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28
Mar

Origin : HondurasRocky Patel
Format : Lanceros
Size : 7 1/2″ x 38 ring gauge (190mm x 15.08mm)
Origin : Honduras
Hand-Made
Price : ~ € 11.00 / $ 13.50each
More info about purchasing Rocky Patel Sun Grown…

Draw : 4 out of 6 stars
Burn : 4 out of 6 stars
Flavours : 2 out of 6 stars
Aroma : 4 out of 6 stars
strength : 2 out of 6 stars

The Rocky Patel Twentieth Anniversary Natural Lancero, is a well-rolled, easy-smoking long panetela, offering some interesting cycling of flavours as it starts, but in this sample tending toward incipient harshness and some dryness on the palate, as well as some flavour loss in the finish.

A mostly Honduran cigar with some Nicaraguan tobacco in the filler, this is a regular production stick, tho launched in 2015 with its ‘XX – Twentieth’ band, to commemorate Rocky Patel’s 20th anniversary in the cigar business. Rocky Patel’s 10th and 15th anniversary cigar marques remain active in the line-up as well. The word ‘Natural’ on the band on the cigar’s foot, is to distinguish from the company’s separate Twentieth Anniversary Maduro cigar line with different vitolas.

In the early 1990s Rocky Patel had been an entertainment lawyer amid the glamour of southern California USA, but caught the cigar bug and started the family cigar business, first as Indian Tabac and now under his own name.

Rocky Patel is today a noted, often-praised brand, especially in the USA market, its headquarters in Florida there. Along with his younger brother and cousin, Rocky Patel’s key people include Hamlet Paredes, a former star cigar roller for Cuba’s Partagás, who used to tour the world for Habanos giving cigar-rolling exhibitions.

Rocky Patel deserves credit for meeting the special challenge of successfully rolling this premium ultra-long panetela vitola, requiring special skills beyond that of the ordinary torcedor. And also for boldly putting this stick on offer, whilst other companies cancel some of their slender long cigars, e.g., Davidoff having recently cancelled its 3000 (33 x 178mm), its No 1 (39 x 190), and its Millenium Lancero (40 x 184).

Tasting

Handling this stick it was a little too soft below the band, a hint of the flavour loss I would experience in the final third. Mostly nice-looking, tho a touch of vein and a too-contrasting cigar cap, but with a premium pigtail on the top.

Initial aroma at the smoking end was that of fruit pie, or a warm breakfast tart, which indeed turned out to be some of the flavours in the cigar. First inhale was rather nice, a touch of sweetness, and some sense of dimensionality tickling the front of the nose and the back of the palate.

Quite smoky tho, at the beginning and at some later points. Draw was easy throughout, really too easy. Tho the cigar burned slowly, it was clearly delicate inside the stick, and harshness was induced too rapidly when you wanted a quick follow-up taste.

The first third had some nice, tho not strong flavours, and some interesting flavour cycling. There was toast, hay, bits of fruit and sweetness, the appealing fruit-pie-like combination, and for a while one was entertained not knowing what would be dominant in the next puff. Some cedar and woodiness entered a bit later too. But there was also the start of some dryness in the mouth, a hint of difficulties to come.

The second third continued the rolling flavours, but now with harsh moments starting to appear, a bit of a charcoal sense, along with the increasingly fading tastes. Purging helped – tho making quite a smoke-fest – and after a purge and a good pause, one could taste the fruit pie and other good tastes again a bit. It was a bit funny, just as I thought I was getting very displeased with the cigar, the flavour would come back.

The final third began with one of the cigar’s best bursts of flavours, but then they just faded away, and various purging and pausing efforts couldn’t quite bring the taste level back. The cigar grew flat and at points bitter or a bit harsh, with much dryness induced in the mouth, till I said farewell.

Another disappointment with the cigar is that it was really too mild, given what I would like to experience in smoking a long pricey stick for an hour. There was only slight strength to it, it was overall a mild Honduran, despite the Nicaraguan filler seeking to charge it up a bit.

What I wound up thinking about as I finished the cigar, is that it was an incompletely developed stick, despite the strong points in some of its tastes and easy draw. Rocky Patel is perhaps trying to do too much for a niche family company – their website cigar brand page lists no fewer than 47 Rocky Patel cigar marques from which to choose. Other USA-based cigar companies also sometimes have a high number of brands.

By way of comparison, Habanos has a total of 27 brands for all of Cuba, many of them ages old, and the Davidoff-named line has about 13 brands for its diversity.

Despite the sweet notes in the Rocky Patel XXth Lancero – an element which usually tends to win me over – I found myself thinking wistfully that, for the same price, I can have a Habanos La Gloria Cubana Médaille d’Or No 4 (32 x 152mm), with even more sweetness, and less downside despite the Cuban stick’s draw problems.

By way of a full 7-inch-plus Lancero, one can recommend at significantly greater price, from Cuba the great original Cohiba Lancero (38 x 190) or the Trinidad Fundadores (40 x 190). And a gem still out there in remaining stock at some of the Davidoff shops, tho discontinued, the Davidoff Millennium Lancero (40 x 184).

