|Rocky Patel Summer Collection 2008|
Over the past few weeks, we have sampled various releases from the Rocky Patel Seasonal Collection. This line by Rocky Patel Premium Cigars were a series of limited run cigars meant to coincide with each of the four seasons. This series was discontinued in 2009, but with was brought back to life with the release of the Rocky Patel Winter Collection 2012.
As a result, there has been some renewed interest among cigar enthusiasts for this collection. Today we look at an older release from the series – the Rocky Patel Summer Collection 2008. Overall, while I am not convinced this was a cigar that fit in with the theme of “summer”, I found this to be a solid cigar.
The Rocky Patel Summer Collection 2008 was the first release of the Seasonal Collection series. These cigars sold pretty fast once they hit the retailer shelves. The cigar was produced in A.J. Fernandez’s Tafenic factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. For this particular blend, they happened to make a lancero vitola available – which was the only time a lancero was produced in the Seasonal Collection. In this assessment, we will focus around the lancero.
Let’s take a closer look at the Rocky Patel Summer Collection.
The Rocky Patel Summer Collection features tobaccos from three countries and two continents. Most notable in the blend is the use of a Cameroon binder.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
The Rocky Patel Summer Collection 2008 was produced in limited quantities. The cigar was sold 20 to a box. As mentioned, this is the only blend of the Seasonal Collection series that was made in a lancero.
Lancero: 7 x 38
Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 1/2 x 52
Toro Grande: 6 x 58
The lighting in the picture gives the Rocky Patel Summer Collection 2008 a lighter colored appearance, but I would actually consider this to be a “dark natural” wrapper. It is not quite a regular natural wrapper, but it is not a chocolate colored wrapper either. This is a classic lancero in that it has toothy and veiny qualities to it. There also is a pigtail on the cap. The cigar has a farmhouse aroma to it on the foot.
The Rocky Patel Summer Collection 2008 contains two bands. The first band contains the “RP” Rocky Patel on a red circular background. The RP logo is surrounded by a circle of small silver circles. Under the logo it says “2009” in black font. There is a gold stripe at the top and a gold stripe at the bottom. There is also a gold stripe that is almost like a “ribbon” around the RP logo. On that stripe, it says “Summer” and “Collection” to the left and right respectively. As for the second band, it is a gold background with Rocky Patel in black Font. There is a red stripe at top and bottom.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my Rocky Patel Summer Collection 2008 lancero, I opted to clip the cap of the cigar as opposed to remove the pig-tail. After the cut, I commenced with the pre-light draw. The dry draw flavors started woody, and then progressed to cedary and citrus notes. At this point, it was time to fire up my Summer Collection 2008 cigar and see what else would be in store.
The initial draws of the Rocky Patel Summer Collection 2008 started with some wood and pepper notes. This quickly settles into a combination of coffee and citrus notes with some pepper through the nostrils. The early stages of the Summer Collection 2008 had the coffee notes as primary and citrus notes as secondary. Around the 15 percent mark, I detected some cedar notes that were more tertiary.
As the cigar progressed toward the end of the first third, I noticed the coffee, citrus, and cedar notes began to swap positions and rotate between primary, secondary, and tertiary. This continued into the second half where the citrus and cedar notes finally took control and the coffee notes diminished to more of the background. As the cigar experience moved into the final stages, the cedar spice notes would take center stages. There was still some coffee and citrus, but spice would be the quality around the finish. While the finish was spicy, it was not harsh. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and soft to the touch.
Burn and Draw
Overall, the Rocky Patel Summer Collection 2008 had a very good burn. For the most part it had a straight burn that required few touch-ups. The burn temperature and burn rate were ideal. As for the draw, it was a little tight. Normally I don’t mind a little resistance on a draw, but this one required more effort than I would have preferred.
Strength and Body
The Rocky Patel Summer Collection 2008 was not a cigar that overpowered me from a nicotine or flavor depth level. It does a good job at balancing the attributes of strength and body. From a strength perspective, this cigar did not pack a major punch – but it still had enough to qualify it as a medium strength cigar. The flavor notes had some depth, but they were not the most deep – making this a medium-bodied cigar. The medium-bodied flavor notes made this a smooth smoking experience.
It should be noted that I happened to be lucky enough to find a retailer that had this on the shelf about three months ago. I put this in my humidor for a while, but I was curious to see what time/age had done to this blend. In this case, I’m wondering if the age dulled the flavors a little bit. It seemed like the Summer Collection 2008 always had a little more body to the flavors. I also never got a feel that this was a cigar I’d want to smoke on a warm summer day. Overall, I found this a cigar that could either go to a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, I still preferred (when they were out) the robusto and toro vitolas in this cigar – but the lancero also provided a nice change. This would be a cigar I’d smoke again.
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Cigars, Etc. in Charlotte, North Carolina.