Cigar: Rocky Patel Decade
Ring Gauge: 50
Price Point: $8.30
The Decade, by Rocky Patel, was a release to celebrate Rocky’s ten years in the cigar business. To accompany this cigar for the anniversary, Rocky also produced a ITC 10th anniversary to showcase his Indian Tabac line as well. The Decade features premium tobaccos from Nicaragua, Honduras, and Ecuador.
The line is available in four sizes; including a Robusto (50 x 5.00), Lonsdale (44 x 6.50), Toro (52 x 6.50), and a Torpedo (52 x 6.50). Cigars come packaged in boxes of of twenty.
After removing my cigar from its cellophane sleeve, I gave it a once over to check for any apparent flaws in the wrapper. I found dainty veins, consistent color, and an all around good looking cigar. Giving it a gentle pinch from head to foot showed that this stick was consistently packed with tobacco. When I was unable to find any obvious soft spots, I moved to opening up the head of my cigar.
After opening up the head with a pair of cigar scissors, I checked the pre-light draw. I found it to be excellent with just enough resistance for my liking. I could not detect any significant flavors on the cold draw. The aroma on the wrapper and exposed foot were both mild and earthy.
After a quick and easy light, I had my Rocky Patel Decade lit and producing lots of smoke. The body starts off as medium with a complex finish which leaves me with a very creamy feel across the palate with a savory aftertaste. The aftertaste makes me salivate and seems to prolong the finish by a considerable amount.
The long savory finish seems to wash out the initial flavors. As the cigar is puffed, I can taste a distinct leather flavor as well as woody tones. As soon as I begin to expel the smoke, the flavors quickly get washed out by the wave of aftertaste.
The burn rate is about average while the burn line is thin and even. As the cigar burns, it produces a tightly compacted ash which is fairly light in color. Looking closer at the ash, I can see what looks like a stacking pattern. There appears to be distinct formations within the ash which are visually appealing.
After about forty-minutes I reached the second third of my Rocky Patel Decade and had to remove the secondary band. The body didn’t progress much and was still in the medium spectrum. The finish remained creamy and left a long savory aftertaste.
As I progressed into the cigar, the flavors of leather and wood began to get a little richer and more apparent. The savory aftertaste continued to wash them out, but they didn’t dissipate nearly as quickly as they did in the first third.
The burning characteristics of this stick were fantastic. The burn rate was about average while producing a thin and even burn line. The draw was excellent and produced loads of thick smoke which was easily passed through the sinuses. The resting smoke was light and left mild and inoffensive aroma wafting around the room.
As I rounded the ninety-minute mark, I reached the final third of my Rocky Patel Decade. The body progressed slightly but remained medium. The finish remained long and savory while causing me to salivate profusely.
The flavors suddenly turned harsh and bitter. Not knowing why I had such a sudden turn of events, I looked closer at the stem on the exposed head of my cigar. With a little work I was able to pull the stem out completely, which took away majority of the harshness.
After about a half dozen puffs the flavor was back to normal once again. I was picking up the same flavors as before, leather and wood, along with an additional flavor of nuts. The savory flavor continued to wash out the base flavors, although much less at this point.
When it was time to set this cigar down I was unsure of exactly how I felt about it. I enjoyed the flavors but definitely would have enjoyed them more if they weren’t washed away so quickly by the finish. The consistent medium body was nice, as was the development of the core flavors.
The stem within the stick was a huge ding on my overall impression. Having heard Bob from Dog Watch Cigar Radio talk about issues with the Olde World Reserve when it first came out, I couldn’t help but think that this could be a potential problem with the brand. I realize that these two issues were spread out over a very long period of time, but it just didn’t sit well with me for a $8.00 cigar.
Ignoring the stem, I think that this was an enjoyable cigar. I don’t see it living up to the hype that Cigar Aficionado gave it, but it was a solid smoke none-the-less. I’ll most likely try this cigar again, but I don’t feel the urge to run out and buy one at the moment. Maybe this would be a good candidate for a Short Ashes review later on down the road.
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24 thoughts on “Rocky Patel Decade”
The video quality in this video is great and the lighting seems to have improved since your last video.
I too had found stem in a Rocky Patel cigar and that cigar was the ITC 10th Robusto. The stem ran the entire length of the cigar.
Most recently, I smoked a 601 Habano Robusto and experienced something I’ve never seen before. I looked the cigar over and found something odd towards the head of the cigar. I clipped and lit the cigar, took a couple of puffs and found the draw to be way off. Upon closer inspection, that odd thing had pierced it’s way through the wrapper. Well, I’ll let the pics speak for themselves.
I think the biggest reason I have enjoyed Rocky’s lines all this time is because I expect the fantastic construction and burn: the reliability of the experience.
Great quality review again, Walt!
Wow quite suprised. By far my favorite smoke of 2008.
I’m not surprised by the stem issue. Over the last year I have had experienced construction flaws on nine out of the ten cigars I’ve smoked from Rocky. I have one Edge maduro left in my humidor that I have been reluctant to smoke, and I’m definitely not purchasing anything else from them.
The Decade is good, but it has a taste profile that is very similar to the 90&92. I think that it is a better smoke than the 90&92 but not by much. I have always had very good construction with RP’s smokes and no stick or stems in the mix! Yay for me! 🙂
Good objective review.
The camera is getting better just need to find the correct distance from which you can focus on the cigar. Too close and it will not focus.
