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Staff Reviews for Rocky Patel Sun Grown

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Sun-Grown by Rocky Patel

Brandon S
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.

Rocky Patel Sun Grown

Jeff K

Over the last couple of years, Rocky Patel’s been a busy man. Decade, Patel Bros, 1961, Renaissance, and now, the upcoming 15th Anniversary…in addition to the innumerable private labels that are popping up all over the globe. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it just takes a little bit of luster off of the old. And if you’ve forgotten, his older stuff is exceptional.  Take Rocky Patel Sun Grown, a prime example of his early work that just made its way back onto my radar…and I’m glad it did.

Well over 5 years ago, Rocky Patel Sungrown hit the ground running with a set of highly favorable reviews and a tremendous buzz. But as the years passed, demand was usurped by the never ending stream of Rocky’s next release. And a little over a year ago, an issue with wrapper shortage left Sun Grown out of stock for numerous months, and led to Sun Grown’s even further backburnering. Don’t get me wrong, Sun Grown has its fans…and there’s plenty of them. But this is a cigar that deserves more. At least in my eyes.  

Rocky Patel Sun Grown is draped in a dark, ultra-oily, 5-year-old Ecuadorian Sun Grown Sumatra wrapper. This namesake piece is a truly gorgeous leaf and the crux of this handmades flavor. Inside, robust Nicaraguan and Dominican long-fillers are contained within a rich Nicaraguan binder. On paper, Sun Grown sounds pretty…and the real thing ain’t bad either. It’s firm, heavy in the hand and well put together as a whole.

At first light, Sun Grown will grab your attention. A generous dose of hearty spices are paired with a cedary note for a bold introduction. Initially it’s powerful, but the heat dies down quickly. As it burns, it mellows out nicely a flood of complex flavors come forth. Notes of rich tobacco, bread, sweetness and leather are backed by a peppery finish.  It’s smooth and the aroma is warm and rich. Towards the end, the flavor builds and the cigar never gets hot or harsh. The flavor is bold, balanced and complex, a hearty, traditional tobacco taste that’s interesting from start to finish.

Overall, Rocky Patel Sun Grown is the complete package. Ample good qualities and very few bad. If you’re looking for a quality, medium to full-bodied handmade that’s pure, flavorful and refined, Sun Grown fits the bill. And I’d suggest trying the torpedo size first, it’s far and away my favorite.

Rocky Patel Sun Grown

Steve R

Today has been a crazy cigar day. At 10am, I embarked on a daunting task of testing nine blends. However, I had to burn these nine cigars at the same time in an effort to find the best of the bunch. I’ll be honest....some were horrific. Those were sent home from the island with haste and pleasure. However, a few did stand out, so I had to cleanse the palate, grab some fresh air, and re-light a second batch of three cigars to pinpoint the winner. By 1pm I was done and in desperate need of food and coffee....after more fresh air to clear my swimming head. I’m now in the clear and about to dig into something from home – a nicely aged Rocky Patel Sun Grown Robusto.

I received this cigar on June 18th, 2005. I know this because the date is laser engraved....just below ‘Kevin and Maureen.’ Sorry guys, I’m about to burn your wedding cigar. I’ve held onto it long enough – probably much longer than the rest of your guests (even you Kevin!). It’s time for this cigar to succumb to it’s inevitable – and long overdue – fiery death.

The cigar is dark and leathery in appearance with a nice, oily sheen. The foot smells of sweet cedar – a product of sleeping on the top shelf of my desktop humidor for nearly 4 years. I’m excited to enjoy this cigar. I haven’t had an RP Sun Grown in almost a year, and I’m interested to see if it still contains the hearty array of spices I’ve always picked up from this cigar.

Instantly upon puffing I knew the spice was still there. However, what I really notice is a rich, leathery element dominates with each draw. The wrapper promotes a nice sweetness on the finish, which is quickly muted by a series of bold spices. To be honest, I’m surprised by how much spice is still present considering how long this cigar has been in the humidor. Through the nose it’s quite powerful and the aroma is zesty to say the least. I feel pretty relaxed. This cigar was a nice choice and my spent palate is still receptive of the complex flavors at play. Behind the leathery, spicy core I am able to detect sweet (but toasted) cedar and earthy tones. I’m now past the band and in the final stretch. This cigar still has legs....the finish is even spicier than the red pepper hitting all sides of my palate. Man, what a treat. I don't recall RP Sun Grown being this strong, but who am I to complain?

Rocky Patel Sun Grown has been hard to come by lately due to a shortage in the Ecuadorian sun-grown wrapper leaf. We received a few boxes here and there, but it’s nothing to write home about. However, I highly recommend you try this cigar if you haven’t already. Considering the ever-increasing size of the RP legion, I’m sure you have. If so, try it again. And again after that.

Rocky Patel Sun Grown

Steve R
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.