Rocky Patel Sun Grown Toro Thursday, Jul 16 2009 

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Country: Honduras
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Brazilian, Dominican, and Nicaraguan
Size: Toro 6.5″ x52 ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

Rocky Patel’s Sun Grown has been around for a while now.  It is unique in my opinion because it seems to be  universally respected among cigar smokers as a good, tasty, quality cigar.  Yet it doesn’t have any of the hype or pomp and circumstance around it that other widely respected cigars have, like the VSG or even the Oliva Serie V just as an example.  It seems to fly just below the radar, but ask someone about it and you will almost always here “That’s a great smoke, one of my favorite Rockys!”  Don’t ask about it, and you’ll probably never hear it mentioned.  That just strikes me as odd an unique.

This specimen sports a handsome looking, rustic, rosado colored wrapper.  It has a toothy, dry look to it.  Now, the RP Sun Grown Petite Corona is my hands down favorite vitola in this line.  I think is is an excellent smoke.  A robust, powerful little spice bomb.  I have enjoyed them so much over the years that it wasn’t until now that I have ever bothered to try another vitola, but this time I am smoking a toro.  It starts off with a bit of black pepper and a spiciness that is reminiscent of the Petite Corona only not quite as sharp or robust.  The flavors seem to be muted or muddled in the translation to the large ring gauge.  I get hints of the coffee, earth, and spice that I love in the Petite Corona, only they are faint and muddy and not as pronounced.  I was a bit disappointed with this one.  It seems to me the blend does much better in a smaller format.  Still it was an enjoyable cigar even though it didn’t live up to the standard set by its little brother.

Rating – B

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Redux: Olde World Reserve Corjo Toro by Rocky Patel Thursday, Jul 9 2009 

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Country: Honduras
Wrapper: Corojo
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: Toro 6.5″ x 52 ring

My first try with Rocky’s Olde World Reserve Corojo was not the best of experiences.  An insanely loose draw and a hot burn ruined it for me.  Because of that I decided to hold off assigning a rating to the cigar.  I know a lot of people like to make a point of smoking two or three of a particular cigar before writing a review on it. They do this to try and normalize the experience so that they aren’t underrating it because of a fluke with a bad stick, or even overrating it because they happened to get an above average sample.  It is a valid and thorough approach, but one that I don’t use myself.  I take a different tact.  For me first impressions are king.  There are so many cigars out there to choose from and to try.  I give most cigars one shot to sell themselves to me.  Some might think that’s not particularly fair.  After all, cigars are hand made products and there is bound to be an occasional bad stick.  This is true and I try and account for that in a less systematic way than sampling multiple cigars for a review.  The Olde World Reserve Corojo is an example of this.  Normally, I’d have a bad experience, write off the cigar and move on.  But in the case here, I felt I obviously had an unusually bad specimen for my first review.  There were obvious construction issues and I also felt that the cigar showed some promise hidden behind the problems I was having with it.  So for that reason I felt I should give this cigar one more shot.  Another bad sample and I’d write it off as a poorly made line of cigars.  However, that isn’t what happened here.

My second try with Rocky’s Corojo version of the OWR was much better than the first.  The draw was 100% better this time around with just the right amount of resistance and the cigar had a very good even burn.  It burned a lot cooler this time as a result and I could now actually taste the flavors of the tobacco instead of just tasting the harsh heat of an overly hot burn.  The OWR Corojo started off smooth and mild with notes of nuts and coffee.  About a third of the way into it, the cigar developed more body and a slight edge.  The flavors were a bit muddled, mostly leather and earth and a peppery finish.  It never really changed again after that.  I found it to be a decent smoke but not really all that engaging.  It is a lot like the OWR Maduro in that respect.  I feel comfortable giving the Corojo a “B” now that I have smoked one sans construction issues.

Rating – B

Olde World Reserve Maduro Toro by Rocky Patel Wednesday, Jun 10 2009 

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Country: Honduras
Wrapper: Costa Rican Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: Toro 6.5′ x 52 ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

The Olde World Reserve Maduro is a very dark cigar. Unnaturally so in my opinion. I won’t speculate on how it is that the wrapper leaf is this dark because I just don’t know, but it is oddly dark to me. It’s a bumpy wrapper almost pitch black in color. The foot is wrapped in a dark brown paper adorned with the Rocky Patel “RP” logo and the head is decorated with an off white band trimmed in gold. The sport a pretty severe box press, and you can get them in a box of 20 or a cedar chest of 50 cigars. They are also available with a handsome, milk chocolate Corojo wrapper which I reviewed last week and they come in three basic sizes. Unfortunately (to me anyway) they are sizes that have become cliche in the US:

  • Robusto 5.5″ x 54 ring
  • Toro 6.5″ x 52 ring
  • Torpedo 5.0″ x 54 ring

The draw on this OWR is a little loose for my tastes, but thankfully not as bad as the OWR Corojo I reviewed last week.  That draw was so loose I think it ruined that cigar.  The maduro at least had some light resistance on the draw and it burned a good bit cooler.  After a spicy, peppery start on the first few puffs, I started to get some very nice espresso notes mixed with some leather.  The flavors quickly became muddled though.  Occasionally I picked up hints of sweetness typical of most maduros.  Otherwise the cigar didn’t do much and stayed consistent throughout.  A little one dimensional the cigar was pleasant but not very interesting.  Medium bodied with a good burn, the construction is very good like most Rocky cigars.

