A Great Spring Smoke with Some Setbacks (Rocky Patel Connecticut Torpedo)

2015-04-26 17.19.36The Okanagan Pipe and Cigar Club met for April at our home, and we seemed to be in more of a cigar mood than usual.  So since I had a few of them from the last order Erin got for me I thought I might share a couple of Rocky Patel Connecticut Torpedos with anyone who wanted one.  My son took me up on the offer.

I’ve enjoyed every Rocky Patel I’ve tried thus far, though I was a little overwhelmed by the power of the Edge.  And certainly Rocky Patel has produced its share of award-winners.  So I was really looking forward to it!

The wrapper was, as you’d imagine, a bright Connecticut.  It was so golden it was almost a candela; very fresh, green tobacco.  It is a rather large stick – a 53 ring gauge – as well as being rather long, so the club meeting offered a rare opportunity to sit and enjoy it completely.  The pack was on the softer side, which I was happy to see; I have found that often in the past that such a large cigar is in danger of developing a difficult draw when the pack is too tight.

2015-04-26 17.20.09The most significant factor in the construction of the Connecticut is probably the triple torpedo cap.  It’s not unique but it certainly isn’t common.  I think you can say that about the golden wrapper also.  Lots to like here if you’re looking for a change of pace!

So we clipped the cigars and found to our surprise that both of them peeled at the clip, even with my double-guillotine cutter.  Hmm; disappointing.  We persisted anyway and lit our cigars; me with my cedar spills and my son lit his like a Philistine with his Bic.  A lovely fresh hay and clover flavour flooded my mouth.  Delicious!  And the first draw was buttery and rich; amazing for such a green cigar.

It quickly became apparent, however, that the light was awry.  It was so bad it was necessary to correct it.  And even so, it ruined a perfectly good first third by going out prematurely and requiring clipping and re-lighting after a short 20 minutes.

Hmmf.  Well, I liked it well enough that I did clip it and I did continue to smoke it.  By this time, my son reported that his cigar had come almost completely apart, and half an hour in it was unsmokeable.

2015-04-26 18.34.49Mine continued, and I continued to enjoy that delightful fresh-mown hay flavour, which didn’t become at all bitter in the middle as expected; but it did start to crack, and significantly too.  Still, this was forty-five minutes into the smoke and it had somehow acquired a mild citrus overtone like nothing I’d encountered since Erin sampled the CAO Osa, so I stubborned through it anyway.  It didn’t lose much of the butter as the smoke progressed either.  Very enjoyable; definitely a winning combination.

Rocky Patels, I have found, are always stronger-bodied than advertised, and I caution you that this one was no exception.  It advertises itself as a mild-medium bodied smoke; all I can say is that Rocky’s cigar tasters must have preternatural resistance to nicotine.  I found it to be medium to medium-strong, and I smoked it quickly enough that I was a little lightheaded.

I am happy to report that the Connecticut continued to endure, despite the fault line it had developed, and maintained that delicious flavour combination that was like the first fresh buds of spring leaves.  However, the draw became progressively more difficult and it went out and turned mushy at about the time that the last third would have begun, which was an hour and fifteen minutes of smoking time.

Well, I will have to try this one again sometime I think, because it’s really tasty and has a lot to recommend it, but the construction issues significantly reduced our enjoyment of the experience.  Perhaps I didn’t let them re-humidify long enough in my humidor after shipping.  I am going to experiment with that and see what kind of effect it has on my cigars in the future, since this is not the first time I’ve had construction issues with otherwise impressive cigars.  I’ve smoked a lot of cigars now, but only for a couple of years, so sometimes I find things about which I am still learning.  Perhaps this is one of them.

Overall rating in this lady’s perspective:

3 and a half stars

You can get the Rocky Patel Connecticut at Cigars International at the outstanding price point (which alone earned the stick a half-star in my rating) of $27 USD for a five pack or $90 USD for a box of twenty plus ten cigar sampler; or at Cigar.com for $7.50 USD for a single, $25.50 USD for a five pack and $99.99 USD for a box of twenty.

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