If you've ever been curious about the cheapo line of "JR Alternatives" that JR Cigars boasts are just as good as expensive brand-name equivalents, you can rest assured: It's not true.
At least, not in the case of the JR "Alternative to Rocky Patel Edge Maduro" (toro size). This large, lightweight, visually appealing cigar lit up perfectly and gave me a heady rush with its easy draw and immediate Rocky-ish flavor. Wow! How exciting to think I'd found a 2-dollar cigar that was just as good as a Rocky! Amazing! Impossible! I puffed away like a maniac, in heaven as I stoked up my grill and threw on a few pounds of fresh meat.
My enthusiasm, however, was premature. Within 10 minutes, this cigar had turned into the inevitable dud that it had to be - tunneling itself info a muffled wimper of a burn, requiring re-light after re-light, and diminishing in flavor as it rapidly burned away, finally turning to bitter coal sludge by the last 2 inches.
One thing you can say about this cigar is, it performs like no other: One of the best first inches you'll ever smoke, and probably the lousiest second, third and fourth.
If you have a predilection for 10-minute smokes, and don't mind throwing away three-quarters of each cigar, buy yourself a box of these bottom-feeders. Otherwise, stick to the real thing.