Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan Ligero, Honduran Ligero
Size: 6 x 52 Toro
Today we take a look at the Rocky Patel The Edge Barrel-Aged.
Thanks to Joseph Jobes and Alex Gougher of Cigars International for the samples.
One size only.
From Cigars International:
“Since its inception, Rocky Patel’s The Edge has taken the market by storm. Refined yet punchy, smooth and suave but oozing with character and hearty spice, The Edge has no counterpart. Now after countless tests and years of experimentation, there’s a new member being welcomed to The Edge family, and it’s fresh out of the barrel.
“The bourbon barrel, that is. A Habano wrapper covers a long-filler blend of Nicaraguan and Honduran ligeros, a goodly portion of which was aged patiently in barrels once containing tasty bourbon. This extra step in the creation adds a noticeable layer of flavors to the eponymous Edge profile. The Edge Barrel-Aged starts with a medium-bodied profile which slowly build in intensity, and pumps out notes of charred oak, caramel, pepper, earth, and leather. It’s not often a blend as good as The Edge is improved, but innovation is one of the main reasons Rocky Patel sits at the top of the heap.”
I don’t see The Edge varietals as gorgeous as The Edge Barrel-Aged. Even in subdued room light, the wrapper shimmers with oils. Give the cigar some sunlight and it explodes with beauty. The Nic Habano wrapper is a shiny patina copper penny hue. Seams are as tight as a virgin’s determination. Plenty of veins; but add to the mountainous gorgeous-osity of the stick.
The cigar is solid but has the right amount of give. Packed with tobacco sausage. The cap is so expertly applied, I really can’t tell if it is a double or triple cap.
SMELL THE GLOVE:
The stick is bulbous with aromas: Worcestershire sauce, floral notes, a hint of bourbon, oak, malt, espresso, barnyard, chocolate covered raisins, white pepper, earthy tobacco, a touch of caramel, and marzipan.
The cold draw presents flavors of oak soaked bourbon, espresso, white pepper, caramel, nuts, a touch of cocoa, malt, and cedar.
The draw is too tight. I grab my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool and with a single swipe, I clear the plug; which in most cigars occurs around the area of the cigar band. I’m good to go now.
Normally, cigars that pronounce they’ve been aged in liquor barrels don’t really taste like the adjectives described by the blender. Not in this case. There is a distinct sweet flavor and aroma of the aged spirit.
The cigar is packed to the hilt with tobaccy. This Toro is going to be a 2-hour smoke…maybe more.
Right off, I get that smoky bourbon and oak flavor. They are followed by white pepper, creaminess (shows up for the first time), very nicely nutty, big dose of malt, hints of that Worcestershire sauce; heavy on the molasses that gives the cigar blend an immediate balance I like.
Strength is pretty much medium/full early on. This may be a knee knocker.
Complexity is on the prowl. There is a nice litany of transitions happening. One flavor moves to the next in quick succession. The finish is a multitude of elements that lingers on my tongue and teeth.
The Edge varieties have some decent blends. I’m not a fan of all of them but they are a popular brand. This baby is something special. It feels like Patel made the leap to boutique quality in a popular catalog cigar. I know I’m early in this and I’ve stepped on my dick many times in the past predicting that the beginning shall reign supreme throughout the smoke and been proven wrong. At this early part of the smokable kielbasa adventure, the blend appears to have a lot of potential. I hope I don’t need to retract this statement.
The PR statement by Patel doesn’t mention exactly how much bourbon barrel aging this cigar got…just that it was ‘aged patiently.’ It shows. I’ve had the cigars for only a month and this stick is behaving like it has a couple years on it.
In addition, the PR says it isn’t often that a blend as good as The Edge is improved, but innovation is part of Patel’s creed. That’s a mouthful. But in this case, unlike most PR, this may not be bullshit.
I’ve never smoked an Edge like this…literally. I won’t mention that Joe Jobes sent me the sticks in a plain envelope allowing most of them to be crushed by the postal service. I did manage to salvage one; so, I’m reviewing blind here.
Complexity deepens. The bourbon-soaked oak is coming through big time. The sweetness is perfect. I don’t taste chocolate or coffee…usually a staple in any Nic stick.
But the balance of savory v. sweet is perfection. I like chocolate and espresso, but this is a nice break in seeing how a cigar can impress without the stereotypical flavors one expects from leaf stats such as this cigar possesses.
The white pepper is very tame and does not interfere with the subtle flavors being emitted due to the ever-growing complexity.
Strength takes a step back and is now just plain medium. The cigar, on its own recognizance, has mellowed out nicely from the shot from a cannon start.
Raw almonds take a bite out of the apple. Smoky. Nutty. Sweet. Caramel, very naturally, climbs on its back like a Remora fish.
