Rocky Patel Winter Collection 2012

Manufacturer: Rocky Patel
Brand: Winter Collection 2012
Shape: Toro – Box Press
Length: 6 ½ inches
Gauge: 52
Manufactured in: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Habano Maduro
Binder: Costa Rican
Filler: Panamanian and Nicaraguan
Strength-Profile: Full

Appearance & Construction (15)

Heft: Cigar is mostly firm when pinched and rolled in the fingers – a minor soft spot in the middle of the cigar but not major. Wrapper has a mild tooth about it – no bulges in the filler, the cigar is very streamlined – the box press presentation is nice.

Cigar maintained its pre-light heft after lighting without any new soft or hollow points.

Appearance: Cigar has a milk chocolate colored wrapper, darker than a standard Habano due to the Maduro aging – cigar has small to medium size veining, seam lines are nice and the roll appears to be tight. Cigar features a double band, the main RP band followed by a smaller brand title band below, both purple, silver and black in color. An attractive cigar overall.

Construction: Pre-light the cigar is constructed pretty well, there are no rips or cracks in the wrapper however there are a few places when the wrapper seems to have little scrapes, the cap looks very secure and the wrapper seams are almost unnoticeable. Cutting of the cigar is uneventful, no fraying of the head of the cigar.

Lighting the cigar is very easy, achieved with a single match – the burn starts off even however within about four draws the burn has begun to angle. Within the first inch the burn resulted in a 45-degree angle across the cigar – no canoeing however. The ash is a soft gray color with streaks of darker gray, almost black coloring – ash appears tight on the inside but flaky on the exterior.

First ahsing occurs only about 1 ½ inches in and maintains this throughout the cigar, not holding a long ash. At the beginning of the second third the burn has evened out again and maintains an even burn until the final third of the cigar.

Unbanding at the half way point of the cigar reveals a pretty significant crack in the wrapper. During smoking the head of the cigar remained in good construction without coming apart or splitting. In the beginning of the final third the wrapper of the cigar began to unravel at the seam which resulted in an uneven burn again. At about halfway through the final third the burn evened back out after getting past the wrapper unraveling. The cigar finished with an even burn.

Total Appearance and Construction: 8/15

Flavor (25)

Pre-Light aroma: The aroma is quite mild and consists of an earthy, barnyard aroma with a hint of spice – smelling the wrapper alone produces an aroma of an earthy spice, still quite mild. The

Pre-Light Flavor: The pre-light draw produces mild flavors of coffee and wood notes with a hint of peppery spice, but again very mild – I hope the pre-light draw is not an indication of the strength of flavor to follow as it will make for a very uneventful cigar.

Beginning flavor: The cigar starts with a complex mix of flavors from the very first draw consisting of a mix of coffee, nuts, barnyard and a faint hint of leather. The strength profile starts as a definite full flavor, almost smacking you in the face.

Halfway through the first third of the cigar the barnyard and coffee essence has gone leaving a mix of nuts and leather with the introduction of a woody spice. The aroma from the smoke of the cigar is producing a leathery tobacco smell with wood undertones.

Continuing flavor: Moving into the second third of the cigar the flavor profile has remained consistent with the nuts and leather and woody spice increasing. There is a brief flavor of raisins that becomes apparent about half way through the cigar but quickly dissipates leaving mostly cedar and oak spice with subtle hints of cocoa. Nuts and leather have faded in the background and are barely noticeable. On retrohale there is a strong essence of cedar and spice left on the nose. The strength profile of the cigar has gone from a definite full to a medium-full.

Ending flavor: Beginning in the final third of the cigar the flavor profile has noticeable notes of cocoa with the spice evening out and becoming more subtle – oak and cedar still dominates the flavor palate with now leathery tobacco making a reappearance. By halfway through the final third the cocoa has given way to tobacco mixed with oak and spice. The aroma from the cigar is reminiscent of a wood fire with strong notes of oak and tobacco in the air.

The cigar finishes with predominant oak and spice flavor with the tobacco subsiding into the background. The strength profile finishes as a medium-full.

Total Flavor: 23/25

Smoking Characteristics (25)

Light: Cigar was easy to light with a single match – cigar did not require relighting during smoking.

Draw: The draw started a little closed but did not require much effort. By the halfway point of the cigar the draw opened up and became quite easy – smoke flowed through the head of the cigar even at rest.

Smoke: The smoke of the cigar started out thin, not much smoke on exhale and the smoke quickly dissipated in the air. By the halfway point when the draw really opened up the smoke production increased and large volumes of smoke were produced on every draw.

Texture: The texture of the smoke started out very thin and didn’t hang in the air long at all. By the halfway point the smoke became thicker and creamier, with large volumes hanging in the air for a while before dissipating.

Balance as smoked: The balance of the flavors in this cigar was pretty good, there were not sudden changes in the flavor profile, new flavors started subtle before becoming apparent and flavors exited in the same manner, fading into the background as new flavors became dominant. The only exception to this was the brief time in the middle of the cigar when a raisin flavor came out of nowhere, remained for about a half inch of the cigar and disappeared as quickly as it came.

Total Smoking Characteristics: 23/25

 

Overall Impression (35)

This is a complex cigar, the flavors start off in multitude and then balance out to specific flavors with subtle hints in the background. While the flavors were balanced and not overpowering the cigar left you wondering what was going to come next. The aroma produced from the cigar was quite pleasant and overall the flavor profile was pleasant as well. Construction and burn issues with the cigar were a bit annoying and not common in my experience with Rocky Patel. The cigar is advertised a full strength however I found that this was only true for a little less than the first half of the cigar as it mellowed out to a medium-full at the halfway point through the finish. This is a relaxing smoke that I think would be enjoyed on a semi-usual basis. It is something I will keep in the humidor and I look forward to what more time to age will do for this cigar.

Total Overall Impression: 33/35

Final Notes

This is a complex cigar that requires the time to sit back and relax with in order to appreciate the flavors which are produced. If you’re looking for a run of the mill cigar than this isn’t it, but if you are looking for a relaxing smoke and want to experience a diverse flavor profile than this would fit the bill. My biggest concerns about this particular cigar were the construction and burn issues, which are in my experience uncommon with Rocky Patel. I wouldn’t rate this as RP’s best, and it is nowhere near the quality of a Vintage ’90 or Vintage ’92, for this reason I would put it as a second shelf cigar and have given it a B+ rating with a final score of 87/100.

Cigar Informer Grade: 87/100

 

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