Posts Tagged With: Rocky Patel

The mancave

I mentioned my mancave a few times, in posts about the swag I received for example and when I showed off my lancero humidor and a few people reached out to me to show the mancave.

The last two days I’ve been rearranging all the swag because I needed to give Cornelius & Anthony the proper prime real estate after the bomb they send me. And because now everything is nice and tidy I took the opportunity to make a little video and shoot some pictures.

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Categories: Misc | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cigar of the month September

It’s the end of the month, so it’s time to publish my list. What’s the best cigar I rated this month and what’s the worst?

The cigar with the highest rate in September  is:

My Father Commemorate 911 Rosado Habano

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) My Father Commemorate 911 Robusto (Nicaragua) 94 points
2) Alec Bradley Fine & Rare Torpedo (Honduras) 93 points
3) La Flor Dominicana Airbender Lancero (Dominican Republic) 92 points
4) Rocky Patel Royale Robusto (Nicaragua) 92 points
5) Undercrown Shade Flying Pig (Nicaragua) 91 points
6) Cornelius & Anthony Venganza Robusto (Nicaragua) 91 points
7) Arturo Fuente Opus X BBMF (Dominican Republic) 90 points
8) H. Upmann Mag 46 (Cuba) 89 points
9) Bunch Toro (Nicaragua) 88 points
10) Vega Fina Summum 2013 Toro (Dominican Republic) 87 points
11) Bunch Robusto (Nicaragua) 84 points
12) Amero Short Robusto (Dominican Republic) 82 points
13) Bunch Short Robusto (Nicaragua) 82 points

 

 

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Rocky Patel Royale Robusto

Back in the day, while I was working for a cigar distributer I ran into Rocky Patel at Intertabac. At that time Rocky didn’t have a distributer in The Netherlands, a small player was interested but I snatched Rocky away from him and brought him to us. And we did quite alright, Rocky wasn’t our biggest selling brand but it was getting momentum and we did some great events with his European director Kolja Kukuk and even Rocky managed to do a few events in The Netherlands and it was always fun.


One of the cigars I smoked most was this Rocky Patel Royale, made in his Nicaraguan factory, a factory I visited, with an Ecuadorean Sumatra wrapper and filler tobacco from Nicaragua and Honduras. This cigar made it to the top 10 of Cigar Aficionado’s top 25 a few years ago and I did do a review of the toro some time ago but have never reviewed the robusto and never done a review with my 100 point scoring system so here we go.


When I release the 5×52 box pressed cigar from the cellophane I notice a beautiful, dark, mild toothy and oily wrapper that just looks amazing. The construction fels great and the triple cap looks good too. The ring is beautiful, golden with a dark reddish brown color writing and RP logo although the print quality could be a little better around the letters. The second, smaller ring, is in the exact same style and says Royale. Simple yet tasteful. And the aroma is strong and a classic stable and barnyard smell.


I punched the cigar, the cold draw is perfect and flavorful. I taste hay, raisin and wood. After lighting I taste coffee and peanuts. Slowly I start tasting herbs and pepper too while the coffee disappears. After a third it’s spicy green herbs with some peanut, salt and pepper. Halfway there is a stronger nut, not just peanuts, flavor with a hint of chocolate and still the green herbs with some white pepper. The pepper slowly builds up to a nice and strong flavor.


The draw is fantastic, just the right amount of resistance. The smoke is thick and full. The light gray ash is firm. The burn is good yet not perfect. This cigar is medium bodied and medium full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again?  Yes, I will always have some in stock.

Score: 92
number92

 

Categories: 92, Rocky Patel, Tavicusa | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Indian Motorcycle Habano Robusto

In 1995 Rocky Patel partnered up with Philip Zanghi, who’s father owned Indian Motorcycles and together they started Indian Tabac. In 2002 Zanghi sold the rights to Rocky Patel to focus on other parts of the cigar business and Rocky Patel slowly faded out the Indian Tabac name, converting the company to Rocky Patel Premium Cigars. late 2014 Zanghi announced that he bought back the rights to the Indian Tabac name and would bring a new line of cigars to the market, Indian Motorcycles, in cooperation with the current owners of the Indian Motorcycles company.


