El Paraiso

Plasencia Cigars, Danli, Honduras

Rocky Patel LB1 Robusto

Rocky Patel LB1 Robusto. Rocky Patel makes cigars in Honduras and Nicaragua. And even though he started out in Honduras, last few years he focussed on Nicaragua for production. Almost all of the new blends came out of his Tavicusa factory in Esteli. That factory is owned by Rocky Patel and his partner Amilcar Perez. The Honduran production is made at El Paraiso, a factory owned by Plasencia. But Patel has a special relationship, which allows them to use his own methods, his own people and his own standards for his brands. It’s sort of a lease deal.


This Rocky Patel LB1 is made at that El Paraiso factory. And it’s one of the two new blends that were recently released, made in Honduras. It’s quite normal for cigars to have a factory code during the blending process, and for the LB1 Patel decided to keep that factory code as the name. The cigar is made with tobacco from Honduras and Nicaragua in the filler. The binder is also Nicaraguan. The Nicaraguan tobaccos come from Patel’s farm in Esteli. The wrapper is a Habano wrapper from Ecuador.

The cigar is a looker. A very dark yet smooth wrapper. But the foot has been cut by a drunken torcedor. When placed on a table, foot down, it leans like the Tower of Pisa. The wrapper is evenly in color and smooth. The white and copper-colored ring contrasts the darkness well. The ring is quite simple, yet a little too overwhelming. There’s too many lines, stars, shapes so it makes the ring distracting. The barnyard and manure aroma is quite strong.


The cold draw is a bit though. The flavors are leather and pepper, spicy. But it feels a bit like wet leather, making the draw a bit draggy. Once lit, its pepper and cinnamon toast with espresso. The flavors then evolve to a mixture of soil, leather, coffee, sweetness, and a hint of citrus. The cigar is mellow, and the flavors settle for cinnamon toast with a little pepper, sweetness, and grass. Halfway some wood, more soil, and leather show up, but still with the spiced toast and sweetness.


The draw is good. Better than the cold draw. The white smoke is thick and plentiful. The salt and pepper colored ash is quite firm. The cigar is mellow and well balanced. Where the darkness of the wrapper would suggest it’s a strong, full-bodied cigar, it’s actually not. It’s a medium-bodied, medium flavored, balanced and smooth cigar. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yeah, I think so.

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Categories: 91, El Paraiso, Honduran cigars, Rocky Patel | Tags: , , , , ,

Rocky Patel Super Ligero Lancero

A few years ago I ran into Rocky Patel at the Intertabac trade show and at the time Rocky didn’t have distribution in The Netherlands so over dinner with Rocky (and Abe Flores from PDR and Courtney Smith from La Paling whom we already distributed) I convinced Rocky to go with us instead of with the other distributer that showed interest. Soon after we introduced Rocky Patel Premium Cigars on the international market and we hit the market hard, with a lot of events with Rocky’s European marketing guy Kolja Kukuk and me. Kolja always brought other Rocky Patel cigars for us to smoke on each of his trips to The Netherlands so I smoked a lot of Rocky Patel cigars that weren’t and still aren’t available in The Netherlands.

 


One day he brought the Super Ligero, a cigar that made me frown my eyebrows for two reasons, first of all because with that name I expected it to be blended for strength and not for taste and second of all because I automatically thought “that is a twist to the double ligero name La Flor Dominicana uses”. Now the latter was quickly covered as false, the strain of ligero used in this cigar is simply called ‘super ligero’ so the cigar is named after the type of tobacco and the first was countered after I smoked the cigar, it was full bodied but not too strong and it became the Rocky Patel cigar I loved most. On the next trip Kolja surprised me with a handful of Rocky Patel Super Ligero lanceros, a 7 1/2×38 version of this Honduran made cigar with a blend consisting of a Honduras habano wrapper and binder and a filler of Nicaraguan and Costa Rican super ligero. I’m down to my last few so I need to write a review before they are all gone.

 


The cigar has a nice, quite dark, wrapper with a little shine to it and only a few minor thin veins running over it. The head of the cigar is topped with a single cap. The band is modern shaped with the round RP logo on the back and the words Super Ligero written in the length of the cigar, the ‘super’ is written in a very Miami Vice color green, Ligero is written in bigger letters in white on the black band. Next to that you’ll find a red banner with the name of the factory “El Paraiso Honduras”. The band is beautiful, modern and stands out in a humidor. The construction feels good but since Rocky Patel has every cigar tested before they leave the factory I expect nothing less than perfection from the brand. The aroma isn’t too strong and has hints of a stable with a cow urine drained hay. I use a flat cut to cut the cigar and the cold draw is nice and taste peppery with a raisin like sweetness. I light the cigar with my Ronson varaflame.