Cigar Review – Rocky Patel XXth Anniversary Lancero

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23
Oct

Rocky Patel

In this week’s news, we have some exciting new releases from Drew Estate, Alec Bradley and La Flor Dominicana. Let’s check them out!

New and Upcoming Releases:

  • Drew Estate has announced the release of a new cigar exclusively for Stogies World Class Cigars of Houston, Texas, called the Herrera Estelí Edicion Limitada H-Town Lancero. This 7 x 38 cigar will come in packages of 10 and will feature Nicaraguan fillers in a Brazilian Mata Fina binder and a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.
  • Yet another new cigar has inconspicuously made its way to retail shelves. This time it is the Alec Bradley Medio Fuerte Liga de Reyes, which appeared sneakily on the shelves of Atlantic Cigar. The new smoke includes filler leaves from Nicaragua and Honduras inside a Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan Habano wrapper. It is classified by the retailer as a “solid medium-bodied smoke,” and comes in seven sizes: 770, Churchill, Corona, Gordo, Robusto, Torpedo, and Toro.
  • Meanwhile, La Flor Dominicana is reviving the 2000 Series and adding two brand new sizes. All but one of the existing sizes was discontinued back in 2013. All the old sizes are being brought back, along with the new Lancero and Chisel sizes. The new version of the 2000 Series will include the same Cameroon wrapper, Dominican binder and Dominican filler.

Industry News:

  • As you are likely aware, many cigar companies have been raising their prices lately in response to the new regulations by the FDA. Rocky Patel is the latest to join the lot, having recently sent out a letter to retailers announcing a 5% increase on all products across the board—with the exception of the Rocky Patel Decade (which will increase in cost by 2.5%), and the Rocky Patel Vintage Juniors (which will go up in price by 5 cents for each cigar). The new costs will be implemented starting on November 15th. So now is the time to get in those Rocky Patel orders—before prices go up!

Legal News:

  • Two cities in California have just banned smoking in parks: Calistoga and Kerman. The Calistoga ban additionally prohibits smoking in lots which are adjacent to parks. The Kerman ban prohibits the sale or exchange of tobacco products in parks along with smoking.

Thank you for checking in with us for this week’s cigar updates!

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Rocky Patel Raises Prices & New Releases

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30
Sep

Rocky Patel Sungrown Robusto

Origin : HondurasRocky Patel
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 ½ x 50
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Sungrown Sumatra
Filler : Dom. Rep. & Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $6-7 each
More info about purchasing Rocky Patel Sun Grown…

This week I decided to go with a cigar I haven’t smoked for about 4 years. For some reason the Rocky Patel Sungrown Robusto really caught my eye in the shop the other day, so I decided to pick a few up.

Rocky Patel has truly made his mark in the cigar world. Through hard work and hours of travel/promotion his name is one of the most sought after in the premium cigar market. With over 30 different blends to his name, Rocky Patel hits the cigar industry at every level for all aficionados. Everything from a $4.00 Nicarao to his $12.00 RP Decade there are possibilities for all budgets and palates.

The pre-light experience for the Rocky Patel Sungrown was better than fair. The cigar portrayed a toothy, oily sheen with a few bruise spots showing on the wrapper leaf. There was a rip in the leaf near the top of the cigar resulting in some sloppiness of the cap. I could not detect any soft spots throughout the body of the cigar and the band was a very elegant dark red with gold trim/lettering. The pre-light smell was an earthy peppiness. The cold draw was very loose and airy with no true definition or taste.

Pre-light Score: 7 pts.

The smoking experience for the Rocky Patel Sungrown was mediocre to say the least. The smallest little draw produced loads of thin dark smoke. The cigar had an uneven burn the entire time that held to a dark, powdery gray ash. The aroma or rich tobacco was pleasant in the first third however the taste of grass and burnt charcoal showed throughout the stick. The ash was so soft I had trouble getting a picture due to the brittleness.

Smoking Score: 6 pts.

The second and third parts of my Rocky Patel Sungrown were similar to the first third in keeping an uneven burn and soft ash. The draw was very airy and the cigar itself seemed to lack depth in its smoking characteristics. Some of the problems lead me to believe this cigar was rolled a little too loose, especially with the airy draws and soft ash. The Rocky Patel Sungrown also burned at a faster than liking rate, taking me under an hour to smoke. Typically, I can make a good robusto last anywhere from 75 to 90 minutes, however the Rocky Patel Sungrown only gave me a 47 minutes smoking experience.

Rocky Patel Sungrown Robusto

The finish was empty with a dry harshness on the palate. On the plus side the aroma was certainly refreshing the entire smoke. This would most certainly be a good cigar for the beginning smoker in the sense of strength and patience however did not meet my needs like I remembered 4 years ago.

Overall Experience: 6pts.

Rocky Patel Sungrown Robusto Rating

Pre-light: 7pts.
Smoking: 6pts.
Overall Experience: 6pts.

TOTAL: 19pts.

