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Staff Reviews

Rocky Patel Velvet Edition Staff Review

Tom O. O's picture

Tom O.

I’m a diehard golfer, and, although I don’t hit the greens much during the colder months where I live in the Northeast, I can never have too many golf ‘gars in my humidor. Today, I’m smoking an old standby – Rocky Patel Velvet Edition – in a 6.5-by-52 Toro. This is the time of year I start to go stir crazy waiting to get my clubs out of the closet, so I purposefully smoke some of my favorite cigars for the course until spring is here.

The competition is stiff in this category. There are tons of awesome mild cigars. Rocky even produces a complete line of inexpensive golf-themed bundles, called Rocky Patel Mulligans, which are great for golfing when you’re on a tight budget. Velvet Edition isn’t as cheap, but you can score a huge discount when you buy a box, and the blend bears all the hallmarks you would expect from a high-quality premium handmade.

Rocky Patel is pushing thirty years in the cigar business, and he just received the ‘#2 Cigar of the Year’ honors from the critics in Cigar Aficionado for his Rocky Patel Sixty cigar. His cigars are made in Honduras or Nicaragua. Velvet Edition hails from the former, and it exhibits the attention to detail and consistency that have made Rocky Patel a household name in humidors around the world.

Velvet Edition cigars are blended from an oily blond Connecticut-seed wrapper, grown in Ecuador, and a complex recipe of premium Nicaraguan long-filler tobaccos. Four popular sizes are available, including a chunky 60 ring shape, and each cigar is finished in a classy navy-blue-and-gold cigar band. They’re packaged in black cedar boxes of 20 cigars. I’m smoking a Toro because that’s a size I prefer when I’m golfing; it’s not too big or too small, and it burns for about an hour. When I pluck one from a fresh box and slip the cellophane off, I’m transplanted to another dimension – where it’s warm, the birds are chirping, and my buddies are loading a cooler full of beer onto the golf cart.

The wrapper is a shade dark for an Ecuador Connecticut but perfectly smooth to the touch. It’s been seamlessly applied right up to the cap, which fits like a glove under the blade of my razor-sharp Xikar VX2 V-Cutter. Occasionally, I like a V-cut when I’m smoking a milder cigar to concentrate the taste with more intensity. Nutty aromas of hay and oak perfume my nostrils when I smell the unlit foot of a Velvet Edition Toro. Once it’s in my mouth, a refreshing profile of cedar and white pepper resonates with a hint of sweetness.

Rocky Patel Velvet Edition cigars are patiently assembled, and the skill of the rollers is evident the second I light up. Cool clouds of luscious smoke layer my palate and fill my nose and the room with attractive aroma. Fans of Rocky Patel cigars consider Velvet Edition a creamier and more refined version of Rocky Patel Vintage 1999. The blends share a similar makeup, and both are more approachable than other cigars in the Rocky portfolio due their lighter wrapper leaves.

After fifteen minutes, peppery nuances play a bigger role in the taste, but a chewy undercurrent of buttered toast keeps everything in balance. A clean and steady ash makes me look like a pro while I’m smoking because it stays intact until I’m ready to tap it into the ashtray. I’m not exaggerating when I say I could probably smoke this cigar for three hours without tiring of it.

Rocky Patel Velvet Edition develops with uniform flavor throughout the second half. Consistent notes of cedar and spice mingle with a hint of cereal and coffee bean, and the cigar maintains its buttery texture well past the band. Three things make a cigar great for the golf course – approachable taste, reliable construction, and an affordable price. You want a cigar you can proudly share with your pals – not something that’s bitter or embarrassing. Add a box of Velvet Edition to your coolerdor and get acquainted with a creamy and easygoing gem from Rocky before golf season is back in the forecast.  


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