Nothing can be quite as polarizing as flavored or infused cigars. True cigar purists often balk at them, and those who love them will often never veer from them. The two groups may occupy the same shops, but they are about as diametrically opposed often times as republicans and Democrats. For the purists there is a turn of the nose and a look of disdain and a sentiment that they aren’t really cigars; after all they are using “inferior tobacco and all the tobacco flavor is lost.” The flavored enthusiast on the other hand looks at the flavored cigar and says that they will never change, because “real tobacco” is just too strong. The simple fact is, there are cigars that bridge those gaps, and it doesn’t have to be as nearly as divisive as some make it out to be. Bottom line is: flavored or infused tobacco is big money and at the end of the day the top seller for Rocky Patel and Drew Estate will not be their Old World Reserves or Liga Privadas, but rather their collaboration known as Java, and this season the Java Mint.
In talking with Jonathan Drew he told me that the Java Mint is a stick with excellent tobacco quality and a sweet infused flavor that makes the cigar an excellent finish to a day of hard work, or the perfect companion to a good meal.
Now to the case in point, the Java Mint. Rocky Patel in their press release says this about the Java Mint:
“Java Mint features the same chocolately/mocha flavor of Java, but is slightly infused with a lively mint flavor as well as mocha and vanilla essence, creating a mint-chocolate smoking experience loaded with flavor and aromas.”
To further explain their thoughts on the blend and the desire to create a Java Mint, Nish Patel, Executive Vice President of Rocky Patel states that;
“We’ve been very pleased with the success of the Java cigar line. Since launching Java, we’ve had numerous requests for a Mint-Chocolate version of Java – and after over a year of product development, we truly believe we’ve got a cigar that delivers the flavorful/aromatic premium cigar smoking experience at a great value that you’d expect from Rocky Patel.”
With all of this lead in I will state my position up front about my feelings on flavored or infused tobacco. Generally I’m a purist with not a real big sweet tooth, so I have been typically opposed to heavily doing infused creations. However, that being said I tried the Java a few years back when I was looking for a mild sweet treat one night and really enjoyed it. Since then I have always painted the Java as a great bridge between the world’s of high quality tobacco and infused flavor.
Down to the nitty-gritty: “the Java Mint features a Brazilian maduro wrapper, and will come in five box-pressed shapes: Corona – 5×42, Robusto – 5 ½x50, Toro – 6×50, The 58 – 5×58 and Petite Corona – 4 1/2×38. The cigars will be priced between $5.50 and $8.00 at retail, and comes in a box of 24, according to the press release.” Upon inspection I immediately detected the mint and java components. To be honest the best way to describe it, is like smelling a big bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream. With the initial inspection complete I next punch the top, because after all, it would be a shame not to on such a beautiful and spacious box-pressed cap. I test the draw and find it to be smooth with minimal resistance.
As I light the cigar the cigar’s Java Mint is initially identified on the palette as well as the typical spice or pepper burst most find on initial light. I will say that the Mint Java has moments throughout where it hits a bit of a spice pocket that makes it less than enjoyable, but it then quickly self-corrects and comes back to an enjoyable mint java component. To be honest the cigar is, for the most part, an enjoyable experience of sweet chocolate and mint only to be interrupted by the occasional spice note that sours the experience. Overall though, I really enjoyed the cigar for what it was: a sweet confection. If you are a fan of a high quality flavor infused cigar than this stick is for you. If you are a fan of chocolate chip mint ice cream, then this cigar is for you. And finally if you’re a purist with a sweet tooth and want to come off the lofty tobacco throne of full strength and enjoy a light, well constructed sweet confection, this cigar is for you! Whatever your disposition, the Rocky Patel/ Drew Estate Mint Java is a high quality tobacco cigar that offers the smoker an enjoyable experience of smoke and ice cream interwoven into an interesting concoction that is sure to satisfy the tobacco snob and sweet-tooth connoisseur alike!
Strength: mild +
Wrapper: Brazilian Maduro Wrapper