Rocky Patel Decade
Size: Robusto 5 x 50
Wrapper Type: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Pre-Light inspection: I first noticed double bands on this cigar. From a distance, they almost looked to be made of linen, but were actually more plastic than anything else. Each band’s artwork was relatively subdued compared to most offerings in the industry. The wrapper was a dark, rich brown and quite veiny, but the veins were not overly pronounced to the touch. This particular cigar had suffered some minor wrapper rash in places, but held together beautifully throughout the smoking experience. I have found that some box pressed cigars can be quite susceptible to construction issues, but this stick was wonderfully crafted and filled to the brim without any detectable soft spots. The foot was surprisingly lacking in aroma, but what little scent existed was pleasantly woody. After popping the cap off with a guillotine cutter, I found the cold draw to be spicy with some sweet cedar undertones and not overly constrictive, but a little tight for my liking.
1st Third: Upon lighting this cigar up, I was immediately intrigued by the strong room aroma it released, which consisted mainly of leather and dark chocolate. Smoke production from this stick was quite impressive, with a nice steady stream issuing from the foot before I’d even had my first puff. Upon tasting the smoke for the first time, I was met with a very strong earthy flavor that had a slight hint of sweetness to it. This flavor stayed around, predominantly in the background, for most of the cigar. Bold, roasted coffee also made brief appearances throughout this section in a quick jab of flavor, but faded very quickly. Additionally, there were notes of leather and a quite pungent sweetness that I usually attribute as a “maduro” flavor, which intermingled with the aforementioned players. Overall, this part of the cigar was the most varied, and was quite enjoyable.
2nd Third: Transitioning into this section, the coffee and “maduro” sweetness faded out completely and were replaced by hints of sweet hay, and a very strong, damp wood flavor. The sweet earthiness stuck around in the background the entire time. The leather flavors picked up quite a bit of steam during this time period, gradually washing out the sweet hay and wood flavors.
Final Third: As previously mentioned, the sweet earth flavors stayed strong through the final section of this smoke and gradually faded into a damp earth flavor as the cigar dwindled. There was also a very pleasant, albeit mild, hint of dried fruit, which I would best describe as plums and raisins, as well as some more random hits of a strong leather flavor.
Conclusions: So what can be said about this cigar? Well, the construction was absolutely top notch. The flavors were strong, but not exceedingly varied. It’s not often that I’m able to sum a cigar up in to only a few words, but this one’s relatively simple: wood, leather, and earth. Throughout the experience, those were the predominant flavors. Personally, I’m usually not a fan of those flavor combinations, but I was still more than willing to smoke this stick down to the nub. I doubt I’d ever willingly seek one out again, as they’re just not what I normally enjoy. That being said, I wouldn’t hesitate to suggest it to people who enjoy this type of profile.