Rating – B

Olde World Reserve Corojo Toro by Rocky Patel Wednesday, Jun 3 2009 

Country:  Honduras
Wrapper: Corojo
Binder:  Nicaraguan
Filler:  Nicaraguan
Size: Toro 6.5″ x 52 ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

The Olde World Reserve Corojo is a handsome looking cigar.  It’s smooth wrapper is milk chocolate in color.  The foot is wrapped in a dark brown paper adorned with the Rocky Patel “RP” logo and the head is decorated with a dark brown band trimmed in gold.  The sport a pretty severe box press, and you can get them in a box of 20 or a cedar chest of 50 cigars.  They are also available with a very dark Maduro wrapper which I will review next week and they come in three basic sizes.  Unfortunately (to me anyway) they are sizes that have become cliche in the US:

  • Robusto 5.5″ x 54 ring
  • Toro 6.5″ x 52 ring
  • Torpedo 5.0″ x 54 ring

This corojo has a nice rich tobacco aroma which got my hopes up.  Then after clipping the head, my test draw revealed an extremely loose draw that tempered those hopes quite a bit.  I lit the cigar and drawing on it was like sucking air through a giant straw.  It provided no resistance at all which made me worry it would burn way to hot so I made a point to go slow and sip at this cigar.  Despite my diligence the draw was a little problematic.  I occasionaly got very bitter and harsh blasts to my palatte that I attributed to the cigar heating up too much.  In between there were some very pleasant notes of nuts and coffee but they were sometimes occompanied by a sour finish.  If there was any complexity to this cigar at all it was lost with problems I had in keeping it from overheating.  I have one more of these in my humidor so I’ll give it one more shot even though I didn’t see much promise in this cigar even when I was able to taste anything other than the bitter harshness.  If my next go with this cigar proves to be better I’ll post a Redux Review.  If I were to rate it now I’d give it a D and first impressions are hard to overcome, but I’ll refrain from officially rating for now to try and be fair.  With a better draw I think the cigar could score a little better than that.

Rating Deferred

Update: I revisited the OWR Corojo. Read about it here.

The Edge Series Wrap-Up Friday, Mar 13 2009 

A couple interesting things came from this mini series of cigar reviews.  One involved the results of my “What’s your Favorite Edge?” poll.  The other has to do with what I experienced when smoking these cigars.  First, here are the links to the reviews if you haven’t read them already…

I found all three of these smokes to be decent cigars, and I’d even go a little farther with the Lite and say that The Edge Lite is a very good cigar.  It was my favorite of the three.  I thought the flavors were well balanced and crisp.   It was a very flavorful mild to medium bodied cigar and the construction as with the other two was impeccable.  The Corojo and Maduro just didn’t live up to the hype in either fullness of flavor or strength.  Although they are certainly robust and strong smokes, the hokey warning label cautioning that these cigars are for professional smokers is a little silly and inaccurate.  While not necessarily an ideal choice for someone new to cigar smoking, I have had plenty of cigars I would deem stronger and more robust than these.  That said, they were still decent smokes, just not something I would plan to revisit.  The Lite however is something I plan to smoke again.

As for the poll, response was a bit tepid, but there were still some interesting results I think…

For one thing, it appears that the petite “Missile” format is not a favorite among those that responded. Neither version received a single vote. The rest seem pretty much split evenly amongst you.  The exception being the maduro.  I actually tried to find the Sumatran this past week so I could add it last minute to the series, but I was not able to find it locally.  I did find a review of it over on StogieReview, so click on over there and check it out if you are interested.

Thanks to CigarsDirect.com for providing the cigars for this mini series of reviews.  This was fun.  Perhaps if another line of cigars jumps out at me as a fit for this kind of feature, I’ll do it again sometime.

The Edge Corojo Toro Wednesday, Mar 11 2009 

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Wrapper: Corojo
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran, and a “Secret Country”
Size: Toro 6.0″ x 52 ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

This review of The Edge by Rocky Patel is part of a mini series of reviews on three varieties of The Edge line of cigars. This series of reviews is made possible by CigarsDirect.com. Cast your vote for your favorite version of The Edge in our poll.