Transitions are smooth and delicate. This is what a high premium should be expected to do…perform. A lot of Patel naysayers are going to have the shit shocked out of them when they try this cigar. It isn’t getting a lot of PR. They just sort of appeared on online stores and B&M’s. I bet Patel and his people are sitting back and waiting for the applause and eyes pinned back effect this cigar brings to the table.
Damn. I never would have thought in a million years I’d be having such a great time with a $7.50 Edge. It’s a baby Jesus miracle. I checked Cigar Bid. They are going for even less than the online selling price. Once again, I betcha’ that in a few months, smokers will be outbidding each other like crazy and getting a killer deal will become harder to grab. Now is the time if auctions are your thing.
It’s taken 45 minutes to get here. Slow roll my babies.
Construction is immaculate. Not a single burn issue. What a champ.
Now, if the usual suspects of boutique manufacturers tried to release a cigar blend like this one, they’d be charging at least $12. But Patel has the juice in the biz that others don’t. Gives him a leg up. And smart marketing by keeping the price low. And its regular production…Feelin’ alright.
Motley Crue is playing. Back in the early 80’s, my band The Attitude was playing at some hot spot on the Sunset Strip along with the Crue. I remember walking in the dressing room we had to share with the band and there were the band members all getting head from groupies out in the open. Now we were no prudes but that was pretty outrageous. We didn’t have groupies. We had girl friends who got the brunt of our horniness at the end of the gigs. We had groupies when I was in Curved Air in the mid-70’s and it was just weird.
Each puff brings the blend to a higher plane of fruition. There is no quavering. The Rocky Patel The Edge Barrel-Aged is a solid premium blend that does not disappoint.
Medium/full once again.
First sip of water…my frontal lobe implodes. All of the earlier described flavors come rushing to the spotlight. Sharpening their elbows to push the other flavor elements out of the way. This is great.
Not a lick of cocoa or coffee. When is the last time you smoked a Nic blend that did not contain a little of the aforementioned? Me neither.
We’ve all smoked barrel aged sticks. This is the first that impresses the shit out of me.
The bourbon and oak are way upfront. Savory points from the Worcestershire sauce and raw almonds are cleaning house. The light touch of caramel works well with the delicate creaminess. The spiciness is at a perfect level for most smokers. Both that like their blends with a little kick and those that don’t like black pepper because it can overwhelm flavors.
The halfway point arrives at one hour 10 minutes. Normally, I don’t enjoy spending the entire morning or afternoon smoking one cigar…but this fully packed cigar is giving pure pleasure and I wouldn’t have it any other way. This could be my first 40,000 word review.
Speaking of my old Brit band Curved Air, they are celebrating their 50th reunion tour. They are currently in Tokyo. They brought back a few previous members to join them…no, I was not invited. But the way they made it sound, I thought there would be at least half of the 2700 ex-Curved Air members on the ticket. Instead, they picked 3.
They posted a 2-hour rehearsal video on their FB page. I watched 15 minutes. Oy vay. Nothing like the original member band. Lethargic and zero passion for their music. Out of pain and embarrassment for them, I stopped watching. Still, they are working and you have to hand it to them for achieving this.
I guess I gotta’ see “Parasite.” But I hate subtitles…knocks me out faster than watching The Eagles play (Sorry Dr. Rod).
The second half reaches for the heavens. What a delicious cigar. No shit. And I ain’t licking CI’s ass. They know who I am and encourage me to be me…no matter the cost. Good people over there.
I’m telling you right now that this cigar is box worthy…unless the last third takes a wrong turn; which I highly doubt will happen. The blend improves with determination.
“Come Together” is playing. Drummer Stewart Copeland had a flat just a few doors down from EMI Studios. Abbey Road Studios. Curved Air was always touring and recording when I was with them…so, it was nice to have a couple weeks off now and again. Stew and I would sit on his stoop, smoking a doob, watching the tourists trying to get the Abbey Road crosswalk photo. It was always chaos. But fun to watch.
This will be a 2-1/2 hour smoke.
Reviewing takes a big chunk of my time in situations like this. By the time I count the hours spent doing prep work, writing on Word, taking photos, relocating to WordPress and finishing up, I’ve got 4-5 hours put in. I want a raise.
The blend is never in stasis. Moves like a shark. Always impressing. Becoming more complex as time passes. I’m knocked out by the subtleties and nuances galore.
Even though this cigar becomes very potent…it is full tilt now, I think it would be a good cigar for newbies to try in an effort to expand their palate. I don’t think the strength will make their pates explode. Besides, I don’t believe you will find a better example of what real bourbon oak barrel aging should taste like.
It is freezing this morning. It’s in the teens. My balls have shrunk to the size of cantaloupes. I’m having flashes of what it is going to feel like when I close the windows.
I’ve hit the 2-hour mark.
And heeere’s nicotine. If I had smoked cigarettes, this wouldn’t bother me. But then I’d have COPD, so it’s a fair trade-off. Almost every person I know who has smoked cigs that are in their 50’s, and older, all have the disease.
