BACKGROUND: Rocky Patel likes to tell people that no one in the cigar industry thought he would last ten years in the business. And yet, as of 2011 he's reached his 15th anniversary and is still going strong. It’s safe to say that Rocky Patel’s passion, and intense work ethic have catapulted him to the top echelon of the cigar universe. As one of the survivors of the cigar boom and subsequent bust, Patel has outlasted much of his competition through sheer persistence and an unwavering focus on perfection.
To commemorate the occasion of his 15th year in the business, Patel released a cigar called Fifteenth Anniversary by Rocky Patel. It's a box-pressed cigar that's encased in an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. The binder and filler tobaccos are entirely Nicaraguan, and one of the filler varieties is grown on a farm that was specially dedicated to this cigar.
"I wanted to do something special to celebrate our 15 years in the cigar business," said Patel. "I wanted a cigar that was like the Decade, but on steroids."
The Fifteenth Anniversary by Rocky Patel comes in four sizes, all of them packed in boxes of 20. The cigars come in black boxes with metallic plates on the front and lid, and the double bands resemble gunmetal sheets.
The retail price ranges between $8.00 to $11.00 per stick, depending on the size.
The sizes include the Robusto, which measures 5-inches by 50 ring gauge, the Toro, at 6.5 by 52 ring, the Corona Gorda, which is 6 by 46 and the cigar I’m featuring today, the 6.1-inch by 52 ring gauge Torpedo.
TASTING NOTES: The flavor starts out with notes of Bourbon, some grassiness and a hint of cocoa sweetness. The retrohale is full of pepper spice and charred oak. This cigar is a very complex smoke, as the flavors change constantly. After the first inch, the spice on the retrohale smoothed out and changed from black pepper to white pepper. On the palate the cigar developed notes of coffee and the finish was spicy at the back of my tongue.
The construction and burn proved to be excellent, with a smooth, effortless draw. The dark gray ash was flaky and tended to fall off unexpectedly, so i tapped off early and often. During the first half the cigar was medium in body and strength and medium-full in flavor.
FINAL THOUGHTS: During the second half the cigar finished medium in strength and went from medium to medium-full in body and the flavor graduated to full. The finish became long and rich with earthy, woody and coffee notes. This is an excellent smoke from Rocky Patel and more complex than his other anniversary offerings. The price may. Be a sticking point for some people, but I think that it is still in the range where most cigar smokers could buy one or two to try out. Plus, I think that this cigar would be approachable to most cigar smokers. I think the body, strength and flavor profile is such that anyone could enjoy this smoke. The Rocky Patel 15th anniversary cigar is an interesting and challenging smoke that I can recommend highly.
These cigars have been resting in their original box in my Aristocrat Mini cabinet humidor. Each cigar comes wrapped in cellophane, which I have left intact. The humidor has an active humidification system that is set at 68%RH and the temperatures vary, usually between 66-72°F.
This is the first in a series of two podcast reviews. These cigars have been aging in my humidor for 6.2 months prior to this review.
Cigar Info Page » for Rocky Patel, 15th Anniversary