Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Rocky Patel Vintage 1999 Connecticut Petit Corona - Review

I found myself, along with the Mrs, at the mall today, cashing in on Memorial Day savings. I did the math, though, and the numbers tell me that we'd have saved much more moolah had we stayed home.

After a stop at Sephora which included pink lip gloss and flirting with a skinny tattooed clerk with crooked teeth (she had a certain je ne sais quoi), we stopped at a very nicely stocked cigar shop which will serve nicely as my new haunt, The Briar Shoppe. This is the one place in the stoner heaven that is gre-eee-eeen Eugene, Oregon that isn't a head shop which also happens to carry, oh, stogies. I could have stayed forever, trading witty barbs with the knowledgeable gentleman clerk, but a Subway salad was calling my name and doing so mightily loud.

Knowing I had a busy day of doing nothinging still ahead of me, I opted for this Rocky Patel specimen in Petit Corona size - the light snack of Stickville. I also opted for two more mini-treats, but we'll leave those for another siesta, muchachos. For now:

The Cigar 
Rocky Patel Vintage 1999 Connecticut Petit Corona

Pre-light the wrap feels moderate. Not too loose, not too tight - perhaps a bit uneven - well enough done, nonetheless. An unlit draw shows this stick to be a spicy Meat-a-ball. Hot, but no warmth and as inviting as a generic black plastic welcome mat with those little spikes...I am somewhat dubious. I take heart in my love of Senor Patel's '90 and '92 tour de force duet and steel myself.

The first third begins with spices and bite that threaten to bleed over the border into harshness. A few draws in it mellows somewhat, just as a bump forms in the wrapper. Rocky Patel considers this to be a mild offering, and that might be the case, but mild does not mean mellow (even though it does mellow in comparison to its own onset). Nor does mild mean sweet. I would very begrudgingly say that this pushes the envelope almost off the table of very high end mild. Said envelope hits the floor insofar as mild meaning at all pleasant.

Toward the end of the first third, there is an evening out and leathery, earthy notes come in alongside the lessening spices. The bite remains but its teeth dull a tad. I begin to contemplate my navel. There is lint.

The second third begins in a hopeful fashion. The smoke from the stick seems almost simplistic as to its aroma, but not unpleasant, more pleasant would have been the same smoke coming from a stick half its price. The first few somewhat harsh puffs are but a not distant memory for now. Nutty and leathery notes begin to nearly prevail. "OMW," they text me. 

The wrap loosens to the loose side of moderate. This is still decidedly not a mellow stick. Good for a mid day break from my busy day off, perhaps, but definitely not for a smooth nightcap send-off into the magical nighttime realms of dragon slaying and princess rescuing.

[My daughter stops by with her boyfriend momentarily. My wife, upon their kind departure, alerts me that my conversation was not entirely in keeping with the actual conversation. I remind her that I was quite polite, even offering all present a pull. She decided to go off and tend the garden. I have regained my porch.]

Nut gives way to wood, leather under-notes remain. Both are muted by a quite noticeable reemergence of bite. A crack appears in the wrapper and my ash falls at around one inch. My naval contemplation findings are that this isn't quite on part with the usual RP offering.

The final third sees that bite begin to turn bitter and previously mentioned nuances become all but buried by its silly tantrum. The RP '99 becomes laborious and I am put in mind of Cheers barmaid Carla Tortelli - It is a bitter and aggressive Petit. It is no longer mild, I suppose. I don't think it deserves a flavor rating beyond bitter.

Shame, this.

Pairings I'd suggest include plenty of fresh air and an afterward Listerine swish. I had strong coffee and chocolate animal crackers, that was nice.

Final Grade: F (a D- had it a smaller price point although I wouldn't buy this at a fraction of its MSRP).