I got this cigar at the HQ of the Dutch distributer where I had a meeting with the owner. He gave me a few samples to smoke, so here’s a review of the Indian Motorcycles Habano Robusto, a cigar made with Central American filler, including Dominican, a Dominican binder and an Ecuador Habano wrapper. The cigar is made at the Del Los Reyes/Debonaire House factory on the Dominican Republic and measures 5×50.


The wrapper is has a nice, dark brown color and is oily and glossy with a few thin veins and just an amazing looker. The construction feels good and the cap is nice. The ring is great, its a smudgy beige, like someone who’s been working on a motorcycle grabbed the ring with a little oil on his fingers and then wiped it off, a very nice detail. It has a gray circle with the name Indian Motorcycles 1901 and the a shiny red circle within and the famous Indian head in beige. On the bottom theres a golden banner with white letters saying premium cigar. This is a cigar I would grab from a humidor just because of the looks and the ring if I didn’t knew it. The aroma is very strong, barnyard with hay and ammonia.


I punched the cigar, the cold draw is great and I taste raw tobacco. After I lit the cigar I taste a nice mildly sweet espresso. After a few puffs the espresso gets accompanied by a little acidic earth flavor. After a third I taste wood with a little salt in the back of my throat. I also taste some peanuts and pepper. Halfway I also taste some lemon, nice and refreshing. Slowly I taste more nuts, more pepper and some spices.


The draw is good. The ash is silvery gray, dense and firm. The burn is straight as an arrow and very slow. The smoke is medium thick, personally I would have liked it a bit thicker. This cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I will get a few more.

Score: 90
number90

Categories: 90, Del Los Reyes, Dominican cigars, Indian Motorcycles | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cornelius & Anthony Daddy Mac Robusto

The cigar I latest highest this year so far is the Cornelius and Anthony Cornelius Toro, a pretty new brand that I got introduced to by my friend Courtney Smith, who’s working for them, at the Intertabac trade show last september in Dortmund, Germany. I smoked a few of these cigars during the show and actually when we were clubbing on friday night with Courtney, Steven & Todd fro C&A, Tony Gomez from La Flor Dominicana, Riste Riatevski from Jas Sum Kral and the ultimate party guy Rocky Patel I just lit up a Daddy Mac when the DJ started a 90’s hiphop set including Kris Kross Jump “The Mac Dad will make you jump jump, Daddy Mac will make you jump jump”. Gotta love the irony there right? But to cut a long story short, the Cornelius Toro is the best cigar I reviewed so far this year, lets see what the Daddy Mac does.


The Daddy Mac is named after Steven Bailey’s father, Mac, and everybody at the company calls him Daddy Mac. The cigar comes from another factory than the El Titan de Bronze made Cornelius since this cigar, just like the Meridian and Venganza lines, are produced by Erik Espinosa in his La Zona factory in downtown Esteli. For those who know Esteli and know La Zona probably agree with me that there is no better place to sit down and smoke a cigar than on the rooftop terrace at La Zona, with the overview of the city and the mountains on the background, watching the crazy traffic, sipping on a great Cuban style coffee or an alcoholic beverage and listen to the great stories told by Mr. Warmth Hector Alfonso. The 5×52 robusto is made with a Brazilian wrapper, Ecuadorean binder and Nicaraguan fillers. The cigar has a dark oak colored wrapper with a beautiful triple cap and just like the Cornelius it has a double ring, one brand name ring that is just drop dead gorgeous, white, black, gold, grey and very detailed with a second, smaller, black ring with gold lining and golden letters saying Daddy Mac.


The construction feels good and the triple cap finishes the looks of the cigar. The cigar doesn’t have a strong aroma, its a mild to medium hay aroma at best. I used my punch to cap the cigar. The cold draw is good, a little on the tight side but just a little. I taste a wooden and peppery flavor. At first I taste cedar with a little coffee. After a centimeter I taste spicy yet citrusy wood. It’s all a bit musty though, reminds me of Connecticut shade but it isn’t.


After a third cigar is spicy, yet a little musty with a base flavor of cedar. Halfway I also taste a little sweetness. I taste a bitter flavor on the tip of my tongue, which I don’t like too much. When I take a sip of water I taste a flavor that I can’t describe but I like it and it tones down the bitterness on my tongue. The overall feeling of the flavors are creamy. Close to two thirds I taste licorice, a flavor I like. The cigar also gets some pepper. Passed the two thirds mark taste more of the sweetness. The cigar finishes strong with nutmeg, cedar and pepper.


The smoke is thick and more than decent in amount. The ash is light gray, dense in structure and firm. The draw is good, not perfect, it’s slightly to tight for my liking. The burn is great, slow and quite straight. This cigar is medium to medium plus bodied cigar and medium plus flavored, well balanced and with sufficient evolution. The smoke time is about 100 minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I prefer the Cornelius

Score: 88

88

Categories: 88, Cornelius & Anthony, La Zona, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cigar of the month March

Over the last month I reviewed 9 cigars and the cigar of the month march is:

Undercrown Flying Pig XLR with a 92 score.

March was the first month I rated a cigar below 80 points, but then again, the Undercrown Flying Pig XLR was a very pleasant surprise so overall it was a good month with two cigars that let me down.

Now as for the complete list of cigars I smoked in March for Cigarguideblog:

1) Undercrown Flying Pig XLR (Nicaragua) 92 points
2) Rocky Patel Super Ligero Lancero (Honduras) 92 points
3) La Flor Dominicana NOX Toro (Dominican Republic) 92 points
4) Kristoff Pistoff Corona Gorda (Dominican Republic) 91 points
5) Alec Bradley Black Market Robusto (Honduras) 90 points
6) Don Labalet Robusto (Netherlands) 89 points
7) Fratello Boxer Torpedo (Nicaragua) 89 points
8) Viaje Circa 45 #1 Robusto (Dominican Republic) 83 points
9) Plasencia Reserva Organica Limitada 2001 Torpedo (Nicaragua) 77 points

The Undercrown Flying Pig was a huge surprise as it was not the gimmick I suspected it was.

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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: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A great book about Nicaraguan cigars

Somewhere in the autumn of 2014 my then employer Sasja van Horssen was approached by his friend and lifestyle journalist Marcel Langedijk with the question if we could help him setting up a trip to Esteli, Nicaragua for him and photographer Jesaja Hizkia and get him in touch with some cigar manufacturers for interviews and pictures in the factories. Marcel, who has been to Nicaragua more often, thought it was time that Nicaragua got a beautiful coffee table book about the cigar lifestyle too, a book nobody ever did except about Cuba and that the time was right for a book about Nicaragua considering the growing sales numbers, superb quality and the growing appreciation for Nicaraguan tobacco, not just in the USA but also in the rest of the world. Nicaraguan cigars dominate the ‘top 25’ lists the last few years and so a book seems appropriate.

I set up a trip, meetings at Joya de Nicaragua, A.J. Fernandez, Rocky Patel, Plasencia, Oliva, Padron and Drew Estate as requested, personally I would have added Perdomo as a major player too, Nica Suenos from my friend Skip Martin and back then I hadn’t met Noel Rojas yet otherwise I would have added him too and interviews with a few boutique brand owners, and I got to come along as I made all the appointments and had all the contacts, my then employer went along as translator as he’s fluent in Spanish. At our hotel, Los Arcos, I met Hector from Espinosa Cigars/La Zona and after seeing the La Zona factory Marcel and Jesaja decided on the spot that they had to be included in the book too, just as the Fe Y Alegria school we visited, a school that’s being supported by Pronica, a foundation that I helped to get started for with & for my then employer.

The name of the book is Cigaragua, a name that Marcel came up with after a few glasses of Flor de Caña. We were having some drinks and cigars at the courtyard of Los Arcos when Marcel just blurted out that name and immediately said “no, that’s to cryptic” but Jesaja and I were sold, perfect name. The next morning Marcel changed his mind and started to like the name more and more, and decided to go forward with the name.

