Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Filler: Honduran, Nicaraguan
Size: 6 x 52 Toro
Price: $10.75 (A buck less online)
Today we take a look at the Rocky Patel Cigar Smoking World Championship.
I bought a couple sticks from a local B&M around 3-1/2 months ago.
My last three reviews were duds…the cigars were duds as well. Fingers crossed that the little baby Jesus smiles upon me and blesses this cigar with positive energy and a free Hanukkah menorah prize in my Cracker Jack box.
From Halfwheel.com (4-12-2020):
“Custom blends have been made for any number of different celebrations and events over the years, but one of the newest releases from Rocky Patel Premium Cigars, Inc. was created specifically for a cigar smoking contest.
“Earlier this year, the cigar company announced the Rocky Patel Cigar Smoking World Championship, a three-viola line that—as the name alludes to—was crafted for the Cigar Smoking World Championship (CSWC), an annual event that attracts competitors from all over the world. Founded in 2010 by Marko Bilic, president of the International Cigar Club Mareva, the event is made ups of competitors trying to smoke a cigar for as long as possible without the stick ever going out.
“The event does live up to its global name as there are a number of qualifiers and semifinal events before the final in Split, Croatia this year. All of the events—which are hosted around the world—use the same cigar, which historically has been a Macanudo but is now being made by Rocky Patel.”
SIZES AND PRICING:
Mareva 5.125 x 42 $8.75
Robusto 5 x 50 $9.75
Toro 6 x 52 $10.75
In room light, a plain looking paper bag brown wrapper. Scrutinized under artificial light, a rusty nail/mottled hue shines with oils. The photo gives off the false impression that the cigar has some tooth. It does not. The wrapper is uniformly smooth like a baby’s tush.
Seams are not only tight, but nearly invisible. A slight amount of veinage does not impede the flow of the cigar’s look. The triple cap is nicely applied. Not much give when squeezed but also not a hard cigar…and thank goodness, it’s not soft as a sponge like my experience with the Yagua I just reviewed. The orange cigar band and orange ribbon footer amplify the rustiness of the cigar’s color.
SMELL THE GLOVE:
Based upon the leaf stats of this blend, we’ve been here many, many times before.
A gentle floral note is found to be very appealing. In order of appearance: Dark chocolate, malt, cedar, glazed doughnuts(this is a first for me), black pepper, dried fruit, a lovely creamy caramel, barnyard, and black licorice.
The cold draw presents flavors of black raisins, dark chocolate, malt, cedar, creaminess, butterscotch, black pepper, and roasted nuts.
I used a new product to be soon released by PerfecSmoke to make a hole in the cap. Mean Dr. Mustard made me sign an NDA and provide my cat as protection that I don’t prematurely discuss the new products on the cusp of release. You’re all going to dig this when it is released in the next couple of months.
Anyway…The draw is spot on so my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool lies sadly next to me with nothing to do.
Ooh…this is nice. A peppery blast of both black and red spices attaches to the back of my throat and the tip of my tongue. Instant dose of early complexity. Nice baking spices surrounded by a nutty nougat, assorted dried fruits, creamy as a Foster’s Freeze, espresso, a fat wallop of black licorice, and a sugary sweetness that I cannot yet identify.
This is a real smoker, so the cat leaves the room for his penthouse.
The spiciness is just a tad over the top but should relax soon. Creaminess coats my mouth and is the arbitrator of the delicious finish. Transitions begin early. This is going to be a good stick my dears.
Now, the trifecta of Mexican wrapper and Nicaraguan innards has been done a million times. AJ has it down pat. So do a lot of other manufacturers. But this baby has something going on for it that sets it aside from the similar blends on the market.
And for a ten spot, this is how a good cigar should taste. Wastes no time in attacking my palate in a frontal assault; but then does the breaststroke while swimming around the inside of my mouth and nares.
Strength is already a potent medium.
I like the sweetness from the licorice. I love black licorice. It wasn’t til I was 24, living in the U.K., that I discovered eating bags of licorice Pontefract cakes that licorice is a strong laxative. Each fart ended with me screaming, “Oh no!”
Very smooth with soft subtleties abound.
Van the Man is playing “Stranded.” Gotta stop for a couple minutes.
The burn is exemplary. Very nice.
You have no idea what a relief this is after three duds. I was beginning to think my radical diet to lose weight was affecting my palate. In a month of so, I should be down to a metric ton.
I should have purchased the Robustos for this review. This Toro is jam packed and takes its time. Long train running…
I’m too lazy to take the usual photo about now…fuck it. I’m as relaxed as a 350lb woman sitting on a walrus’s face.
All previous mentioned flavors are in play. Nice tight complexity…that should take off in the second half. Yet, the flavors are totally in sync. Not one overpowers the other…the answer to Middle East peace.
To be honest, this is the first Patel blend I’ve enjoyed in a long time. Rocky has managed to take a straight off the menu blend and turn it upside down. Kudos.
The strong start has settled down and lies in the territory of just good ol’ medium.
