Rocky Patel Cuban Blend Robusto
This cigar was part of a free nine-cigar sampler I got from Famous when I ordered a box of another cigar. It's one of several that Rocky offers only through the Pennsylvania retailer, which promotes it as "almost like getting a fine Cuban cigar without the Cuban price."
To be honest, I'm no expert on Cuban cigars. But this five and 1/2 inch Robusto did remind me of a couple of Cubans I've smoked. Unfortunately, those were machine-rolled sticks I wouldn't want to try again. I'd have to say the same for this 50 ring gauge cigar.
First, the positives: The draw is good, the cap well-applied, the burn straight, and the ash tight.
The negatives: A severe harshness led me to believe the Honduran ligero filler and the Corojo wrapper were too young. A bitter chemical/medicine taste in the last third was truly awful. The combination completely overwhelmed whatever flavors were present. Altogether, an unpleasant experience.
One interesting aspect I discovered thumbing through the Famous catalog fwas that a box of 20 sells for $87.99 while a five-pack is $16.50. That means you pay almost $22 less if you purchase four five-packs! Intrigued, I spot-checked the catalog and found similar deals on a number of other Famous exclusives, though I didn't notice this with regular brands.
So, if you plan to order a box of any cigars from Famous, I'd highly advise double checking the five-pack prices first. (And, no, they don't make up for it on shipping charges. Ground is based on whether the total is over or under $40, and air is one fee regardless.)
As for this cigar, I wouldn't recommend it. Because of the construction quality, I upped my rating a little and give it one and 1/2 out of five stogies.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008