For the weekend review I pulled out the Rocky Patel Edge A-10 The Sixty, which is a gordo size stick coming in at 6×60 – while I don’t usually go for the larger ring cigars, this was a gift from my wife, which she purchased from a local brick and mortar tobacconist in Charlottesville, VA back in May of 2016, so the cigar in this review has just over two years of rest in our humidor. I was so well impressed with this cigar that I ended up purchasing a half a box of the toro sized vitola right before writing up my review – I hope that the toro smokes as well as the gordo has.
This is a sexy cigar – the barber pole presentation of the Maduro and Corojo wrappers is flawless – very uniform roll, with even width on the wrapper stripes, just beautiful. The Corojo and Maduro wrappers are both oily, blemish free and very uniform in color – there are very small veins and the transition between each wrapper leaf is nearly invisible, as if the wrapper was a single piece and not a combination of two separate leaves. Just an impeccable presentation and a beautiful cigar.
The cigar was firm, there were no soft spots or bulges in the body of the cigar and it felt uniform in firmness from the foot to the head. The construction of this cigar is nearly perfect – the cigar smoked for this review had some flaws in the wrapper at the head, removing the foot band revealed that the foot was a little ragged and there were a couple of cracks in our wrapper.
I decided to v-cut this cigar, which was easily achieved and looking at the cut I could see the Corojo and Maduro wrapper went all the way to the cap – this cigar appears to have a traditional triple cap, and cutting the cigar did not cause any damage to the head.
Lighting the cigar is quickly achieved using my triple flame torch, and the burn begins a little uneven because of the ragged edges of the foot. This uneven burn had corrected itself by about a half inch into the cigar and maintained a fairly even, although a little wavy burn line throughout the rest of the smoking experience. It is important to note that many barber pole designed cigars have burn issues, however the A-10 never canoed or angled in the burn, which is impressive.
The cigar maintained its pre-light construction throughout the smoking session, despite the few cracks in the wrapper, there was no issues with unravelling or compromised burn. No additional cracks or splits occurred during the smoking of this cigar either, which was a pleasant surprise.
The ash of this cigar has an outside coloration of a medium gray with dark gray, likely due to the combination wrapper – the internal ash is a fairly uniform medium gray color. The ash itself is tight and does not fray out from the cigar as smoking. The first ashing occurred at about 1.5 inches, the second ashing around the halfway point of the cigar, a third ashing about an inch after and the cigar was laid to rest with a good 1.5 inches of ash still attached to the cigar.
Overall the presentation of this cigar is just beautiful, and I tip my hat to the rollers that achieved a barber pole cigar without the common barber pole issues that many other brands have shown. I was a little disappointed in the construction issues of this cigar, especially considering this is an anniversary issue cigar, which to me means that every cigar that makes it to a box had better meet the strictest quality control standards – I can understand small cracks in a cigar wrapper as this is likely due to transport issues with changing humidity, but to have obvious wrapper imperfections at the head and a ragged foot is poor quality control and should have been culled to a seconds bin.
Total Appearance and Construction: 20/25
The pre-light aroma of the cigar provides notes of cedar and spice mixed with a peppery undertone and hints of sweet tobacco. Smelling the foot of the cigar provides aromas of a more intense baking spice with notes of coffee, cedar and sweetness.
Upon lighting the cigar, I am greeted with a mix of pepper, tobacco, cedar wood and an undertone of leather in the background. The flavor profile has started very mild, and the pepper while in the forefront is not overpowering. By the halfway point of the first third the tobacco flavor has faded to give way to baking spices, and cedar with a remaining undertone of leather. The flavor profile and body of the cigar has ramped up to medium profile, which is nice. On a retrohale there are more pronounced notes of baking spice and cedar in the nose.
Moving into the second third the pepper has returned to the profile, mixed with cedar and a more pronounced leather, with baking spices moving to the background and joined with hints of coffee and sweetness. By the halfway point of the cigar the flavor profile is that of woody, a little earthy with hints of pepper and the coffee and sweetness moving forward to become more noticeable. The profile of the cigar in both flavor and body id now a medium-full. Rounding out the second third cedar wood and earthy flavors are predominant with still subtle notes of espresso and sweetness in the background. On a retrohale there are definite notes of backing spices and sweet tobacco left in the nose, with a subtle note of cedar.