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Rocky Patel Sungrown Robusto

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24
Jun

Rocky Patel Royale

Rocky PatelOrigin : Nicaragua
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 52
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler : Nicaraguan Triple Ligero
Binder : Connecticut Broadleaf and Shade
Hand-Made
Price : ~$11 each
More info about purchasing Rocky Patel Royale…

The Rocky Patel Royale was released last year by the famous cigar company and is available as either a Robusto or a Toro. It took the company six years (really?) to develop this cigar because of all the special tobacco leaves that go into the blend! The Rocky Patel Royale has received a lot of favorable reviews, and I wanted to experience this unique blend for myself.

Appearance : 5 out of 5 stars
This is a beautiful and unique-looking cigar. The box-pressed look is really prominent here, and gives the cigar an appealing and intriguing appearance. The wrapper is a chocolately brown with only a few noticeable veins. Pressing on the cigar, I find no hard or soft spots (which is great, considering this stogie was box pressed). A fine oily sheen and a smooth surface complete the look. The pre-light aroma smells like chocolate with a hint of something else sweet, perhaps caramel.

Construction : 3.5 out of 5 stars
The draw is a tad tight, but not too tight, and the burn is a tad uneven, but only needs to be touched up occasionally. The ash is also a little flakier than I would like, but none of these are major problems with the construction.

Flavor : 3.5 out of 5 stars
The flavors starting out are earthy with some spiciness thrown in, and I can also detect some cocoa. There is a slight bitterness which unfortunately builds up going into the middle third. The other flavors remain prominent, and take on a nutty tone. Some cedar comes into play, along with a savory taste in the final third. The bitterness eventually goes away, but I found it irritating while it was there.

Value : 3 out of 5 stars
If this cigar was a few dollars less expensive, I probably would have given it a 4/5, but at $11 for a stick, I would prefer if the construction issues were nonexistent and that bitter edge was absent. As it is, the bitterness is a bit upsetting at this price point.

Overall Rating : 3.5 out of 5 stars
If you can ignore the bitter edge, the other flavors and aromas in this cigar are very nice. It is very lovely to look at, and the construction issues are minor. If it were less expensive, and there was no bitterness, I would say it was excellent, but as it is, I would have enjoyed it more had I paid less for it.

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Rocky Patel Royale

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03
Apr

Rocky Patel 15th

Rocky PatelOrigin : Nicaragua
Format : Torpedo
Size : 6 1/8 x 52
Wrapper : Ecuador
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : $11 each
More info about purchasing Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary cigars…

The Rocky Patel Fifteenth Anniversary was released to celebrate Rocky Patel’s 15 years in the cigar business. Starting as the Indian Tabac Cigar Company, Rocky Patel Premium Cigars has come to prove itself in the ever growing cigar industry. The Fifteenth Anniversary series is rolled in Nicaragua at Tabacalera Villa Cuba, which Patel only partially owns. The filler tobacco for these cigars is grown on a farm dedicated only to this brand and blend.

Rocky Patel 15th

Rocky Patel 15th

The first thing I noticed about the Rocky Patel Fifteenth Anniversary was the impressive steel colored double bands the cigar bore. The 15th Anniversary was box pressed with a wrapper that gave way to an elegant dark oily sheen. The cap was a nice pointed tip and the pre-light smell gave hints of oak and bourbon with the cold draw being completely different, showing notes of cherry and vanilla.

Pre-light score: 9 pts.

Rocky Patel 15th

The first third of my Rocky Patel Fifteenth Anniversary produced a wonderfully sweet aroma with loads of gray smoke. The first third danced between medium and full bodied with an uneven burn. The taste was a very defined coffee with touches of light spice and chocolate.

Into the second third of the cigar I had to touch the burn up however once fixed it wasn’t an issue for the remainder of the smoking experience. The cigar moved completely into the full body category with coffee notes becoming heavier and more intense. The sweetness experienced in the first third was replaced by a charcoal/burnt flavor that tended to be bitter at times.

The final third of the Rocky Patel Fifteenth Anniversary was spicy and heavy with dark coffee notes. The ash was a beautiful wavy gray and the body remained full. The finish on the cigar took an interesting turn to nutty and leathery characters that made for a satisfying finale.

Smoking score: 7 pts.

Rocky Patel 15th

My final thoughts on the Rocky Patel Fifteenth Anniversary are respectable. The cigar gave way to a perfect draw the entire time, was slow burning, and produced a lot of full bodied voluminous smoke. The flavors/taste had minor changes throughout with the crescendo of spice and coffee from beginning to end. Overall I think Rocky Patel cigars are certainly on the right track with most of their cigar lines. I recommend giving this one a shot if you’re looking for an intense full body, coffee smoking experience.

Overall Experience score: 7 pts.

Rocky Patel Fifteenth Anniversary Rating

Pre-Light: 9 pts.
Smoking: 7 pts.
Overall Experience: 7 pts.

TOTAL: 23 pts.

