Cigar Reviews

Rocky Patel Sun Grown

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So we did get hit with a bunch of rain and wind over the last 3 days courtesy of Sandy that is kicking ass on the East Coast here. Last night was the worst here with Winds gusting over 100kph(60mph). Today seems to be a much better day and I wanted to pass on my well wishes to everyone who got hit with the worst of this storm, especially over in New York and New Jersey. All the best for safe travels and safe recovery!

Today I’m reaching into my humidor for a another gifted cigar coming from a great BOTL and supporter of Casas Fumando, good ol’ Lou B.! Lou lives about 45min away from me and often invites me and my wife over to the Black Dog Cigar Lounge for a beer and some good BBQ. Last time we were there, Lou was kind enough to gift me this Rocky Patel Sun Grown and asked me to jot down my thoughts on it.

I did some digging through my notes and found that I actually have had this cigar a few times before but it had been a while. I won’t spoil the review by telling what my notes said by they pretty much lined up with what I found in this cigar. Now I honestly haven’t had a great track record with most Rocky Patel sticks but there are some that I really enjoy. They have such a vast profile that chances are there will be some you love, and some you don’t. For example, I absolutely loved their special Winter release from 2009.

So the Sun Grown blend is pretty highly regarded in many popular magazines so it has some big shoes to fill here. The band here is the standard Rocky Patel band with a secondary band jsut below that simply says “Sun Grown”. Both are a pretty bright orangey-red type of color with lots of gold accents and edging.

On doing some research I found that the wrapper on this cigar is aged a full 5 years which is nice and long. The binder and filler are also aged for a hefty 7 years, making for a nicely aged cigar fresh out of the box. So lets see how this classic Rocky Patel stacks up today!

Cigar: Rocky Patel Sun Grown
Drink: Offley 10 Year Tawny Porto
Vitola: Torpedo (6.25 x 52)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Brazilian, Nicaraguan & Dominican
Price: A bit over $8
Burn Time: 1.5 Hours

• The Rocky Patel Sun Grown comes with a smooth and light colored wrapper
• The veins are pretty small here, not many to be worried about
• The tapered cap blends seamlessly into the rest of the cigar with one leaf
• Near the cap and head the cigar is pretty firm but these is a bit of a soft spot in the middle when squeezes
• Looking at the foot, it appears decently filled but they may have cut it a bit long as you can see a few different lengths in the filler
• The cut was nice and clean leaving a smooth edge without a mess
• Draw was just about perfect, lots of airflow without being too open

• Toasting was super easy, the foot lit up very quickly and glowed very evenly
• The burn through the first bit is spot on and even
• The Rocky Patel Sun Grown is burning a bit fast through the first bit, lets hope it slows down a bit
• The burn has been razor sharp through the first half and just after the halfway point I ran into a bit of a wave, we’ll see how it handles it now
• Well that little wave turned out to be nothing and the Rocky Patel Sun Grown is back on track with a razor sharp burn
• After an almost perfect burn, the cigar only needed one small touchup as I head into the nub section

Smoke & Ash:
• The initial ash is showing some nice light grey colors and the zebra striping I like to see on a well made cigar
• There is tons of smoke right off the bat with minimal effort on the draw
• The ash is also staying nice and clean and strong, no flaking or mess here
• The resting smoke here is pretty evident and is giving off a woodsy sort of aroma
• First ash tumbled into the ashtray after about an inch
• Surprisingly, the resting smoke changed and I started picking up a sweet aroma, very interesting
• Seems the 1 inch ash is holding strong so far through two more drops into the ashtray, still clean and strong

Tasting Notes:
• The wrapper has a nice woodsy aroma to it with just a touch of a peppery spice
• The foot gives off an almost meaty type of note, something I haven’t picked up from a cigar in awhile
• The pre-light draw gave me more woodsy notes and still some of that meaty type of flavor I was picking up
• With the first few draws, the woodsy flavors are staying and added to that is some spice and earthy notes, definitely lots of flavor here early on
• The spice settled down and took a backseat to the earthy notes, lots of dirt flavor and a bit of dried foliage along with the wood that it sticking around
• Through the first half, the body has been sticking to the medium range and I’m getting a nice cedar finish on the retrohale after a bit of a spicy bite
• It seems the spices are slowly making a comeback and I’m even getting a touch of licorice in the mix here
• Into the last third and the spices and woodsy flavors are definitely kicking it up a notch, the licorice and earthy notes are still hanging around in the background too
• Lots of flavor in the last bit and no harshness to scare anyone away, a very tasty and spicy finish

Final Thoughts:
Now when Lou gave me this cigar I honestly wasn’t expecting too much but after checking my notes on previous meetings with this stick, I had some hope. And my hope was not left out to dry. The Rocky Patel Sun Grown offered a bunch of flavors and enough change-up to keep it interesting the whole way through. The construction was also excellent giving me a great draw and only one small touch-up the whole way through. My gripe here would be the price, at over $8 these are in a category with some very good cigars. Despite that, I will probably pick these up again as I did enjoy it, so make sure to give it a try if you can.