I worked at the first Licorice Pizza record store in Long Beach, CA. It was in the late 60’s. The owner sold out and his chain became Sam Goody Records. One day, the owner had me play the first Zep album and picked out a song for me to play for a customer. I told him that there was a better tune to play and lay the needle on “Good Times, Bad Times.” When the customer left, the owner laid into me for doing this…making him look bad. What? He went to USC so you have to make allowances.
The initial reaction to the nicotine made my ass pucker; but now it has mellowed. I can still see out of one eye.
I have no idea how Patel is going to follow up with the next Edge release. This blend will be impossible to beat.
I love how consistent the flavor profile has been. Not a flavor bomb…it’s too subtle for that. But the over all experience is one of extreme pleasure. Strong complexity, balance, subtleties, nuances, and smoothness make this a cigar hard to put down.
I use my PerfecDraw tool as a nubber.
Take your Uncle Katman’s advice on this. This is a cigar you must try. But remember to allow it at least a month of naked humi time.
I’m going to attempt to take the smooshed sticks I got and glue them back together.
And now for something completely different:
1997 ~ I was 47…
Music in the background reminds me of this story. “Take the Money and Run” by the Steve Miller Band.
I was living and working in Phoenix during the 1990’s. I got this horrible project to run that was residential. The biggest home in Arizona up in the hills north of Scottsdale. The guy that owned it had just sold his well-known boat business Sea-Ray…and ended up with a gazillion dollars.
He was spending something in the neighborhood of $100 million ($170 million in 2020 dollars). The road to the top of the hill where the main house sat cost $25 million to construct. It had a caretaker’s house at the bottom. It had a housekeeper’s house about halfway up. And his house was on top of this hill that allowed you to see 50 miles for 360°. I don’t know how many acres it was but the land cost him around $35 million.
His house was perfectly round. All the rooms on the exterior walls were pie cut shaped. With a huge circle for the living room, kitchen, etc. in the middle.
His garage was a circle and big enough that you could drive a car into it and drive out of it facing the right direction to leave the house. Must have been 150 feet in diameter.
OK…preface over…on with the story…
I was in the Todd Hart Power Blues Band at the time and for Christmas Todd gave me a beautiful leather jacket with the band’s logo on it.
Todd on guitar, the drummer, and me on the far right in the background playing my Dobro electric upright bass like a guitar:
I had a meeting with the owner, architect, construction manager, and the structural engineer one morning at the new house.
The house owner saw my jacket and inquired.
Then he asked me if I knew Steve Miller? I laughed and said no.
He said that Steve was staying at his house in Paradise Valley…an old upscale part of Phoenix. Same place that Alice Cooper lives.
I should add that the owner of the company where I worked was there as well. He was my age. A real prick. Cheated on his wife openly with some bucktoothed chick that worked in the office eventually leading to his divorce.
So, the owner says that Miller is quite the guitar player. I nodded. He then took out his cell phone and made a call.
He hung up and asked if I wanted to stop by his house and meet Miller when business was done? Before I could answer, Brad, my boss, said “YES!”
We met Miller and he was as gracious as all get out. He had set up a little recording studio in one of the large rooms in the house. I was introduced and gave him my background for my 15 minutes (actually 10 years) in the music business.
Then he asked if I wanted to lay down some bass lines or just jam?
I told him that I didn’t have my gear with me. He laughed as he pointed to about 6 different basses in their stands. All were collector’s items and I picked the 1958 Fender Precision. It felt like I had owned it forever. I owned a 1968 Fender P that I bought from Martin Turner of Wishbone Ash. Curved Air’s manager, Miles Copeland, made the big time as he was the first manager to sign Wishbone Ash.
My boss was impressed with me for the first time. A few people came into the rehearsal studio but weren’t introduced. I had no idea who they were. One was a drummer.
I was freaking out. I didn’t know any of his songs. Miller graciously suggested we start with a blues chords improv. You know…1-4-5?
We played for an hour on one tune and took it everywhere. Miller and I and the drummer were having so much fun, that time lost its value.
Miller invited me to stay all day and asked if I could lay down some bass lines on stuff he was working on.
But noooo…my prick boss said we had to get back to the office. He was becoming aggravated that his lowly project manager was getting all this attention.
We all glad handed each other and Brad and I left in his new Corvette. I didn’t say a word to him the entire 45 minutes back to the office.
We get back and Brad goes on about what happened. But forgets to mention how Miller and I bonded and how much he liked my playing.
Of course, the truth came out during the day as I was pounded for more info. Brad liked to leave early in the day to go fuck his sweetie.
So, all work stopped and I told the story of Miller and I playing together.
I never saw Steve Miller again. But a week later, I met with the house owner and he told me how much Miller appreciated me being there because he had recorded the whole jam and it gave him some ideas for new compositions.
Oh well…you can pick your nose but you can’t pick your boss.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS