Cigar: Rocky Patel Spring Collection 2009
Vitola: 6×50 Toro
Binder: Pennsylvania Broadleaf
Pre-light Appearance and such:
The newest line of Rocky Patel’s seasonal collections, is this review’s cigar. I first have to let you know that I received this stick from Justine, who manages the local shop that I frequent: The Blue Havana in Chicago. They received some samples from their rep and decided to pick up the line. It will be on their shelves soon. This cigar is a very nice looking cigar. The wrapper, a Sumatran one, is a dark brown wrapper with a lot of veins, all of which are small and should not be an issue. The wrapper is also very smooth despite the veiny appearance. The construction, as with most Rockys that I have smoked seems to be pretty great. The cigar is packed tight with Nicaraguan filler and features a Pennsylvania-seed Broadleaf binder, which I believe has been transplanted and grown in Nicaragua, something that, as far as I know, is exclusive to Rocky Patel’s seasonal collections. The smell at the head and foot of this stick reveals a nice subtle cocoa note with a bit of coffee. The pre-light draw is very nice, but seems just a bit tight, but I think it will open up as I smoke. The taste I get from the draw is a slight cocoa with a bit of woodsiness. I have had each of the other seasonal blends, and despite popular reviews, I thought that the Summer-blend showed the most promise, while others seemed to prefer the Winter Blend, which is highlighted by a dark Pennsylvania Broadleaf Maduro wrapper. The Spring Collection 2009 Toro has been cut with a punch, and is now ready to light.
First Third (time: 35 minutes)
The first third of the cigar shows a light gray ash with a nice draw that did happen to open up as a proceeded to smoke. The burn was a little wavy in this third, and about an inch into it, the wrapper started to split like crazy. This is probably because the cigar happened to be a little dry, but I was so eager to smoke it, that I didn’t store it long, as I received it two days ago. The ash held strong and dropped after about an inch and a half to two inches. The flavor from the start was very good. It produced a very smooth and pleasant taste of a subtle black pepper spice, with notes of a nutty/woodsy flavor. There was also a fair amount of earthiness to the first third, which I quite enjoyed. On the finish, there was a nice cocoa and coffee note. This is definitely shaping up to be a really good cigar. The body of the first third was in the range of medium to high medium.
Second Third (time: 35 minutes)
As I smoke the cigar into the second third, the wrapper just burst; I mean this thing blew the F up. And although it wasn’t attractive, and a bit of a hassle to contain, the taste of it is definitely enough to try and smoke past the problem: one that shouldn’t happen with proper storage. The ash into this third was similar to the first, a light gray tone and held strong, only dropping past an inch. The burn was messed up due to the split wrapper, but was otherwise even. As I suspected, I was able to smoke past the explosion, and enjoy the remainder of the cigar. The flavors of the cigar didn’t change much, but became more complimentary to one another. There was still a peppery taste, but it backed off and let the Earthy nutty flavors dominate this third. The finish still was that of coffee and cocoa; ever so slight, but very pleasant. The body of the second third remained at the high end of medium.
Final Third: (time: 40 minutes)
The final third was quite possibly the most enjoyable of the cigar. Past all of the wrapper problems, the burn was perfect, and the ash still strong. I slowed down as I smoked it because I noticed I began to smoke a little fast and noticed a bit a harsh spice that soon went away as I slowed. The flavors still presented as a very nice and full flavored earthiness, with a bit of a toasty coating of smoke in my mouth. There was still a nice spice and a very smooth concoction of cocoa, coffee and now a spice, similar to cinnamon that I couldn’t clearly identify. Very very nice, and consistently complex, the taste of this cigar did nothing but please as smoked it down to nothing. The body of the final third ended up as a high medium, bordering on full.
When I finally set this cigar down, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. There are a lot of Rocky cigars out there that don’t really do it for me, but this definitely has the chance to rival the Sun-grown petit corona, which happens to be my favorite. It also reminded me of the Nording a bit as well as the Nicarao, but definitely more complex. Although I wasn’t a fan of the Winter and really didn’t like the Autumn Collection, this cigar proved to be the highlight of the collection in my opinion. The earth tones with the slight spice and cocoa and coffee were all very well balanced and smooth without a second of boredom or displeasure. This definitely a great medium to full-bodied cigar, which I will be stocking up on, I imagine, as soon as they become more readily available.
Like it: Yes
Smoke it again: Definitely
Recommend it: Only to people who like really tasty cigars!
Chris (aka schedel) from the Stogie Review Fan Forum