|Rocky Patel Edge Candela|
Rocky Patel Premium Cigars became the latest premium cigar manufacturer to release a candela cigar. The release of the Rocky Patel Edge Candela is the third major candela release for 2012 joining La Flor Dominicana (Double Claro) and Viaje (WLP St. Patrick’s Day Candela 2012). Candela (technically called Double Claro) wrappers are distinguished by their green color and tend to be both milder in terms of strength and body. The recent releases by Viaje, La Flor, and Illusione (2011) have attempted to redefine candela and to varying degrees have been successful. With the case of the Rocky Patel Edge Candela, Rocky Patel delivers a cigar is successful at delivering some bolder flavors, yet being more traditional from a flavor standpoint in terms of a candela cigar.
For the its candela offering, Rocky Patel has chosen to add it to its’ “Edge” brand. This is one of Rocky Patel Premium Cigars’ most successful brands. This brand has been successful by basically being a no-frills looking cigar that does not have a lot of marketing behind it. Rocky Patel has already created four additional blends in the Edge family: Corojo, Maduro, Sumatra, and Lite (Connecticut Shade). The Edge Candela marks the fifth blend in the family, and word is that a Nicaraguan version of the Edge is coming later this year.
Let’s break down the Edge Candela and see what this cigar brings to the table:
Lately, Rocky Patel Premium Cigars’ has been a lot more secretive with its blend composition. While this can be frustrating at times to cigar enthusiasts, I look at it as more of a positive because it allows one to do a little guesswork in terms of what the blend might be. For the Edge Candela, very little has been disclosed.
Wrapper: Habano Seed Candela
At this time the Edge Candela has only been released in one size, a 6 x 52 toro.
The Edge Candela has more of a olive-brown color to it. While sometimes I like more of a classic St. Patrick’s Day green on my candela cigars, the olive-brown color gives it a rustic look. The light colored wrapper makes the wrapper seams and veins visible across the surface of the cigar. The cigar has more of a sandy feel to it, but is not bumpy or toothy.
Like all Edge cigars, the Edge Candela has a footer band. It is an ivory colored band with the “RP” logo in a olive-gold color. It also features the text “The Edge” and “Rocky Patel” in olive gold cursive.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
A lot of times with footer bands, I will remove it and then put it back on over the cap. I do this to help keep the identity of the cigar fresh in my mind (it’s more of an anal habit on my end). In the case of the Edge Candela, I opted not to do this because the candela wrapper tends to be very delicate and I did not want to damage it.
I placed a straight cut into the cap and commenced with a pre-light draw. The dry draw notes I detected were wood and hay. It was not an exciting pre-light draw from my perspective, however since we do not assess the pre-light draw as part of our scores, there was no loss of points here. At this point, it was time to fire up my Edge Candela. Once again, since this was a delicate wrapper, I opted to carefully toast the circumference of the foot to not burn it. It was then on to toasting the filler and begin the smoking experience.
It took me a while to getting around to smoke the Edge Candela. I had read a review from our trusted reciprocal web-sites “A Cigar Smoker’s Journal”. In that review, Peter Glad mentioned tea notes, so I admit I had this flavor in my head and I was on the lookout for these flavors. The start to the Edge Candela did not give me these notes. I detected a combination of wood, hay, and grass to start. There also was a hint of cream and pepper in the background.
Shortly into the cigar experience, I did also detect some tea notes in the background, however it was the cream notes that rose to the forefront quickly. By the ten percent mark, the cream was the primary note. The wood, hay, and grass notes became secondary, and the pepper was a tertiary note.
As the cigar progressed through the first third, the tea notes joined the cream as a primary note. The other secondary and tertiary notes remained constant. At the midway point the cream notes subsided to the background and the wood notes graduated to the forefront with the tea notes.
The last third saw an increase in the pepper spice. That spice would join the tea and wood notes as the cigar experience came to a close. The spice got a little harsher at the end than I would prefer. The resulting nub was very good from a physical standpoint – firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
From the construction attributes of burn and draw, the Edge Candela had one of the better scores I’ve seen from recent candela releases. The burn line remained sharp from start to finish – with minimal touch-ups needed. The burn rate and burn temperature were also ideal. The draw was outstanding. This made the Edge Candela a very low maintenance cigar experience.
Strength and Body
Candela wrappers are not going to generate much of a nicotine buzz and the Edge Candela is no exception to this rule. For the majority of the smoking experience, the Edge Candela is going to be a classic mild strength cigar. Toward the last third, there is an increase in strength and the cigar moves into the upper end of mild to medium in terms of strength.
As for the depth of the flavor notes, the Edge Candela is going to deliver some robust notes for a candela cigar. I assessed this to be a medium-bodied cigar from start to finish. I would say the body has an “edge” over the strength for the entire smoking experience – even though there is an increase in strength at the end of the cigar.
I felt for the most part, the Rocky Patel Edge Candela delivers a classic candela smoke. The differentiating factor is the flavors are more robust than most candelas (medium-bodied). Credit must be given to Rocky Patel for making a well-constructed candela cigar. Candelas are not for everyone. While they are good for novice cigar enthusiasts, seasoned cigar enthusiasts still tend to want a little more strength from their cigar. I would recommend this to a novice enthusiast or to a seasoned enthusiast who doesn’t mind a candela. While this wasn’t in my first choice for a flavor profile, the flavors were not bad – and I wouldn’t mind this cigar as a change of pace of cigar from time to time.
Strength: Mild (Mild to Medium toward end)
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: The cigar for this assessment was purchased from Smoke on the Water Cigar Bar in Weston, Florida.