Moving into the final third of the cigar the pepper is coming back to the profile, with earth and cedar wood. Espresso and sweet spices linger in the background. The pepper is gaining in strength as I make my way closer to the end of the cigar, with the espresso and baking spices fading away leaving only predominant pepper with cedar and earthy tones – pepper now lingers on the tongue and lips and tickles the nose. Finishing the cigar pepper is the predominant flavor with earthy and woody notes in the background.
The flavor of this cigar was complex yet balanced, there was no point in smoking where a flavor seemed like it didn’t belong – flavor transition was gradual and smooth, no sudden changes from one to the next. I was very pleased with the subtleness of the pepper in this cigar until the very end where it became the dominant flavor, almost as to leave that lasting impression, a bold farewell. The earthy and woody flavors from the Corojo mixed beautifully with the subtle sweetness and coffee – just a well-balanced profile. For me, I think the flavor and body of the cigar reached a maximum medium-full, despite being advertised as a full-bodied cigar, however I think it worked well and if I could change anything about the flavor of the cigar would be to have some more depth on the baking spices and coffee, but overall this was a great smoke and well balanced. I am anxious to see how the toro size compares to this gordo.
Total Flavor: 25/25
Smoking Characteristics (25)
I don’t generally smoke the large ring cigars; however, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this gordo sized cigar didn’t feel overwhelming. I think that going with a v-notch cut contributed to this as with the v-notch the draw was perfect, not too easy nor too tight. The cigar lit fairly easy, albeit with a few more passes around with the torch than my usual robusto vitola. Once lit the cigar never needed touching up or a relight. The smoke flowed from this cigar at a very good rate, the burn was slow and deliberate, with a final smoking time of about an hour and thirty minutes.
The smoke produced from this cigar was thick, and lingered well in the air, with earthy, wheat like aromas, mixed with cedar wood and straight tobacco smells. A pleasing aroma that is reminiscent or an old barn in the dead of summer. The smoke has a creamy feeling on the exhale, flowing slow and deliberate across the lips and through the nose, hanging in the air before dissipating.
As stated the balance of the cigar was well crafted, without harsh or sudden changes in either flavor or body of the smoke. While the flavor profile did start fairly mild it quickly bumped up to a medium profile and gradually made its way to medium-full.
Total Smoking Characteristics: 24/25
Overall Impression (25)
This is a beautiful cigar that provides a smoking experience that is both pleasing and memorable. There was nothing disappointing about this cigar in way of flavor – my only complaint about this cigar was the obvious manufacturing defects that made it past quality control, however based on the merits of the cigar, its flavor, how it smoked and the overall smoking experience, this was hands down an amazing cigar that is worthy of being an anniversary blend for such an iconic line of cigars.
Total Overall Impression: 23/25
I would classify this cigar as a top shelf smoke, this is a cigar you want in your humidor for those times when you want to sit back and relax with a nice drink and be able to pay proper attention to the flavors of the cigar you are smoking. I enjoyed this cigar so much that I put through an order before writing up this review so I can get more in the humidor. This cigar is a pleasure to smoke, a pleasure to be around when smoked and gets our recommendation for being added to anyone’s lineup. When its all said and done, the Rocky Patel Edge A-10 gordo has earned an A rating with an overall score of 92/100
Overall Grade: 92/100
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This is a good middle of the road, second shelf cigar, it’s not top shelf or something that I would classify as a celebration cigar, but if you want something with good flavor, a mild to medium body and affordable then this would be a good cigar to consider. I think if the cigar didn’t have the burn issues it had that it would have been a more enjoyable experience, and based on the ashing issues, it would be suited for an outdoor activity like the golf course or fishing.
I would classify this as a second shelf cigar, this isn’t a world class cigar you want to save for a special occasion, but it isn’t exactly an everyday smoke you would want to waste on mowing the grass either. This is a cigar that is best enjoyed after a good dinner, as the power of the cigar does ramp up pretty high and the nicotine hit it provides in conjunction with the intense flavor could be a little much for a middle of the day cigar or a smoke on an empty stomach. Overall, this is a nice cigar to have in the humidor and one that deserves a place in any smoker’s lineup, even if its not on regular rotation.