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Rocky Patel Fifteenth Anniversary

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12
Nov

Rocky Patel Private Cellar Robusto

Rocky PatelOrigin : Nicaragua
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Conneticut Broadleaf
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$8.50 each
More info about purchasing Rocky Patel Private Cellar cigars…

I previously wrote a review of the Rocky Patel Private Cellar Toro. In that review I advised readers that I would be sampling the Robusto to see if the size made any difference to the overall experience. Often times, the same blends in different sizes offer unique and subtle flavor differences that make one size preferable over the other even though the same tobacco is used. What I found was what I expected … the flavor in the Robusto was slightly different. That doesn’t necessarily mean it was better. This cigar, like all of the Private Cellar sizes was rolled at Patel’s Tavicusa factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. How different was this cigar, rolled with the same tobacco and at the same plant as the RP Private Cellar Toro?

Appearance : 3 out of 5 stars
The cigar was not nearly as rustic or poorly manufactured as the Toro appeared to be. Then again, using smaller Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper might have made a difference. It looked slightly neater than the Toro did but it still had visible seams. It had a slightly oilier sheen to it with a nice chocolaty wrapper and some veining present.

Rocky Patel Private Cellar Appearance

Construction : 2.5 out of 5 stars
The Robusto felt a bit firmer to the touch compared to the Toro but still had some sponginess. The burn was good to start but got exceptionally uneven as I approached the second third. Prior to that, any slight waviness in the burn corrected itself. The second half needed numerous touch-ups. The ash was flaky and flowered on numerous occasions. Be careful when smoking this cigar and make sure that the ash doesn’t fall off onto your clothes. It was anything but firm. Smoke output varied but for the most part remained average. Smoking time was roughly 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Rocky Patel Private Cellar Burn

Flavor : 2 out of 5 stars
The RP Private Cellar had a musty barnyard aroma to it with some subtle hints of rich tobacco and wood notes. It had a little more chocolate notes than the Toro.

The cigar held up well to my straight guillotine cut and the pre-light draw offered hints of earth, leather, coffee and some spice. The pre-light draw was good.

Immediately upon lighting the cigar I got a mouthful of cayenne pepper that overwhelmed my senses. I could not detect any flavors for at least the first cm as my palate struggled to rid itself of the overwhelming spice.
Once this surge of spice eased I was able to get some rich maduro-like flavors. I got some nuttiness with dark chocolate and roasted coffee bean notes at the front of the palate with rich earthy undertones. There was spice at the back of the palate and the finish was medium to long, mostly consisting of unsweetened espresso and spice.

The second third didn’t see much change in the flavor profile. By this point, the spice had significantly diminished and shortly thereafter was essentially nonexistent. I continued to get mainly earthy flavors with hints of leather, dark chocolate and unsweetened coffee. Unlike the Toro I wasn’t able to pick up any sweet notes.

As the second third progressed I continued to pick up some cocoa, leather and more earthy notes but unpleasant hints of burnt espresso crept into the profile. Up to this point, the cigar was mainly musty, earthy and nutty with not enough “good stuff” to really leave an impression.

Near the halfway point I started to taste some more enjoyable hints of chocolate, toasted nuts, sweeter coffee and sweeter woodsy notes with re-emergence of milder and more pleasing spice detectable on the back of the palate in the medium finish.

The smoke itself lacked any rich velvety texture but, as I passed the halfway point, it morphed into a more velvety semi-sweat creamier cappuccino like texture with some sweeter residue on the palate. Don’t get too excited though, on both samples I smoked this pleasant area of the cigar didn’t last long as by the time I reached the final third, the smoke lost that sweeter texture and became dry again.

The Private Cellar Reserve is wrapped in a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper which is known for earthy and nutty notes but also for having a hint of sweetness and coffee bean notes. For reasons I can’t explain, this cigar lacked any real sweetness to balance the earthy and bitter notes of the cigar. While subtle sweetness was detected near the middle of the cigar, the other 4 inches lacked any. It’s too bad because had this cigar performed the way it did during the middle inch, it would have been a dream.

The final third turned what had been an average cigar into an utter disappointment. I started to get some increased musty earthy notes with an almost burned nutty taste in my mouth. Along with dark bitter chocolate and burnt espresso the flavor mix was quite disappointing. The smoke wasn’t being rushed and remained cool so I am really at a loss as to why it became so bitter. This was true in both samples. The unpleasant bitterness became much more detectable and frequent and I really had to fight the cigar wanting to complete it for the review and hanging on to some hope that it would improve. (For the record I smoked two for this review and for the most part they both had the same flavor profile so I was sure that I didn’t just get a poor cigar).

I finished the first sample for the purpose of ensuring a thorough and complete review even though the cigar became quite bitter and un-smoke-able to my palate. The second sample wasn’t so lucky. I experienced the same flavor deterioration in the second sample as I got into the final third and, with about two inches left on the second one, I put it to rest. It just became too unpleasant. To be blunt, most of the final third was dreadful.

Value : 1 out of 5 stars
At $8.50 that I paid for this cigar I would have to say “Avoid”. $17.00 for two cigars that I utterly disliked leaves me shaking my head. For a 50×5 stick, and for essentially the same price as the Toro, IF you truly must sample this cigar, you would be better off buying the Toro and at least getting a slightly better smoke and more tobacco. There are so many better cigars for much cheaper prices. In my view, this is a prime example of a cigar price from a manufacturer who is perhaps resting on their laurels. After all these years of manufacturing cigars, I can’t accept that Patel has finally given us his preferred blend. In any event, this is a prime example that I often talk about where one has to factor into the retail price the massive advertising and promotional costs that these bigger cigar manufacturers spend.

