Greetings and Salutations Lords and Ladies of the Leaf!
It’s September 11th, 2011, and while this is not a politically themed blog – it would be remiss of me not to mention that on this anniversary of the largest Terror attack on American soil ever, that I was in a somber mood this morning. Living where I live in the United States, I have a unique perspective and respect for the men and women of our Armed Forces, and their service. Being the son of a Police Officer, I also recognize the unique sacrifices that are made day in and day out for those that are first responders.
Now that I have mentioned the sort of somber mood that I have been in today, on with the review! … the “Mystery Smoke” that Kaleehb gave me. Enjoy! I should note, that normally I would give you the specifications, but since I really didn’t know them – I will keep them to myself until the end! Also I’ll briefly apologize for my absence, as always life has decided to interfere with my hobby, and to be honest, this hobby is what makes slow down and just sit – so it was sorely missed.
At any rate – here we go!
As you’re looking at that picture you’ll note that I have not opened the envelope, and that the band has been removed from the cigar. After aging in my humidor for a few weeks, I was pleased with the suppleness of the cigar. The dark wrapper had medium veins running throughout it, and the pre-light scent smelled of cedar and sweet tobacco.
THE FIRST THIRD
The first third began with a woody flavor. There were minor notes of coffee that took a complimentary, almost background flavor to the cigar. There was also a spiciness that started rich, almost peppery and transitioned into a sweet caramelized flavor. The ash was tight – but dark gray indicating to me that the tobacco may have been rolled when it was wet, or underaged. Either way, the first third was a satisfying experience.
THE SECOND THIRD
The second third remained very much the same. The woody flavors predominated, and the sweet caramel and the espresso flavors maintained their integrity. All in all this was a great tasting cigar at this moment. One of the biggest issues that I found with this cigar was the uneven burn. About mid way into the smoking process the cigar went out – which was disappointing, but overall, there were minimal relights (A total of two, and three evening out burns.)
THE FINAL THIRD
For the last third, there were very few changes. The woodsy flavor predominated, and the caramel and espresso flavor remained, and it was muted, though I thought it balanced out pretty nicely, considering the trouble that it had maintaining a consistent light, and burn. The ash was tight, and maintained that way the entire smoking processes. I ash my cigars a little more than most people, because I don’t like the gray flecks that inevitably end up on my shirts and shorts but, this one it was unnecessary for me to do that – it stayed fine.
Ready to find out what I was smoking? Me too!
Rocky Patel “Cuban Blend”
Wrapper: Honduran Maduro
Size: 6 x 52
Price: $16.80 for a five pack
Overall Experience: This was an interesting experience – I have yet to have a Patel that I enjoyed … until this one. I think that this was a Cosmic Kaleehb joke, and he wanted to prove that the blend is where it’s all at. I wouldn’t go so far as to call this one a “stellar” smoke, it had its fair share of problems, but it was good – there was just the right amount of spice in the stick and there was a nice sampling of both coffee and caramel, the best thing about the smoke was it was just the right size.
Prelight Experience: 8.5/10. The cap was a little rough on this particular cigar – the trademark of a Patel I always thought was the meticulous way that he rolled his cigars. This one was slightly disappointing. Also, there were several soft spots in the stick that were minor, but there were more than one. So I considered it a sign of either settling or perhaps one that escaped quality control. Either way it was not too much of a detriment.
Smoking: 8/10. The problem here was that I had to relight the thing twice, and then I had to touch up burn to even it out a grand total of three times.
Overall Experience: 9/10. One of my favorite cigar experiences. The tasting was so complex and rich that I really just enjoyed it. I take back a few of the nasty things I’ve said about Patel’s smokes. I’d buy a box of these in a heart beat.
TOTAL SCORE: 25.5
Not a bad smoke. I don’t think I will buy a box of them, but I do think having a few on hand as a go-to smoke (such as my Padron 3000 or the Tatuaje Havana IV) would be a good investment in my humidor. So, thanks, Kyle for the cards as well as for the smoke, and don’t get used to this, but I’m putting it in print, that I was wrong. Maybe there is a good Patel out there, and you found it for me. Enjoy your week my friends! It’s good to be back with you!