Ever since my face was plastered next to the Petrus Etiquette Rouge in CI catalogs of the past, I’ve been receiving emails asking about the cigar. I’ve also received a good amount of emails cracking jokes on my funny-shaped mug (... you know who you are). Anyway, I’d like to entertain the nice emails by reviewing this cigar, so here goes.
First off, Petrus Etiquette Rouge is a nice looking cigar. It features a chestnut-colored, Connecticut seed wrapper grown in Ecuador. Practically vein-free, this leaf plays a major role in the overall character of the smoke. Consider the long-fillers inside: a complex mixture of Nicaraguan, Honduran and Dominican tobaccos. Normally, a recipe such as this would serve up ample strength. But, the addition of this mellow wrapper tames the beast within, keeping the Etiquette Rouge calm, cool and collected. It’s this mellow quality that makes the blend a fan favorite in Europe, where mild(er), natural-wrapped cigars reign supreme and overspending is the norm (the Etiquette Rouge will cost ya $13 to $17 a stick overseas!!)
The first quarter inch offers a light grassy taste at the front of my palate, something I might expect from a candela. Shortly after, the flavor opens up a tad to release a creamy stream of flavor, coating my palate before quickly dispersing as I exhale. A thick cloud of bluish smoke is left behind, one with a subtle, cedary aroma. The smoothness of this cigar really catches my attention. With Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos at play, I would expect some heady or spicy notes. Nada. The Etiquette Rouge is creamy with a delicate earthiness throughout and a crisp, almost refreshing, aftertaste. There's a faint woody note that develops - oaky like a Hoyo Excalibur - but it's tough to distinguish at times.
I find this cigar to be a great companion of lightly creamed coffee in the morning, or a nice smoke to brainlessly puff on while plugging away at my daily tasks. If there’s one thing Europeans know, it’s mild-bodied cigars. After all, they routinely smoke the likes of Davidoff, Dunhill and top-notch Cubans, and the fact that this cigar ranks among them is saying something.
PS - I often get emails saying, “you raved about the cigar but only gave it an ‘88’, what gives?!” Lemme tell ya, an '88' is a very respectable rating. In fact, it’s well above average. You may see a hefty onslaught of 90+ ratings out there, but remember, cigars rated ‘90’ or above only account for approximately 1% of all cigars on the market. When a ‘90’ rating is given, manufacturers like to brag, and rightfully so. But, there are plenty of fantastic premiums out there that have yet to achieve a score of that caliber, and this is one of them. After all, a rating is only a number...