Overall Rating : 2 out of 5 stars
The cigar opens with a blast of spice that subsides to reveal some mildly pleasing chocolate and coffee notes but with a musty and woodsy undertone that never leaves the cigar. The flavors don’t change much and despite occasional hints of sweetness, for the most part the cigar remains somewhat one dimensional and deteriorates into an absolutely unsmokeable stogie in the final third.

I find it curious that for a cigar that Mr. Patel claims he has “been working on and aging for a number of years.” (source) that he couldn’t get it right. This cigar fails on a number of levels. From lacklustre construction and appearance to poor flavors and pricing.

After sampling both the Toro and the Robusto the best advice I can give readers is to just avoid this cigar. Then again, if you don’t want to take my word for it and want to experience it for yourself, grab yourself the Toro instead.

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Rocky Patel Private Cellar Robusto

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01
Aug

Rocky Patel Private Cellar

Rocky PatelOrigin : Nicaragua
Format : Toro
Size : 6.5 x 52
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$8.50 each
More info about purchasing Rocky Patel Private Cellar cigars…

The Rocky Patel Private Cellar is one of Patel’s newest cigars released for distribution in the summer of 2012. The Rocky Patel Company promotes this cigar as a medium-bodied one but I personally found it a bit on the milder side but perhaps this may be skewed a bit since I normally smoke strong cigars.

The blend for this cigar is made up of primarily tobacco grown in Nicaragua and is wrapped with a very rustic and, in my own personal opinion, ugly-looking Connecticut broadleaf wrapper. The cigars themselves are manufactured at Patel’s Tavicusa factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.

Appearance : 2.5 out of 5 stars
It is often said we eat with our eyes before we eat with our mouth and cigar smoking is no different. At first glance, this cigar looks very rustic with a nice dark oily sheen wrapper but admittedly very rustic and veiny in appearance.

I liked the color of the band and the packaging (which adds to the cost of the cigar). The cigar comes with a second band promoting the cigar as the Private Cellar. As I said though, despite the nice oily sheen to the wrapper, the cigar had many visible and distracting veins which perhaps explained why the burn was so uneven during my smoke. The cigar looked a tad rushed in construction as evidenced in the photographs. The foot looked a little squished and the press and roll did not appear consistent. There were a lot of distracting veins in the cigar but the seams were only slightly visible and tight.

Rocky Patel Private Cellar Appearance

Construction : 2.5 out of 5 stars
The cigar was extremely spongy to the touch despite being stored, as all my other cigars, at an RH of 68%. As can be seen on the photograph of the foot, it appeared as though less tobacco than normal was used. Maybe this was done on purpose but I have smoked many Patels and this by far felt like the spongiest of them all. This led to the cigar burning a bit quicker than most Toros but the smoke always remained cool. The cigar did extinguish itself about halfway through and needed touch-ups along the way both to keep it lit and to correct the burn.

The ash was a white/brown color and extremely flaky, usually falling off at between half an inch to an inch. It needed 3 touch-ups, the second sample needed 4. I had a feeling the loosely packed tobacco would affect the burn and it did. Thankfully the draw was for the most part good and the smoke was cool and thick.

Overall I got the impression just by examining the cigar and the way it smoked that it was rushed in its construction. For a cigar bearing Patel’s Private Cellar label and promoted as being Patel’s optimal blend, one would think a little more care should have been taken in the cigar’s manufacturing. Perhaps it might be time to acknowledge that this is one of those brands that has followed the path of many others by simply producing too many cigar lines resulting in construction issues as workers rush to get out the many different blends offered.

Flavor : 3 out of 5 stars
This cigar overall was of medium strength and medium body. I smoked two of these to get a good feel of the cigar. They were consistent but both average.

The pre-light aroma of the RP Private Cellar was pleasing. Natural tobacco with some earthy woodsy notes. The cigar held up well to my straight guillotine cut. The pre-light draw offered little in the way of resistance (a little too open for my liking) but offered pleasing hints of roasted coffee, cocoa and leather.

The first third evidenced some dark cocoa, roasted espresso, earth and some nuttiness. The spice was very faint and in fact was very tough to even notice. Exhaling from my nose wasn’t uncomfortable at all and allowed for a little more spice to enter the profile. For the most part, the cigar lacked any complexity. What you got from the start of the cigar is what you got near the end with one exceptio … there did tend to be a slight increase in spice as you worked your way down the cigar. It wasn’t an overwhelming black pepper like spice though, instead, more of a spicy pepper. It remained mild and never got overpowering.

The second third offered much of the same as the first third with a tad more toasted nuttiness noticeable with occasional sweetness that resembled some black currant or raisins. Just a touch of salt was on the lips and the finish remained short to medium. The smoke output remained good, not exceptional.