Boston Baked Beans candy. Loved them as a kid. I’m pretty much following all the taste notes that Halfwheel experienced. This is great news. In English, the cigar is consistent to most palates. None of “I taste breaded and fried honeydew melon.” And on the other side, “I taste squid sauteed with bechamel sauce.”
My first sip of water and John Wayne’s toupee flies off his head in his crypt.
Beautiful finish flush with sweetness and savory tentacles. Transitions are mellow but in constant motion. The spiciness is exactly how I like my women…tarts with a hint of Mother Theresa…and no teeth.
Lovely, lovely cigar.
I got through the entire first third without burn issues and the ash stood proudly the entire time. Construction is on point.
This is embarrassing. I am tasting the same flavor points as Halfwheel did. Note for note. This has never happened. Not a bad thing. But impressive that there is a joining of palates at the hip.
The complexity ramps up exponentially.
“Black Hearted Women” by the Allmans. So nice.
It seems that existing flavors are being modified. They are more intense with a broader spectrum. Savory v. Sweet is marvelous. Strength remains at just barely over medium.
For a cigar being smoked with nothing in my belly, I’m surprised I’m only blind in 1-1/2 eyes from nicotine.
I’m going to do something I’ve never done…I am going to copy and paste a summary of the second third right from Halfwheel’s review:
“The cigar morphs from a candy-coated peanut note to a sweet floral flavor that combines nicely with additional notes of creamy peanuts, bitter dark chocolate, leather, hay, lemongrass and a bit of tree bark flit in and out. In addition, the brown sugar sweetness is bolstered.”
Couldn’t have explained it better.
Now my children, do you know how often a reviewer agrees on anything with another reviewer? Never. Therefore, the consistency of the blender’s intent is a miracle straight from the open maw of the Cosmic Muffin.
I’ve changed my mind. Screw the Robusto…the Toro is a delight and I don’t want it to end. Manna from the godlings. Or is that goslings?
Each sip of water causes explosions that give me whiplash.
This is the perfect cigar for those that do not want, nor do not care, about the individual flavors of the blend. The whole is so much greater than its parts.
The strength hits medium/full without a by your leave.
When you were 15, did you ever mount the roof of your house, with your new pellet rifle…and shoot at the bags of Halloween trick or treaters?
If this happened in 2020, instead of 1965, I’d be in Quentin on D Block right now.
(I used green berries from our holly bushes instead of real pellets…I’m not an animal).
For a blend in the $8-$10 range, this is a best buy. The complexity continues to deepen. Flavors keep spreading like the universe on a sunny day.
Manny Mota and Jose Conseco. Gotta get more of these….in all three sizes.
Babysitting later with Charlotte for the three-year-old grandson and the two-month-old grandson. That little one can scream. Reminds me of being single and listening to the rants of a woman, “You want me to put that thing(s) in my mouth?” There should be hazard pay. Now oral sex with my wife consists of passing each other in the hall and both saying, “Fuck you!”
Halfway point arrives at the 1-1/4 hour mark. Sail on Sailor.
After babysitting for 7 hours, thank God I have a Demerol/Fentanyl/Propofol I.V. for recreational use. I let Charlotte go first because I’m afraid of her.
“All Along the Watchtower” by Jimi. The music has been spot on since I began this review. Always a good sign.
I’m now relaxed as rubber poop.
This is a great blend. Halfwheel gave it a 91. I will probably exceed that. I’m much more deprived than those guys.
I can’t say enough about the complex nature of this stick. It just oozes with precious bodily fluids. The finish is a mile long and does not disappear between puffs.
The creamy chocolate is like the thickest milkshake on planet Badda Bing. It is in the Cigar Galaxy…also known as Messier 82…12 million light years from earth; give or take a year or two.
I’m getting heavy peanut butter. And a smooth banana element. It’s buttery and chunky.
Speaking of which, my cousin Fred Selden was head of the horn section on a couple of Elvis’s last tours. One night, he got into real trouble. In the middle of some song, he would stand up and play “Dixie” on the flute. Fred is hard core jazz and a staple of the L.A. session players his entire life. This one night he decided to jazz it up. Everyone liked it. But…after the gig, the band leader took him aside and said, “If you ever fuck with Dixie again…you’re fired!!!” On the upside, he did enjoy fans recognizing him and giving him their panties to give to Elvis. (Aaargghh). Women did the same.
The character of the blend digs deeper. It is a bottomless pit of pleasure…just like my wedding night…wish Charlotte was there to enjoy it with me. She was playing Keno.
This is one of the most delicious cigars I’ve smoked in ages. It is batting 1000.
I went into this review with great trepidation. Felt I was jinxed. I haven’t been this surprised since I discovered Rock Hudson was gay last week.
I’m getting a wonderful lime citrus thing going on now for the first time. Makes me hanker for some food truck tacos.
The chocolate covered malted milk balls and chocolate covered raisins are perfectly complimentary. There is a dash of Worcestershire sauce…tangy and sweet.
The trajectory has not gone off course an iota. It constantly readjusts with each puff.
We are at full tilt. I’m lightheaded and my eyes are useless. Just like coming on to Purple Micro Dot. My poster of David Cassidy is modulating and melting.
“Amie” by Pure Prairie League is playing…now we’re talking.
