Rocky Patel Nicaraguan, a Famous Smoke Shop exclusive
As the winter winds down in the Upper Peninsula, the snow is melting, the ground is thawing, some grass is showing, and my cigar smoking is picking up. My trip down to El Paso next week with my family should also help my cigar smoking pace as I will be spending a few evenings with THE MAN himself, Tony Casas! I know there will be a handful of good sticks in the line-up those nights.
Today for review, I bring to you the Rocky Patel Nicaraguan, a Famous Smoke Shop exclusive. Information is lacking on the interwebs for this specific cigar, but I will give you the information that I do know. The Nicaraguan is available in three vitolas: Toro (6 by 52), Torpedo (6 by 52), and Grand Toro (6 by 60). Single stick prices range from $6.50 to $7.50 and drops between $4 and $5 if purchased by the box. The components are not disclosed on the Nicaraguan, but based on the name I assume it is a Nicaraguan puro.
Samples Provided by Famous Smoke Shop
Price: $6.50 per single / $79.99 per box of 20
Size: 6 by 52
Wrapper: Unknown Country, Habano
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 50 Minutes
The Rocky Patel Nicaraguan wears an extremely dark brown wrapper that is covered in oils from head to foot. Oils glisten in the light off this gorgeous Habano wrapper leaf that is very smooth to the touch, but a few medium sized veins can be seen and it does not lack in bumps. The Nicaraguan feels solid in the hand and the cigar is rock solid. The foot appears under-filled but I do not encounter any soft spots.
Notes of barnyard, cedar, and honey are found on the wrapper, while honey, pecans, some pungency, and a sour cedar are on the unlit foot of the Nicaraguan. I find a decent draw upon clipping the double cap causing a spice tingle is on my lips. A honey sweetness is front and center on the dry draw with some potpourri-like spices.
With the cigar fired up, I immediately taken on a journey from my cold basement to a campfire on a warm summer night. The flavors are reminiscent of charred wood and roasted marshmallows. The profile is very meaty and full flavored. With the charred flavor playing such a dominating role, I assume this stick carries its fair share of ligero tobaccos, but don’t quote me on that. The finish is of earth, dirt, and black coffee, with just a hint of that honey I picked up the pre-light inspection. There is a crazy-wavy burn, but no need to bust out the lighter.
The pepper is full force on the retrohale, borderline unbearable, but I like the intensity of it. Chocolate covered nuts, marshmallow sweetness, and charred flavor are making up the profile in the second third. The smoke feels creamy in my mouth with each draw. A quick touch-up is needed to correct the burn.
The flavors of roasted marshmallow, chocolate, and honey have dropped off, while darker flavors of charred wood, earth, and diesel-like arrive. Pulling up to the two hour mark, I am finally beginning to feel some of the strength of this cigar. A small crack has formed, only wrapper deep, so it is not impacting the smoke production. As soon as I thought the burn got its act together, once again a touch-up is needed.
The Rocky Patel was slow smoking, full flavored, and medium/full in strength. The core flavor of charred wood (campfire) held strong through the course of the cigars for almost two hours, with some additional marshmallow and chocolate sweetness in the first and second thirds that rounded out the profile. As the cigar came to a close, the sweetness faded and unrefined flavors of earth and diesel arrived. I would not consider this cigar complex but there were some change-ups throughout. A Toro vitola is not an overly-large cigar in my opinion, but it sure smoked like one considering the amount of time I spent from first light to final puff. The charred wood was intriguing at the beginning, but was a bit much by the end of the Rocky Patel Nicaraguan. I would say a smaller ring gauge of the Nicaraguan would help, but considering the Toro is the smallest in the line-up that seems out of question. Overall, I enjoyed smoking the cigar but would have been happy to close out the cigar 20 minutes ahead of schedule. With a price under $7, if the profile is in your wheelhouse, I recommend that you grab a few.