Rocky Patel Twentieth Anniversary | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Honduran
Binder: Unknown
Filler: Honduran (Jamastran), Nicaraguan (Esteli and Jalapa)
Size: 6 x 52 “Toro-Box Pressed”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $11.20 MSRP

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Today we take a look at the new Rocky Patel Twentieth Anniversary.
Many thanks to Anonymous Stogie Pudding for the cigar.

BACKGROUND:
Debuted at the 2015 IPCPR trade show
Released October 2015
Regular Production
From the Rocky Patel web site:
“Celebrating 20 years in the business of creating iconic cigars, we couldn’t deliver something short of magnificent. This cigar follows the lineage of the Rocky Patel Decade and Fifteenth Anniversary brands and takes things to a whole new level. With 4 years in development, this blend combines fillers from Esteli and Jalapa, Nicaragua, as well as Jamastran, Honduras. It is encompassed in an elegant Honduran wrapper. Box-pressed, beautiful and soon to be legendary.”

DESCRIPTION:
The cigar has the look of someone squeezing it too hard. Exposed seams. Big wrinkles. Frankenstein’s monster sized erratic veins. A so so triple cap. It has a soft box press but looks more squished that pressed.
Double cigar bands. The main band follows in the footsteps of old Gurkha blends. Billboard sized. And a footer band that says: “Natural.” Which means a Maduro or Habano is coming down the pipe line at some point.
The back of the main cigar band says:

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The “Counting” portion of the band doesn’t mean more years to come. It means that Rocky sits atop his castle in India counting his gold.

SIZES AND PRICING:
Rothschild 4.5 x 50 $9.65 MSRP
Robusto 5 x 54 $10.15 MSRP
Toro 6 x 52 $11.20 MSRP
Sixty 6 x 52 $12.80 MSRP
Lancero 7.5 x 38 $9.65 MSRP

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I can smell aromas of floral notes, cocoa, intense sweetness, and barnyard.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell strong barnyard, cocoa, spice, sweetness, and sweet tea. The spice is strong enough to make me sneeze.
The cold draw presents flavors of sweet cream, dark chocolate, spice, dark coffee, and nutty. And it bothers me when I mimic another reviewer but several said the same thing: Marshmallows. Damn straight. Marshmallows.

FIRST THIRD:
The draw is great.
First flavors: Red pepper, dried fruit, sugary sweet, lemon citrus, cinnamon, chocolate, cedar.
Within the few seconds it takes to write the above sentence, the massive canoe begins to form. Just seconds. I torch the living shit and let it rest. Nicht gut.

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After a few minutes, I pick the cigar up and continue. There is no cause for an $11 cigar to do this…but it is my second cigar. The first one did not have this burn issue. Go figure. I pick the dud for review.

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Torching the wrapper, like I did, hurts the flavor profile for a good inch beyond the char line.
But even so, the marshmallow and creaminess are strong. The spiciness is muy Bueno. The chocolate and coffee are morphing like a Starbuck’s creation. There is some gooey caramel. Malts are splendiferous. The specifics of the dried fruit are tough. Lemon citrus is very potent and it has a sweet tea back. Even cinnamon is strong along with some nutmeg.

One secret I will reveal…the night before a review. Each and every time…I go through the spice cabinet and sniff spices. To remind me what they smell like. I have a full cupboard of exotic spices and it’s a lot of fun and good for my brain. Try this some time. Makes it easier to identify spices in the mix.

The char line seems to be under control. Just a fluke.
Strength has been medium/full from the start.

Torching the cigar also affects its chances of complexity. There is none as I near the start of the second third.
Balance is so so. But the finish is terrific. The marshmallow and creaminess being upfront.
The char line continues to need minor touch ups as I am now paranoid of ignoring it and it taking off like a race horse.
And then blast off! Sweet Spot 1.0. Complexity. Perfect balance. Wonderful finish. Flavor bomb.

Did anyone see the Glen Campbell 2 hour movie on CNN last night? It was incredible. Starting in 2011 when he was diagnosed at Mayo Clinic getting all the best care money could buy. A PET scan and one test after another. Something I will never see as I have lowly Medicare. I’m being told to make my January appointment but the bottom line is I will get 40 minutes with the doctor and some tests on my memory and then get told to come back in a year to see how it’s progressed. No extensive testing for Philly. Maybe an MRI if I beg. But an MRI only eliminates things. It doesn’t see the hippocampus like a PET scan would. I’ve gone on enough about this enough. I will totally lose my train of thought about the Rocky Patel Twentieth Anniversary.

Immediately, the flavors flatten out. I was hoping that Rocky was getting on board with the New Breed technique. Instead of his old school method of every blend needing months of humidor time. Whereas the New Breed blends can be smoked in 2-3 weeks. I’m not sure which one the Rocky Patel Twentieth Anniversary is.
Can you imagine smoking a RP Vintage 1990 after two weeks of humi time? Ha.
Strength melts into medium body. The strength is gone.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 30 minutes.
All of the leaves on our behemoth trees in the backyard are now gone for the winter. I’m getting a nuclear blast of sunshine where I take my photos. I’m having trouble keeping the true color of this dark coffee bean wrapper natural. Sorry. My bad. I’ve forgotten how to manipulate my digital camera’s settings.

6third

The citrus is gone. So is most of the chocolate and coffee. What’s left is creaminess and sweetness. And notes of wood and nuts.
Maybe this is just another Patel Old School blend. I’ve only had it in my humidor for 3 weeks. It just might need several months. But then I go back and count the reviews and it is only three. Everyone else is smarter than me. Should’ve waited.
But still. My palate is good enough to detect possibilities and (damn…I forgot the word.)

