Tagged: rocky patel


If you’ve ever had the opportunity to meet him, chances are you’ve noticed it too. Whether he’s talking to customers or retailers – anybody, really – Rocky Patel exudes a genuine passion for premium cigars. And that’s pure Rocky: the hardest-working man in the cigar business; a guy who logs more than 300 days on the road a year, yet still relishes the opportunity to travel the world and putting his cigars in the mouth of his consumers. Continue reading

Famous Smoke Shop

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The world's fastest, friendliest, and best place to buy cigars! Since 1939, Famous Smoke Shop has prided itself on offering the freshest, largest selection cigars at the most competitive prices, and customer service that can't be beat.

Marvelous Maduros
Baccarat Rothschild
CAO Gold Maduro RobustoCarlos Torano Signature Robusto
La Aurora Escogidos Robusto
La Gloria Serie N Glorioso
Nub Maduro 464T
Perdomo Grand Cru Robusto
Saint Luis Rey Serie G No. 6
Alec Bradley Tempus Terra Nova
Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Robusto 

A Short Primer on Maduro-Cured Tobaccos

By Gary Korb

Spanish for “ripe,” when you think of a “maduro cigar” one of the first words that comes to mind is “dark.” And that’s the idea. The longer tobacco leaves are fermented, the darker they get. Note that there is no specific “Maduro” leaf, as there is say, a “Corojo” or “Criollo” leaf. Cigar smokers who think maduro cigars are strong will be surprised that this extra fermentation process actually makes the leaf milder and most often sweeter, as well. This natural sweetness is the result of exposing the leaves to extra sunlight during the growing period. Moreover, the leaf essentially “tans,” becoming darker, and also produces more oils. For this reason, the leaves used for curing most maduro wrapper are taken from the top two-thirds of the plant. Suffice it to say, the strength of full-bodied maduro cigars is due more to the filler used, like ligero, than the darkness of the wrapper.

The secret to getting good Maduro leaf is dependent on one of several fermentation processes based on what the Master Blender wants to achieve in terms of color, flavor and strength. Connecticut Broadleaf, Habano (Cuban seed),
and Mexican-grown Sumatra are the most commonly used leaves for fermenting and curing Maduro. However, as you can see by the list of cigars featured in this month’s sampler, Brazilian-grown leaf has become a staple for its thickness, oily sheen and spicier character.

So how does a maduro leaf attain its dark color? One technique is to ferment the leaves longer at a much higher temperature, generally around 150-degrees, rather than the average 110-degrees used to ferment “Natural” wrappers.

Some blenders use a method called “cooking.” During this process, the leaves are placed in a steam chamber that can reach temperatures as high as 180-degrees or more. As a result, the leaves not only attain an even darker color, they’re also milder in flavor. This is one way to produce “Oscuro” wrapper, the darkest and often the oiliest of maduro leaves.

There is also a third “shortcut” method which most veteran Master Blenders detest. This process involves using dyes and sugar to darken and sweeten the leaf. If you notice some stain on your fingers or lips, the wrapper was most likely made using this process. It may even be a well-made and flavorful cigar, but once the cat’s out of the bag, it’s a buzz kill for a lot of cigar smokers.

It’s likely that you’ve had at least a few Maduro cigars by now. That said, if you haven’t had the pleasure of smoking a well-made cigar with a naturally fermented maduro wrapper, you’re missing out on some marvelous smokes.

*Price is a sale price, and subject to change.

Author:

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

torpdedo cigars
601 Blue Label Maduro Torpedo
777 By Jesus Fuego Belicoso MaduroAlec Bradley Family Blend T11 Natural
Alec Bradley MAXX The Curve Natural
CAO MX2 Beli Maduro
Gispert Belicoso Natural
La Aurora Preferidos Connecticut #1
Mi Barrio El Billetero Dark Natural
Montecristo White #2
Rocky Patel Olde World Reserve Torpedo MaduroOliva Cain 654T MaduroOliva Serie O Torpedo MaduroOnyx Reserve Belicoso # 2 MaduroRomeo y Julieta Reserva Real #2St Luis Rey Serie G Belicoso Dark Natural*Price is a sale price, and subject to change.

Tapered Head Heaven

By Gary Korb

In case you haven’t noticed, the cigars in this month’s Buying Guide sampler are all tapered head cigars, also referred to as “Figurados.” A figurado is also identified by its non-straight-sided shape, which is why they are given names like Torpedo, Belicoso, Pyramid, Diademas, Perfecto, and Double Perfecto (tapered at both ends). Not surprisingly, the names of these frontmarks originated in Cuba. Since figurados are commonly rolled to wider ring gauges, they naturally offer more flavor and complexity. Moreover, by design, the atypical tapered head is intended to concentrate the smoke as it passes through the head’s narrow pathway. The narrower you make the cut, the more concentrated the smoke, whereas the wider you make the cut, the thicker the smoke.

To the novice, Torpedo cigars, Belicosos, and Pyramids look identical, but there is a difference. Torpedoes have a rounder tapered head with a body that’s a little thicker in the middle (traditionally bulged),
a flat foot, and are normally about 6 to 6? inches in length. Belicosos are generally about the same length as Torpedoes, but have a much sharper head. Pyramids share the same pointed head as Belicosos, but the body tends to flare out to a wider ring at the foot. Of course, frontmarks are named at the discretion of the manufacturer. For example, the Mi Barrio “El Billetero” is a Belicoso with a fancy name. Most Pyramids (or Piramides), are labeled as a “No.2,” like the legendary Montecristo No.2.

Figurados are often higher in price, too. One reason is the extra tobacco used in the cigar. But it has more to do with the skill required to roll them properly, which is why figurados are only assigned to the factory’s most experienced tabaqueros. If you’re a regular cigar smoker and have never smoked a figurado, you’re really missing out on some marvelous cigars.

Tip

How to clip a figurado

V-cutters tend to be the most effective way to clip tapered head cigars. Here’s why: For one, the V-cutter clips the head of the cigar leaving a cleft-shaped cut. It should be deep enough to give you a good draw, too. A standard double or single blade cutter will also do the trick, but if you cut the head too far down, the wrapper could unfurl, and there’s little hope for repairing it. Cut it too short and you may have a draw problem. That said, if you prefer using a double blade cutter, here’s a fool-proof way to get a good cut: Open the cutter and lay it flat on a table. Place the head in the middle of the cutter, clip it, and test the draw. The first clip will probably be too short. If so, repeat the process, take another draw, and see if it improved. It usually takes about two or three cuts to get the cigar to draw well, plus, you’ll keep the wrapper intact. This also allows you to customize the amount of smoke you want to draw through the head.

Xikar VX Cutter

 

Author:

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

Cigarnival - Cigar Expo 2011

*Update* click here for pictures of the event!

It’s official: Cigar Expo 2011 has been announced! For more details, head over to our micro-site http://www.CigarExpo.net or check it out on our Facebook Fan Page. While you’re there, make sure you “like” us for Facebook-exclusive deals.

This year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever. The even isn’t until the end of August this year, but it’s for good reason: by then we’ll be settled into our brand-new headquarters! Not to worry…it’s only a mile or two down the road.

More details will be released as we confirm them, but know this: CigarExpo 2011 will be THE cigar event of the YEAR. See you there!

Famous Smoke Shop

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The world's fastest, friendliest, and best place to buy cigars! Since 1939, Famous Smoke Shop has prided itself on offering the freshest, largest selection cigars at the most competitive prices, and customer service that can't be beat.