On Invitation wine and spirits

Appreciating Cigars with Rocky Patel

Wednesday, February 18, 2015Me! In words

2015 started in smokes! Literally. An evening of cigars and single malts hosted by Cigar Conexion was promoting the brand Rocky Patel. Now I am not a smoker although I have had my share of “drags” from friends more familiar with the stick, I decided to give cigars a shot anyway. The only knowledge I have of cigars are from movies showing badass, scarfaced gangsters and from an infamous affair of a head of state with his secretary intern. And as the hype went my knowledge of existence of cigars was restricted to Cubans.

All these legends, myths and “knowledge” were laid to rest when the man himself Rocky Patel took stage and narrated his story about how he got into the business having no knowledge of cigars while being a liability lawyer to the stars at Hollywood- Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc. The journey is inspiring. I was handed a media kit with the story of the man and the brand, about Cigar Conexion and the two complimentary cigars. The tables had Rocky Patel ashtrays, and Cigar Conexion matches for the guests to light up. A virtual golf range was also setup in the space and a massive screen showing the Rocky Patel story was playing setting mood for the evening. I started with a Jacob’s Creek red.

Rocky joined us at the table and we lit one up as we discussed the coming food trends for 2015. The one I chose for the evening was the Vintage 1990. This was the first time I was smoking one and Rocky kept telling us what to expect and how to take in and “appreciate” the cigar. The single malt paired with it was a Balentines. The canapes kept flowing and keeping us delicious company as well.

The Vintage 1990 reminded me of an Ardberg single malt scotch. Balentines single malt didn’t live up to the taste while paired with this particular cigar. I needed a stronger smokier whiskey with this cigar. The taste was woody, nutty with hints of caramel. The Vintage has been placed twice among the Top 25 Cigars of the Year by Cigar Aficionado.

Dinner paired perfectly well with the cigar. The menu was a mix of things smoked, grilled and even brulee. I can’t remember most of what was on the plate but one that stood out that evening was the Shephard’s Pie which was served in a martini glass and the 3 Creme Brulees- the Classic, Vanilla and   Green Tea!


I lit the second at home celebrating a success. Paired it with a Sula Mossaic Shiraz. This one was stronger. Coffee, roasted nuts and tobacco married with strong hickory screamed in each puff! Definitely one to be taken slow..............very slow! This cigar pairs well with Red wine rather than a whiskey.

Cigars are expected to be seen as a new flavor this year. Pairing of Cigars and single malts or dinners is something that can be seen as a thing.

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