Rocky Patel Flor de San Andrés Black | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan
Size: 5.5 x 50 Robusto (Box pressed)
Strength: Medium
Price: $7.75 ($4.75 online…already in the clearance aisle after two years on the market)

Today we take a look at the Rocky Patel Flor de San Andrés Black.

The Rocky Patel web site makes no mention of this cigar. Never a good sign.
I found one single mainstream review. And I found a few video reviews.
In all of my research, I could find nothing that discusses the derivation of this blend.

Churchill 7 x 50 $8.75
Robusto 5.5 x 50 $7.75
Toro 6.5 x 52 $8.25
Torpedo 6.5 x 52 $8.75

Despite this blend’s eventual dismissal from the RP line, it is a nicely constructed cigar. It feels good in the hand. Weighty. Perfect resistance when squeezed…I have allowed the cigar to dry box for 3 days to rid itself of excess humidity. Seams are tight. A forest of small veins permeates the entire stick. The triple cap is beautifully applied. The box press is not crisp; but most box presses will begin to lose their shape when taken out of the box which allows for a tight squeeze.

Aromas are surprisingly faint. I just make out elements of chocolate, black pepper, malt, creaminess, cedar, almonds, and barnyard.
The cold draw presents flavors of dark chocolate, malt, espresso, creaminess, nuts, cedar, and caramel.
The draw is spot on, so I don’t need my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool for this stick.

Immediate tasty flavors of mocha java, malt, a myriad of nuttiness, creamy, black pepper, cedar, custard, and fruity.
I am shocked. I was expecting this to be a dud. But the start impresses.

A touch of complexity settles in; hopefully for the long haul.

Back in June, I reviewed the Cigar Federation Hot Chocolate. Meh. The Rocky Patel Flor de San Andres Black is what the Hot Chocolate should have tasted like. The finish just drips with rich and intense chocolate flavors.
Strength is medium.

I like the cigar. Does something happen later in the smoke that will turn me off? Because at this moment, I don’t see this as a loser cigar. Prices are slashed online. No cigar reviews since its inception in 2018. WTF?

The burn line is top notch. The draw is how I like my cigars to suck.

I checked Cbid for pricing and the cigars are going for a pittance. I don’t get it.
What am I missing? Does the cigar, in the second half, turn your schmekel into guava jelly?

The complexity is mild. Transitions are also mild but entertaining. The finish is creamy, chocolatey, and spicy.

Even if the blend gets no better than this moment and continues on a linear path, for the dough it’s going for, there are few cigars at this price point this satisfying.

Is it possible that smokers were put off by the original San Andres Natural and didn’t wade into the waters of just a different take on a theme?

The chocolate nature of the cigar dominates. Not like a flavored or infused blend…but the creaminess gives the cigar all sorts of variations. Chocolate shake, mocha java coffee, an egg cream, Oreos, and an underlying bedrock of caramel. This is definitely a great breakfast cigar.

The black pepper is evenly distributed. It doesn’t claw at the back of my throat. It simply floats near the back of the line giving the cigar a nice punch of oomph to keep me on my toes.
I’ve had the cigars for nearly two months. I didn’t try one early. Maybe I should have.

We sell these cigars at Prime Cigar. I get asked all the time for suggestions of a decent medium strength cigar. I’ve just found one I can recommend and not worry that the customer comes back the next day and punches me in the nuts.

The complexity makes its move. I really didn’t think it was going to exhibit itself; but then I’m wrong a lot of the time. This opens the door for some well-balanced richness…it coats my mouth with the aforementioned elements. Subtlety and nuance begin their dance.
Apple fritter. Oh lord. This is exactly the call out of a flavor that less experienced smokers make fun of. I hear that a lot. A smoker thinks its hilarious that a reviewer can find flavors that seem ridiculous while the inexperienced smoker just hasn’t gotten there yet.

Plus, you must remember, I’m dissecting the cigar in real time as I write this. So, I get notes of flavors that are whimsical and just passing through; maybe never to be heard from again. But then miracles of miracles…I’ve had some customers tell me they are doing their own dissections and are finding flavors they hadn’t expected. Blam!

