In 2010, Rocky Patel cut the ribbon on his very first factory. Wait, I can hear some of you saying....hasn’t Rocky Patel been selling cigars for years? Indeed. But until this point his production had been contracted out. Rocky would work to create new blends, and then farm out the work to various well-established factories across Central America. Now he’s begun shifting to his own facility, a small startup operation in Esteli, Nicaragua. This factory’s first release: Rocky Patel 1961.
RP 1961 is made with an oily, reddish-brown Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and a blend of Nicaraguan long-fillers. Judging by looks alone, expectations are high. Unfortunately, the flavor profile and overall experience is very deflating. The high points: smooth, medium-bodied, draws well, and has a pleasant sweet-cedary taste. Sadly, this is where the fun stops. I kept puffing, and waiting, and waiting some more....but was wholly underwhelmed. RP’s 1961 is a perfectly acceptable cigar with some favorable qualities, but overall, especially considering the $7 to $8 cost per stick, it needs a lot more. Let’s hope this is just a hiccup and not a glimpse into Rocky’s future output.