Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Filler: Honduran (Jamastran), Nicaraguan (Condega and Esteli)
Size: 6.5 x 52 Toro
Price: $10.00 ($1.00-$1.50 less online)
Today we take a look at the Rocky Patel LB1.
I bought a fiver 5 months ago.
Release Date: Aug. 20, 2019
From Halfwheel.com (11-2-2019):
“When cigar blends are being developed—much like many other man-made creations—sometimes they get names, sometimes they get codes, sometimes it’s just “that new blend we’re working on.”
“In the case of the new Rocky Patel LB1, it was the middle option. When the blend was being developed it was known at the El Paraiso factory in Honduras as LB1 and rather than trying to think of a new name and backstory, the company just kept the LB1 name.”
SIZES AND PRICING:
Corona 6 x 44 $8.65
Robusto 5.5 x 50 $9.20
Toro 6.5 x 52 $10.00
Sixty 6 x 60 $11.50
Churchill Shaggy Foot 7 x 48 $10.00
A decent looking stick. A big load on board. No idea why I chose this size. Must have been drunk. The wrapper is a chocolate hued leaf. In photography light, it shimmers with oil and colors of copper, rust, and brown mix gently. Some veinage but nothing that distracts from the overall look. Seams are tight. The cigar feels good up and down the May pole. No hard or soft spots. And an expertly applied triple cap sits atop the lance.
SMELL THE GLOVE:
Dark cocoa immediately fills my nostrils. And just like Halfwheel said, I smell fresh Granny Smith tart and sweet apple juice. There is a nice creaminess going on along with black pepper, lemon peel, cedar, malt, a slight espresso element, and black licorice.
The cold draw presents flavors of creaminess, black pepper, dark chocolate, malt, cedar, and barnyard.
The draw is spot on so no need for my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool.
The start is slow getting out of the gate. Typical generic tobacco flavor with tidbits of creaminess, black pepper, malt, cedar, and dried fruit.
A few moments later, it kicks in. The spiciness is a little over the top for me. I would have thought 5 months of naked humi time would have mellowed that out by now. What? Katman is wrong about something? That never happens…when I’m asleep.
The cigar is billed as medium strength. I took a look at a couple reviews and they agree that this is definitely a medium/full cigar that finds its glory in full tilt by the last third of the cigar. Maybe Patel made a typo. And the fact that this cigar is hitting medium/full in the first 5 minutes means I am readying myself for a magic carpet ride.
The blend starts fleshing itself out as some complexity begins to come to fruition early in the game. Transitions begin. The finish is mostly pepper with some creaminess and lemony oomph.
The cigar is very savory at this point. Sweet factors to come are sitting on the sideline.
I smoked one stick a month in and it was too soon. Standard practice among manufacturers, especially the big ones, is to give a rolled cigar a solid 6 weeks of aging and then stuff them into their cellos…forcing you to be the one to humidor age it properly so you know what the fuck the blender’s intent is.
With 5 months on the cigar, it is quite pleasant and is formulating its approach.
The complexity rises to the occasion with an inch smoked. Flavors morph and join hands. It quickly becomes one of those blends in which the sum of its parts is greater than any individual component. Everything is blended nicely with no flavor overwhelming the others. Even the spiciness has calmed down. I consider this a big deal as it was hiding the subtleties until now.
The medium/full attack has mellowed. I am sure that if I had reviewed this cigar 3 months earlier, the blend would be presenting a different picture than it is with the extra time I gave it.
Now, I’m digging LB1.
I’m not a big fan of Patel. I’ve lost track of his blends. Between his own namesake cigars and the gazillion house blends he makes for online stores, it is impossible to keep up.
Generally speaking, the blending prowess for the Patel company is inconsistent at best. It’s always good to read an online review first before purchasing a $10+ Patel. And if you see a lack of reviews, RUN.
Chocolate covered raisins, Wheaties with milk, big cedar notes, still a pungent black pepper influence, rich malt, and buttery biscuits.
This is not your ordinary Patel blend. They took a step out of bounds to come up with this blend. The El Paraiso factory may have come up with this blend but it took some smart cookie with Patel to recognize they were on to something.
The cigar is a slow roll. It is packed to the hilt and burning as such. This will be a 2-1/2 hour smoke. I should have gotten the Robustos.
A sip of water brings some sour buttermilk to the surface. But mostly, this is a cedar-based cigar. The flavor profile is like a sine wave. Constant movement in how the flavors affect the outcome.
I believe the Patel folks were right. The LB1 has relaxed back into a straight medium strength. I’m guessing the humi time accomplished this.
