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Size: 5.75×56, Salomon
Wrapper: Two wrappers, Habano (outside) and Ecuadorian Connecticut (inside, binder)
Filler: Mix of Nicaraguan, Honduran, and Cameroon
Price: $7.25, single; $119, box
I would put Rocky Patel’s Vintage line up against just about any line of cigars out there. The 1990, 1992, and 1999 Connecticut are three of my favorite smokes. So, when Rocky released the Fusion, a mixture of the fillers used to comprise the ’90 and the ’92, I was excited to fire one up. On a spending freeze with a new baby, it took me a bit longer than I expected to grab one but Jed was nice enough to slide one my way.
The uniqueness of this stick lies in its use of a double wrapper; combining a Habano exterior with an Ecuadorian Connecticut interior wrapper, used as the binder, promises to create some unique and powerful flavors. The filler mix has also received nice praise.
The Salomon is a very unique roll; it has a Torpedo head with a funneled or tailed foot. This is a fun roll that also creates a unique ash and a bit of conversation. The Habano wrapper is very clean and smooth with minimal veins. As with most Rocky Patel’s, the Fusion is elegantly double banded. The stick has a great weight to it as well, with the 56 ring gauge. The only exterior defect is a slight wrapper gap toward the foot, where it appears the roll fell short.
The aroma on this stick is very nice and unique; it is quite sweet but also has a peppery scent that burns the nose. The mixture of sweetness and pepper is most closely described as roasted peppers or salsa. The pre-light draw is excellent and the cut is very clean.
The pre-light draw was excellent and the smoke certainly reflects this with billows of thick smoke. The ash created by the uniquely shaped Salomon foot created a very clean and arrowed ash. The ash stacked well, except for a slight flaking in the first inch, and was a very clean whitish grey. The transition from the tailed foot into the body of the smoke was smooth, which I was a little worried about before lighting. The smoke was very thick and burned very cool throughout. The only issue I had with the burn was after the first ash, in which the cigar’s draw tightened and eventually went out. It re-lit with no issues however and burned very well throughout, with no harshness in the re-light.
There is a very strong pepper in the first 5 puffs or so, announcing well the medium-full body, which eventually fades into a very mellow, hay-like flavor. This continues throughout the first third of the smoke, with minimal flavor profiles. In the second third of the smoke, the pepper forcefully returns and is nicely complemented by a creaminess; these two flavors alongside each other resembles the roasted pepper detected in the pre-light draw and aroma. The final third maintains solid body and remains creamy and the pepper is replaced by the return of barnyard flavors. Overall, this was a stick with several transitions, each of which interested my palate.
I struggled a bit with this cigar because I love the flavor profiles and complexity found in Rocky’s cigars but I also prefer a Medium bodied smoke and the Fusion, along with the large Salomon size, was a bit much for my strength preference; I actually began to sweat a bit during this one! There was a deduction based on the value of this smoke and the overall enjoyment and desire to buy again. I would definitely purchase another Fusion, in a smaller size, but I would not consider a box purchase, even if it dropped to around $80-90.