Monday, March 26, 2012

Review of Corojo Especial by Rocky Patel

The Corojo Especial torpedo by Rocky Patel is a wondrous, inexpensive cigar that I stumbled upon courtesy of the diligent marketers at, who slipped one into a sampler pack. If I had known this cigar existed two years ago, I would have bought a few bundles instead of some of the overpriced dogs hogging space in my humidor.

This review is more objective than most because this mysterious cigar includes no manufacturer identification on its band - just the words "Corojo Especial" and lots of flowery bronze artwork. I took it on vacation with no Internet access, and smoked it without knowing who made it - a blind taste test if there ever was one. After I came home I did some frenzied web searching, because I absolutely had to know.

Lo and behold, it's a Rocky Patel toss-off, a cheap bundled production that apparently didn't make the grade in the marketplace. But just because it's cheap doesn't mean I can forget what happened when I smoked it: The Corojo Especial simply blew me away.

It's expertly rolled, with a beautiful deep brown hue, slightly coarse in appearance but constructed as expertly as a $12.00 cigar. It lit and drew perfectly (an open but cool draw, just the way I like it) and tasted as good as any top-line corojo I've smoked. The smoke was full-bodied but medium in strength, with lots of flavor, never a bitter streak, and fine performance to the nub. This is one of those cigars that makes you feel like you're eating your favorite dessert; it just keeps delivering puff after puff of nutty, earthy, creamy pleasure. I had to restrain myself from chugging on it like a choo-choo train.

Did I like this cigar, you ask? Here are a few comparisons to help you picture its flavor:
Either this was "first stick luck" or the RP Corojo Especial is a secret that few people are in on. I know we've all had the experience of a great cigar that doesn't duplicate on the 2nd or 3rd smoking - so if anyone else has tried a few Corojo Especials, I'd like to know if the quality holds up over multiple outings.

I'm damned tempted to buy two or three bundles of these before everybody else finds out. They're only $49.95 for a bundle of 20 at the cigarsdirect site. I'd say buy a bundle and split them up with your friends, but you might regret that. After you've smoked one, you'll probably want to keep the rest for yourself.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Review of Alec Bradley American Classic Blend - Corona

The Alec Bradley American Classic Blend offers a decent-looking and well-constructed corona, sized 5.5 x 42. I found it to be much stronger than advertised, but a little on the sharp side. Good draw, lots of body in the smoke, flavor fairly basic but better than expected for a Connecticut wrapped cigar. The taste leans  towards the standard Fuente series, not the dreaded sheet-of-paper taste of many Connecticuts I've tried. It got rather peppery in the middle - a quality I enjoy.

Not an exciting or powerful cigar, but worth trying if you like medium strength and the Dominican cigar experience as a rule - with some black pepper thrown in. I'm not saying this is a Dominican cigar (I haven't read the specs) but it reminds me of many Dominicans I've had. I find it one-dimensional but it might be a dimension many smokers enjoy.

Review of Victor Sinclair Bohemian Red Chisel

Nothing much good to say about this cigar. It's hard as a rock to the touch. Cutting back the chisel reveals poor workmanship. Draw is tough and tight. Upon lighting, mild ashy flavor progresses very little. A few nuances of wood and sweetness come through - barely discernable. You puff and puff and nothing much happens. I gave up after the halfway point and had a horrible taste in my mouth the next day.

Bad cigar at any price. Not a "poor man's bargain" because it simply can't be smoked. Stay away. Don't bid on it at the auctions. Don't buy it when it's on sale.