Rocky Patel Edición Unica 2011 (2013) | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Honduran (Jamastran)
Binder: Honduran
Filler: Honduran
Size: 6 x 52 “Toro”
Body: Medium
Price: $7.00


Today we take a look at the Rocky Patel Edición Unica 2011 (2013).

The cigar is cloaked in controversy because at the 2011 Humo Jaguar festival, Patel seemed to think that this cigar was named winner. But Miami Cigar had an entry and it too thought their cigar was winner. For some reason, it was never resolved. And a couple years later, the Humo Jaguar festival disappeared.

Miami Cigar continues to produce their cigar called the Humo Jaguar.

The reason the cigar has 2013 in parentheses is that the original release date was 2011. But Patel re-released the cigar in 2013 citing that it had enough tobacco to now make the cigar.

I don’t get this. Patel released the cigar in boxes of 100. And 1000 boxes were released to the public. The price was reasonable at $450 per box but who is going to spend that kind of dough on a Patel cigar?

I was gifted a single cigar and have had it for about a month or so. As I am not a big Patel fan, I was hesitant about reviewing it.

Serious cigar smokers don’t look fondly upon the Patel brand. Like Hansotia of Gurkha, both of them have become the king of house brand cigars. The sad thing is that very few of the blends are very good. They seem to aim their products at newbies and inexperienced smokers. Both companies have huge PR machines. They rely on those machinations to sell their cigars.

As it turns out, the mid range house brands tend to be better than the name brand sticks.

And both seem to pump out new blends about twice a month…or so it seems. This is my opinion only but I find their swamping the market with mediocre blends as just greed. Instead of concentrating on fewer, but much better blends, they are happy as clams to flood the market with anything they can get their hands on.

And lastly, both company’s blending style is still old school. There is no such thing as a Gurkha or Rocky Patel cigar that is good to go in 2-3 weeks. In most cases, their cigars take many months of humidor time before they are ready to smoke.

The editorial is over. On with the review.

I did take a look at a couple of the A List reviews and others. There is great conflict over the quality of this cigar. So let’s see what your critical Uncle Katman thinks. In most cases, though, the general prevailing opinion is that the original 2011 blend was much better than this new version.

The stick is a bit plain looking. Like wrapping a present in brown wrapping paper. It is a lightly colored brown with mostly tight seams, lots of small veins, an impeccable triple cap, some oiliness and very smooth to the touch. The cigar is packed nicely but not jam packed and without soft spots.

I clip the cap and find aromas of orange citrus, barnyard, chocolate, spice, earthy tobacco and a touch of vanilla.
Time to light up.

The first puffs are a combo of spice and sweetness. With a tad bit of sour. We have Chinese takeout.
The draw is excellent as smoke billows from the foot. Right away the char line goes wavy on me and requires a touch up.

Chocolate begins its upward trajectory. The spice which started out as black pepper is now very much a volatile red pepper.

I’m getting a bitter taste on the tip of my tongue. I’m sure that will go away. Creaminess shows up now and is a welcome addition.

So here we go: Spice, chocolate, creaminess, bitters, earthiness, vanilla, and leather.

The bitterness is a bit troubling. But a big wallop of woodiness helps the flavor profile in its search for flavor bomb status.

I’m now over an inch into the cigar and was hoping that this so called winner of the 2011 Humo Jaguar contest would have hit the heights by now. So far, it is just sort of blah with a bit of zing for good touch.

The trifecta of creaminess, chocolate and red pepper saves the day for the Rocky Patel Edición Unica 2011 (2013).

There is another flavor floating about that I cannot identify. It helps create a long finish but I can’t put my finger on it.

The burn line is terrible. Do I touch it up or do I leave it alone?

The bitterness continues. I don’t know if this is a typical Rocky Patel Edición Unica 2011 (2013) or I just got a funky one. That’s the problem when you have only one to review. I always ask my sponsors to please send a minimum of 5 sticks per blend for review. Look at the A List reviewers. They normally show they have smoked 3-4 prior to their review.

Well…I’m wait…

Flavors intensify along the trifecta line. My sinuses are wide open from the pepper.

It is not a bad tasting stick. But at the moment, I could go to my list of $5-$6 cigars and pick out 100 better cigars.

The chocolate begins to dim. The bitterness disappears. We are left with a small amount of creaminess, earthiness, and even the red pepper has dissipated.

The Rocky Patel Edición Unica 2011 (2013) has gone into automatic cruise control.

I must touch up the burn line or it will canoe on me. A major touch up.

An award winning cigar is something that should have knocked my socks off from the very beginning. Instead, I am struggling to find nice things to say about it.

I get a growing hay element which is not a good sign. The cigar was gifted to me without a cello and I assume it had plenty of humidor time. Plus it had my month of humidor time. Even if I am not getting the full blender’s intent due to the old school method of blending that all Patel cigars must endure, I should be getting some mighty fine tastes of potential.

The second third begins unceremoniously. I now predict that if this cigar is going to shine, it will be in the last third. Why it is holding on to everything like grandma stashing cash in her mattress…I don’t know.

There is zero change to the flavor profile in terms of lineup. But there is no hint of complexity or balance.

I was really hoping, based on the PR, that this would be a departure for Patel and be a great cigar. After all, they found it good enough to enter the Humo Jaguar contest and supposedly be in a tie for winner.

I finally make out that earlier elusive flavor. It is a bready yeasty flavor. Like Wonder Bread.

I really want to like this cigar and fawn over it. But the Rocky Patel Edición Unica 2011 (2013) is giving me nothing to work with.

I have to touch it up once again.

I’m half an inch from the halfway point. The Patel folks must have given the contest committee a different blend. I read in one review that the reviewer liked the 2011 version much better than the 2013. That ain’t Voo Doo. It is Patel, once again, taking advantage of the PR.

Sweetness appears for the first time. Straight granular sugar. No fruitiness to it.

Don’t you just get tired of being let down by Patel blends? I do.

I am now at the halfway point and absolutely no change to the flavor profile. I am afraid, dear readers, that the Rocky Patel Edición Unica 2011 (2013) is just a dud.

I don’t believe in reviewers providing a numbered rating system. Who made them king?

But the biggest A List reviewer of them all gave the cigar an 82. Oy vay. I should reiterate that I have disagreed with many a reviewer when they thought a cigar was bad and I thought it was great. Or the other way around.

Ordinarily, by now, I would have discarded the cigar. The only thing going for it is the price point. $7.00 is nothing to get your underwear in a bind over. But if I had bought a giant chest of 100 of these babies, I’d be pissed.

Some bitterness returns. Not as bad as earlier though.

I am very close to the last third. Half an inch to go.

The flavor profile of the Rocky Patel Edición Unica 2011 (2013) remains stagnant. No shift in flavors.

Certainly no complexity or balance. And there is no list of flavors to create a long finish.

I am truly disappointed. The PR that proclaims that it took a couple years to get enough of the same tobacco as the 2011 is a hoax. Regardless of whether it won or came in second at the Honduran Humo Jaguar contest, this cigar should be blowing me out of the water. Does it need another 6 months of humidor time? I don’t know.
The char line continues to be wavy.

The last third is upon me and I hope, dearly, that something happens now.

The strength, strangely, has barely been medium bodied. Patel claims this to be a medium/full blend. Not by a long shot. It is closer to mild bodied than it is medium.

The red pepper returns in force. Very potent. Maybe there is hope on the horizon.

It seems all the big boutique online stores carry this cigar for roughly the same price. I believe it might be price controlled by Patel.

A strange thing happens. The strength of the red pepper transforms into a mild harshness. The only flavors left are some sweetness and wood. Chocolate and creaminess have moved to the very end of the bus.

I read on one online store that there are only 500 boxes available, not 1000. Now I don’t know if this is because 500 have been sold or there is a conflict of information.

I stare at the last 2” in the ashtray and I dread smoking the rest; hoping something magical happens.

Even though I have not finished the Rocky Patel Edición Unica 2011 (2013), I not only do not recommend this cigar, but I warn you not to buy it. You would be flushing good money down the toilet.

Another major touch up is required.

Some nicotine arrives. Great. No flavors, no strength but is has a nicotine punch.

I’ve invested well over an hour and 15 minutes in this cigar. Which will make this a 90 minute smoke if I finish it.

If this cigar beat out all the other entries in the Humo Jaguar contest that you just know something has to be fishy.

I’ve smoked the real Humo Jaguar cigar by Miami Cigar and it was no great shakes either.

The cigar finishes without any satisfaction. Total disappointment.

It is no mistake that 500 boxes of the original 1000 remain for sale. The Rocky Patel Edición Unica 2011 (2013) has been released for a year. Clearly, word of mouth spread quickly about the inadequacies of the cigar and smokers just didn’t buy into it. Those last cigars will be around for a while.
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6 replies

  1. Once again, Katman delivers. I remember *loving* the Vintage 1990 when I first started smoking, but I can’t name a single time since that I’ve smoked a Rocky Patel (while sober) and thought “wow, that was a good investment!”

    • I’ve never smoked a Patel…and have never been disappointed. Thanks for the review, uncle, and look forward to the next one.

  2. I pissed-away $500 buying Patel dreck from the CI catalog when I returned to cigars earlier this year after a ten year hiatus. The PR works, sadly, I donated virtually all of the Patel sticks I bought in my early stupidity to a warrior cigar group – and hope they enjoyed them. People who buy Patel cigars typically don’t read reviews until after they have bought them and wonder what the hell they are smoking and why their brains are exploding from the noxious fumes.

  3. That is the problem with Patel. After you clean the PR horse apples off your waders from the endless hours of research to find the few smokeable blends,you wait…wait………… Huh,what year is it? Ok,I think it’s ready.

  4. Sweet and earthy is your bitter review.
    More than fair.
    At least a good read.
    And as usual the photos glam even the pigs

  5. Dearest Uncle,
    I have wondered about this Cigar for sometime…Now I know the truth and I thank you for that! I will not be smoking one of those, ever!