July 20, 2010

REVIEW: pre-Release Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary

Well, it's my turn with the pre-release samples of the Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary cigar.  If you are a normal reader of cigar blogs, there is little doubt you have heard about this cigar in the last week or so. Tony at Casa funmando reviewed the samples here, Chris from Nice Tight Ash reviewed them here, and, most recently, "The Great Torpedo" Jerry from Stogie Review posted his video review here. Instead of boring you with the same information intro to the stick these guys all have done fantastically, I'm just going to say thanks to Patrick Vivalo (@Pvivalo on twitter) and Nish Patel for sending these samples my way for review.

Vitola: Robusto #2
Length: 5
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Jalapa, Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $9.50
Smoking Location: My back deck
Beverage: water

This first characteristic that stands out with the Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary is how tightly these cigars are box-pressed. When I looked at the foot of this cigar it appears to have 4 right angles on all edges, making it as close to a perfect rectangle as I have ever seen in a cigar. As you may have read in my other posts, I am not a huge box-pressed cigar fan, as I always seem to have burn issues with the shape. Hopefully this cigar will be different. After I got past the shape on the Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary, the color of the wrapper also really stood out to me. It wasn't so much the dark brown color that is unusual, but the consistency of the color. This wrapper was 100% the same tone of brown all the way around. The pre-lit aroma tasted like sweet, natural tobacco with a cold draw to match. Even with the tight box-pressed shape, the draw was basically free, if not with a slight resistance...just how I prefer my cigars.

First Third
The triple cap snipped off easily with my Palio cutter and lit effortlessly with my torch. Right out of the gate, the 15th Anniversary produced tons of smoke. The draw was perfect and the amount of flavor the stick was producing was grand. On the front end, I picked up some milder black pepper, which turned sweet after a few seconds, and then was rushed on the finish with strong cedar flavors. I have smoked a few Rocky Patel cigars in the past and this one was different from what I had experienced before. One thing to note with this stick, for sure, was the weak, flaky ash. You are going to want to ash after 4 or 5 puffs or risk wearing the ash all over your shirt. The burn was a little wavy, but didn't require any correcting. The body fell into the medium range.

Second Third
The first third of this stick was very enjoyable. The second third is where things started to take a different path. The nice mild pepper flavor I had been getting all but entirely fell off, with the cedar notes dissipating completely. In the place of those two flavors came a mild milk chocolate with a rather unpleasant bite on the finish. I'm not sure how to describe the bitterness, but it almost had a chemical taste to it. The cigar still burned beautify and the amount of smoke was great, but the flavors, especially on the finish, didn't sit well. The body was still in the medium range.

Final Third and Final Thoughts 
The final third of my  Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary continued on in the same fashion as the second third. The flavors up front were mild chocolate and the finish was bitter. Towards the nub of the stick, I did start to taste more of a black coffee flavor, but at that point, my palate was pretty beat up. On a positive note, the construction of this box-pressed cigar was top notch. I give props it to the rollers Rocky has working for him in his new factory. This cigar never needed any touch ups and, from start to finish, the draw was just where I like it.

My final thoughts on the Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary? It started so nicely, but after the first third, really took a dive. I'm not sure how long these cigars have had to age, and, yes, these are pre-release samples, so perhaps they aged even less than the official release sticks (July 30th is release day I think.) Personally, I think they could do with a bit more time on the shelf. The chemical bitterness I tasted might mellow with some more rest. If the cigar ages to into the first third of my experience, it will be a winner. Right now, for me, it is not. I want to say thanks again to Patrick and Nish at Rocky Patel cigars for sending me a few of these to try. I greatly appreciate their generosity, even if I didn't enjoy 100% of the cigar.

Would I buy it again? I am going to hold off on spending any of my cigar budget on these sticks for at least 6 months to a year.

Would I buy a box? At this time I would not buy a box.


1 comment:

  1. i"l never buy RP products again for sure, prices are ridicoulus, considering what you get......