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By Gary Korb
This past Saturday was a wash-out in the Lehigh Valley, but the skies cleared up in the afternoon, so I spent the better part of two hours Saturday night out on the deck with a Rocky Patel Old World Reserve Toro Corojo (6½" x 52) and a glass of Barefoot Shiraz, a good, modestly-priced wine from California.
I've smoked a fairly decent number of the Olde World Reserve since their debut a couple years ago. They've been amazingly consistent, which is one of the primary reasons they've remained on my Top-10 list. The smoke is silky-smooth, robust, and marvelously complex with Rocky's signature creaminess throughout. If I had to compare them to another Rocky Patel blend, taking a line from Rocky's promotional literature, it's like "the Vintage on steroids," because they can be quite heady, as well. But I think what really distinguishes this blend from the Vintage line is the leaf selection and the aging process. Plus, the Corojo wrappers are pristine, like smooth, perfectly-tanned leather.
True, it is similar to the Vintage, but it's also "bigger and sharper" in terms of flavor. A better comparison might be the difference between watching regular TV and widescreen HDTV. You definitely taste a lot more flavors in the Olde World Reserve. And because it's not as heavy as Port, the delicate mix of fruity and tangy flavors in the Shiraz complemented the cigar well.
Please note, because this cigar made in limited edition, it's only available at the retail counter. But if you're looking for a great after-dinner or evening cigar, it's well worth stopping-in for.