The 12×12 inch coffee table book is not just about tobacco but also shows Esteli, Jesaja Hizkia took a lot of great pictures that are included in the book. The book is now available in Dutch and English and Spanish, German and possible French translations could follow in th near future. I know there are plans to release it in the United States as well but Marcel didn’t say when even though I asked, so if you want to know when the book is being released in your country contact Marcel or Sasja van Horssen.

Other than setting up this trip and proof reading the book before it went to the printer, I am not involved with the book, I gain no money from sales or promoting the book. But I like the book (and Nicaraguan cigars) so much that I wanted to spread the word about the book anyway.

Here are some pictures I took from the book (with my iPhone):

 

And I shot a little video: Cigaragua video on youtube

Categories: Misc | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rocky Patel Royale Toro

This Rocky Patel Royale Toro was number 5 in the Cigar Aficionado top 25 of 2014 so I had to try it. The cigar is made in Rocky’s Nicaraguan factory, in the city of Esteli. The cigar is made of Nicaraguan tobacco with a double binder, a Connecticut shade and a broadleaf wrapper, to make the cigar flavorful but smooth and it has an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper.
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The cigar is dark and the wrapper looks a little rough. The cap is poorly constructed. The construction feels good though and the cigar has a strong leather and stable aroma. The cold draw is fine and I taste raisin.
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I taste some toasted bread, but toasted a little too long. That burned flavor quickly disappears and I’m stuck with a strange vegetable flavor and a little bit of pepper until there is some toast again, but now not over burned. The flavors are dry and slowly I taste some citrus and wood. The citrus disappears again; I taste a nice wood flavor with some toast.
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After a third I also taste some spices like nutmeg with the wood. Very pleasant, not to full or strong but pleasant. The citrus comes and goes, sometimes with a little bit of chili pepper. The last third has more of a pepper in the aftertaste, I taste more leather, its stronger and more dominant. Slowly I get some chili pepper but without becoming too peppery.
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The smoke is decent in thickness and the ash is quite dark with beautiful rings, but also flaky and not very firm in the beginning, later on the color of the ash turns lighter. The smoke also gets thicker along the way. The burn is quite even although I had to correct it once after an inch. The smoke time is about 2 hours.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, this is a perfect cigar for after breakfast on a sunny day, sitting in the garden enjoying a day off.

Appearance: 7
Construction: 9
Draw: 9
Burn: 9
Smoke & ash: 7
Aroma first part: 7
Aroma second part: 7
Aroma third part: 8

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Rocky Patel Freedom Robusto

Rocky Patel spends most of his time in Washington nowadays to fight the legislation towards cigars, that’s getting worse and worse. To represent what he’s fighting for he created a line of cigars called Freedom.
092715rpfreedom1
The medium brown wrapper looks nice with a very American inspired band, stars, red & white stripes, the whole color scheme, it screams USA. The thin veins are flattened which helps the appearance. The construction feels good, and the cigar has a strong barnyard aroma. The predraw is fine and leaves hints of pepper and freshness.
092715rpfreedom2
A nice mellow coffee flavor is what I taste when I light the cigar with my classic ronson varaflame from the late sixties. I also taste nutmeg, medium bodied. The coffee disappears, it’s now wood with nutmeg. After a third the cigar gets a bit spicy, not peppery though, don’t know how to describe this.
092715rpfreedom3
Halfway I taste wood, a little bit of nutmeg and some freshness in the aftertaste. There is a little bit of pepper on my lips. Slowly a mild citrus flavor develops on the back of my throat but that could also be the result of my drink. At the end I get a burst of pepper.
092715rpfreedom4
I get a good amount of thick white smoke. The ash is silver gray and frayed. The burn needs a few touch ups. Ash is pretty firm, cigar is medium bodied and medium to full flavored. The cigar lasted me for 75 minutes.
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Would I buy this again? Yes, but not as often as the super Ligero.
Appearance: 8
Construction: 8
Draw: 8
Burn: 7
Smoke & ash: 8
Aroma first part: 8
Aroma second part: 7
Aroma third part: 7

Btw if you’re wondering why I’m holding the cigars so weird, I cut my thumb and its wrapped in white bandages.

Categories: Honduran cigars, Rocky Patel | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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