The Rocky Patel Brand
Rocky Patel Cigars has become one of the best-known American premium cigar brands since its inception in 1995. It is known for hand-rolled cigars from Honduras and Nicaragua. After 15 successful years in business, the brand decided to commemorate the business' success with a special edition cigar. In 2010, Rocky Patel Cigars released its 15th Anniversary Cigar.
Where & How the Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary is Made
While Rocky Patel Cigars is known for offering hand-rolled sticks from Honduras, the 15th Anniversary is made in Nicaragua. Specifically, it is rolled in the Tabacalera Villa Cuba factory in the famous cigar- making city of Esteli. Despite the factory's location in Nicaragua, it rolls its cigars the Cuban way. This means that they use two binder leaves rather than one and their cigars have triple caps. They also use the Cuban entubado method of rolling.
The Tobacco Used in the Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary
As you might expect from a premium hand-rolled cigar made using such refined methods, the tobacco used in the Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary is of very high quality. The wrapper is perhaps the most unique leaf in the stick, as it is an Ecuadorian Habano leaf grown from Cuban seeds. The binder is the always popular Nicaraguan Jalapa. As you might expect for a cigar made in the city, the filler is the Esteli tobacco leaf.
The Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary is Critically Acclaimed
The Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary cigar has received exceptional acclaim since its release, and its reputation has continued to grow over the last several years. Cigar Aficionado named the Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary to be its #6 best cigar of 2011, with a stellar 93 rating. The Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary was successful enough that the brand has continued making it, and it was even named #20 on Cigar Aficionado's Top 25 Cigars of 2018 list with a 92 rating.
The Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary Tasting Notes Pre-Light
The Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary's look certainly hints at the premium smoking experience that awaits. It is a dark medium-brown color with an oily sheen and little to no visible veining. The cigar is very firm, which is hardly surprising because It is box-pressed.
A pre-light sniff of the Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary reveals hints of cedar and cocoa. A cold draw results in stronger cedar and cocoa flavors, as well as a pleasing undertone of sweet tobacco.
The Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary delivers a premium smoking experience from the first draw. It immediately delivers a large body made up of flavorful smoke. The first few draws on the Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary are filled with a powerful black pepper taste with just the slightest hints of earthy sweetness in the undertones.
As you get to roughly the midway point of the first third, the flavor bouquet starts to become much sweeter. Flavors of coffee, nutmeg, and cocoa gradually take over from black pepper as the dominant flavors. There is a constant taste of sweet tobacco that keeps the flavor profile balanced. As you move from the first third of the cigar to the mid-third, the sweetness begins to develop an appealing spicy edge.
The black pepper that dominated the first few draws of the cigar fades into the background as the cigar burns through the first third and into its mid-third portion. The sweet flavors of tobacco, coffee, cocoa, and nutmeg become stronger and richer but are never overpowering. The hint of spiciness that appeared at the end of the cigar's first third becomes stronger, but this spicy edge only serves to enhance the sweet bouquet rather than overwhelm it. The sweet flavors become richer and more complex as the mid-third burns down and the stick transitions into the final third.
The sweet flavors of coffee, nutmeg, tobacco, and cocoa continue to become bolder and richer as the cigar starts to approach the nub. A hint of molasses even creeps in as the cigar smokes down. Hints of black pepper also reappear but blend well with the sweet and spicy overtones.
The retrohales from the Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary's final third are still impressively smooth, and they deliver an appealing note of cocoa. The flavor profile becomes spicier and takes on earthy undertones once the cigar burns down to a nub. The flavors, however, stay well-balanced and the cigar's flavor profile is still on the sweet side. As you would expect from a premium cigar of this quality, there is no discernable harshness or heat in the final third, not even when the cigar has been smoked down to a nub. The total smoking time of this cigar is just over 90 minutes.
The Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary Lives Up to the Hype
In conclusion, the Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary certainly lives up to the hype. The extraordinary level of critical acclaim it has achieved seems hard to live up to, but the 15th Anniversary offers a dynamic, yet balanced smoking experience that can only be equaled by the finest cigars in the world.
The cigar's balanced flavor profile means that it can pair up very well with a variety of different beverages. If you are enjoying a 15th Anniversary cigar during the day, you may want to pair it with a strong cup of black coffee. At night, it pairs well with either a port or a glass of single-malt scotch.