The thing I don’t care for about really big cigars is that the transitions are not smooth. The big cigar goes through different incarnations as it burns. Whereas a smaller cigar tends to be more one minded and intense from the start without veering off on tangents that sometimes leave me confounded. Ask Charlotte…I tend to walk around dumbfounded…or maybe just plain dumb.
This is a great morning cigar. Maybe not for newbies, but experienced smokers will think so. That is mainly due to the psychosis of its up and down spiciness and strength.
The complexity continues on its journey while the transitions are sitting in a lump crying…like me after sex. The finish is mostly spice.
I believe this cigar will excel dramatically with nearly a year of naked humi time. The highs and lows will straighten that sine wave and provide a more unique and pointed blend. The biggest criticism I have is that the cigar wanders and meanders. I’m hoping the second half fixes this.
The kids bought us a 60” 4K TV that they will bring over tomorrow. Currently, we have a 32” stupid TV. Charlotte is a technophobe. The new smart TV is going to cause involuntary projectile vomiting the moment she pushes the wrong button and she doesn’t know what to do. I see the coming month listening to my name being yelled out in panic; telling me to come help. This may be an opportunity for me to finally, and accidentally, smother her with the cat while the cat sleeps. Charlotte can be awake if she chooses. It is for the best.
The cigar was generally given the respect of 90 ratings. This seems fair. I may do the same.
A lot of smokers come into Prime Cigar and prefer the ginormous sized cigars. With the LB1, I believe smaller is better. I am pretty sure the flavor profile would have been condensed into a more approachable blend.
It’s not bad. Just not great.
Took a solid 45 minutes to get here.
Forward momentum is stuck in 1st gear. While mildly tasty, it is becoming linear.
The cigar has remnants of the aforementioned flavors…but they aren’t bold…more subliminal as a result of memory rather than an active attack.
Strength remains at medium.
I am absolutely firm in expecting that the cigar will take off in the second half. But when I smoke a cigar more than half a foot long, I would prefer it started like gangbusters and then takes off from there. I don’t like the waiting game…especially on a very slow smoke.
Construction has been good. Only a couple minor burn issues remedied quickly.
Great. Another song by ‘America.’ I never understood why producer George Martin chose to produce them. Every song sounds the same to me.
The blend is picking up some speed now. Flavors finally become more distinct. The spiciness has relented. But the sweetness factors are lagging behind the savory ones.
I swear I can taste Fritos.
As I have another 90 minutes to go, I thought that instead of boring you with my reactions, I would copy and paste Thomas Payne’s pamphlet that was the clarion call for the American revolution, “Common Sense.”
“In England a king hath little more to do than to make war and give away places; which in plain terms, is to impoverish the nation and set it together by the ears. A pretty business indeed for a man to be allowed eight hundred thousand sterling a year for, and worshipped into the bargain! Of more worth is one honest man to society and in the sight of God, than all the crowned ruffians that ever lived.”
I like that.
Other reviewers got a heavy dose of spiciness throughout their reviews. And the strength was more powerful than the cigar I am reviewing today. If this baby was full tilt early on, I’d have to call off work tonight.
The LB1 remains a very pleasant blend. The $10 price tag is not out of line. But I can wander the walk in humidor at Prime and come up with a quick dozen $10 cigars that are better.
Stasis is not becoming for a cigar blend. I want to use my spurs to make this thing gallop.
We got an 86” TV at work. Holy shit. It is like going to a drive-in movie theater.
Halfway point arrives. Everything hangs in the balance now. This marks 90 minutes.
As I’ve lost nearly 20lbs in 30 days, and still losing, my clothes are beginning to hang on me. Please forward your toddler’s old clothes to me.
As hoped, and expected, the blend begins to improve.
Transitions seem to be fuller with distinct flavors. The finish is now flush with lemon, creaminess, blueberries, butter slathered wheat toast, cedar, licorice, and Fritos.
Complexity deepens with some forward momentum. We seem to have extricated ourselves from the rut.
I feel like I’ve had to pay my dues with this blend to get to the point where it begins to shine. One of my testicles is vibrating. Oh wait…”Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” is playing. I thought it was the cigar.
The cigar is now balanced. Savory v. sweet has been accomplished.
Fruity components are upfront. It changes the flavor profile.
It has now converted 180 degrees. The first two thirds found this cigar heavy on the savory side. Not that there is anything wrong with this. My palate just prefers an even keel of the two factions to truly enjoy a cigar.
Strength hits medium/full.
It has reached a level where sophisticates will enjoy the blend.
But do not get a behemoth version like I did. Stick with the smaller sizes to get the most out of this cigar.
A huge relief. The cigar is now behaving like a true high premium. Every bit of the flavor profile is in lock step with what I expected.
