|Shapes:||Corona, Gordo, Robusto, Toro, Torpedo|
The 2004 RTDA in Vegas showcased a slew of great offerings from some great makers, and of all the makers, it seems Rocky Patel was the busiest. His booth was utter madness, spilling over with onlookers trying to catch a glimpse of his new releases. The Edge, Java, Royale and Sun Grown – each one causing what seemed to be a riot, only less gunfire and more flashbulbs. But don’t worry, Team CI was safe, Brandon was “packin’ heat” that day. Sun Grown seemed to be the favorite among the masses, probably due to the amazing success of the RP Vintage line. Although samples were given out, the blend has since changed, becoming a better balanced display of flavor and strength. Since the show, I’ve only had a few, and they were fresh off the factory floor – we smoked them while visiting Rocky’s operation in Honduras. Indeed, the blend was perfected and the Sun Grown is sure to build upon reputation of the RP brand.
It’s 3 in the afternoon and I’ve got a craving for a good smoke. Brandon was kind enough to give me a Sun Grown from his employee purchase, and although I’m on an empty stomach, I think it will fit the bill. Smell, snip, light and away we go. Right off the bat I am hit with an assortment of unique flavors. The dark sun-grown wrapper leaves a slightly sweet aftertaste on my lips while I pick up a subtle nuttiness, almost like toasted peanuts. Surprisingly enough, I’ve yet to receive any spicy notes and the strength is quite tame. I’m about 2 inches in and the flavor is quite mellow – a creamy earthiness dominates, while that subtle sweetness lingers after each puff. The burn is slow and true, and the cigar seems to ‘breathe’ relentlessly as it sits in my ashtray. Side note: when you see smoke coming from the head of a cigar, it’s ‘breathing’. About 75% of the way through my head starts to swim a bit. The strength is building, and the spiciness I expected up front has shown itself. The earthiness has grown richer, while the sweetness has been replaced with a definitive peppery flavor. Although this transition was gradual and balanced, it didn’t sneak up on me. Rather, the richness developed nicely, and then BAM, the spice kicks in towards the nub. The ending was phenomenal – robust and flavorful – a great way to finish a complex, well-made cigar. Good choice Brandon, and nice work Rocky. I’ll be gettin’ me some of these.
Unless you have been wandering the Gobi Desert for the past few months without food or water, chances are you are becoming increasingly familiar with name Rocky Patel. Rocky is the brilliant founder behind the Indian Tabac brand and after a few tough years in the beginning, Rocky is really coming in to his own with a recent string of releases that have quickly become some of the hottest and most highly rated cigars on the market. If ratings are your game than you surely couldn’t have missed the huge 92 rating the Vintage 1990 Robusto received just a few months ago outscoring the Opus X with ease!
Everyone seemed to stand by waiting to see if the Vintage rating was a fluke or at best, a one-trick pony. Then came a few more fantastic editions to the Rocky Patel label including the Edge and the Sun-Grown by Rocky Patel…
So let’s get down to it. The Sun-Grown is the newest edition to Rocky Patel’s lineup and is produced with a beautiful and oily Ecuadorian Sun-Grown wrapper. In the past it has been my experience that most Sun-Grown wrappers tend to deliver an overpowering and spicy smoke. Not so with the Rocky Patel. The 5 years of aging these wrappers undergo really tones down the spice without sacrificing that rich buttery flavor that you expect from a quality Sun-Grown wrapper. Upon lighting up a Sun-Grown you will first be greeted with a mellow and woody flavor followed by just a hint of spice that develops on the back of your tongue. As the cigar continues to burn you will quickly notice a slow and even change happening as the Sun-Grown gains complexity and trades spice for an intensely rich yet smooth smoke that will keep you guessing as to what will come next. Since their release I have smoked roughly 75-100 of the Rocky Patel Sun-Growns each time putting the cigar down between the half-way and three-quarter mark where the cigar becomes so complex that it just boggles the mind.
Truly a cigar fit for the most discriminating of connoisseurs, the Rocky Patel Sun-Grown achieves a new level quality and consistency that previously could only be found in cigars costing upward of $8-$10 each.