano  –  Binder: Cameroon  –  Filler: Nicaragua/Dominican Republic Ligero

CAO La Traviata

CAO La Traviata

Prelight: La Traviata is a very toothy, darkly wrapped cigar. The habano wrapper is actually quite darker than most habanos that I have seen. Following CAO standards there are absolutely no blemishes, soft spots, or wrapper misconstruction. In fact, this cigar is very tightly pressed and hard to the touch. La Traviata divino sports a very round cap, and the foot gives off a pre-light aroma of cocoa, and cashew. There were a few noticable veins, but nothing that will affect the overall smoke. The band itself differs quite a bit from what you normally see out of the CAO factory. Strong, romanesque marr0on and gold, with a very powerful font, and texture. I think they were hinting on to something.

CAO La Traviata

CAO La Traviata

First Smoke: As usual, the Ligero in the Traviata took quite sometime to light. The first draws were extremely tight, and I was forced to hit the crap out of the cigar before actually getting a decent draw. The first tastes were very smooth cocoa mixed with maple syrup and subtle grassy nutty flavors. La Traviata starts off very smooth, not boasting the outrageous strength and spice that ligero usually gives off. The burn is pretty even, there is a small trouble spot following one of the veins but I suspect this won’t be a problem. La Traviata is very tightly packed, and is giving me slight complications trying to get the massive draw that I am looking for at first. Withing about five minutes the cigar finally starts giving off a good smoke, and I’m extremely pleased. I really hoped the draw wasn’t going to ruin it for me. I got almost an inch and 3/4 off La Traviata before it gave way.

CAO La Traviata

CAO La Traviata

Halfway There: At the halfway point La Traviata is producing massive amounts of thick smoke, in an almost perfect draw. The flavors are extremely subtle, and well balanced. I’ve noticed a lot of that cocoa flavor has tapered off and its more of a leathery, walnut, syrup, cedar, smooth tobacco taste. Although La Traviata is full-bodied and packed full of ligero, it isn’t quite giving me the shakes you’d expect. It’s a much more enjoyable experience. Don’t be fooled by the size of this CAO, this cigar is burning incredibly slow, this may be an all nighter. The burn is dead on and I have yet to have to relight, or touch up.

Finish: Overall La Traviata Divino took well over 2 hours to smoke, which, for its small size, completely caught me off guard. There was no harshness at all towards the end of this cigar. I did however, notice a slight increase in strength, but nothing overwhelming. The flavors finished just as complex as they started with just a tad more raw tobacco flavor. The burn? Amazing. No relights, no touch ups. That’s incredible for ligero.

CAO La Traviata

CAO La Traviata

Overview: This is an incredible cigar. Needless to say I will buy it again, I will recommend it, and I will recommend it to anyone from novice to the most experienced cigar smoker. The rich tobacco, smooth smokability, and creamy flavors make a perfect mixture. And one last thing. Rumor has it these cigars will be priced in ranges from $4.95 to $6.00. How incredible is that. This means they will be about $13.oo at my local shop, if they even get them. But I am just happy I had a chance to have just one.

Drew Estate Liga Privada No. 9 Belicoso Oscuro Cigar Review

Taking a step out of the norm, this week’s review is the first non-aromatic cigar review I have done. It’s not that I don’t enjoy a good traditional cigar, but quite honestly I’m a flavor kinda guy.

These cigars were a special gift to me, and came in plenty. So Expect quite a few reviews popping up pretty fast.

Drew Estate - Liga Privada No. 9 Belicoso Oscuro

Drew Estate - Liga Privada No. 9 Belicoso Oscuro

The Good Stuff: Drew Estate’s Liga Privada No. 9 or “Private League” is one of Drew Estate’s rarest cigars, if not the rarest. La Liga Privada was created for the sole purpose of Drew Estate’s President’s personal smoking pleasure. Basically the creation of these cigars stemmed from 10 starting blends. From those 10 blends 4 unique blends were expanded for a total of 40 blends. Each blend was sampled but none were approved until the 9th starting blend (32 cigars later) resulting in the “No. 9” in “Liga Privada No. 9”.  Liga Privada No. 9 consists of 7 different cuban-seed aged tobaccos from 7 different farms from 7 different regions including The Jamastran Valley in Honduras, and Esteli Nicaragua. The wrapper is a dark, Connecticut Broadleaf with a Brazilian Mata Fina binder. As all of Drew Estate’s cigars, these are handmade. It is said that only the best “cigar roller” in the factory rolls these special cigars.

Size: 6 x 52 Belicoso  –  Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf  –  Filler: Hoduran and Dominican

Prelight: Liga Privada No. 9 sports a very, very dark, oily wrapper. Another flawless constructed cigar (would you expect any less?). There are absolutely no visible soft spots and only small veins. The cap is very “torpedoesque” but a lot stubbier. The cigar itself is very tightly packed which made me question it’s draw potential. The cigar is very earthly/cedar scented. The banding has to be my favorite I have seen come out of Drew Estate. A silver lion embossed on a simple white matte band with light silver Drew Estate branding hidden behind the words “Liga Privada No. 9” – handwritten.

First Smoke: As always, I will be using my Cuban Crafters “Perfecto” dual blade cutter, and a standard single flame colibri butane torch. The first few smokes were very light, and flavorful. The taste was that of cedar, strong/complex tobacco, and sweet spices (nutmeg?),  with an almost maple aftertaste. The flavors are very consistent, and just right. After a few puffs the cigar became increasingly strong. One of the first things I noticed was there were no bad tobacco aftertaste present after each draw. The draw itself wasn’t too big, but quite thick. Due to the strength of this cigar a bigger draw would have been a bit over-powering. I got a good inch and a half of ash before the first break.

Halfway there: One amazing thing about this cigar was the consistency. Halfway through the cigar and the taste and draws are as if I had just began smoking it. The main difference is the strength. The further down you smoke, the stronger this cigar becomes. The burn is perfect as well as the wrapper at this point. The draw is still really tight, maybe a bit tighter than I’d like. By this point I am already feeling a big light headed. Its been a long while since a single cigar hit me this hard. Maybe this is why the cigar was wrapped so tight?!

Finish: Again, I took this cigar all the way down to the nub. I would have gone further but it had to hit this cigar exceptionally hard due to the tight wrapping and it began taking its toll through heat on my lips. The finish was as expected; incredibly strong. This is one of the stronger cigars I have smoked. I actually threw in the towel earlier than I wanted to due to the heat and strength. By the time the cigar finished the wrapper was still in mint condition, as well as the almost perfect burn.

Overview: I feel incredibly lucky to get my hands on one of these bad boys. Again, I am an aromatic smoker, but this is one hell of a cigar. It’s key points have to be the incredibly smooth smoke, great aftertaste, and perfect sweetness. Will I have it again? I really hope so! Would I recommend it? You’d be stupid not to pay top dollar if you can find one of these on the shelf.