Rocky Patel Decade Cameroon Toro | Cigar Review

Wrapper: African Cameroon
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 6.5 x 52 “Toro”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $10.75

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Today we take a look at the Rocky Patel Decade Cameroon Toro.
Rated 87 by CA in the Toro size. Higher in other two sizes.

Steve Ventura did a guest review of this cigar on January 21. 2015. I haven’t read it since….and I didn’t peek. I want to compare them after I finish this one.

I’m sure you’ve smoked one by now as it was released a year ago and have already made up your mind. So, get comfy, light up a cigar and you are now approaching The Twilight Zone…or is it Magical Mystery Tour? Or just a focakte old man?

(I’m running out of sticks to review for one thing. And second, ASP sent these to me almost two months ago which, hopefully, will be enough time for a RP blend to blossom.)

BACKGROUND:
Debuted at the 2014 IPCPR trade show.
Regular production.
Factory: Plasencia’s El Paraiso, Honduras
I believe you have all the “need to know” info.

DESCRIPTION:
Very nice looking stick. The Cameroon is rough to work with but it’s worth it. A gorgeous, oily, marbled, caramel covered chocolate wrapper. Invisible seams. Lots of veins; both big and small. An excellent triple cap. There is a nice amount of toothiness just barely there. The stick is solid without a single soft spot.
We are good to go.

I have the “Cream” CD on from their reunion back at the Royal Albert Hall a few years ago. Jack Bruce was my hero/idol back in the day. So after selling my Hofner bass in 1970, I bought a Gibson EBO and then tricked the shit out of it. I miss that bass. That concert is on film and Gibson made a special EBO-looking bass for Bruce. Looked cool as all get out. And right now, it’s pounding the shit out of my bass speakers.

In fact, should you ever get a chance to listen to Curved Air’s 1974 “Live” album; there are a couple really long jams. Like 10 minute long songs. And there you will find Jack Bruce’s influence on my playing. He is probably the best rep for how I played most of my life. With touches of Stanley, McCartney, and Ron Carter.

SIZES AND PRICING:
Robusto: 5 x 50 $9.75 MSRP
Toro: 6 x 52 $10.75 MSRP
Torpedo: 6.25 x 52 $11.25 MSRP
All cigars can be had for about a buck less on your major online stores. I didn’t find it on Cbid.

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell lots of cedar, some spice, sweetness, red cherries, and cream.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell dark chocolate, spice, sweetness, fruit, strong cedar, and almonds.
The cold draw presents flavors of caramel, spice, chocolate, cherries, coconut, vanilla, and cedar.

Speaking of coconuts. A reader or two recommended coconut oil for the memory issue. I read up on it and bought it. While I don’t notice any improvement in my memory, it does have the same ancient healing powers as honey. But not sticky. I used it for stress rashes, cuts, dry skin, after shaving, my face, etc. I swear this stuff works as well as Neosporin on small cuts. Like honey does. And it smells wonderful. It comes in a glass bottle in liquid form. As soon as you open the jar, it hardens to something waxy. But melts instantly when it touches your skin. I love it.

FIRST THIRD:
The draw is very good. Not as much smoked as hoped. But at least I can see the laptop screen.
ASP sent me two. I smoked one a month ago and determined it wasn’t ready. I’m not so sure about a month later.

It starts with a limp. A bit of spice. Some generic sweetness, vanilla, cream, and heavy on the cedar.
Strength hits medium/full right away.
The char line needs an immediate touch up and then some rest to let it settle.

I’ve been having nothing but trouble with my cigars. Every cigar gets runs. I’ve done everything imaginable with gentle humidity changes, styles of torching the cigar, not puffing right away and laying it down to rest….etc. Maybe one out of 10 cigars has a classic perfect burn. And I did nothing different from the other 9. Could my sticks be just rolled shitty?

Things perk up with exactly an inch burned.
There are flavors of milk chocolate, caramel, spice, malts, vanilla, coconut, cedar, smokiness, sweetness, and a very earthy tobacco note. Dark and foreboding.

3

But lately, I’ve had the opportunity to review some mighty fine blends and this ain’t one of them. Typical RP blend. OK for the cigar smoker who doesn’t have a disciplined palate. But at $10.00-$11.00 per cigar, this blend should be blowing me…twice.

I thought I did the right thing by allowing all that humidor time. Typical RP Old Scholl blending technique. Make the smoker wait a year before your cigars are any good.
And guess, what? The cigar will just sail away with wonderful flavors in the bullshit last third sweet spot. Betcha’ a dollar.

I was contacted by young Patrick Vivalo of Vivalo Cigars. He sent me some samples of the Robusto Grande. There are 5 sizes and each size is designed to have a different strength. From mild to medium/full. I smoked one the same day as I got them and these blends are in the same boat as the Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sobremesa. No shit. I was ready to review it this morning but then I showed some discipline and decided to wait a couple weeks and let this baby flesh out a bit more. Killer cigar. Check out Vivalo Cigars’ web site.

