Since the 1990s cigar boom, the Rocky Patel brand has seen a meteoric rise in both popularity and quality, with several top-rated lines in its expansive catalog. Among the most successful are Rocky Patel’s The Edge Series and Vintage Series, both of which consist of several blends that are a staple in humidors around the country.
While Rocky Patel was certainly not the only brand to get its start during the 1990s cigar boom, it was one of the select few lucky and skilled enough to see success following it. By learning all about tobacco and blending with a relentless pursuit of perfection, Rocky Patel became a household name familiar with every manner of cigar aficionado.
To celebrate being in the world of premium cigars for an incredible 26 years, Rocky Patel is coming out with a special blend just for the occasion. Crafted into three box-pressed sizes at Rocky Patel’s famous TAVICUSA factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, the Rocky Patel Vintage 26th Anniversary features a unique blend of extensively aged tobaccos from around the world.
Built around a core of extensively aged Nicaraguan long-fillers, the Vintage 26th Anniversary boasts two elegant binder leaves, one a Connecticut Shade and the other a Connecticut Broadleaf, and adorned with a top-quality Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.
Today, we will be taking a closer look at the 5.5×50 Robusto size. I have tried many of Rocky Patel’s blends, but I have not tried many blends that host a Sumatra wrapper. Without any further ado, let’s dive in and discuss this all-new JR exclusive!
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf/Connecticut Shade
Cigar Strength: Medium
Smoke Time: 75 Minutes
Cold Draw Impressions
Before I go in for some sniffs, I take a moment to admire the seamlessly applied chocolate-brown wrapper. It is smooth to the touch and has a bit of shimmer under the right angle of light, and there is also a touch of toothiness around the wrapper.
From the foot, I get a smattering of coffee, leather, and earth, while the wrapper adds some nuances of chocolate and baking spices. Cold draws offer the perfect resistance, presenting flavors of chocolate, leather, cedar, and tobacco sweetness.
First Third Impressions
The first puffs present a rich spice with roasted nuts, leather, and a smooth creaminess. Lingering on the palate is a smattering of cedar, pepper, and twinge of bittersweet chocolate. After the first ¼ inch, the spice dissipates to allow the creaminess, leather, and roasted nuts to take the lead on the profile. Retrohales reveal a bit of baking spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg along with creaminess.
The body is rich yet is not overwhelming, just slightly above medium, and has a smooth, creamy texture with its richness. The draw also offers the perfect amount of resistance and delivers a satisfying mouthful of smoke production. The burn is also fairing well, with well over an inch smoked without the need for a touch-up or correction. After an inch and a half, I knock the first clump of firm ash into my ashtray.
Second Third Impressions
Crossing into the second third, creaminess and roasted nuts still take the lead, however, chocolate and leather are starting to fight for space at the front. Earthiness has also emerged in the profile, along with a slight boost in the black pepper.
Retrohales continue to show baking spices and creaminess, and a tingly pepper has begun to emerge however it comes nowhere close to overwhelming my sinuses. I am really enjoying the complexity between the first and second thirds and the emergence of new flavors.
The body remains a constant medium, presenting richness without feeling heavy on the palate, and the smoke production is still outstanding. The burn line has a slight lean to it, but nothing a required for a touch up. The construction so far has been flawless.
Final Thirs Impressions
As the burn line passes into the final third, chocolate, spices, and earthiness share the top spot in the flavor, followed by nuances of black pepper, coffee, and leather with creaminess on the finish. Retrohales reveal leather, cedar, black pepper, and tobacco sweetness.
Along with the change in flavors, the body has also taken a turn into the more intense region, hovering just under medium-full, but not quite. The added richness is definitely welcome as the cigar comes to a close, signifying a complete and evolving smoking experience, ending with just under an inch to go.
The Rocky Patel Vintage 26th Anniversary Robusto would pair well with a smooth scotch or a tequila anejo, something with a smooth yet present and rich flavor that will not overwhelm the flavors of the cigar. A glass of white wine, hard cider, or lager would also make an excellent pairing.
For a non-alcoholic pairing, a cup of hot coffee with cream or a cappuccino would also pair well with the Vintage 26thAnniversary. Or, if you have a bit of a sweet tooth, a mug of hot chocolate would help to bring out some of the chocolate notes of the cigar.
I find myself continuously impressed with the blending prowess of Rocky Patel. This cigar delivers flavor, complexity, and richness in an elegant and smooth manner, gracefully filling my afternoon with a satisfying experience. For a cigar that celebrates a milestone as significant as a quarter century in the business, the Rocky Patel Vintage 26thAnniversary Robusto checks all the boxes.
Its delectable flavors combined with its flawless construction and reasonable price will make the Rocky Patel Vintage 26th Anniversary an excellent addition to any aficionado’s humidor. Pick up a box of 15, or an affordable pack of 5, from JR Cigar today!