The Rocky Patel Twentieth Anniversary might be a great cigar 4 months from now. But I don’t need cigars that won’t be good for 4 months. I need cigars ready to smoke in 2-3 weeks. Budget. Or lack, thereof. I’m guessing at least half of my readers are in the same boat. We need something that needs little patience. Of course, there are readers with coolidors stocked to the max with boxes of cigars. What’s another box that can be put away for a year? God bless you dear nephews.

The flavor profile is flattening out even more as I near the halfway point. What a schizophrenic blend.
The three reviewers that published reviews seemed to be very happy with this cigar. They got the Rocky Patel Twentieth Anniversary from the Patel people but manufacturers only send out cigars a month before release.

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The Cigar Authority got their samples in March! And said the blend was similar to a Padron 1964. But didn’t rate it.
At the halfway point, flavors perk up…for good, I hope.
The dried fruit is made up of raisins, prunes, and pears. Nice.

The chocolate and coffee are back. The marshmallow is gone but leaves the cigar super creamy. Still nutty and woody. (Ex porn stars). And the gooey caramel stands up and cheers.
Strength moves back to medium/full.
Smoke time is 45 minutes.

Here are the malts: Caramel Malt, Chocolate Malt, Coffee Malt, Flaked Rye Malt, and Special B Malt. (See Malt Chart).
With 2-5/8” to go on the Rocky Patel Twentieth Anniversary, it blossoms. I get a wonderful sweet peach element. The red pepper shoots for the moon.

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This must be how the Rocky Patel Twentieth Anniversary starts with several months of humidor time.
I did have reservations about reviewing the cigar. But in placing it on my wish list, I gave no thought to the obvious.
The Rocky Patel Twentieth Anniversary is now magnificent. I don’t know if it tastes like a Padron 1964 but then I’m not a big fan of the PR heavy Padron blends. I think they are overrated and ridiculously expensive for the quality.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is one hour 5 minutes.
The Rocky Patel Twentieth Anniversary is delicious now. But I have my reservations. This blend should be a major deal. I mean 20 years! It should blow my eyebrows off.
But like most of Patel’s blends, they are over amplified in the PR department.

I get all the catalogs like you do. In the latest Holt’s catalog, the whole back page is dedicated to the closeout of the Warlock. Prices are slashed…or so they say. I reviewed it a year ago in 2014. The price for a 6 x 54 was $4.50. The new Holt’s slashed price is…wait for it…$4.50. WTF? They must think that their readers are pot heads and can’t remember what they went for. I check CI and no sale going on and the sizes are the same prices as the Closeout on Holt’s. Fuck me.

9third

Back to the Rocky Patel Twentieth Anniversary.
Strength is still medium/full. Flavors are bold. No more construction issues.
I detect a small amount of bitterness.
This whole ride was like a roller coaster. It’s good; then it ain’t so good, etc.

Transitions were minimal. The flavor bomb quality has disappeared.
I can’t recommend this cigar even if it does need several months of humidor time.

The price is such only due to its special-ness. I can think of a lot of cigars in this price range I’d buy long before choosing this one.

If the Rocky Patel Twentieth Anniversary had a consistent nature, I’d say OK. But it was a tease. Just when I thought it broke through the barrier of lackluster, it fell right back into blah-ness.

As this is a regular production cigar, you will eventually see it on Cbid. Probably get it for a few bucks less. But if word on the street mimics my review, you will see it going for half the price.
I’m going to pick a cigar to review tomorrow that I know will be a winner.
Final smoke time is one hour 20 minutes.

RATING: 85

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Help me Rhonda…
I received a 5 pack from an anonymous reader. I have no idea what they are. Or where they were bought. Can you help me out with this?

mysterycigar1a

mysterycigar1b

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5 replies

  1. Kind of off topic Phil but a musician friend of mine, Michael Andrew, posted this link re: The Wrecking Crew, made me think of your stories. http://www.wreckingcrewfilm.com/

    • I’ve got that film saved on my DVR. Great movie. And hard to believe looking back that I knew so many of them. Ahhh…memories.
      Thanks for the link Charlie. Every musician should watch this.

  2. I am so bummed hearing of your health problems. I so enjoy buying good cigars and then reading your review as I smoke my purchase. Usually I listen to some music while I do so . Today listening to Louie Jordan. Open the door Richard!
    I haven’t checked in in while. Had so many trips to the hospital this past year (heart and other related). Hate getting old. Turning 60 this month.
    Love to laugh and your reviews keep my spirits up. Smoked Blind Man’s Bluff today. Not impressed. My favorite Caldwell is The King is dead…..smallest size. Lots of flavor and good profile.
    I wish you all the best. TR

  3. I saw the Glen Campbell special last night. Holy sit! I was on couch crying through the entire show. It is so sad to see you that type of deterioration. Life is short. You never know what is going to happen to you tomorrow. One phone call or diagnosis can change your life in a flash.
    Love-Ramona

    • It got to me as well Ramona. It was like looking into a crystal ball and watching my present and future.
      But I was amazed at how well he was able to play for a bit. I lost my ability to play bass 9 months ago. After 50 years, it is all gone. So disappointing.
      What they didn’t say was that Campbell got the best testing and therapy money could buy. The PET scan alone is over $7000 and my Medicare won’t pay for it. Or the Tier 3 meds. In fact, most of the testing done at a high tech level is off limits to me so I have been given the most rudimentary types of testing. Not even an MRI. But I sat through the 6 hour cognition test and failed each one given to me. Fortunately, I am going to the University of Wisconsin in early January. They have an exemplary Alzheimer’s division and my fingers are crossed that Medicare won’t be the end all to my situation.
      Thanks for your comment. Big smile!