Any hoos I have plenty of Decades marinating in the humidor. I have had several RPs (90, 92, Sungrown) none with a stem issues. majority were excellent construction all had great draw.
I like RPs but I am more of an Oliva fan, and I have had several Serie Vs so far. I am looking forward to see how it matches up the Decade as in which one I like better, and the decade has a lot to live up to.
We shall see…
Thanks and keep up the good work
Great review Walt. Even good tabacco can be ruinded by a construction issue like rolling a stem into the cigar. I wonder if that’s what has caused some of my others to get bitter towards the last third? Hm, I’ll have to keep an eye out for that. You sure are patient and observant.
I tried the Rocky Patel decade yesterday. I like the 1990, 1992 and 1999 cigars, but this one burned oddly and had the very distinctive “woody” flavor you described, along with the harshness at the finish you described. The other cigars in his line are better smokes in my opinion.
I used to enjoy RP product a lot , until i realize that Rocky lie to us all, why is that well, the truth is the amazing Decade is the same Edge Sumatra, that he took out of the market when he realized that was so good, and increase the price about 5 buck, very smart move.
I knew this truth a guy who was in one of the very famous rocky tours to Honduras, he says the 5 years aged wrapper is bullshit. it takes like 1 year, 2 year tops.
Anyway i wll problably smoke RP again, but isn´t my favorite anymore.
Don´t Deserve 95 score.
For the price, it should leave no doubt and I expected a better smoke. I’ve tried this one a few times, the first one was OK, the other 2 complete dissapointments. Overly harsh, wood/paper, a few hints of leather, and none of nuances I’d expect from a high priced stick. I’ve only smoked about 50 or so different styles/brands and I don’t really have a major preference when it comes to flavor profile, however I feel I know a really good cigar when I have one and this just ain’t one.
Try running a match or lighter quicky beneath the band back and forth. This will melt the gum slightly enough to peel the band off without damaging the cigar wrapper.
Thanks for the great review – very objective and well articulated. The description, other than the bitter stem problem, matched quite well with my single decade experience (which I am finishing as I write this). Definite leathery, and even meaty, notes predominate, with a woody flavor, too. I experienced the savory aftertaste washing away the other flavors as well. I noticed the woody flavor persisting in the aftertaste in the final third of the cigar, though. I particularly liked the savory aftertaste. I love the smooth oily wrapper of this cigar (and also the 1992, though I have not tried the 1992). Thanks again for your review.
Inspired me to seek one out. It was fantastic, as I didn’t have the construction problems you did. Thanks for the review.
I just lit up a Decade, but before I did I sucked on it a little bit to make sure I got a clean cut. When I took my fingers away they were dark brown. I’ve heard that some manufacturers will dye the wrapper to make it look darker but I’ve never encountered a cigar that I could tell had had this done. Does anyone know if the Decade wrapper has been dyed? I can’t think of any other explanation for the dark coloring that i was able to wipe off the cigar.
I smoked one yesterday night and I must say I was really impressed by this Cigar.
I totaly agree with your review but I had the pleasure to not encounter a stem as your Cigar had.
I was surprised by the amount of smoke and that very thin burnline.
Overall one of my favorate smokes so far.
Found your review while smoking this…here in Hawaii mine cost $15 (torpedo)… And encountered the SAME problem with the stem. 1st time I’ve ever encountered a stem, I was able to pull it out like you did but by that time it was already too late. Hehehe…I love RP cigars, but this one just didn’t do it for me. Stupid stem. :-p Great review! Aloha!
Literally just finished the decade torpedo. I enjoyed it,
and luckily, didn’t have any issues with stems. I definitely agree
that the aftertaste rapidly overtook the flavors of the smoke
itself. Toward the start of the second third, I noticed a few puffs
that tasted very prominently of almond, which I enjoyed immensely.
What struck me most, however, was actually the smell. I kept
wafting the smoke into my nose, and enjoying its pepper and spice.
Overall, I’m not sure it deserves all of the praise, but I
definitely had a great time with it, and I’ll make sure to put a
few more into my humidor.
Great review sir. however, 90 minutes out of this man? am i
reading that right? i smoked this as slow as possibke and
approaching the final third i was at one hour.. you must be taking
only one draw every 3 min. or something. How did you make it last
so long? All fhr other reviews of the robusto i read for this
stogie was between 45 min. to one hour… ??
After falling in love with the La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor and
My Father, I thought I would give this one a try. Nice wrapper with
a smoothness that tasted of wood and slight spice that never
developed into anything outstanding. Easy draw but thin smoke.
Which in fact, turned into a bitterness toward the final third.
Started it with a nice porter beer and switched to a splash of
bourbon searching for a touch of sweetness. Touched up the burn
twice. Not a 95 rated cigar in my humble opinion.
Not impressed. Tasty, but very loosely packed and fast-burning.
The Decade is a pretty good cigar. I’ve found throughout twenty years or so that Rockys cigars are very well constructed with an even burn. I’ve rarely had an issue and nor should you at 12 bucks for the toro stick in a tube. I have found more enjoyment out of the 92. In fact I buy the seconds at cigar.com. Overall the Decade is good but not a 95 rated cigar in my opinion. You want that then get an Alec Bradley Prensado. Peace out, cubscouts…
I agree with most comments as I sit on my porch watching and listening to the rain. Ok smoke but probably wouldn’t buy again.