Usually a dog turd review is accompanied by an onslaught of Fleetwood Mac. I dodged a bullet.
Speaking of the Mamas & Papas, Hall of Fame drummer Hal Blaine told me a story. He played most of the drums on their albums. He said that John Phillips would show up at the studio with a real leather doctor’s bag full of every conceivable drug known to man. It must have been a fun time in that studio; even if no one knew what was going on.
Serious smoothness settles in. Instead of becoming harsh or bitter as the cigar sees its own demise, the blend jumps the time portal and acts like the halfway point. I used to travel in time, but I always ended up on Dr. Torquemada’s dissection table. Bummer.
I’m not sure this is a good pick for lightweights. My toenails are clipping themselves.
But for you heavyweights, grab some. Everyone is selling them.
The cigar times out at 2-1/4 very pleasant hours.
And now for something completely different:
We were on tour for 6 weeks throughout Europe. For one of those weeks, we were on the same bill as Larry Coryell and the Eleventh House.
Most of you may not know who Larry Coryell is. He is known as the “Godfather of Fusion”. He changed my life with his progressive style back in 1972. Along with his cohorts of the day: Stanley Clarke, Ron Carter, Keith Jarret, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and on and on.
I was a jazzer when I auditioned for Curved Air, in 1974, and won the audition hands down because my kind of playing hadn’t reached the English shores yet. All the bass players at the audition played exactly like Chris Squire of “Yes.”
We spent a week in Switzerland opening for Coryell. At the time, Switzerland had no big arenas, so we played in auditoriums that seated just a couple thousand people.
But we packed them. We were a double threat.
Drummer Alphonse Mouzon got a little crush on CA singer, Sonja Kristina. And he never hid his feelings. One night, it boiled over. Copeland, Kristina, Mouzon, and I were standing on the side of the stage while blind keyboardist Mike Mandel played a long solo alone on stage. I remember he did a great Nixon impression that cracked up the Swiss audience.
And then it went haywire. Copeland and Kristina were an item; later to be married. Mouzon put the heavy moves on in front of Stew. In a flash, tempers flared, and fists started flying. Both Kristina and I got in the middle, and took a couple hits each, to stop the insanity. Roadies came to the rescue, from both sides, and pulled them off each other. For the rest of the week, it was all ice between us and Mouzon. Coryell never got involved but no one knows what he said to Mouzon behind closed doors.
Swiss audiences are very reserved. Applause is minimum. There is no screaming. No girls on top of boys’ shoulders with their tops off. They just sit quietly in their seats taking it all in and really focusing on the music and performance. I liked that about them. I hated raucous audiences. No one was really listening. Now we never had a Beatles-like reception, but I got the taste of what it was like not to have anyone listening, just going nuts. Of course, in those days, the Beatles had horrible sound systems and they couldn’t be heard anyway.
We had one of those systems that blew your hair back.
Now who the hell thought it a good idea to put him on a bill with us….a progressive rock band with a violin, cutting edge synthesizers and a chick singer along the lines of Stevie Nicks and Janis? It was a crazy bill.
Even though the musicians in my band were world class classical musicians, they didn’t know squat about this new musical movement. But I did, because I was the only real American in the group. Even Stewart Copeland, (The Police), our drummer, wasn’t that familiar. I idolized Larry and his band mates so when one night, after the gig, he invited us up to his hotel room to shoot the shit and smoke cigars, we all jumped at the chance.
The worst thing you can do with a celebrity, if you should meet one, is act like a fan. Be yourself and talk about the weather.
But noooo…my bandmates interviewed him. I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t look up from my cigar.
Curved Air has over 20 albums under their belt, so they were no slouches. And here they are mesmerized. And behaving like rank fans.
I had been smoking cigars since I was 18. That’s because my dad smoked ‘em and so did his pop. I was DNA impregnated. My band mates smoked cigarettes and that’s it. They had no idea what was in store for them. I did; and chuckled.
Larry passed around GIANT Cubans. Beer and wine were offered, and Larry and I dug right in. The others watched our lead as they had never smoked cigars, including the chick singer.
I remember the bliss of that fine cigar and as my eyes met Larry’s, we smiled big and laughed out loud. From the peanut gallery, I heard coughing and choking. Again, Larry and I glanced at each other and burst into raucous laughter.
The schmucks did not want to admit they had never smoked a cigar, let alone, a strong Cuban. So, they puffed away, occasionally inhaling. They were real dumbasses. In a matter of minutes, I had a bunch of Kermit the Frogs in the room. It is hard being green.
Larry answered their questions politely. Then, one at a time, each one of the dip shits excused themselves to go to the bathroom where we heard projectile heaving. Larry and I never laughed so hard.
Within 30 minutes, my band had retired to their own hotel bathrooms and Larry and I spent the rest of the night, til dawn, smoking, drinking, and telling stories about the “road.”
And I shall never forget his kindness and down to earth personality.
What a night!
Larry passed in April 2017 at the age of 73. Alphonse Mouzon passed in December 2016 at age 68).
This is a poster I still have advertising the Swiss gigs. You will notice that as the supporting band, Curved Air is listed in very small letters.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS