Rocky Patel Spring Collection 2009

I recently got a re-interest in Rocky Patel’s Seasonal collection cigars when I saw Rocky down at an event in Greenville, South Carolina.   I had asked Rocky if he was thinking of reviving this line of cigars and he proceeded to tell me that the current Patel Brothers cigar was in fact that Rocky Patel Winter Collection 2008.   It was following that comment that I began to take an interest in what was made up the blend in each of these seasonal collection releases – therefore I figured it was time to sample some more of these.    For this round, I opted to sample the Rocky Patel Spring Collection 2009.

Rocky Patel’s Seasonal Collections were limited run cigars that were meant to coincide with each of the four seasons.  If you’ve sampled these, the blend was almost meant to coincide with the spirit of the season.  Rocky Patel discontinued the series after 2009, and its a shame because this was something I always looked forward to.  Some of the releases are easier to find than others,.  I would definitely place the Spring Collection 2009 release as one of the easier ones to find – even at the time of this writing.

To my surprise Pennsylvania Broadleaf was a part of the Spring Collection 2009.   This tobacco was used as the wrapper on the Winter Collection 2008 (probably one of the more popular releases in the series) – which then went on to become the Patel Brothers.   Here is a closer look at the blend:

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder:  Pennsylvania Broadleaf (Nicaraguan grown)
Filler: Nicaraguan

The Spring Collection 2009 was available in three vitolas. The Robusto size seems to be the easiest one to find (at time of this writing):

Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 x 50
Torpedo: 6 1/2 x 52

For this cigar experience, I skipped the pre-light ritual, and opted to punch a hole into the cap.  It was then time to toast the foot and enjoy this limited production cigar.  I opted to go with the Robusto si for this one – and it had a nice plume on it, so it was ready to go.

The complexity of this cigar was terrific right out of the gate as I got lots of flavors to start. The initial notes I got from this experience were a combination of pepper and char.  This was not a harsh char, but a nice one that you would find on a piece of grilled meat.    The pepper and char spice quickly settled into a combination of light nut notes complemented by some “old school mustiness”.   At this early stage, the cigar really had an old school feel to it, and this was still early into the smoke.  The nut notes will increase and take on a sweet flavor – almost hazelnut coffee-like.   This will eventually push out the mustiness.

Unfortunately, I wish some of the complexity and body of the first third would have remained.   As I entered the second third of this smoke, the hazelnut sweetness begian to fade.  I did notice some of the char flavors re-emerge, but the body of this cigar transitioned to more of straight wood by the end of the second third.  In the final part of this smoke, some of the sweetness returned, but it was more cedar-like than like the hazelnut that I got earlier on.

Unfortunately as I got toward the end, while the nub was cool and firm, the smoke had taken on some very harsh notes at the end, While this cigar did not burn hot, it did not burn very evenly.  It required more touch-ups than I would have liked.   The draw was good, but not flawless.   I’m inclined to think some of these issues contributed to the harsh finish.

The strength of this cigar is definitely a solid medium – not going to knock you over.   I’d place the body of the flavor notes in the medium range as well – although there were isolated times they were medium to full.   The notes of nut, hazelnut, cedar, and even some of the char – not overpowering really did remind me of Spring, so kudos to Rocky for helping capture the spirit of the season.

The story with the Spring Collection 2009 seems to be consistent each time – what promises out very strong does under-deliver in terms of the finish.  In my opinion, its not a bad cigar, but there probably are other releases of the Seasonal collection that might perform a little better.

Burn: Fair
Draw: Good
Complexity: Low
Strength: Medium
Body: Medium (Some isolated cases of Medium to Full)
Assessment: See What You Think