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Back to the Rocky Patel Decade Cameroon Toro.
Very slow smoke. That’s fine. Shit. I didn’t eat breakfast after I got home this morning. Oh well…it just would have changed how the blend affected my palate. I will eat later. Alzheimer’s makes me forget to eat all the time. Fortunately, I live on sugar free Atkins Shakes. Lots of protein and vitamins and good stuff for you so it’s good if you are diabetic, like me. Especially, when you forget to eat.
The caramel makes a massive surge. So does the chocolate, spice, and malts: Crystal/Caramel Malt, Chocolate Rye Malt, Flaked Rye Malt, and Smoked Malt. (See Malt Chart).

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 35 minutes.
The Rocky Patel Decade Cameroon Toro isn’t bad at all. But you may notice I’m not raving about it. To be honest, I think the original Decade is better. But again, it needs a year to age.

Patel was smart letting Hamlet Paredes blend the Rocky Patel Hamlet Tabaquero. A New Breed blend that takes just a few weeks to be able to smoke and Godamm delicious. But also in the $9.00 range. But nowhere to be seen on Cbid.

5third

Big improvement in the last few minutes. Well-rounded. Finally complex. Nice balance. But only a medium finish.

Ah darn. Cream is done. I slip a CD of Blood, Sweat, & Tears “Greatest Hits” album into the player. I loved that band as a teen. Still do. Way better than “Chicago.” Other great horn bands of that era: Cold Blood, Rare Earth, Electric Flag, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and of course: Tower of Power. Damn, Marie.

I didn’t read other reviews of this cigar. I checked a few of the Big Guys. They all loved it. I wonder how many are tied to the hip of RP? It is moments like this that I’m glad the big manufacturers hate me. I owe them nothing. And I owe my readers everything; like the truth.

I reach the halfway point. Smoke time is 50 minutes.

Both cigar bands have way too much glue and I’m forced to use my X-Acto blade. I, of course, slice the wrapper. Sonovabitch!
The Rocky Patel Decade Cameroon Toro is very creamy now. The red cherries return. The chocolate coats the palate. The spice is all but gone. And the strength is a mild medium/full. A smooth smoke.

6half

This ain’t no $11.00 cigar. I’d put it in the $7.00 range at best.
I expect the last third to swing but $11 for two inches of a great flavored cigar ain’t worth it.
The other reviewers gave this cigar a 90 or better. I don’t get it.

I’m hungry.

As I near the last third, guess what? Yep. Things really perk up on the Rocky Patel Decade Cameroon Toro. Now we’re talkin’.
Flavors: Creaminess, chocolate, malts, caramel, cherries, nuts, toasty, smoky, spice, and a fruity sweetness.

Bigger, bolder flavors. Exactly how the cigar should’ve started. If it had begun this way, I would have been generous with my rating. But this lackadaisical cigar doesn’t cut it.

If you read the other reviews, they barely find 4-5 flavors. Some less. And yet they give it a 90 or better. Hmmm…Don’t want to fuck up our relationship with Rocky methinks.

The Rocky Patel Decade Cameroon Toro is rockin’ now. Terrific flavor profile.

Strength moves down to medium+ body. But no nicotine so praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

Isn’t New Year’s Eve this week? Shit. We didn’t plan anything. We have a favorite upscale Italian restaurant. To die for. I should call and see if I can still get us in. Their food is so good, that even just plain spaghetti and meatballs is out of this world.
For those that live in the Milwaukee area, it is called Casa di Giorgio. Had to look that up.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is one hour 15 minutes.
We’re cooking now. Strength moves back to medium/full.
I’ve had consistent burn issues requiring lots of touch ups. But nothing major.
Caramel is now driving the bus.

7third

The Rocky Patel Decade Cameroon Toro was really missing significant transitions. It was more of a one trick pony. Yeah, the last third was purty good but it doesn’t justify the price point.
The biggest Big Guy reviewer didn’t even bother to review this cigar. What does that tell you?
The Rocky Patel Decade Cameroon Toro finishes smoothly. No harshness or heat. But now I’m bored. Time to put it down and move on with my day.

RATING: 85

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5 replies

  1. I just read Steve’s review. He did allow it nearly a year of humidor time. But in the end, we were pretty close in our assessments. Only feel half crazy now.

  2. Just had a quick listen to “Young Mother” off Curved Air Live. My first impression is Felix Pappalardi meets Stanley Clarke. Then again, Pappalardi was one of very few musicians who could claim to have influenced Jack Bruce. Sonja appeared to be going through a “poor man’s Carla Bley” phase.

  3. Yeah, she was getting off her morphine addiction by taking Methadone three times per day. She thought she was channeling Janis. The reviews gave high praise to the band and ripped Sonja a new one. We had to hide as many of them as possible so as not to go through her constant half ass attempts at suicide.

  4. Katman, I’m glad you were able to review this stick and felt the same way about it as I did, even though you were obviously able to pick up many more nuances that I could not! I’ve been trying to keep up with all of your reviews but life has been getting in the way over the last many months and I haven’t commented on your reviews as much as I would like to. I still try to read reviews whenever I get a chance and your reviews are by far the all time best!

  5. Thanks Steve. You’re a good man.
    Phil

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