The Corojo has a toothy leather wrapper.  It has an oily sheen and plenty of small veins crawling across its surface.  It is firm and well filled.  I don’t know why but it looms large.  It is a toro just like the maduro I smoked, but for some reason, maybe it is its ample heft, this cigar just looks like a monster smoke.  It starts off with spice and pepper and it is a little tannic.  It has a short finish with a hint of sweetness.  It has a very full feel on the palate letting me know right off that this is going to be a robust smoke.  That is what I was thinking at the start.  it mellowed out a bit once I got about two inches into the smoke.  The spice and pepper faded, replaced by a strong woody core complimented by leather and black coffee.  I picked up flashes of clove every now and then.  It didn’t really change until I neared the end where it started to pickup again.  It got very spicy and full like it was at the start.  The sweetness in the finish remained consistent for the duration of the smoke.

I agree that this cigar is not for beginners but once again, like with the maduro, I found the “For Professional Smokers” label to be more hype than anything else.  It isn’t any more powerful and robust that a Camacho Corojo.  It is a full bodied and robust cigar but i didn’t find it to be over the top in power.  I thought it was a decent smoke but not something I feel compelled to smoke again.  I enjoyed the maduro and the Lite much more than the Corojo.  Still, I can can feel good about giving this cigar a “B”.

Rating – B

The Edge Maduro Toro Monday, Mar 9 2009 

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Country: Honduras
Wrapper: Corojo
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran, and a “Secret Country”
Size: Toro 6.0″ x 52 ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

This review of  The Edge by Rocky Patel is part of a mini series of reviews on three varieties of The Edge line of cigars.  This series of reviews is made possible by CigarsDirect.com.  Cast your vote for your favorite version of The Edge in our poll.

The maduro offering of the Edge certainly looks intimidating.  Its appearance might make you think the silly “professional smokers” warning on the box might have something to it.  The cigar is dark and oily.  The espresso like aroma and beefy ring gauge all add to the effect.

The first few puffs deliver a nice robust blast of black pepper.  After that it mellowed out a bit.  I’d say this cigar is a solid medium bodied smoke with simple flavors of black coffee and your typical maduro flavor and sweetness.  I picked up occasional flashes of charred wood.  Overall I found the cigar to have simple, enjoyable flavors.  A little one dimensional, the cigar never did anything to change things up but it was still a good cigar.  It is a strong smoke though.  It will give you quite a nicotine buzz.  While I’d agree this cigar probably isn’t a good choice for the novice, it doesn’t quite live up to the hype it has received as a full-bodied powerhouse.  Still, not a bad cigar.

Rating – B

The Edge Lite Torpedo Friday, Mar 6 2009 

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Country: Honduras
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Grown Connecticut
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan and Honduran
Size: Torpedo 6.0″ x 52 ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

This review of The Edge by Rocky Patel is part of a mini series of reviews on three varieties of The Edge line of cigars. This series of reviews is made possible by CigarsDirect.com. Cast your vote for your favorite version of The Edge in our poll.

This is a good looking torpedo with a creamy, light brown Ecuadorian grown Connecticut wrapper. It is fairly smooth and silky looking with only a few small veins. It is well filled and has a pleasant tobacco aroma. This is a handsome looking cigar.

The Edge Lite starts off very smooth and remains smooth all the way to the nub.  The initial flavors were creamy and woody with no spice at all.  It was mild and pleasant, but not at all bland.  The flavors are light and crisp, and they remain pretty consistent throughout the smoke, nicely complimented by notes of toasted nuts and hints of leather at different points in the smoke.  It has a slightly sweet finish that doesn’t linger for too long.  The burn was perfect from start to finish.  It produced a ton of thick creamy smoke and had a firm white ash.  The construction on this cigar was superb.

On his website Rocky boasts that The Edge Lite is the perfect Golf Course cigar.  He says you can sit this cigar down for 10 to 15 minutes and when you pick it back up it will still be lit and ready to smoke. I was skeptical so I put it to the test and put the cigar down for a little more than 10 minutes.  I picked it up and took a puff…  I’m impressed.  It had stayed lit and the burn remained straight.  I have never had a cigar that could go a whole 10 minutes without a draw and still stay lit.  I am a little curious how Rocky has accomplished this, but he tells the truth.  This cigar will stay lit, even without you drawing on it for more than 10 minutes.

The Edge Lite has turned out to be a pleasant surprise.  It is smooth, consistent and flavorful.  I think it is an excellent example of a mild cigar that actually has flavor.  At less than $6 a stick, I think this could be a nice cheaper alternative to a Cabaiguan.  I am not saying it is a replacement for them, just a cheaper “alternative”.

