I've hesitated to write this pick for a few weeks now, I admit it, I was trying to keep these for myself and not let the masses know how awesome a deal this is. I'm not kidding, first time I saw them in our catalog I did a double-take...what? RP Vintage Seconds? Can't be. Well my friends, it's true. Strap me up and call me Sally if I'm not telling ya that these are the best darn Seconds I've ever smoked. We seem to sell more and more Rocky Patel products around here, and I've had the pleasure to be passed an RP Vintage a time or two (the bosses upstairs were nice-enough to pass us "geekers" a couple smokes after a Rocky Patel visit a few months back, I'm forever thankful) and smoked it until my fingers were charred purple. Listen sister, if you haven't spent your grocery money yet, forget the TP and get yourself a couple of RP Vintage but if you can't live without a couple extra 12-packs of Charmin in the closet like me, you need a bundle of these Seconds.
I'm getting soft and with two kids at home soaking my candy bar money, I'll try almost any cheap smoke. My only 3 requirements for smoking a second are:
- There are no visible fingernails sticking out of the wrapper
- It's doesn't unravel when I snip the end
- My ears don't bleed when I try to suck through the cigar
Yeah, tough requirements, eh? So I grabbed me a 15 spot of the Churchill '92s. No fingernails, and after a quick snip, no unraveling of the wrapper, and a quick, firm, but easy draw. So far so good, let's continue. Spark it up baby, this one made it past the screeners. A few strokes in and the flavor is spot in - a meaty, full flavor that leaves a deep creamy walnut splash at the back of your tongue. The finish lingers but doesn't erode your taste buds and anything you might eat or drink later. But, they'll sure take on the heartiest Guinness Extra Stout or McEwan's Scotch Ale any day of the week (if you haven't tried a McEwan's Scotch Ale - awesome!) A solid persistent body holds throughout the 7" cigar and won't leave you begging for more. In fact, you might want to throw a PB&J sandwich into your stomach a few minutes before lighting up, for some reason, these leave me a little woozy. The charcoal gray ash forms and drops on demand, just perfect, slow-burning construction.
The best part about RP Vintage is that they're consistent and the same is true here with the 2nds. I started writing this review over the course of several days, have smoked another 1/2 dozen, and they're all identical, identically good. With each one I get a slight awkward shaped burn to start, then it evens out nicely after about 1 inch, and the flavor holds every step of the way. The aroma is powerful and fills your personal space for days, so I don't recommend a shared office or your bedroom. Also, in case it matters, they don't have that nice box press (well, they come in a bundle, duh!) that the RP Vintage has. Nevertheless, bargain, bargain, bargain.