This tasty port has a bit more aging on it than most of the Ports I buy, and with it comes a slightly higher price tag. The Offley 10 Year Tawny Porto comes it at just about $30, most of the LBV are under $20 so it’s not too much of a difference. In terms of flavor, the extra time in the barrels is easily visible here, there is so much oak flavor to enjoy. Along with the oak, is a good helping of dark berries and a little bit more acidity than I’ve found on most other Ports. It made for a good pairing with the Rocky Patel Sun Grown and could have even stood up to some stronger cigars. Another good pairing with this cigar would have been a nice Stout. I didn’t have any left otherwise I would have grabbed that. Coffee would go nicely here too!

Daniel T. (a.k.a. Dalamscius) is an IT Professional from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He enjoys cigars, scuba diving, hockey, fishing, nature and anything that challenges his mind. If he's not sitting on his big comfy couch or at work you can usually find him in a boat on top of the water or 100ft under the water enjoying a dive. He is engaged to a wonderful Fiance and looking forward to his wedding. Feel free to contact Daniel anytime via email (dalamscius[at]gmail[dot]com). And make sure to follow him on twitter


  1. Paul Tyler

    October 30, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Hi Daniel, great review as always! What is this Black Dog Pub Cigar Bar you speak of? Sounds very intriguing indeed!

    • Dalamscius

      October 30, 2012 at 10:19 am

      Next time Lou runs a get together maybe we can get you out there. It’s a bit of a drive on the 407 towards Guelph in a town called Rockwood, about 45min from my place

      • Paul Tyler

        October 30, 2012 at 10:26 am

        Ah yes…I remember you mentioning that before. For some reason I was thinking it was a pub of some kind.

        • Dalamscius

          October 30, 2012 at 10:28 am

          Lou does make some killer BBQ and an awesome chili, so I guess it’s sort of like a pub? 😀

  2. jjo

    October 30, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Fortunate for you to live in relatively close proximity to such a good guy! I just may have to pick one of these up to try.

  3. Lou Bozzelli

    October 30, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    I remember when I first mentioned the Rocky Patel line to Daniel T. He wasn’t all that impressed with it. I practically had to beg him to take an RP 1990. Daniel is his own man, he isn’t going to be told what to smoke! He will listen to what you have to say, and if he senses your enthusiasm about a cigar, he’s open to hear about, but for god sake don’t push him, he will lose it on you, …………….. maybe?

    But hey, isn’t that what taste is all about? It’s different to everyone.

    If you’re ever in the Toronto area boys, stop by for a smoke and a drink at the Black Dog cigar club!!!

    • Dalamscius

      November 7, 2012 at 10:38 am

      too funny Lou, always the comedian! haha

      This one surprised me, I must say. Can’t write off a brand completely, there might always be a good one hidden in the inventory sometimes! Thanks again bud!

  4. DavefromPhilly

    November 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    I recommend you pick up the robusto. While decent, I have never been too impressed with the torpedo or toro of this smoke. However the robusto really makes this blend shine, damn good smoke and I highly recommend it. That being said, for the same price you can get a Pepin black, and its an extremely similar flavor profile, but a bit better and more complex.

    • Dalamscius

      November 7, 2012 at 10:40 am

      Thanks for the tip Dave, I’ll keep my eyes open for it. And I gotta agree with you on the Pepin comment about the price. I haven’t had one in awhile so now I’m curious to see how similar the flavors are. Maybe I need to pick up both and smoke them within a day or two of eachother.

  5. Marcus (Sticks)

    November 5, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    I had a toro after resting in my humidor for two years. I was hoping for flavor bomb but it turned out to be somewhat bland to me. I am not a big Rocky P fan and this cigar reinforced that line of thought.

    • Dalamscius

      November 7, 2012 at 10:43 am

      That’s disappointing to hear. I’m in the same boat with most Rocky’s not being in my profile but this one definitely was. Maybe you need to try a fresher one or a different vitola?

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