I want to thank Alejandro Rocha for the samples. You can visit his web page: www.purosrocha.com by clicking on the link. For more purchasing information please contact Alejandro at 646-642-3846.
From the Puros Rocha web site:
“The cigars are made from a unique premium blend of the finniest filler, binders and wrapper tobacco in the world. Each cigar is elaborated by experienced master cigar rollers, forging the essence of this centuries old tradition that is appreciated the most demanding cigar connoisseur while at the same time offering a new edge that’s inviting to the average consumer.”
I had a nice conversation with Alejandro Rocha yesterday. He lives in Manhattan and has only recently started his own boutique cigar company.
At the moment, there is one blend and one size. He plans to add a Maduro in 2015 as well as add more sizes.
Alejandro is 36 and from the Dominican Republic. He came here in 1990.
He has no prior experience in the cigar industry and was egged on by friends who told him he always had a cigar in his mouth so why not blend his own?
And that’s what he did with the help of Francis Santana at the Santana Factory in the DR.
At the moment, they are producing 8000 cigars per year but plan to bump that number up next year. He will be adding a 6 x 60 ring gauge of this blend.
Three stores currently carry his cigars and are shown on his web site. He has a rep working for him to place the new cigar in more B & M’s. Hopefully, word of mouth will spread and eventually you will be able to buy his cigars online. But you can call any of the three stores to purchase them.
On to the review….
This is a beautiful cigar. From it mottled honey colored wrapper to the impeccable construction not allowing any seams to be visible and a gorgeous cap. Oils glisten off the wrapper that is very smooth.
The cigar band is classy with a black background and gold lettering with the Fleur-de-lis on it. Alejandro told me he has plans to re-do the band and re-beautify it.
I clip the cap and find aromas of strong honey, cocoa, coffee, sweetness, floral notes, earthiness and spice.
Time to light up.
Red pepper opens up the first puffs with some nice sweetness right behind. Immediately, a swath of creaminess coats my palate. There are some nice wood notes. It is very earthy. The draw is perfect and the char line is dead nuts.
I have to admit I always enter a review of a new boutique blend with some trepidation. Usually, these guys are very nice people. But 90% of the time, the cigar stinks and I break the reviewer’s oath and generally don’t publish a review. It angers the guy who owns the company but better no review than a bad review for a guy trying to do a startup.
In this case, I can tell already, I’ve mined some gold.
Alejandro, buddy, you apparently know what you are doing. Good on ya’, son.
At the half inch mark, the char line is nearly razor sharp. Need photo.
I can’t taste paprika as I just don’t have a palate that can identify that flavor.
Halfway through the first third, the cigar is screaming laughter. It has hit flavor bomb status.
The spiciness is very potent. I like that. So far, this cigar rates as high as some of the best cigars I’ve reviewed lately. Excellent stick.
I don’t know if it is the power of suggestion, but I think I can taste paprika. Only because it is a very potent flavor. Almost as strong as the spice. This is a first for me. The paprika lies in the back of my throat. Nice.
The second third begins and the nuttiness turns into a peanut note. I’m a big PB&J fan. It is usually my lunch every day. I go to the upscale grocery store where they grind their own peanut butter. I get the fancy French jams. And voila! A meal fit for a 13 year old king.
Smoke is completely filling the room. I feel like I am in one of those old bookmaking centers. When I was 18, my grandfather who lived in Pittsburgh took me to one while I visited from So Cal. It was pretty cool.
Here are the flavors: sweet paprika, creaminess, spice, peanut, oak, cinnamon, earthiness, and a bit of cocoa.
This is a huge relief. One of the best small boutique cigars I’ve smoked. Hopefully, as production rises, the price will come down a bit. Because this is my kind of cigar and I would like to buy a box. But not at $9 a stick. Alejandro. Can you get this cigar down to $2.50 each? You’d be doing me a great favor.
Seriously, this cigar is worth every bit of the $9.00.
The cigar is singing to me. Complexity digs itself in. It becomes a very rich and earthy cigar. It is chewy with a very long finish. Flavors are just slapping my palate silly.
The creaminess moves up to the front of the line. There is a citrus note. Lemon zest. Tart and tangy offsetting the sweetness. And that may have been the fruitiness I noticed early on. We shall see.
The construction has been admirable throughout the smoke. The char line is great. No loose seams or wrapper. The cap does not let loose of a single piece of tobacco.
The strength has been medium bodied until this moment when it moves a step up to medium/full. A nice smooth transition.
The sweetness makes its own transition to honey notes. Very subtle. And a bit of caramel.
I begin the last third with a bit of salty pretzel flavor. Very mild. Now I have sweet, tart and salty. Perfect.
The ash has been very stout but instead of showing off, I’ve been breaking it off in half inch increments so it doesn’t end up on my lap. Plus the only way to do that is hold the cigar vertically the entire smoke. Too much trouble. And who cares? Right?
It is here that there is a flavor explosion. This surprises me as I thought I already had one. But this is Flavor Explosion 2.0.
Three words to describe this cigar: Rich, Flavorful, and Smooth.
This is a cigar you take down to your man cave, blast your favorite music, and take in all the richness Alejandro has blended. No distractions. No conversation.
I prefer Led Zep or the blues. Yeah, I’m old.
So far, the cigar has not required a single touch up. Other than my clipping of the cap a couple times because I am a chomper and it makes an ugly mess. Even so, once more, not a single piece of loose tobacco touches my lips.
The last couple inches sees the strength go up a small notch but no sign of nicotine.
Flavors in this last part of the cigar are just wonderful. I cannot fawn over this cigar any further. I would definitely buy this stick.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS