Today I am reviewing the Nording 50th from Rocky Patel, which was made to commemorate Erik Nording’s 50th anniversary in the tobacco industry. Erik Nording is world renowned for his pipes, but his passion for tobacco in general and a relationship with Rocky spawned the original Nording release several years ago. The Nording 50th was one of six new introductions from Rocky Patel at the 2012 IPCPR. So far, we have already reviewed the Freedom (review here), Burn Naples, Florida (review here), the Home Run 500 (review here), and the Rocky Patel Private Cellar (review here). The new Nording 50th is only available in a single size a 6 x 54 Toro Grande with an MSRP of $8.50. The Nording 50th is scheduled for release in October 2012.
Size: 6 x 54
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Cigars Smoked For Review: 1
Construction and Appearance: The Nording 50th by Rocky Patel I smoked for review had a very simple band since it was a prerelease sample from the IPCPR. It simply said Nording 50th on it. When we spoke to Erik at the Arango booth, he told us that it is the final blend and the release was scheduled in October due to box production delays. For the full release there will be two bands in a red and gold theme, the top will say Nording 50th Anniversary, and the bottom Rocky Patel. The wrapper of the Nording 50th by Rocky Patel is a medium brown with a reddish hue, mild veins, a tight cap, and some nice light oil.
Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the Nording 50th by Rocky Patel has notes of sweet wood and a bit of cocoa. The foot has a scent which is a blend of cocoa, mild spices, cedar, and hay. To prepare smoking the Nording 50th by Rocky Patel I usea very slight straight cut, and on the cold draw there is a flavor which is a mix of floral tones, wood, cedar, cocoa, and grass. The cold draw is a bit tight, which makes me concerned that it will translate into the smoking experience.
Smoking Characteristics: The Nording 50th by Rocky Patel opens up with a slightly tight draw, but not as bad as I expected with the cold draw being tight. There is still a reasonable body of smooth, cool, rich smoke. In the first third there are notes of cedar, wood, toasted almond, and a little mineral sharpness. After each draw, a little wood spice and some nice nutty earthy flavor lingers on the palate, providing a nice finish. The ash holds firm, easily past the inch point without any flaking.
Into the second third, a nice rich creaminess joins the blend and some of the woody flavors fade out. The notes of cedar, toasted almonds, earth, floral tones, and mineral sharpness remain in the blend. The flavors are very well balanced, and quite an enjoyable blend. Now, between draws, a flavor which is a mix of earth, cocoa, and floral flavor lingers on the palate, which is still a wonderful finish. During this third, the draw improves with each puff producing a full body of cool, rich, smooth, creamy smoke. The strength is in the medium range, with a very rich retrohale. The ash still holds firm, and the burn is nearly razor sharp.
During the final third of the Nording 50th by Rocky Patel, there isn’t any new introduction of flavors, but the notes with in the blend play on the palate, none overpowering or becoming too dominant. The notes of cedar, toasted almonds, earth, floral tones, and mineral sharpness all remain. The finish is still fantastic, with a nice earthy, cocoa, and floral flavor lingering on the palate. The construction stands up well, the burn, draw, and ash all remain fantastic. The Nording 50th by Rocky Patel smokes cool to the nub without any issues.
Conclusion: The Nording 50th by Rocky Patel is quite a delicious blend and not what I expected from a habano wrapper. The flavor was very well blended, smooth, creamy, and rich. I do wish it had a bit more of a final evolution, the difference between the first and second third was fairly notable, but the second and final third were fairly similar. The construction was very impressive, with the ash holding firm, the draw excellent, and the burn very sharp. Overall I’d recommend this blend to most smokers, with its blended and balanced flavors and medium strength you can’t go wrong.