 


First I taste a medium strong coffee flavor with some pepper in the front of my mouth. The flavors soon changes to lime with some spicy flavor I can’t describe. Slowly the lime fades away and the spice changes to spicy green herbs. After a third it’s an earthy flavor with some pepper. Slowly I also taste some cedar too, with some nutmeg a little before I’m halfway. Right after midway the lime returns and makes a nice combo with the earth, cedar and pepper. The nutmeg disappeared. Somewhat later i taste some walnut too that slowly gets stronger. At the two thirds mark the nut flavor is less strong and then main flavor is pepper again with lime. Near the end the pepper gets really strong.

 


The smoke is medium thick and a medium amount but it gets thicker and more once I passed the halfway point. The ash is pepper and salt colored and quite firm. The draw is a little bit to tight for my liking but not too much to complain. The burn is straight but I had to relight once. This cigar is full bodied and full flavored. The cigar is dynamic, that’s why I love the thinner ring gauge cigars so much. The smoke time is little over two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Unfortunately they aren’t for sale in The Netherlands or surrounding countries so when I travel to the USA again I’ll treat myself to a box.

Score: 92

92

Categories: 92, El Paraiso, Honduran cigars, Rocky Patel | Tags: , , , , , ,

7-20-4 torpedo

Kurt A. Kendall had worked in the cigar industry for years when he decided to bring back the old 7-20-4 brand. He bought the name and started to make cigars in Honduras with tobacco from Nicaragua, Mexico, Columbia and Honduras with a Costa Rican binder and a Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper. The original 7-20-4 is a brand created in 1874 and it existed till 1963. They were made in Manchester, New Hampshire, on 724 Elm Street and that’s where the name came from.
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The 6×52 torpedo I smoked had a sharp point and a nice dark and oily wrapper that has a few veins. The construction feels good. The predraw is fine and tastes quite spicy. The cigar has a mild barnyard smell.
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I taste coffee and some dry wood. The flavors are nice and smooth but full and it has a bit of a bite. After a quarter of an inch the coffee disappears. I taste wood with a little bit of pepper. The pepper grows stronger after half an inch and I taste a pleasant mustiness too with some chocolate. The wood changes into straw with herbs, nice spicy. The mustiness disappears and the chocolate moves to the aftertaste.
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After an inch I also taste some sweetness, the flavors are dry. Halfway I taste dry hay with a mild chocolate like sweetness and wood, I like it. After two thirds I taste autumn leaves with a mild sweetness. Near the end the cigar gets spicy and sharp.
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This cigar has a smoke time of an hour and ten minutes. I got a lot of thick smoke, a great draw and a beautiful burn. The ash is light colored and quite firm. This cigar is full flavored and medium bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, this is a cigar I would like to smoke 7-20-4

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: 7-20-4, El Paraiso, Honduran cigars | Tags: ,

Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 robusto

Some time ago I got myself a Rocky Patel vintage 1990 robusto, a 140mm long ring 50 cigar made with a 12 year old Honduran broadleaf wrapper and a 7 year old filler and binder. This particular cigar received a ‘best of the best’ at the 2004 Robb report and a 92 score at Cigar Aficionado so my expectations were high.

It is a beautiful cigar, pretty wrapper, nice stylish band, a real looker and it also feels good. The predraw was light and easy and lighting this cigar was a piece of cake. An easy draw but no flavor. It took a few puffs to finally get a flavor and it was very light leather which grows stronger when I reach the 1/3rd point where a hint of cacao and a light fresh sour flavor also enter my palate. Somewhere around the half of the cigar the cacao grows a bit stronger but it’s still to light for my taste.

The ash is beautiful, white & gray and firm of construction. Just before I reach the half of the cigar the burn starts to get crooked so I have to correct. My correction was just a short success because the burn keeps on getting crooked and I keep on correcting. It is hard to keep this cigar burning correctly

This cigar is mild bodied, way too mild for me. Maybe I should try the 1992 vintage, that cigar is medium to full bodied according to the Rocky Patel website.
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Would I buy this cigar again? No.

Appearance: 9 / 10
Construction: 6 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 5 / 10
Smoke & ash: 6 / 10
Aroma first part: 6 / 10
Aroma second part: 6 / 10
Aroma third part: 6 / 10

Categories: El Paraiso, Honduran cigars, Rocky Patel | Tags: , , ,

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