If you have never had a Rocky Patel cigar, you must be fairly new to cigars or living in a cave. Rocky Patel has been making cigars from mild to full body, with everything in between, for quite some time now. I have enjoyed quite a few Rocky Patel cigars over my many years of cigar enjoyment. But there is still quite a few I haven’t tried yet. Recently Holt’s Cigars offered me the chance to try a few of those I haven’t tried yet for a few reviews via their Rocky Patel Luxury Collection Toro Sampler. This sampler has 2 each of the toro size of “Ocean Club”, “Velvet Edition”, “Renaissance”, “Decade” and “Vintage 1990.” I had never tried the Ocean Club nor the Velvet, so I was looking forward to them as the others are good solid smokes. The sampler sells for less than $30 and for 10 cigars, that’s a great price. Where else can you get a toro for $3? Not to mention the sampler comes in a wooden box and not a cellophaned bundle like some samplers do.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Price: $3 (In sampler). $8.55 (Single)
The Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper has a few smallish veins, the seams look to be ok; but they look to be a bit “loose” as well. A nice double cap gives you plenty of cutting space and under that is the “typical” Rocky Patel band yet in a Navy Blue (almost purple) color. Below that band is a secondary band denoting “Velvet Edition.”
The foot aroma has a nice solid medium strength with flavors of light wood, cedar, nutmeg, ample spices and a bit of creaminess. The cigar has an overall aroma of a light cocoa and an almost dark chocolate. A straight cut with my Xikar Xi1 reveals a pretty effortless draw with notes of a lighter version of the cocoa I detected in the wrapper and a very faint spice.
The draw stayed pretty consistent throughout the entire cigar. It was slightly looser than I typically prefer, but it gave me no issues to disclose. Plenty of smoke was given off from the cigar and had a decent room note that wasn’t too overpowering or light in strength. The burn had an odd run right off the bat but after a watchful eye it was corrected. The ashes lasted a good bit over an inch and a quarter with hues of white, off white and gray. The ashes had a a bit of flakiness to it with some loose rings.
The first few draws almost make me do a double take on the wrapper as its a little stronger than many Connecticuts I have had in the past. There is a nice spice that is followed by a bit of sweetness on the end of the draw. Getting into the first third some, the spice eases off slightly as a key flavor and reveals more of a medium wood note. The sweetness has eased off even more than the spice. Ending the first third the spice lets up somewhat and is now mixed with a grassy note. The wood note becomes a little muddy, but still has a bit of creamy smoothness to it.
Easing into the middle portion, the flavors are the same as they were when ending the first third with the addition of a light roasted coffee note. The spice is now attached to the coffee similar to chicory coffee, yet without the “punch” of a chicory coffee. Later on, a vanilla flavor creeps into the flavor mix. Around the middle point, the spice picks back up a little in strength and lingers a bit on the finish. The wood and vanilla flavors are almost nonexistent now. Leaving the middle portion, the spice starts to get muddled with the (chicory like) coffee. The finish of the cigar has some of the spice in a more cleaned up state, but the other flavors are muddy and a bit bland.
Starting the last third, a bit of cedar appears in the mix and seems to add to the spice’s strength. A simple nutty flavor also appears now and its similar to overly roasted peanuts. Towards the end of the cigar, there is a herbal note that appears and seems a bit out of place to me. I enjoyed the overly roasted peanut flavor more than the herbal note. At the end of the cigar, the herbal notes change to a bitter sweet grassy note with the coffee still lingering in the background. Seeing where the changes were going from herbal to grassy, I was pretty much done with the cigar at this point.
This is solid medium bodied smoke with upper medium strengthed flavors. I enjoyed this cigar somewhat, but the times where the smoke got too busy or muddy I didn’t enjoy it as much. Its a bit stronger than many Connecticut cigars I have had in the past. There was a good variety of flavors that your “basic” Connecticut cigar wouldn’t have. Its pretty complex, and at times its almost too complex as to where you get to a flavor that you like and its quickly replaced by another. This would be a mid morning smoke accompanied with a breakfast blend type of coffee. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad smoke; just not my usual cup of tea. But when considering the $3 price tag its not so bad after all.
*This cigar was provided to me, unsolicited, from Holt’s Cigars for this review. Many thanks to those great people for the opportunity to review this cigar!