The final third had a little bit more spice but much of the same flavors. If asked to describe the primary flavor I would have to say that it was an earthy cigar with plenty of woodsy notes. It reminded me of a walk in the forest at dawn. Secondary flavors were roasted espresso bean, dark cocoa with only very occasional hints of sweetness.
The smoke was average and far from great. It lacked real texture or enough flavor dynamic or complexity to keep my interest. For the most part it only gave tobacco aromas with none of the velvety richness that I’ve gotten from some of Patel’s other blends.

Value : 3 out of 5 stars
This cigar isn’t cheap because of whom it’s made by. Online, before shipping, prices range from around $8.50 per stick if buying a 5 pack to as much as $9.30. I did find one online retailer selling them for $7.90 per stick only if buying a box of 20. I have also seen them in stores for as much as $9.50 per stick which is understandable given overhead costs associated to operating a store. I cannot recommend this cigar for this price given there are many more enjoyable cigars out there in this price range.

Overall Rating : 3 out of 5 stars
The flavors of the Rocky Patel Private Cellar Toro were “average”. It wasn’t a complete waste but it wasn’t a complete “wow” either. I would say it was a middle of the road smoke that I really couldn’t complain about (other than the price) but one that did not leave me with any reason to have another. I have a couple of Robustos in this blend that I will be reviewing shortly. I’m curious to see of the different size changes the flavors. This would make a daily smoke if the price wasn’t so high.

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Rocky Patel Private Cellar Toro

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16
May

Rocky Patel R4 #1

Rocky PatelOrigin : Nicaragua
Format : Torpedo
Size : 6 x 52
Wrapper : Corojo
Filler : Nicaragua & Honduras
Binder : Nicaragua & Honduras
Hand-Made
Price : $3 each
More info about purchasing Rocky Patel R4 cigars…

Rocky Patel seems to have truly found his way in the world of cigars. By far his name (and product) can be found in just about every cigar market in the United States. However, today’s review focuses on one of Patel’s low-end production cigars. The Rocky Patel R4 is a premium value line that differs from his normal line as the R4 is rolled in Nicaragua and not his typical Honduras factories. The R4 line comes in bundles of 20 and is available in the following sizes:

  • Double Corona 7½ x 52
  • Robusto 5 x 5
  • Toro 6 x 52
  • Torpedo 6 x 52

On to the review…

Rocky Patel R4 #2

The Rocky Patel R4 had a very pleasing brown silky wrapper that contained plenty of veins and few blemishes. The torpedo tip was somewhat lumpy on all three of my examples and the foot very nicely packed full of luscious tobacco. What really caught my attention in this pre-light ritual was the awesome aroma the cigar profiled. The beautiful rich chocolaty aroma made my mouth start to water. The band was a simple plain brown with a sun/star in the middle, and was not applied evenly in the back. Upon cutting I found the cold draw to be very tight, leaving me to cut ever more than usual from the tapered head. Cold draw showed no true tasting notes.

Pre-light score: 7 pts.

Rocky Patel R4 #3

The opening of my Rocky Patel R4 Torpedo was very light and mild with no spice or power. This cigar showed a nutty woodsy profile with minor lead/metallic notes in the first third. The burn was somewhat wavy but nothing terrible. Ash was a mixed grey and white and the aroma a sweet toasted tobacco.

Rocky Patel R4 #4

Moving into the second third the cigar still was safely in the mild range. Still woody with an added cream/vanilla the tastes were certainly not overwhelming my palate. The burn however had to be touched up twice and became quite inconsistent. For some reason the cigar was having trouble staying lit.

Rocky Patel R4 #6

The final third of my Rocky Patel R4 had taste turning a bit darker and oaky with a dark cocoa tastes present. The burn issues continued to persist and the ash was a dirty grey color. Finally I just gave up because I was tired of keeping this cigar managed with the lighting.

Smoking score: 4 pts.

Rocky Patel R4 #7

So overall for the price ($2.75) you can’t complain about this smoke however do know you get what you pay for. Expect to find flaws and inconsistencies, as this is a value line. If you’re a big fan of mild cigars I truly suggest giving these a shot. This will be a great cigar for me when I’m doing things like outside work (mowing the lawn) or other activities where I’m not trying to totally focus on complex cigar profiles. Do know though that this is not something I would reach for to hand out with the purpose of impressing dinner guest or great friends.

Overall Experience score: 5 pts.

Rocky Patel R4 Torpedo Rating

Pre-Light: 7 pts.
Smoking: 4 pts.
Overall Experience: 5 pts.

TOTAL: 16 pts.

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Rocky Patel R4

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15
Jan

Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Torpedo

Rocky PatelOrigin : Nicaragua
Format : Torpedo
Size : 155 x 25 mm (6.25 x 52)
Wrapper : Honduran Broadleaf
Filler : DR, Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Hand-Made
Price : ~$8-9 each
More info about purchasing Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 cigars…

Rocky Patel introduced the Vintage 1990 blend in 2003 and I remember at the time reading a lot of good things about this cigar. This was one of the first praised releases from the company that had just the year prior changed its name to Rocky Patel Premium Cigars from Indian Tabac. Rocky Patel has gone on to make some very good cigars over the years and this one, being one of their first acclaimed releases, was one that I had to sample. As I will discuss below, my boxes were purchased back in 2006. Having finished my first box some time back, I am now down to the last few from my 2006 collection. My palate has changed over the years and perhaps this is why the review is as it is. At the time, I really enjoyed this cigar but as the years went by I lost interest. I decided to pull out one of the 5 remaining sticks from my purchase and give it a whirl some 6 years after purchasing them.

Appearance : 4.5 out of 5 stars
The sample smoked was out of my collection and was purchased in 2006 while vacationing in Florida. A double-banded cigar with a nicely applied wrapper with some minor flaws but no obscenely distracting defects. You can see what I mean in the photograph of the actual cigar smoked for this review. Pre-light, it had a pleasant nutty aroma with hints of cedar and chocolate. The cigar’s band is a deep burgundy with gold lettering. It looks classy but the torpedo shape is not quite consistent with a slight ‘lean’. Minimal veining with minimal visible seams.

Construction : 4.25 out of 5 stars (4.25)
I had no major construction issues to report. The cigar, as most Rocky Patel’s are known for, are quite meticulously crafted. The cut was smooth and the wrapper held in place but the burn did tend to waver at times and the cigar required a couple of minor touch-ups, but nothing really out of the ordinary or something that should frustrate the seasoned smoker. The draw was spectacular with tons of thick white clouds of smoke to make the experience that much more gratifying. The ash was firm and only occasionally did it flake.

Flavor : 3.75 out of 5 stars (3.75)
What impressed me about this cigar was the rich smoke output. Right off the bat the cigar had some earthiness to it with some hints of cocoa and coffee. The first few draws revealed some pungent earthy tones that gave way to some more mellow notes by the half inch mark. The predominant flavor was cocoa with some earthy and toasted nut flavors coming through on the back end of the palate. There were some white pepper notes present on the back of the palate but these subsided rather quickly.

In the second third I started to note some toasted cocoa with tones of semi-sweet chocolate. The earthiness of the cigar continued to dominate the flavor profile and the smoke output remained thick, with gorgeous clouds of thick white smoke. The burn was flawless as was the draw. The cigar was dry on the palate and the flavor was complex with hints of semi-sweet chocolate, toasted nuts and unsweetened coffee the most detectable flavors. I would advise that this cigar be smoked with a drink in hand because the cigar can be quite dry. The finish isn’t all that long but has just enough spice to compliment the flavors I was getting out of the cigar.

By the halfway point, the cigar opened up with the aforementioned flavors becoming stronger and some of the earthiness fading away. There really isn’t any ‘sweetness’ to this cigar. Rather, it is a tad more on the bitter/earthy side but that is not to say it was an unpleasant bitterness. Instead the flavors were more akin to the bitterness one gets from toasted nuts or unsweetened espresso. Personally I prefer somewhat sweeter flavor profiles but that is not to say that this cigar was in any way displeasing to the palate, but it was ‘dry’ and, again, it is recommended that you smoke this cigar with a beverage, probably a sweet one to balance some of the natural bitterness that this cigar leaves on the palate.

As I started the final third I continued to pick up hints of toasted nuts and unsweetened coffee but at this point some toasted caramel-like textures started making their way into the flavor profile. The smoke remained thick and slightly oily on my tongue and while there was some pepper left on the back of the palate this was relatively minor. The spice was enough to be noticeable but never got in the way of the smoke. In fact, many draws revealed no pepper notes at all.

The cigar is not very strong. The one smoked for this review was smoked before dinner accompanied by a double shot of ‘sweetened’ cappuccino that I found complimented the cigar very well.

The cigar will tend to get a little harsh if smoked too quickly and I laid the cigar to rest shortly after removing the band when I sensed the flavors were going to get harsh. I did not want to ruin an otherwise decent experience.

All in all, this cigar offers some toasted nuttiness, cocoa, semi-sweet chocolate flavors with a nice thick smoke output and very comfortable and satisfying draw. Some occasional caramel flavors did come into the picture with some white pepper spice that remained mild, coming in and out of the flavor profile throughout the smoke.

Notwithstanding the fact that the cigar wasn’t bad, it wasn’t spectacular either and always left me wanting a bit more. Some of the flavors were muted at times with only natural tobacco coming through on some puffs. There could have been more consistency in this regard. Also, the cigar was only mildly complex and the flavor profile really didn’t change an awful lot during the smoking experience with much of the flavors remaining the same. Only their intensity changed.

This cigar has done well with age as many of the flavors that I discussed have mellowed and come in to their own. When smoked young, this cigar can be a tad bitter but with a little time in the humidor they really come in to their own with the bitterness taking on the flavors mentioned in this review.

Value : 4 out of 5 stars
These cigars can be had for as little as $9.00 per cigar at most online retailers that I checked and I remember paying a little less when I purchased them years ago. A box of 20 can be had for $176.00. For the price, this cigar will offer a smoker with over an hour of a good cigar experience. Not “great” mind you, but for the price, anyone who enjoys this flavor profile should not be disappointed. I have had better cigars for the price however.