Rating – B+

Poll: Which Edge is your Edge? Tuesday, Mar 3 2009 

Since I am doing a mini series of reviews based on a line of cigars this month, and since this isn’t something I’ve done before, I figured I should really mix things up.  I anticipate doing this mini series will be fun, but to make it even more fun I want to make it even more interactive than just the normal post and comment format.  It is a perfect opportunity for another poll.  So Poll No.2 at Matt’s Cigar Journal asks this simple question.  Which Edge is your favorite?  The poll will remain open until the sometime after the last of the three reviews in this series is posted.  Lets see which one is the most popular amongst my readers…

Rocky Patel – The Edge Monday, Mar 2 2009 

This March I have decided to do a mini series of reviews on Rocky Patel’s “The Edge” line of cigars.  I will be smoking The Edge Corojo, Maduro, and Lite.  These reviews are all made possible by my friends at CigarsDirect.com.  I have decided to get all the fluff out of the way first and provide the background info on the cigars in this introductory post so when the reviews go up, I’ll be jumping right into the meat of it, writing about the construction and flavors of the individual cigars.

Believe it or not, at the time of this writing, I have never smoked an Edge cigar of an variety.  Surprising perhaps because of the immense popularity of this line of smokes, but also maybe more surprising to those that know me and my preferences in cigars.  I love a good, powerful, robust smoke.  So how is it I have made it all the way to 2009, 5 years after the release of this line of cigars, to get around to smoking them?  I don’t have a good answer for that one except to say I just never got around to it.  I have smoked other of Rocky’s cigars over the years and truth be told I have never found them to my liking.  A lot of his cigars are highly regarded and they are very popular but something about them has never really suited my palate.  As a result, I have never made it a priority to try The Edge.  I have been curious though and had planned to get around to them eventually.  Eventually is now it would appear.

The original release of The Edge included a Corojo and a Maduro wrapped version.  Later the line was added to with the Edge Lite wrapped in an Ecuadorian Shade Grown leaf and a Sumatran wrapped version was also added.  In addition to these line extensions, Rocky also added The Edge Missile which is a smaller, shorter torpedo version of the cigar.  I am excluding the Sumatran and the Missile from this series for now.  I may visit those two cigars at a later date.

The Edge Corojo and Maduro from Rocky Patel are touted as ultra full bodied, ultra powerful cigars.  The box even has a clever marketing gimmick on it in the guise or a warning label stating “Professional Smokers Only”.  Billed as being a bold, full bodied, full flavored smoke that will leave even seasoned smokers “weak in the knees”, these cigars have a bit to live up to in terms of their strength and the hype around it.  The binder is Nicaraguan and the blend for the filler is a secret.  According to Rocky, if you watch the flash video for The Edge on his website, the blend for the original two Edge cigars utilizes tobacco from an undisclosed country which apparently no one else uses tobacco from.  Seems like yet another clever marketing gimmick used in what looks to be a very gimmicky line of cigars.  The Edge is a large cigar too, each size being six inches in length and boasting beefy ring gauges.  They are available in three sizes:

  • Toro 6.0″ x 52 ring
  • Torpedo 6.0″ x 52 ring
  • Batallion 6.0″ x 60 ring

I will be smoking the Corojo and Maduro each in the Toro size.

The Edge Lite came later, though I am not sure how much later after the 2004 release of the original Edge cigars.  The Lite seems like an odd choice for a line extension for cigars whose main theme is power.  Power in strength and power in flavor.  The full bodied cigar market is only a very small portion of the cigar smokers market so I guess economics may have played a role in this one.  The Edge only appeals to that 15 to 20 percent of cigar smokers that enjoy bold full bodied smokes.  To reach out to the rest of the market, i guess it would make sense to offer a toned down version of the cigar, thus giving it access to all the revenue available by appealing to that other 80%.  This is all speculation on my part.  Truth is I have no idea the real reason behind the addition of The Edge Lite to the line.  Besides being wrapped in a shade grown Ecuadorian wrapper this cigar also has its own blend for the filler consisting of Nicaraguan and Honduran long filler.  It shares only the Nicaraguan binder with the original Edge cigars.  On his website Rocky boasts that The Edge Lite is the perfect Golf Course cigar.  He says you can sit this cigar down for 10 to 15 minutes and when you pick it back up it will still be lit and ready to smoke.  I may just have to put this claim to the test because I have to admit I am skeptical.  We will see first hand if the cigar can live up to the claim.  The Edge Lite is reported to be a smooth, mild, and creamy cigar with rich flavors and excellent construction.  It is available in four sizes:

  • Robusto 5.0″ x 50 ring
  • Toro 6.0″ x 52 ring
  • Torpedo 6.0″ x 52 ring
  • Double Corona 7.5″ x 52 ring

For this series I will be smoking The Edge Lite Torpedo.

So that’s the run down on these cigars.  My plan is to knock out these reviews in short order so they will be available over the next week or two weeks so stay tuned in.  And remember, you can pickup your own Edge cigars online at CigarsDirect.com.

The Reviews:

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