Rocky Patel Winter Collection 2012 | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Maduro
Binder: Costa Rican, Mexican San Andrés
Filler: Nicaraguan, Panamanian
Size: 6.12 x 52 “Torpedo”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $8.80


This cigar is part of the Rocky Patel “Seasons” collection.

Only 2000 boxes were made of each blend. And they only come in three sizes:
Robusto: 5.5 x 52
Toro: 6.5 x 52
Torpedo: 6.12 x 52

The stick is nicely box pressed. Seams are fairly tight. Not a lot of veins. The wrapper has a nice caramel oily sheen that is both smooth and toothy. The pointy cap is expertly constructed. The double cigar bands are attractive in a minimalist sort of way.

I clip the cap and find aromas of strong cocoa, espresso, and spice.
Time to light up.

The draw is good. Immediately, I get a serious burn issue which I correct and cross my fingers.

There is a lot of sweetness on the palate. Then the black pepper arrives in force. Cocoa is added. A strong woody flavor shows up. And then espresso.

A nice sweet cedar arrives.

The burn gets out of hand once more. A $9.00 cigar should not be having these problems especially so early.

No matter how many times I correct the burn line, it goes back to out of control. Constantly putting a torch to the tobacco can really ruin the taste experience; not to mention my patience. If this continues, the cigar review will end.

An inch in, there is a bit of bitterness caused by the constant touch ups. But flavors do manage to emerge from the wreckage.

I’ve never been much of a Patel fan. He cranks out blends like a popcorn vendor at Disneyland cranks out new batches of popcorn.

As I begin the second third, I correct the char line for the fourth time. I figure that with all this burning away of wrapper, I am only getting half of the cigar to smoke; thereby putting this cigar in the $4.00 category.

I can’t focus on the flavors with all this mishegos.

It is here that flavors just explode. In order: Cocoa, sweetness, coffee, earthiness, caramel, oak, and spice.

Then I get some Indian spices of cumin, coriander, celery, clove, and fennel. The multi-country mix of leaves gives the flavor profile a most unusual twist.

Sweet cedar shows up as I near the halfway point. The chocolate becomes bittersweet like baking cocoa. The coffee disappears. But some creaminess shows up.

The spices of the Far East are dominating the flavor profile.

Char line correction #6. This is fucking ridiculous. $9.00? Really?

All the effort into the blending of exotic leaves and someone forgets to worry about the construction of the cigar. Pathetic.
The online store descriptions make this cigar out to be the second coming. Such bull shit. If it were not for the review, I would have tossed the stick long ago. And licked my wounds. Fortunately, you don’t have to pay retail on this mess. You can get them on auction for half the price, or less.

I won’t say who I got the cigar from so as not to embarrass them.

The second third just disappears in touch ups and I now enter the last third. It has only taken 30 minutes to get to this point.

The cigar has all these wonderful flavors going for it. Meanwhile, Patel’s quality control is out the window.

Strength was medium bodied from the start but moves to medium/full in the last third. But no sign of nicotine.

With only a couple inches to go, the burn line settles down.

The cigar’s flavor profile has been damaged because of the constant corrections. It had the potential of becoming a real flavor bomb but instead it is just a nicely flavored cigar. It could have been a contender.

No. I do not recommend this cigar. Maybe I got a bad one. Who knows? Bad construction isn’t usually held to just one stick.

This is why I almost never smoke Patel cigars. There is always something to bitch about.

The last bit gets harsh and hot.

OK. I’ve followed the Cigar Reviewer’s Union rules and completed the cigar as much as possible.

Time to toss it.


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3 replies

  1. This is why I gave up trying Patel cigars. Every Patel I have tried had all kinds of issues. I guess he’s been really busy getting his picture taken with the babes, to notice his cigar factories are fucking up! Sorry for the language but I can’t stand this guy!

    • Back in the 90’s, Patel was “the” man. His profession before making too many cigar blends was as an entertainment lawyer.
      Now being in big time music, I had my share of dealing with these weasels. I hate lawyers but I really think the entertainment lawyers are real whores.
      He made his bones by making a gazillion house brands for Famous Smoke. All mediocre cigars. Actually, all of these blends are by individual contractors that use his factory and therefore can tack on the Patel name to their cigars. All the big time manufacturers do this.
      But Patel went bonzo.
      Enough was never enough. He had a lifestyle to support. Make more cigars. Make more cigars.
      There are maybe 3-4 cigars he makes that are decent. But the rest are drek. And he knows it. That’s what kills me. He knows he is flooding the market with drek. And like all greedy bastards, he just doesn’t care. His best friend is his financial consultant.
      I got a sampler from that had a bunch of Patel sticks in it. Not one was smokeable. Even after some decent humidor time.
      What really galls me is that the A List reviewers never have anything bad to say about him. Ever.
      That’s because he gives them goodies, pre-release cigars, and invites them on trips to see his factory.
      It’s only the cigar outsider reviewers that tell the truth about him.
      You know he hears about all the criticism and he is laughing all the way to the bank. Because newbie smokers continue to buy all his house brands from Famous.
      You gotta hand it to some of the big online stores that don’t carry that crap.
      I counted 33 Patel blends on Famous. And that doesn’t include the dozens and dozens of house brands. They’re such whores.
      BTW- Famous hates me with a passion and use every opportunity to bad mouth me to anyone that will listen. That tickles me pink.
      Because there ain’t a single thing they can do to me.
      Being a cigar outsider gives you certain perks that the A List reviewers don’t have; like being able to tell the truth.