Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Size: 6.5 x 52 “Toro”
Today we take a look at the new Rocky Patel Prohibition Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro.
And yes, I am a glutton for punishment.
It made its debut at the 2014 IPCPR trade show.
There are two wrappers on top of the same blend: Conn. Broadleaf and a Mexican San Andrés Maduro. I find it odd that both cigars are Maduros and the only difference is the maduro wrapper. In fact, they are difficult to tell apart if not for the cigar band. The Broadleaf Maduro has a brown cigar band and the Mexican San Andrés Maduro has a white cigar band.
The gimmick is in the presentation. There will be a large bootlegger’s crate with six moonshine (Mason) jars with 16 cigars in each one. Each crate will contain 3 jars of each blend.
From the Rocky Patel Premium Cigars web site:
“The Broadleaf version of Prohibition is well balanced with a predominant sweet spicy profile. As the cigar progresses, the sweet spicy core is accompanied by undertones of coffee, leather, dark chocolate with a slight hint of molasses. The finish is big & rich with a lingering sweet woody flavor.”
Down to brass tacks. Unless Patel has changed the manner in which he blends cigars, there is no possibility that this stick is ready to smoke at only 7 weeks humidor time. But I am running out of review cigars and I feel optimistic this morning. Why? Because a reader, Ryan Wildman, turned me on to a bona fide Cuban cigar online store whose cigars are much cheaper than the one I recommended in yesterday’s review. It is called “Cigars of Habanos.” I did comparison checks between this store and the one yesterday and CoH seems to have beaten the pants off of it. I did my research and CoH is genuinely for real.
Back to the Rocky Patel Prohibition Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro.
Rustic, rustic, rustic. Very lopsided. A mess of veins both big and small. But the seams are more than tolerable. I like the packing of the stick as it is consistent throughout the cigar. And a near perfect triple cap. The wrapper has just a scoche of oiliness but is mostly a matte finish.
I clip the cap and find aromas of Hershey’s baking cocoa, sweetness, fruit, cedar, and spice. (It is going to be a spicy start as sticking my nose along the cigar and the foot makes me sneeze three times quickly. And this only happens when there is pepper to be found; not real pepper of course…I think I’ve gone out on a limb and I’m now rambling).
Time to light up.
“Wop bop a loo bop a lop bam boom!!” There is an avalanche of spice!
The char line goes wavy immediately so I touch it up. As the torch hits the foot, smoke pours from three pin holes in the wrapper in the bottom half of the cigar.
When my eyes roll back into their proper position, I can taste dark chocolate, rich earthiness, a nice sweetness and a fruit to be named later in the pick.
You know I’m in Wisconsin, right? The Super Bowl is next Sunday and I don’t give a shit!
The spiciness is more than just red pepper. It has curry spices. I can taste cumin.
The fruit is a berry. Which one? It is a dark berry. Like blackberry or blueberry or boysenberry or black currant. Maybe when the spiciness calms down.
Coffee makes its way through along with the sweetness morphing into light molasses and honey.
It is definitely a combo of fruits. I splurge every few months and buy this French made bottle of preserves called St. Dalfour Four Fruits Spread. It is unbelievable and that is the fruity combo I taste…for the most part: Strawberries, Red Raspberries, Black Raspberries, Cherries, Sweetened Only with Fruit Juice Concentrates (Grape and Date), Fruit Pectin, Lemon Juice.
This flavor profile cannot be pinned down to only one fruit. Prices are all over the place. At my upscale market in Milwaukee, it’s over $5. Go to Walmart.com and it’s over $25.
Back to the Rocky Patel Prohibition Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro. The flavors are somewhat static now: Spice, chocolate, coffee, creaminess, fruit, honey, light molasses, cedar, leather, and that rich earthiness.
Which isn’t bad but the flavors are far from flamboyant. Which is just Okey Doke. Nuanced with little bits of character is nice. Not every cigar has to blare its flavors at you with a bullhorn.
The second third begins.
The flavors are blaring. (I’m such a schmuck.)
The Rocky Patel Prohibition Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro has a familiar flavor. Illusione has that guttural roughness in the back of the throat that comes from the strength and the blend. This Prohibition seems to have that same trait. The strength started out at medium body and is now medium/full. If I blind tasted this stick, I just might have confused it for one of the Illusione blends.
I do a quick check. Not a lot of reviews for this blend. Mostly for the Mexican maduro. A couple reviews mention bitterness which I don’t taste. It may in fact be that “It” thing that Illusione has. Just spit ballin’ here.
This is actually a very decent stick. I will probably get some idiot commenting that I am the idiot for even comparing a Patel to a Giolito blend.
But I think Patel has done something wonderful here. He has gotten away from the norm of what you expect from him: Drek.
This is a well thought out mixture. And it has that New Breed style of blending. For once, a Patel doesn’t need 5 months of humidor time to reach the blender’s intent.
The price point. $8.00. I think that the Rocky Patel Prohibition Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro is worth the dough. I’m sure if you lurk around the web, you might be able to find it cheaper. The cigar has the qualities needed to call it a premium cigar.
The flavors go back to being subtle once again. No blaring. Like a woman, can’t make her mind up.
The only caveat to my description is that this is my first cigar of the day. These nuanced flavors might get lost if this is your 6th cigar of the day…when you are coughing up fur balls.
The construction, despite the funky look, is holding up nicely. The char line, while not razor sharp, is within limits of being just fine. The wrapper is holding up nicely. As is the cap.
It is a slow smoke. I’ve smoked 2-1/2” and I’ve invested about 45 minutes in it. So it will most definitely be a 90+ minute smoke.
I reach the halfway point.
There is a new nutty element. It is also very toasty. The berry components back off a bit. The coffee begins to make its move. The creaminess is not so creamy any longer. Making it even more like an Illusione.
I like the Rocky Patel Prohibition Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro a lot. I can’t wait to try the other maduro blend. The few reviews I read all said the same thing. They liked the Mexican wrapper better.
The cigar is probably getting the cold shoulder from experienced cigar smokers. They tend to stay away from Patel blends. And for a good reason. They tend to be more for the new smoker or the inexperienced. Of course, there are exceptions.
This would explain why there are so few reviews of this cigar…even though it came out recently. Reviewers are probably letting them rest for months before writing about them because they have been trained like Pavlov’s rats. Including me.
And then near the start of the last third, the cigar picks up speed. The creaminess returns. And the nuanced profile once again blares. My biggest criticism of this cigar is that. The inconsistency of the ebb and flow of flavors. More humidor time?
On a different note…I just received the new Headlines 2nd Edition from Arby Sosa. They are 6 x 60. So they will take some humidor time before I can review them. Take a look at how beautiful they are…just oozing oil.
The last third begins.
The strength hits full bodied. And the nicotine runs down my leg.
My dear departed mother made me take typing in high school. I was the only guy in the class. How humiliating. But she told me I needed to know how to
type for college. She was right. I can type like the wind now. Unless I am under the influence of nicotine. I don’t know how cigarette smokers do it.
This is the sweet spot for the Rocky Patel Prohibition Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro. Flavors aren’t just blaring; they are blasting away.
The list is the same except for the addition of nuts and toastiness.
I stare at the cigar and all of its 2” to go and I have no idea how I’m going to make it. I had nothing to eat; as usual.
But I’m a trooper and I finish the cigar despite my hallucinations.
I’d have to say yes to the Rocky Patel Prohibition Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro. It is a solid blend. Interesting. Flavorful. And very earthy tobacco notes.
Just eat something before lighting one up. That way you won’t see the lighted tunnel with your dead relatives beckoning you to follow that light.
With 1″ to go, I have to put it down. I’m a wuss about nicotine.
Final smoke time is 2 hours.
And now for something completely different:
Continued….The Sonja Chronicles.
That first tour where I had to keep a secret from the band about Sonja’s rehab nearly gave me a nervous breakdown. Here I was. A kid from California and I was whisked away in a flash after landing on English soil into one of the progressive rock bands in Europe, Japan, and South America. They just couldn’t budge in North America.
Sonja’s instability while tapering off her morphine addiction under a doctor’s care was horrifying. Never saw anything like that.
She had serious insecurity issues. On the albums before this tour, she portrayed a lovely feminine voice. On the tour, she thought she was Janis. So some of the reviews of our concerts were devastating as they ripped her a new one. Of course, they thought the band was brilliant and I got mentioned a lot for bringing new life to the rhythm section.
Every time Sonja read a review, she tried faux suicide attempts. Some not so faux.
She used to cut her wrists a lot. But would use blunt instruments to do so. And therefore, only made her arms ugly.
We played in Dover. Jeff Beck was there. Jazz violinist Jean Luc Ponty was there. And Mahavishnu Orchestra violinist Jerry Goodman was there. They even jammed with us during our encores.
IN the dressing room after the show, I shoved Sonja into the bathroom and told her to change. We had to get back to the hotel and shoot her up with methadone. She never shot up before a concert because it made her high. Of course, the rest of the band members were high on either hash or alcohol. But no matter.
So by the time we got back to the hotel, she was long overdue for that shot.
All three of those monster musicians were visiting in the dressing room and I forgot about Sonja.
I dashed to the bathroom. She had been in there for over an hour. I knocked. No answer. I knocked again and again. No answer.
That was it. I couldn’t take it anymore. I went back to the dressing room and told the band what was going on. They were livid.
All of us tried to cajole Sonja out of the bathroom but she never made a sound so we broke the door in.
There she sat. on the toilet. Unconscious and her arms extended away from her body with blood running down them. They were superficial wounds caused by a bottle opener.
We carried her to the couch in the dressing room and I went into my gig bag and got her stuff. Minutes later, she was fine.
The tour lasted 6 weeks. The band was in an uproar when they found out about Sonja. Darryl threatened to quit the tour.
I was the peacemaker as I had finally found the big time and didn’t want to lose it. Naturally, this position made me rife for being the scapegoat a couple years later. Someone had to be sacrificed for a poor recording of an album in 1975; so why not pick the one least responsible for the problems? The bassist of course. The peacemaker.
Sonja and the drummer, Stewart Copeland, became a thing. They eventually married.
Back then, Stew was not half the drummer as he was in The Police. He would constantly solo like Keith Moon did. And this pissed off Darryl something awful. He and the guitarist would be up front of the stage trading riffs and Stew was soloing. They had no idea where “1” was. So I started playing quarter notes and accenting the 1 count so they knew where they were. I had to abandon my cool riffs to play quarter notes.
So, like clockwork, Stew got fired by Darryl every single week. A brouhaha would break out and Sonja would threaten to leave the band if Stew went.
So every week, fired…re-hired…fired…re-hired. This was very tiresome.
Sonja finally got well after that tour. She was welcomed back to the real world. She became productive and began to write songs again. But the rancor between her and Darryl never went away.
Darryl was probably the most arrogant S.O.B.’s I had ever met in the music biz. It was impossible to please him and, of course, his shit didn’t stink.
Darryl invited me and my girlfriend to move in with him in the little town of Datchet outside of London. It was a great deal and we would save money. Darryl still liked me back then.
But as things do, shit happens….
To be continued….
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS