Rocky Patel's Fifty-Five is like the Lexus ES350 of cigars. It's an entry-level luxury experience that's not the last word in anything, but makes you feel like you got a premium product for just a few bucks more than a Camry. Like the car, it's sumptuous—but you'd never mistake your $40k ride for a thousand kilobuck Mercedes-Benz S-Class. It's comfortable, cosseting, surely not a sports car let alone a zesty, hardcore experience like a Ferrari. But just about everyone will enjoy it and finish their ride satisfied.
Autumn is here, and with it comes an annual event fans of brown spirits look forward to all year: the release of the Pappy Van Winkle distillery's bourbon and rye. Of course, the best of those are nearly impossible to get. In fact, here in Pennsylvania, the state liquor monopoly awards them by lottery. Prospective purchasers pre-pay and hold their breaths until they are notified--or not--by the state bureaucracy of when and where to collect their bottles. Backward? Sure, but probably more fair than stores in other states simply selling the bottles at outrageous markup.
About Our Ratings
CLASSIC means that a cigar is the very best example of its type.