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.