I was 19 when I first saw The Doors. I took a girl I met who said she was 18. After the concert, I got her back to my place. Turns out she was a virgin. Never had that experience before. I don’t understand the glory of deflowering a girl. Just a few minutes into the foreplay, she decides to confess. “I’m 15.”
I jumped out of the bed and yelled for her to get dressed. I was furious. I told her that her parents could have me arrested. I took her home. Yeah, she told her mom. Mom called me and told me not to see her again. I told the woman no problem…I had no idea she was a kid. Mom hung up on me. If this had happened now, I’d be in jail.
And I’d be reviewing the different types of shivs instead of cigars.
Oddly, the nicotine has calmed way down.
All the things that make a cigar great are occurring now in the last 1-1/2”. Only took 2-1/2 hours to get here.
The other reason I don’t like giant cigars is that I get bored easily. A 3-hour commitment is a big deal.
I like the LB1 but if I do try it again, I will buy the Corona (6 x 44).
And now for something completely different:
I had a large group of friends (acquaintances really) back in the early 80’s. I owned one of only two recording studios in Long Beach, Ca. A city with 400,000 people.
We did well. While we recorded hundreds upon hundreds of bands, we specialized in doing radio commercials.
All sorts of bands recorded with us…but there is one that sticks out: a radical punk band whose name I cannot remember.
They were always fucked up on speed. And they insisted on recording at 8am on Sunday mornings….probably to keep the buzz going from staying up all night and partying.
None of their songs lasted more than one minute. And they insisted we record them directly to two track instead of the 16 tracks we offered.
This meant no overdubs. No mixing after the recording. We set the board for the recording and whatever happened, happened.
They would come in and lay down 20 songs in 4 hours. It was exhausting. They always brought an entourage with them and I brought in extra security when they were recording because they had a tendency to steal things.
One Saturday night, they decided to rent our rehearsal studio next door. It wasn’t so much a rehearsal as it was a massive party with hundreds of their friends showing up.
I carried a .38 revolver in my pants. They got unruly early.
An hour or so into the party, they were ruining our P.A. system we provided with the rental. If it didn’t work right, they had a tendency to bang on it. Not good.
We had a nice lounge outside the actual rehearsal space and it was full. And there was a big crowd outside because there wasn’t enough room inside.
I saw, with my own eyes, as men and women were vomiting on the outside and inside walls of the studio. I saw one guy actually peeing in the corner of the lounge. That was enough. I called 911.
The cops heard the words punk band and they showed up in droves. They completely blocked the 4-lane road outside our studio near the beach of downtown Long Beach. Two cars of K-9 units arrived. And the biggest cops I had ever seen arrived as well with their clubs at the ready.
They began to arrest people as they were caught unaware as they smoked doobies and snorted crank.
The head cop asked what I wanted? I told him to get them out of my studio. Fast!
About 15 cops started to round up everyone and shooed them outside, frisking most of them; discovering drugs and drug paraphernalia.
The band had trashed my studio. They started screaming they wanted their money back. $10 an hour…or they wouldn’t leave. Wrong thing to say.
Cops dragged people out of the studio by their tri-colored Mohawks.
Several news crews showed up. And then a riot began. More cops showed up and with them came a SWAT truck.
I stood very closely to the largest cop there. He had his arm around me to make sure the idiots noticed that I was under protection. He didn’t know I was packing.
It took almost an hour for things to calm down and for the bums to be removed by their own volition or by being arrested.
One of the band members threatened to kill me right in front of my big cop. So that cop drew his club from his belt and beat the living shit out of him, the whole time asking, “Who are you going to kill?” I was horrified.
When it was all over and the cops left, I perused the damage done. It looked like Hurricane Katrina had moved through there. I sat on a pee stained couch in the lounge and put my head in my hands.
The PA was ruined. And it would take us several days to clean up.
Needless to say, the punk band was not allowed to return, and I always kept my .38 nearby.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS
Another review and great “wtf-when” story. That’s what I appreciates about you, Phil!
In local doings, my buddies at the Culebra club hosted Hamlet Paredes for a cigar dinner and rolling demonstration last week. He has his line for sale as well as a boxed Culebra for each purchaser of a box and one of his personal hand-rolled smokes as well. And it is all by hand — no molds or presses, start to finish about 5.5 minutes a stick.
I’m mentioning this because Hamlet and the Patel crew were a delight to be with, and to encourage anyone meeting Hamlet this Summer to welcome him, he a child of Havana, and congratulate him on becoming a US Citizen, which just happened last week.
That sounds like it was a lot of fun. I too am a fan of Parades. He definitely gave a boost to Patel’s cred.
Another very enjoyable review, none like it anywhere, thanks for writing!
Thank you Kevin,
I enjoyed reading your rock n roll Twitter feed.