Overall Rating : 4.13 out of 5 stars (4.125)
Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 is not a bad cigar and if you can find them for a good price then you won’t go wrong by having a few in your humidor. The flavors are mostly of the nutty, unsweetened coffee and semi-sweet chocolate variety with an underlying earthiness. If that is your desired flavor profile then you will enjoy this cigar. Where the cigar falters in my opinion is in its lack of complexity. As I noted above, there were some subtle changes to the flavor profile during my smoking experience but not enough to keep me interested. That is, while the flavors tended to change in strength, they pretty much stayed the same during the entire cigar experience. There just wasn’t enough ‘wow’ factor to keep me wanting more. The smoke output won’t disappoint and construction issues are relatively minor but present nonetheless. A good torpedo but not a spectacular one. The cigar is not strong so it is good for novice smokers or for those that haven’t had much to eat beforehand. Overall, I rated this cigar 4.125 out of 5.

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Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Torpedo

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16
Aug

Rocky Patel Vintage 1992 Robusto

Rocky PatelOrigin : Honduras
Format : Robusto
Size : 5.5 x 50
Wrapper : Ecuador
Binder : Nicaraguan
Filler : Dominican, Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : ~$5-7 each
More info about purchasing Rocky Patel Vintage 1992 cigars…

Please welcome our new reviewer known as The Cigar Surgeon, M.D. We hope you’ll enjoy his thorough cigar reviews! Here is his bio:

I started smoking cigars about 7-8 years ago now. In the back of my mind it was always something I thought I would enjoy but I just didn’t take it up as a hobby. With my other hobbies of coffee roasting, scotch tasting and photography it seems to have found a nice comfortable niche.

This is my review of the Rocky Patel Vintage 1992 Robusto (5.5 x 50). I purchased a 5-pack from Cigar Monster. Final tally was $4 a stick. The Vintage 1992 Robusto is listed as a medium strength with medium to full flavor. Inside you’ll find Dominican and Nicaraguan filler, with a Nicaraguan binder. The whole thing ties together with an aged Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.

Nose : 4.5 out of 5 stars
I’ve picked up chocolate, wood and earthiness, and hints of coffee. The aromas off this cigar have me very eager to light up.

Construction : 4 out of 5 stars
Construction was excellent. The dark brown wrapper had veins across it, however they were smooth and there were no flaws in construction to be found. You can immediately tell looking at this cigar that it is box pressed, however this is clearly a premium constructed cigar. It has a rich dark chocolate brown color with a light oily undertone.

Flavor : 4.5 out of 5 stars
I’ve had many Rocky Patel cigars in the past, and in general I find that their offerings meet the flavor profiles I look for. Going into this I knew it was going to be a pretty easy review.

First Third:

Rocky Patel Vintage 1992 Robusto

The Vintage 1992 lit up without any issue. I immediately get a cavalcade of flavors stampeding through my taste buds. Swirling chocolate and wood, earthiness and dark roasted coffee. Each draw finishes with a nice creamy balance. As I get halfway into the first third, the coffee flavor intensifies and I’m left with a tongue full of rich espresso. Absolutely delicious.

Second Third:

Rocky Patel Vintage 1992 Robusto

As it moves into the second third the wood flavors drop off and are replaced with just the hint of spice on the tongue. That spice seems to be in sync with the creaminess of the clouds of smoke I puff out.

Last Third:

Rocky Patel Vintage 1992 Robusto

The last third and most of the top notes of flavor fall away and I’m left with just a smooth creamy cigar. The flavor stays intact until my fingertips are becoming uncomfortably hot and I’m regrettably forced to let it burn out. I contemplate lighting a second one, but as it’s late in the evening I abandon the idea.

Burn / Draw : 5 out of 5 stars
Even just after toasting, I’m already getting rich, satisfying, plumes of smoke with each puff. The burn is as even as I’ve seen, and the draw is easy and satisfying. I left it to burn for several minutes as I refreshed my water and I did not have to aggressively draw on it when I came back.

Value : 5 out of 5 stars
I picked these up as a 5-pack averaging $4 a stick. I expected the box price to be in the $150 neighborhood, but instead I found them in the $105 bracket. That works out to $5.25 a stick, and at this price, for this flavor profile, you should have already ordered a box, or at the very least added them to your wishlist. I intend to finish this review and place an order for at least one box, possibly a second for aging.

Overall Rating : 4.5 out of 5 stars < 23/25 || 92%infoThe Cigar Surgeon’s Grading SystemAny cigar below 60 will be in the ‘yardgar’ category. Between 60 and 74 should be an every day smoke. Between 75-85 should be in the great smoke category, and anything above that should be in the excellent smoke category. >
The Rocky Patel Vintage 1992 Robusto is a premium cigar, with premium construction, available at a price point that makes these ridiculously affordable for all cigar smokers. This type of flavor offering would usually be found in the $185 – $250 price range, so at $105 a box you should feel like you just won some amazing auction deal at the last minute.

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Rocky Patel Vintage 1992 Robusto

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