The bottom line is that you need to be curious beyond what is comfortable for you. You don’t become an aficionado of anything without time, experience, persistence, and patience. Some are willing to go down that road…others smoke a cigar just to pass the time and don’t care what it tastes like; as long as it isn’t crap.

Well, the other reviewers missed out. This cigar is more than worthy of a review. I suppose if I worked in the cigar industry, I might know the inside scoop of why the cigar was ignore for nearly 2 years. But then it is good for us. The prices are bottoming out. Time to strike. Hit those online auctions.

You’re not going to find a better $5 stick than the Rocky Patel Flor de San Andres Black.
I love the balance. Nearly perfect. And still swimming in the kids’ pool at medium strength.

The halfway point finds the cigar doing just fine.
Flavors: Creamy milk chocolate, malt, raisins, cedar, still seeing that touch of apple pie lingering at the back of my throat, caramel, almonds, and espresso.

The flavor profile has not changed and that may be why this cigar didn’t get reviewed. It is linear in the realm of staying with what it was designed to do…but it presents itself in a very appealing way; I can smoke this kind of linear all day long.

I’m still dieting. 7 weeks now and 28lbs are gone. Nothing fits me. My pants require me to punch holes in my belt. But I’ve had my Milt Sparks gun belt for 22 years and I was a lot bigger back then. I also paid around $100 for it back then and I guess I got cheap. But you gun guys, I found the perfect gun belt that has a metal core band sewn between the two leather straps with impeccable stitching. Made by BigFoot gunbelts. A gorgeous belt that I got in black with flat black buckle for $75. Now my pants stay up without me constantly pulling on them every time I get up from a chair. And it supports my side weapon like glue.

I’m cruising now. The cigar feels like it wants to up the strength a bit.
The spiciness ramps up now. Yet isn’t overwhelming.

I believe this is a good choice of cigars for those smokers that know what they like and what they don’t like. Don’t need to identify every flavor because the cigar presents a nice over all completeness. It isn’t missing anything. I still taste hints of apple pie. I must be hungry. My kingdom for a carb.

I got asked in a comment from another review to explain the difference between harshness and bitterness and the effects are nicotine. I thought this might be a good place to repeat my answer:
“I have never smoked a cigarette so I’m especially sensitive to nicotine. It makes me dizzy, off balance, skews my vision, and can make me nauseated.

“Nicotine has no inherent harshness or bitterness. Harshness is usually due to the amount of tar brought forth, which can happen if you smoke the cigar too fast. Constant puffing, or chomping, will heat up the cherry and send the lovely tar to your mouth, so by the end of the cigar, you can pave a road with your lips. But the harshness can also come via the way of poor rolling, insufficient tobacco in the stick, or crap tobacco.

“This is the dictionary definition of nicotine:
“A toxic colorless or yellowish oily liquid which is the chief active constituent of tobacco. It acts as a stimulant in small doses, but in larger amounts blocks the action of autonomic nerve and skeletal muscle cells.”

The last part of the cigar is a delight. The flavor profile is on steroids. Big punchy flavor notes.

The blend is very smooth. Like my boss’s tush.

“Proud Mary” is playing. Hey, you old fart musicians…remember back in the day when you played in cover bands and this song had a permanent place in your set list? What a nightmare.

I’m very pleased how this review turned out. I had my doubts and thought this would be another one of my slash and burn reviews. Dang me. It’s a good solid smoke.
At the low prices this cigar is available, you’d be crazy not to try a fiver.


And now for something completely different:
It was 1984.

Everyone I knew was doing coke. This was the heyday of cocaine use. The early 80’s. It was everywhere. The movie, “Blow” was right on.

I knew a lot of people because of my recording studio, etc. Everyone had a vial of coke on them at all times.

One of my close friends had this friend named Allan who had 3 little girls. We were deep into the Eddie Munster project. So, I always remembered to invite him and his girls to any PR thing we did where we got George Barris to loan us the Munster Koach or some other Munstermobile. And when Eddie and the Monsters were in full makeup.

