Stefan Morrone chose this cigar as his inaugural review for our magazine yesterday; welcome aboard Stefan! I think his review was very well done and I thought it would be interesting to compare and contrast our opinions, so I stepped up my schedule in continuing with my excellent Full-Bodied Sampler from Pipes and Cigars.com. Today’s stick: the Rocky Patel “the Edge.”
The Edge comes in a variety of shapes: Double Corona, Gordo, Robusto, Toro, and Torpedo. Like Stefan, I smoked the torpedo variant. The cigar was nicely presented; it had a latte colouration, and the wrappings and veins were tight but visible. It bore an attractive textured cream-coloured label with rough edges, suggesting parchment, at its foot with the Rocky Patel logo and the name “the Edge,” all clearly legible in active white-gold writing. Its wrapper note was barely noticeable. It originates in Honduras. I don’t smoke a lot of Honduran cigars, so I was looking forward to the change and comparison.
I cut the torpedo with the Moretti guillotine cutter that I received with the sampler. It was a difficult cut that left a bit of upturned leaf. I have read since that others have found minor flaws with the cap, so perhaps this was to be expected.
The pre-light draw was surprisingly complex: very woody and nutty, with a light latte element. This should hardly surprise me, since the wrapper has got to be the most interesting combination I have ever heard of: Candela, Corojo, and Habano Maduro! Wow! Mine was the Corojo variant. Its fillers are, to quote Cigars International, “a dazzling array of superior, aged premium tobaccos including ample Ligero, Edge allows one to realize the combined blending and cigar-making skills of Rocky Patel and Nestor Plasencia.” Well, this certainly sounded promising to me! However, the same write-up also cautions that this cigar is for professional smokers only, as it is “quite strong.” I looked forward to finding out just what caliber of smoker I had become.
Toasting the foot wafted an exceptionally pleasant room note, reminiscent of coffee in an old library, into the air. It produced a copious amount of pleasantly caramel-scented smoke when lit. The first few draws proved the warnings correct; an immediate jolt of nicotine blasted my system, along with the absolutely delightful caramel and wood notes, and a hint of that same latte element. It left a buttery caramel oil on my lips. Delicious! But I’m sure glad I didn’t try to smoke this while driving! I set the cigar beside me in my ashtray and set in to spend some time writing while the nicotine fired my neurons.
I thought that Stefan was being a lightweight when he said that it took him 40 minutes to smoke the first third; but I quickly found that it was taking me even longer, since I was smoking it cold in an attempt to mitigate its strength. It went out once in that time due to my efforts to take it easy, but re-lit without difficulty or without damaging the taste any. It took me about an hour to smoke that first third!
At about that time, the cigar began to pick up the chocolate elements that Stefan also mentioned, but just slightly. An undertone, as if someone had drunk a mocha and then a latte out of the same cup without rinsing it; very subtle and absolutely delightful. I also found, like Stefan, that the light had become somewhat wonky, probably because of the tortoise-like pace at which I was smoking, and I had to correct it.
By the second third, the cigar had taken on a decidedly-peppery element, and the woody cedar flavour strengthened while the caramel elements faded. It began to leave a pleasant leathery aftertaste in my mouth. Still thoroughly enjoyable, and what an adventure! I’ll add that it lost absolutely none of its strength.
About 45 minutes later I finally got into the final third. Strong woody, leather, and pepper elements dominated at this point, with a stronger coffee taste. The caramel had almost disappeared. By this time I had re-lit the cigar at least three times. Still as excellent and as strong as it had been at the beginning!
The draw all the way through was easy and pleasant. But it took me a little more than three hours to completely smoke this bad boy! The wrapping started to unravel a bit just as I let it burn out for the final time. Definitely a stick for veterans only; but what a stick! I am not surprised that Cigar Aficionado gave it a 90 rating and a “Best Value” rating.
My rating would be:
That’s a lady’s perspective.