Tag Archive for rocky patel

Smoke Blog: Rocky Patel Strada

It’s National Bourbon Day. Cheers! #bourbon #whiskey #straightedge #cigar #rockypatel #strada #nationalbourbonday

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It’s National Bourbon Day, so I’m sitting here enjoying a tasty glass of Straight Edge bourbon, enjoying a mild thunderstorm and a break in the heat, and hoping this cigar will match its quality.

I usually like the Rocky Patel labels, but never have I had a more uneven box of cigars than the Strada. I’ll come back to flavor in a moment, as the quality is where they suffer the most. One cigar will burn fine, but the next will have burn issues and either fizzle out or burn unevenly. Two of them spat and sputtered, as if burning into pockets of moisture, and one popped a few times and sprayed small bits of burning ash onto my table. I thought it might be a problem with my humidor, but none of my other cigars have had these problems.

The Strada is billed as a medium-body smoke, but I would rate it closer to full. The draw gives up pleasant hints of pepper, but the finish is leathery. Those that burned well, I mostly enjoyed. Those that did not left a very dry, ashy finish on the palate that required a strong drink for balance. Avoid sweet cocktails; that’ll just be a mess.

Construction varied as well. None unraveled during smoking, nor did any break or crack during cutting. The ash was often brittle, however, making them a messy cigar and a bit of a gamble to smoke while getting some work done at a laptop. Even a short ash might break off while puffing, which has happened to me twice while typing this post.

Like most of my sticks, they were on sale. Where I lucked out with the Gurkha Legend, the Rocky Patel Strada is a good reminder that in most cases I get what I pay for and I should probably stash away some extra pennies and stick to my favorites.

But hey, at least the Straight Edge is still killer, as I’ve previously written.

On to the next batch.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Smoke Blog: Rocky Patel American Market

I felt like I shouldn’t have another cigar this week, but last night I needed to get some work done so I grabbed one anyway. It’s a sacrifice I’m prepared to make to ensure I get some quiet time and get some writing done.

The Rocky Patel American Market has a smooth texture and a dusty blonde Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, promising a milder smoke. In fact, the wrapper combined with the Honduran and Nicaraguan fillers reminded me a bit of my go-to favorite, the Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real. The American Market’s flavor is a little more peppery than the creamy Reserva Real, but it, too, is one I think could easily be passed around to rookie smokers.

The cigar lit with ease and burned clean with an easy draw. I liked that the ash held fast until I tapped it off, a good bonus when I’m working over a laptop and am focused on the screen rather than the cigar. The American Market stayed consistent right down to my fingers, and while I could feel it heating up, the flavor did not sour.

A quick price check online suggests this wouldn’t be a bad option for filling out the humidor for visitors or for a quick and casual smoke. There’s enough there to keep a cigar smoker interested, but it’s not going to knock that friend who insists on smoking Swisher Sweets on his ass. Unless one has a strong preference for a lighter smoke, however, I don’t see it displacing anything else in the humidor.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Smoke Blog: Rocky Patel It’s a Girl!

A good friend of mine had a baby last week, and given I’ve turned him into a fan of quality cigars, he went out and purchased some good ones to hand out and celebrate: the Rocky Patel It’s a Girl! cigar.

Most of the time, the birth celebration cigars are little things with cheap bands and, more often than not, machine-cut or shredded tobacco, made for someone who doesn’t know better and figures he should hand out cigars to celebrate. These RP smokes, though, come built and packaged like any other Rocky Patel cigar you’d find in a quality smoke shop. Very impressive.

I chose to bring my cigar to the bar to enjoy while watching the fight Saturday night.

It's a Girl!

Celebrating in style

The toro-sized smoke boasts a Nicaraguan filler with a Connecticut shade wrapper, and I enjoyed it with a Smithwick’s Irish ale.

What a great pairing. The smoke’s smooth texture did not overpower the beer, nor did the beer sour the subtle, earthen aroma of the cigar. The cigar burned clean, held its ash well, and gave up plenty of smoke yet offered a clean finish. I find myself hoping my friend’s other friends & family members aren’t smokers and he’s able to save our smoking circle a few more.

Dads-to-be, if you want to treat your friends right with a truly enjoyable cigar, look no further. Pick up a box of these beauties and you’ll have a hit on your hands.

Then send me one, because I’m sure as hell not having any more kids.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Smoke Blog: The Backlog

The end of summer has been busy, and over the past few weeks I’ve accumulated a pocket full of cigar bands with every intention of blogging about them. Something would get in the way, pretty soon I’d have another smoke, then not be able to blog about it, and so on. As such I don’t have a lot of notes on these bad boys, but I can give you the impressions I had, as well as record said impressions for the next time I go smoke shopping.

Kristoff Sumatra Robusto: I remember liking this one quite a bit. Kristoff has a good thing going, especially for a somewhat local brand. Between this one and the Ligero I smoked a couple of months ago, it’s a brand that will grace my humidor in the future.

Quesada Tributo: I’d never heard of this brand, but reading a description I found (Ecuadorian wrapper, Nicaraguan Ligero binder, over a blend of Nicaraguan and Dominican Ligeros) makes me think I snapped it up myself. I dig on Ligeros, and I remember digging on this cigar.

Patel Brothers: My friend John picked up a box of these cheap. I forget why they were cheap (trouble moving them?), but after his shop went from 40 boxes to 3 in just a couple of days, he snagged one for himself. Three of us sampled one, and we all really enjoyed them. Not really surprising given it’s a Rocky Patel product.

Sancho Panza: This one gets the “meh” review. A Honduran smoke, the only previous experience I had with Sancho Panza was a small tin of cigarillos a friend bought several years back. Those were dark and heavy on the palate, and this one wasn’t far off. It found its groove about halfway through, but I wasn’t sure if it was because I got used to it or if it was something in the blend. I don’t know where they rank amongst other premium brands, but I’m thinking it’s just not a brand for me.

That about does it. I had another JFR in there somewhere, a fat one this time. It was okay, not as good as one I’d had previously. From here on in I’ll have to take better notes during smokes, or get on the keyboard much faster. Summer’s a bitch that way, and now school is starting again already.

Yay.

 

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Smoke Blog: Rocky Patel The Edge

Of course this was a good smoke. Come on, it’s a Rocky Patel.

The Edge apparently comes in two different wrappers, and I had the Corojo wrapper. This surprised me, as I don’t normally dig on the Corojo. It’s just a personal flavor preference. This cigar had a nice, bold smoke that didn’t overwhelm the palate. A good draw, an even burn, solid construction, just an all-around good smoke. It did turn a bit harsh near the end, as it didn’t react well to my relights. However, given this isn’t normal cigar-smoking behavior, I can’t fault the maker for that one.

Besides, relights for me are a good sign: it means I’m too into what I’m writing to take my fingers off the keyboard for a puff on the cigar.

There are only three smokes in my humidor left: a Gurkha Black Beauty and a Padron from my publisher, and a Tatuaje The Face special edition cigar I purchased on a special buy from my cousin. I look forward to all three, and I’ll have to save one to celebrate the finish of Lie with the Dead, but this is not good. Time to start shopping for box deals or to hit a shop with a good humidor and pick up some variety again.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Smoke Blog: Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary (with Accidental Tequila)

A friend picked up a handful of cigars for his birthday the other day, and I was happy to help him smoke them. He handed me a Rocky Patel Fifteenth Anniversary, a handsome, box-pressed cigar with a dark wrapper and a pleasant scent. A quick prayer to Google told me it had an Ecuadorian wrapper grown from Habano seed.

It had a bold, peppery taste on first light, but it settled back to a full-bodied texture with a leathery finish that settled in easily. The easy draw produced plenty of smoke, and it held together well, even after I dropped it in tequila.

Yes, tequila. Another friend bought a round of Patrón shots, served up in a wider glass to accommodate lime slices. I needed both hands for a moment and the ashtray didn’t have a proper lip, so I rested the cigar across the mouth of the glass. Unfortunately these big paws I have for hands bumped it and the cigar went ash-first into the tequila.

I’m not one to let a cigar go to waste. I pulled it out of the drink and used my knife to cut off about a half inch of the cigar. It crushed a little, but I got it lit again with little trouble. Surprisingly, this didn’t kill the draw or the taste, and after a minute it was like it never happened. Now that’s construction!

And yes, I still did the shot with a little ash in it. I don’t waste good liquor, either.

All in all a fine smoke. It’s a little heavy and leathery to be among my favorites, but I certainly wouldn’t turn another down in the future. If you’re a Rocky Patel fan, I’m sure you’ll find it a worthy entry to the line.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Smoke Blog: RP Fusion MM

It’s tough to go wrong with a good Rocky Patel, and the Fusion MM is no exception.

Rocky Patel Fusion MM

Beauty.

I dropped by the only late-night refuge for cigar smokers in Peoria that I’m aware of, a bar with a canvas-enclosed patio area called Kouri’s. They’ve got a small bar out there, a big fireplace, a couple of space heaters, and plenty of seats. That’s capitalism for you: when the law limits your business, find a loophole and suck in your competitors’ losses.

It’s the only environment for a smoke like this: warm enough you can take your time, and with plenty to eat or drink so you don’t feel like you’re wasting it. Nothing sucks harder than having to stub out a good cigar because it’s too cold to sit out on the porch or in the garage.

And this Fusion kept me going for almost two hours. It’s a rich cigar, medium- to full-bodied, with plenty of light smoke. It carries a fine, leathery flavor, and the smoke leaves an oily sheen on the tongue and palate. It’s that sheen I found most remarkable about this cigar. I chose to wash it away between puffs with a bolder beer — a Sam Adams — based on previous experience with a similar sheen. This one washed away clean with just a couple sips, then returned just as easily. When I finished the cigar, it didn’t cling with a nasty aftertaste, like some of its lesser competitors tend to do. Very impressive.

I also discovered the quality construction the hard way. Poor planning left me without a proper cutter for a torpedo, so I was forced to use my folding knife to clip the head. This isn’t the best tool to use, as even with a sharp knife, one side of the cigar is crushing against a flat surface rather than being cut. A good, sharp cutter will hit both sides and result in less crush, and won’t threaten the draw. With the Fusion, I chopped through the head, poked it once or twice with the tip of the knife, and was in business. No ragged flakes, no unfurling wrapper.

All around a good smoke. I’m sure I’ll buy more.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.