Rocky Patel Thunder by Nimish

With four new cigars that were unveiled at the 2011 IPCPR retail trade show, it was going to be a busy year for Rocky Patel Premium Cigars.   Add to the fact that EO Brands has two new releases and there is a new Java cigar, it’s no surprise that Rocky Patel himself has enlisted some help from his family for this year..  One of the two new cigars is done by Rocky’s brother Nish Patel and its called the Xen by Nish Patel.   The other new cigar was blended by Rocky’s cousin Nimish Desai and it is called “Thunder by Nimish”.   The Thunder has been getting a lot of buzz in the cigar industry for the past few months.   While I did not sample one at the IPCPR trade show, the folks who did have had very positive things to say about.  I have even heard detractors of Rocky Patel have give this cigar some praise.   The Thunder has now hit the retail shelves and I’ve gotten an opportunity to sample it.  Overall, it’s a positive addition to the portfolio of Rocky Patel Premium Cigars.

Without further adieu, let’s take a closer look at Rocky Patel’s Thunder by Nimish.

Blend Profile

The blend is interesting to say the least.  The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper gives the cigar a bold look.  It looks like a maduro, but gets its dark color from high priming leaves.  It contains a double-binder from Nicaragua and Honduras.   I’m also intrigued by the use of Costa Rican tobacco in the filler.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan, Honduran
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran and Costa Rican

Vitolas Available

At the time of this assessment, there are three vitolas available for the Thunder by Nimish.

Robusto: 4 1/2 x 52
Toro: 6 x 52
Torpedo: 6 1/8 x 52

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

For this cigar experience, I opted for the Toro vitola.   I placed a straight cut into the Ecuadorian Habano cap and commenced the pre-light draw.  It took me a couple of minutes to put my finger on the pre-light draw flavor profile, but it eventually came to me.   There were notes of leather, chocolate, white pepper, and even a plum-like sweetness in the background.  I found the pre-light draw to be outstanding.   It was now on to light the Thunder by Nimish and see what it would bring to the table.

Flavor Profile

On what I had heard about the Thunder, this cigar was going to hit me with a pepper blast – a-la Don Pepin Garcia style.   This was not the case in the samples I had.  I did get some pepper on the onset, but I wouldn’t say this was a spice bomb. I was told by one person that he felt the Robusto provided more pepper on the onset than the Toro, but I have not smoked the Robusto as of yet.

Meanwhile the initial flavors provided me with some classic chocolate and leather notes with some degree of pepper, but the pepper was more complementary here.  The pepper slowly increased in intensity, but still no spice bomb.  I also began to detect some caramel sweetness in the early part of the cigar experience. I was hoping to some of the plum notes on the pre-light draw to return, but this was not the case.  By the end of the first third, there were some notes of cinnamon that emerged.

As the smoke of the Thunder moved into the second third, the pepper spice, caramel, and chocolate took turns on which flavor note was in the forefront.   Once the Thunder progressed to the last third, I expected the pepper spice to win out – and that’ exactly what happened.  With many cigars, usually when it gets spicy toward the end, it is at the expense of the other flavors, but not the case with the Thunder.   The end result was a smooth finish.  The resulting nub was a little warm, but it was firm.

Burn and Draw

The burn of the Thunder by Nimesh started out very sharp.  It produced a strong white ash.  As the cigar moved into the second third, it did require several touch-ups to keep it burning straight – probably more than I would have liked.  The touch-ups worked, but it became a little annoying.   The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.   As for the draw, it was very good – it made smoking the Thunder very enjoyable.

Strength and Body

From a nicotine perspective, this cigar is going to pack some kick.   For most of the smoking experience, I rated on the upper end of  medium to full on the strength spectrum.   On the last third of the Thunder, it definitely migrates into the full range for strength.  As for the body, the flavor notes really have some nice depth to them.  This cigar easily qualifies as a full-bodied smoke in my book.

Final Thoughts

With the introduction of 2010’s Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary, I’ve liked what have I been seeing from Rocky Patel Premium Cigars over the past year.   The Thunder by Nimish provides a flavorful cigar with some punch.   I do believe this cigar will be a staple of the Rocky Patel portfolio for many years to come.   I’m not sure I would put this in the hands of a novice enthusiast as this might pack a little too much cigar for the newbie.  The experienced cigar smoker who likes a stronger, robust cigar will enjoy this.  I believe I will be smoking many more of these.


Burn: Good
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium to Full (Full on last third)
Body: Full
Assessment: Nice to Have

Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Empire Cigars in Raleigh, North Carolina.