But Allan wasn’t very bright. He would always return my call when I wanted to let him know about an upcoming PR event. This is exactly how it started every time:
Allan: “Hello.”
Phil: “Hi Allan.”
Allan: “This”

He had made money in property but refused to move out of the very poor section in the City of Bell.
As his money grew, he kept adding on to his house until it was ridiculous. It looked like a mansion amongst very old and grungy houses on the block.

Well, something terrible happened.
One night, they had a home invasion. Two guys with guns.
They forced Allan and his wife into the bedroom where Allan had a safe and told him to open it.

And this part gives me the chills. His wife (I can’t remember her name) was about to open the safe when Allan said, “Don’t bother. They are going to kill me.”
And just like that. They did. One shotgun blast to the mid-section and Allan was dead.

The wife ran for it but one of the guys found a baseball bat and beat the shit out of her aiming primarily at her head.

They left the house without getting a single dime or drugs.

This shocked the hell out of our community. No one had a clue. We knew that Allan sold coke in small quantities to his friends. But how could this happen?

It took over a week before the funeral happened. They waited for the wife to get out of the hospital.
She showed up all banged up with bandages covering her head. And her three girls in shock. She was also sky high on pain killers.

During the service, the pastor gave a very nice eulogy. And then he said that his family wanted to play two of Allan’s favorite songs.
There was a boom box on the floor. One of Allan’s brothers went up on the stage and turned it on.
The first song was an Elvis spiritual song. Very appropriate.
The next song made the pastor run from the stage.
Yep. Rod Stewart’s “Hot Legs.” The 7-minute live version.
Everyone was very uncomfortable. This was beyond absurdity.

At the cemetery, we all stood in observance as the pastor spoke.
We stood in line to place a flower on Allan’s coffin. And then we moved on to where the wife sat, and condolences were tendered. I told her if there was anything I could do…And she winked at me with a smile. Oh shit. She was hitting on me at her husband’s funeral.

There were two plain clothes cops taking pictures of everyone there. We all did drugs and were scared shitless. We all put our shades on and looked at our shoes.

As it turned out, they caught the guys while the service was going on.
They had been hired by Allan’s housekeeper. All three were arrested that day and charged with first degree murder.

I saw the wife once more at my friend Marshall’s home. She was a zombie. Her kids were out of control and hung on her like baby chimps pulling her hair and screaming like crazies. It really freaked me out.

Everyone I knew was relieved the bad guys were caught. Coke makes you paranoid. And we all thought we were suspects even though we had nothing to do with this heinous crime.

After I stopped using, I had friends that did not stop. I saw several of them fall the way of thinking they were impervious to the drug over time. Some died. A couple more murders took place in which no one was caught.
Remember what Nancy Reagan said…


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6 replies

  1. Phil,

    Did you smoke any of these prior or after your review?

  2. Nope. I took a walk on the wild side.

  3. Dammit– I gotta quit reading your reviews. I have a 5 of Casdagli and a 5 of these coming and my wife is going to start getting suspicious. Keep up the good work, even if it’s bad for my bank account… 😉

  4. Hey Britt,
    If you stop reading my reviews, you will get a visit from a secret organization that will put you in a facility that makes Abu Graib look like the Hilton. You will be forced to smoke Quroum 2nds and Cigar Federation house blends for the rest of your life. Do you really want this? One phone call…
    There is one constant in the world of cigars and marriage…they don’t work. I’ve spent countless decades being chastised every month by my wife for spending too much on my passion. I am working out now. I’m getting better at shallow graves. Charlotte will be 70 in October so she’s led a nice full life.
    Stick with me kid,

  5. Hey Phil, you were right about these being given away at CBid…I just won a bid on a 5 pack for $13.50…sweeet! My wife says I have enough cigars now, had to by a 2nd humidor to keep them in. I counter punched with the fact she buys a carton of Marlboros a week and spends way more on her tobacco habit…got the evil eye but she stopped talking…score one for the home team! LOL

  6. My wife smokes too. I’ve tried the cigarette budget on her so many times and I get no where. A carton per week is a lot of cigarettes. I got Charlotte down to less than half a pack per day. Still, I don’t like it.

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