Puros Rocha | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Dominican Havana 2000
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Size: 6 x 54 “Torpedo”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $9.00
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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.

That’s a’ some a’ spicy meatball. You gotta be old to remember that one.
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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.

Flavors expand to include cocoa, nuts, cinnamon, and a fruity element.
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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.
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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.

I’m at the halfway mark. And I drop the cigar from my mouth on to my lap and then to the floor. Drat.
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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.

Time to remove the cigar band. Comes off like a dream. I love it when a roller knows what he or she is doing.
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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.

Flavors: Paprika, creaminess, peanut, sweetness, honey, salty pretzel, caramel, earthiness, and citrus.
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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.

Go to the Puros Rocha web site, check out the three B & M’s selling them and get you some.
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3 replies

  1. Thanks for the review. I’m going to pick one up and try it. One of the 3 shops that sell them is about 10 miles from my house in Bethlehem, Pa.

  2. Good review. I have been smoking cigars, mainly Cubans and Nicaraguans. Not easy to accept a new comer. However this cigar was recommended to me and my Cigar Group by a real and knowledgeable cigar smoker. We have decided to try it and review it ourselves, but we could not find it in our State. I called Alexandro Rocha to learn more about his cigar. I was quite impressed by his level of professionalism and pleasant mannerism. We are hoping that the Puro Rocha will become the next occupant of our humidors.

  3. Our cigar group were alerted to the Puro Rocha cigar lately by an old school aficionado who suggested we give it a try. All members of the group are hesitant to smoke anything other Puros. Considering our history of smoking Cuban and Nicaraguan cigars, we all developed a preferred taste and appreciation to the consistency of a Puro vs a blended stogie.

    Although I and members of the group do not compare Cuban to non Cuban cigars, this Rocha, is the closest to Cuban Cigars, in particular, the Partagas line of famous cigars that I smoke regularly.

    Two weeks ago, we tried four of Alejandro’s Puros Rocha, and here is the verdict:

    Construction: Very solid and consistent construction with no soft spots or veins. Wrapper color is almost consistent.

    Band: A Royal and striking band of glossy black and gold that deserves more verbiage, like the House of Rocha, or, The Ultimate Premium Puro.

    Burn: Very Consistent and the ash can hold as long as you want it to.

    Flavor: A combination of cedar – oak, nut, spice that turns into moderate, cocoa, citrus, and cinnamon. Creamy chocolate/ cocoa was more obvious in one Toro than the other three.

    Smoke: Velvety, aromatic, smooth and gentle.

    Nub: You would regret that this cigar will come to an end.

    Value: Worth every penny for what it is being sold for. This is not a $9 cigar. Personally, I think this is a 10-12 cigar.

    Customer Service: Alejandro Rocha went out of his way to secure the cigars for us since they are not carried by retailers in our area.

    Finally, our group does not believe in assigning numerical reviews of any cigar. We use 5 different categories for premium hand made cigars from
    A -E. The Puro Rocha Toro, elegantly deserves an A.

    Overall, an excellent rich experience of a very rich and well made and balanced cigar.

    Shawn, Tony, Ken, Jay, Mark and John.