Rocky Patel 1961 Robusto
The Rocky Patel 1961 was amongst an array of anticipated cigars released in 2009 at the IPCPR show in New Orleans.
The Good Stuff: The year 1961, from what I gathered, is Rocky’s actually birth year. These limited production cigars were among the first cigars manufactured at the new Tabacalera Villa Cuba, Rocky’s newest factory.
Size: 5 x50 – Wrapper: Ecuadorian – Binder/Filler: Honduran/Nicaraguan – Strength: Medium – Full
Prelight: The first characteristic I noticed was the triple cap. I’m a huge fan of the triple cap as most of my wrapper problems usually occur at the head of the cigar. The cigar itself sports top-notch construction, with absolutely no signs of soft spots, or flaws in the construction. Rocky is known for being a stickler when it comes to the perfection of all cigars manufactured under his rule. The wrapper is very smooth and there were no real noticable veins as far as I could see. The band was remarkable, and unlike anything that I have seen come from Rocky Patel. The 1961 showcased a massive, double band. The top band is black, with light watermarked “wallpaperesque” textured, presented by a large “1961” label positioned over a halftone tobacco plant. The secondary band fits snuggly into the primary band and sports a red shimmer with the “Rocky Patel” label. There isn’t really a lot of noticable scent coming from the wrapper of the 1961. I picked up light notes of sweetness and cocoa. The foot of the cigar smells very similar, with a touch of grain, and what seems to be something that smells similar to paint thinner. Tom from Tom’s Cigars nailed it in a recent review when he acclaimed that you should NEVER trust a cigar by its smell. Many of the best cigars I have had smelled like complete crap.
Cold Draw: I was able to pull the paint thinner taste off the cold draw. Not a good sign. Let’s just hope this taste doesn’t carry into the actual smoke. I got a bit of pepper, and mixed almond as well.
First Smoke: THANK GOD the paint thinner taste didn’t make it to the actual smoke. If so, I would have never even went into the cigar for fear of throwing up. The 1961 starts off with a massive burst of pepper and spice. What a wake up call. I wasn’t expecting much taste as I couldn’t really pull anything off of the 1961 on the cold draw. The pepper even got to a point where it started to make my lips, and back of the throat tingle. Most of the undertones at this point were masked under the pepper, but there was a mixed bunch of almond and cocoa in there. The burn line became wavy, and unstable right off the bat. The ash itself was very light colored, and flaked off every chance it got. The 1961 produced an awesomely large draw with thick, almost brown smoke.
Halfway There: And just as quickly as the pepper came, it went away. The pepper literally just dropped off the face of the cigar. Halfway through the smoke balanced out and became very smooth and creamy. The flavors weren’t as complex as I’m used to, Cracker/grain, cocoa, a bit of sweetness, a bit of cherry/grape, mostly earthy tones. The smoke itself smelled much like the paint thinner I pulled off the cold draw. I wouldn’t recommend smoking the 1961 around people. The burn line is getting more and more wavy as I burn through this cigar. Halfway though the 1961 went completely out on me and I had to relight before the ash actually fell off itself. Classic case of the filler burning faster than the wrapper itself.
Finish: The pepper taste I craved never made it’s comeback. Why do you tease me so 1961?! By the time I got the cigar down to the nub I reached a total of 3 relights, and countless touch-ups. For the sake of the review I wouldn’t have bothered to touch up the cigar, but it got to a point where there was more un-burnt wrapper than actual cigar left. The only characteristic that really stayed consistent throughout the smoke was the awful aroma of the smoke. I can’t imagine what made it smell that way. The 1961 started off as a powerhouse cigar. I could feel the nicotine almost instantly. But it finished as gently as a puppy. I just wish this cigar was more consistent.
Overview: At the beginning of my review I stated that I wasn’t impressed much by Rocky Patel’s cigars. I hoped that the 1961 would renew what little faith I had in the company. Alas, it only made it worse. The 1961 was very bland for my taste. It lacked complexity, and consistently. I do however, see why some may find this smooth smoke attractive. I however, will probably never purchase it again.