Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Binder: Mexican San Andres
Size: 5.5 x 50 “Robusto”
Price: $9.00 by the box at CI….. $7.75 by the box at BestCigarPrices.com
Yesterday, I reviewed the pre-release of the Rocky Patel Royale. A kind gift from my buddy Jason Harding at BestCigarPrices.com. This was something he garnered at this year’s IPCPR trade show and brought back to lil’ o’ me.
As in every year’s trade show, the Patels use only white strips of paper as a cigar band. And an abbreviated name typed on to that paper.
As in the Royale, this is a nicely done box press. While the Royale came in 5 sizes, the Platinum only comes in three:
Robusto 5.5 x 50 MSRP = $10.30
Toro 6.5 x 52 MSRP = $10.80
Torpedo 6.125 x 52 MSRP = $11.00
So, clearly, BCP wipes the floor with those prices. And it is also a big difference between CI and BCP.
The stick is almost identical to the Royale in shape and construction. Only the Platinum has much sharper corners. It has a triple cap nicely done. Seams are totally invisible and there are lots of minute veins. There is a slight oiliness to the wrapper; which on this cold dreary day in Wisconsin will inhibit me from really picking up that feature, and it feels very smooth to the touch. Like me.
I clip the cap and find aromas of the darkest of the darkest baking cocoa, strong leather, very earthy, and fresh peach.
Time to light up.
The first puffs translate the strong leather to flavor. It is like sucking on my bass guitar strap. (Custom made of the finest Italian leather). There is a strong coffee element. And all at once, I taste creaminess and sweetness. The earthiness makes the body seem stronger than it is, which is medium.
The draw is perfect and smoke fills my eyes as I type. Sort of like putting a chimp in front of a typewriter..eventually, he will write something of note.
An inch in, I can taste a bit of charred oak. Gives it a smoky flavor. But very subtle. I take another sip of water and I get some vanilla in the mix. It brings out the sweetness and creaminess a step further.
The spiciness is very mild. From the start, it was non-existent, but now at the one inch point, a black pepper element is forming like a storm and getting stronger.
Speaking of which, our elongated Wisconsin summer has ended and we are deep into fall weather which means snow will come any day now. Those days of 70 degree weather have made way for 40 degrees during the day and 27 degrees at night. Brrrr.
The first third ends and the spiciness has tackled the mountain and won. At first black pepper, now red pepper. My sinuses clear up.
Even with what I have described, this stick is not as flavorful as the lesser expensive Royale. The Royale flavors were brighter and bolder. While I prefer medium/full, or better, the Royale’s medium body was a perfect platform for its flavor carnival.
The flavor profile is no longer striking. Yes, it came on early with great anticipation but now it is sort of lying there like a flounder.
The char line needs an additional correction.
As I approach the second third, the cigar becomes full bodied. My hands have a slight tremor and my eyes would get me arrested if I was stopped for a traffic violation.
And with that explosion of nicotine, flavors re-emerge. I’ve not quite hit the halfway point and everything comes back times two. Earthiness is very strong. Sweetness and creaminess and vanilla come to the head of the line. The red pepper is making my tongue tingle.
Jason could only spare one of each pre-release cigars so I don’t have a reference point from a second cigar.
The cigar is getting quite interesting now. Instead of peach, there is a different fruitiness. It’s black plum. Almost raisin. The sweetness keeps building. The cocoa and coffee weave back and forth; trading places with each other.
At the halfway point, flavors are dark and light at the same time. The full bodied quality of the cigar is moving flavors around like chess pieces. I’m getting used to the nicotine and am in total control of my hands…which takes away any excuse for my typing and storytelling.
The flavor profile balances out now and seems to want to stay there for a while. So far, there has been no sweet spot. And the cigar is devoid of complexity. While the Royale was ready to go with very little humidor time, it seems clear that the Platinum has the typical Patel old school maturing process. The cigar needs a few months, not a few weeks, or days. So I realize that I am experiencing the cigar’s potential, not the final intent of the blender.
It’s OK as I am enjoying the cigar. So when you buy this cigar, remember to put them in your humidor; without cellos, and leave them alone for 2-4 months; or longer if you have a stronger discipline than me.
For this price, if you buy them from anyone besides BCP, you need to maximize what the cigar offers. Based on Wisconsin’s cigar taxes, this cigar will cost you around $12-$14 each in a B & M. And we have low taxes compared to most states. That’s a lot of dough.
The last third hits the sweet spot and the flavors go boing! Everything is clear as a bell and vivid. I’m sure with a few months of humi time, the sweet spot will hit much earlier. The last 1-1/2″ really sees the flavor profile go over the top with terrific flavors.
Realizing this stick needs much more humidor time than the Royale, it makes it difficult to compare the two. But if I had to, I would choose the Royale.
The Platinum had serious burn issues throughout the smoking process. The Royale did not. But again, I had only one stick.
If you are teetering on which cigar to buy, I would buy the Platinum first to give it a leg up on humidor time. And then I would buy the Royale which will only need a couple weeks.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS