|Rocky Patel Royale|
The Rocky Patel Royale is the first of several new cigar blends launched at the 2013 IPCPR by Rocky Patel Premium Cigars to make their way to retail shops. Word of the Royale first surfaced on the 5/11/13 Cigar Dave Show. It was just prior to the IPCPR when the details about this release were disclosed. According the company, this project has going on for six years. The reason given for the length of time is that it took that long to collect the tobaccos from that blend. I recently have had an opportunity to smoke this new cigar. Overall, I found an excellent cigar – and one that could become a brand staple for quite a while.
The blend features an Ecuadorian Sumatra – a type of tobacco that has become a staple in the Rocky Patel line. When Cigar Dave mentioned this cigar, he discussed a blend “C24 Sumatra” which had been selected as the basis for the Rocky Patel Royale blend. It is interesting because in an article in the 4/30/13 Cigar Insider, Executive Vice President Nish Patel mentioned a blend called C24 Sumatra blend being considered for his soon to be released cigar – Bold by Nish Patel.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Royale and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The blend for the Rocky Patel Royale seems to have evolved over the past few months. The following is the latest information reported in the 9/10/13 Cigar Insider. The Royale is being made at Rocky Patel’s Tavicusa factory in Nicaragua.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: (Double): Connecticut Broadleaf, Connecticut Shade
The Royale is being launched in four sizes. Each of the sizes are box-pressed – something that is also a staple in many Rocky Patel Premium Cigar products
Robusto: 5 1/2 x 52
Torpedo: 6 x 52
Toto: 6 1/2 x 54
Colassal: 7 x 62
For this cigar experience I selected the box-press toro size. The RP Royale’s Sumatra wrapper is a classic cross between coffee bean brown and colorado red. There is some darker marbling on the wrapper. The wrapper itself is not very oily. There were a couple of visible veins, but the wrapper does a good job at hiding the wrapper seams. The Royale is also a well-packed box-press.
The RP Royale has a two band scheme that is similar to the one found on many of the Rocky Patel Vintage cigars. The primary band is has a background color that is a combination of rust and brown. All of the font and striping is done in gold. The circular Rocky Patel “RP” logo is at the center of the band. Above the logo is the text “ROCKY PATEL” – surrounding by a gold pinstripe on each side of the text. There is a dotted gold line with a thicker gold pinstripe at the bottom of the band.
There is a secondary band directly below the top band. I also has a rust/brown color with gold font. At the center of that band is the text “ROYALE”. There is thin gold pin striping along with a thicker gold trim on that band.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my smoking experience of the RP Royale, I went with my usual select of a straight cut to start things off. Once the cap was clipped, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. For an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper cigar, the dry draw didn’t provide any real surprises. I detected notes of earth and cedar sweet/spice. While it wasn’t a revolutionary flavor profile on the dry draw, it still was a good one. With a satisfactory experience on the pre-light draw, I was ready to light up the Royale and see what the cigar had in-store.
The start to the RP Royale yielded me notes of citrus, earth, pepper, coffee, and cream. After a few minutes, the coffee notes made their way to the forefront. I found the pepper, earth, and cream notes were secondary. The citrus flavor provided a nice sweetness on the after-draw. The retro-hale had notes of red pepper – it could definitely be detected through the nasal passages.
I found the flavor profile established early held for a good chunk of the cigar experience – although the notes varied slightly along the way. The last third saw the earth flavors move to the forefront while the coffee joined the pepper and cream notes. The citrus was also now less present on the after-draw. I thought the flavors somewhat diminished a bit in the last third. The close to the RP Royale was not overwhelmingly peppery. The resulting nub was outstanding – firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The RP Royale performed very well in terms of its burn and draw. For the most part, the RP Royale burned straight. While I wouldn’t categorize it as razor sharp, it wasn’t totally off-kilt either. There were no issues where the cigar tunneled or canoed. Overall I wouldn’t say this was a “high maintenance” cigar to keep burning straight. The resulting ash was firm with a salt and pepper color. There was minimal flaking along the way. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of the Rocky Patel Royale|
The draw was outstanding. It was not too loose and not too tight. It didn’t require a lot of maintenance to derive the flavors from this cigar. Overall, the RP Royale was pleasing to puff on.
Strength and Body
As far as strength goes, I would not describe the RP Royale as a nicotine bomb. I categorized the cigar as a medium strength cigar from start to finish. As for the flavors, I found they had some nice depth. Overall I assessed the Royale as being a medium to full-bodied smoking experience. The RP Royale is definitely a cigar where it will emphasis flavor over strength.
When I think Ecuadorian Sumatra and box-pressed, there are two Rocky Patel cigars that come to mind – the Rocky Patel Decade and the Rocky Patel Vintage 1992. Both are considered to be outstanding releases by Rocky Patel. Overall, I found the Rocky Patel RP Royale to be a huge surprise. It delivered a lot of nice flavors and had excellent construction. Will it take a place along-side the Decade and Vintage 1992? Time will tell. In any case, I found the RP Royale to be an excellent cigar to give to either a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would reach for and smoke again.
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Burners Cigars in Huntersville, North Carolina.