The first time I encountered Rocky Patel’s Edge in corojo wrapper form, it was an entire crate of the damn things.
It was 2005, and a cigar shipment had arrived at the tobacco shop where I had just started working part-time to make ends meet while in college. As I unboxed the day’s shipment, a rugged, surprisingly lengthy rectangular cigar box was unearthed amidst a sea of styrofoam peanuts.
With its inscribed and charred lettering, rough texture, and equally unrefined interior packaging, The Edge reminded me of something that a ranch hand would fire up with a propane torch at the end of a long day. I’m not talking about a fancy tactical triple jet torch either. I mean a rusty-ass propane torch that’s used for charring fence post ends on a cattle farm. Yeah. That kind of smoking experience.
The Edge is the everyman’s boutique cigar. In corojo form it offers a no-frills, macho-looking stogie appearance, with a “smoke me if you dare” attitude oozing from its rich umber cigar wrapper.
Harboring impressive 94 and 90-point average cigar ratings, The Edge is one of those readily available premium cigar blends that deserves to be smoked. A rich Honduran and Nicaraguan tobacco embrace that deserves documentation and praise, which leads us to precisely why we are here today…
Available in roughly honed boxes of 100 (smaller boxes are also offered) that have been adorned with a branded inlay, The Edge is a cigar type that, from an appearance standpoint, is anything but pretentious.
The cigar itself is equally unpretentious in appearance. A slightly oily corojo cigar wrapper shines with a nice matte auburn hue, while the leafy veins along the barrel support the whole macho mindset.
Toward the bottom of the foot, there is a nondescript band, stealthily stating the name of the smoke alongside Rocky Patel’s signature logo.
Unlit, aromatics are packed with sweet spice and a grassy, pleasantly herbal intensity coming from the foot. Rich and chewy, but shy of being a maduro earth-bomb, this is one of those cigars that if we could brew tea with its tobacco we would.
A quick snip with a metal cigar cutter unleashes even more intense layers of aromatics, as unlit pulls produce equal amounts of herbal earthiness. There’s a fat dash of sweetness there from The Edge’s 5-year aging and fermentation process as well, almost like ripe fruit. Dare we say “figgy?” We dare.
Tobacco Nerd Note: First released in 2004, The Edge is now offered in a Candela, Connecticut, Corojo, Habano, Maduro, and Sumatra wrapper. While all of the other cigars that have been added to The Edge's end of the Rocky Patel portfolio have been outstanding, it is the original corojo and maduro that still stand as the originators.
Foot set ablaze, the corojo version of Rocky Patel’s The Edge pushes combustion performance to the front as it heats up. This is it. The go-to smoke that proved to be so popular that it was only sold in crates of 100 for the longest time.
Be it a week, a month, or a decade, every time you fire The Edge up, it feels like nothing has changed. Consistency has long been one of Rocky Patel’s strong suits, and the corojo version of The Edge is the cigar that helped earn this brand such recognition.
Spicy and earthy at first, those fig notes from the dry pull just prior return to play with the palate and smooth things out with their fermented leafy fingers. Slightly dry at first, but by no means chalky tasting or feeling, the start of The Edge’s corojo offering teases you with just enough flavor and body that you immediately recognize what’s about to go down.
Hefty splashes of spice start to form, and the underlying strength detected by retronasal exhales tells your olfactory senses everything they need to know. Like a rollercoaster ride you haven’t been on in a while but have always adored, you take a deep breath, throw your hands in the air, and prepare yourself for yet another memorable ride.
Tobacco Nerd Note: For those in search of something truly unique, there’s Rocky Patel’s candy cane-looking A-10 version of The Edge. Originally released to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the original Edge brands, this smoke combines both original Corojo and Maduro wrappers to form a unique barber pole-style stogie. This proved to be quite the wise move, and after witnessing the unprecedented success of its anniversary release, Rocky Patel opted to make the A-10 version of The Edge a permanent part of its portfolio.
The Second Half
Barreling head-first into the second corkscrew of this corojo premium cigar blend can result in a few different scenarios. Intense levels of spice, char, and heat all have materialized alongside a host of flavors commonly associated with this form of red leaf wrapper.
However, The Edge is not your typical corojo, as it is indeed right on the edge of full-on maduro status, and relies heavily upon the medley of Honduran long-filler and Nicaraguan binder that form its innards.
Strong is not the word to describe how The Edge’s corojo saturates the senses as it burns. Robust is a far more suitable adjective for this lively, borderline maduro cigar. Body-wise, this boutique cigar is indeed both full and fairly dry, with a clean finish that sits right in the middle between long and short.
As the potency and strength of the cigar grows toward the halfway mark, nutty flavors emerge, along with some tannin notes from all of that aging and fermentation. Still grassy and herbal, but with a strength that builds in significant amounts, the corojo versions of The Edge forms a tangy, sweet aroma that delights with every retronasal exhale.
Tobacco Nerd Note: As the array of cigar wrapper hues grew, so too did the styles and shapes of the cigars being rolled at Rocky Patel’s Honduran factory. Today, both the original corojo and maduro wrapped versions of The Edge are offered in eight different shapes, with rumor of there being more on the way in the near future. May it be the Missile, Robusto, Toro, Torpedo, Double Corona, B52, Battalion, or hulkingly huge Howitzer, The Edge from Rocky Patel remains as irrepressible as the day it first came to market nearly two decades back.
As the palate adjusts to all of the robustness The Edge has to offer, it becomes familiar with the smoke and the taste of the red tobacco itself. This is true for every one of these cigars I have smoked in the past two decades, and this time around was no different.
The Edge’s finish is undeniably robust, but it’s not a total ass-kicker like certain other full-strength premium cigar blends. There’s no stinky stogie butt smell here either. Just an abundant amount of aromatics, and the round mouth feel and flavor of medium-roast coffee.
Those of you fortunate enough to receive this corojo in their Klaro Cigar monthly subscription are in for a nice surprise. Encountering The Edge from Rocky Patel in corojo form for the first time is an experience that you will likely never forget, as it takes your senses to the edge and back every time.
Wrapper Shade: Corojo
Ring Gauge: 52
Smoke Time: 60-90 minutes