Rocky Patel Sun Grown June 9th, 2009 Steve R 90 Share: 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 start....like 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.