This year marks the twentieth anniversary for major cigar company Rocky Patel. As would be expected, the brand brought a big showcase with them this year at the IPCPR show to celebrate such an occasion. They unveiled three new lines – The Twentieth Anniversary, the Tabaquero by Hamlet, and the Special Reserve Sun-Grown Maduro – all of which are to be expected later this fall.
Each of these cigars got lots of attention from the show, but one in particular caught my eye above all else – the Sun Grown Maduro. The new line will be an extension to its already popular Sun Grown counterpart, but with a more premium selection of tobaccos, straight from their own farms in Estelí, Nicaragua.
Rocky Patel Sun Grown Maduro Breakdown
- Wrapper: Sun Grown Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
- Binder: Duel Binder – Estelí, Nicaragua
- Filler: Estelí, Nicaragua
- Factory: Tabacalera Villa Cuba S.A. (Estelí, Nicaragua)
- Production: Regular release
- Vitola: Toro (6 x 52)
- Price: $8.80
The cigar will launch in five sizes: Robusto (5 x 50, $8.60), Lancero (7 1/2 x 38, $8.60), Petite Belicoso (5 1/2 x 52, $8.80), Toro (6 x 52, $8.80), and Sixty (6 x 60, $10.40). At a close up, it’s immediately clear how well made this cigar is. A perfect triple cap starts from the head and joins the wrapper flawlessly. The wrapper itself is a dark, oily satin, with tight seams and a few large veins (sun grown cigars typically have them) and a rather nice tooth surrounding the entire box-pressed cigar. All of this is complimented perfectly by a classy white and red band that simply says, ‘notice me’.
With a near-perfect construction appearance on the exterior, I would expect nothing short of amazing through the aroma. And with little surprise, it smells fantastic. It reminds me of a barnyard that was recently cleaned, and then gently powdered with bits of cocoa and spice. Once lit however, my tongue quickly takes over my sensatory organs. Right as I take my first puff, an almost harsh creaminess hits me hard in the face. Those slightly sweet, oily smooth maduro flavors were ramped up to max for the first few seconds, and I was beginning to think this was just another maduro. I’m happy to say I was wrong.
Within just a few minutes, the cigar began to bloom into a spectacular blend of flavors. A sweet caramel starts things off, leads into a gentle cream, and then leaves your mouth oily smooth, with just hints of pepper. On the retrohale however, a bigger blast of pepper and spice comes through heavy – quickly overwhelming my palate. To my surprise, it doesn’t clash with the other flavors though, it created a sort of apple cider mixture that lasts well into the next draw. Rounding out the first third, the cigar maintains its gentle cream and sweet caramel, adding more intense pepper the further it goes down, making it a solid, medium/full-body smoke.
I’m happy to say the construction is just as good as the flavors. The triple cap stays intact perfectly, producing an effortless draw. The cigar burns almost razor sharp, and the ash holds on for a solid two inch chunk. And when you set it down for one to two minutes at a time, it should fire right back up. As I approached the halfway point, something I didn’t think could happen had happened: It kept getting better. At this point, my apple cider had begun losing its gentle caramel sweetness, and instead turned to a different fruit for flavor – the cocoa bean. Notes of dark, but smooth chocolate began pouring off every draw, adding a welcome replacement to the caramel. My apple cider had now become a sweet n’ spicy hot chocolate. With every draw, I had to refrain myself the urge to clench down and take a bite.
Would I smoke this again?
Absolutely. As soon as they are released I will be ordering a box (or two). I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a full-flavored cigar with lots of character and an affordable price point. It may be a little too bold for beginners, but the strength isn’t anything to be worried about, as it never went above a medium. Definitely something to be enjoyed in the afternoon or later in the evening. Just grab some friends, and of course, a nice cup of hot cider (how’s that for a pairing?!).
- Good transitions
- Two hour burn time (Great construction)
- Final third doesn’t live up to first & second