|Freedom by Rocky Patel|
The Freedom by Rocky Patel was one of six new blends launched by Rocky Patel Premium Cigars at the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show. The name Freedom can easily be connected to company President Rocky Patel’s crusade to protect cigar rights. Patel has spent a considerable amount of both resources and time to fight anti-tobacco factions. The name Freedom is dedicated to being able to continue to enjoy a legal product like a cigar. In the end, a cigar is always going to come down to the experience it delivers. In the case of the Freedom by Rocky Patel, this has proven to be one of the better oscuro wrapper releases in 2012.
The Freedom by Rocky Patel marks the second year Rocky Patel Premium Cigars has released an oscuro wrapper cigar. 2011’s limited edition Rocky Patel Fifty (our #12 Cigar for 2011) also used an oscuro wrapper. Oscuro wrapper typically uses a high priming tobacco from the plant. In addition to being darker to begin with, it goes through a fermentation and aging process that also results in a very dark wrapper. The wrapper isn’t necessarily black in color, however in the case of the Freedom this definitely is a darker oscuro.
Let’s break down the Freedom by Rocky Patel and see what this cigar brings to the table.
In addition to the oscuro wrapper, the Freedom also is bunched with Nicaraguan tobaccos.
The Freedom by Rocky Patel is currently available in four vitolas:
Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 x 52
Torpedo: 6 1/8 x 52
Sixty: 6 x 60
For this cigar experience, I selected the Toro vitola. The oscuro wrapper of the Freedom by Rocky Patel has a dark chocolate color to it. The wrapper very much has a natural look and it is not a jet black color. The wrapper itself has an oily complexion to it. The dark color of the wrapper does a good job at hiding the wrapper seams, however there are some visible veins.
The band features a red, white, blue, and silver color scheme. There are lots of stars and stripes on the band – representative of the theme of “Freedom”. At the center of the band, the “RP” logo is featured in red and white. Below the RP logo it says “FREEDOM” in red font on a white ribbon background.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
I opted for a straight cut into the cap of the Freedom by Rocky Patel. After removing the cap, it was then on to commence with the pre-light draw. The dry draw notes of the cigar provided me mostly notes of leather. I also detected secondary notes of pepper and chocolate. While it wasn’t the most exciting pre-light draw, I still considered it satisfactory. We don’t factor the pre-light experience into the final assessment rating and score, so there was no loss of points here. It was now time to fire up the Freedom by Rocky Patel and see what the smoking experience would bring to the table.
After lighting the Freedom by Rocky Patel, I was treated to a combination of mocha and leather notes. I also was picking up some pepper spice that was more prominent on the after-draw. As the cigar experience progressed through the first third, it was the mocha notes that moved out in front. The pepper spice remained on the after-draw. Meanwhile the leather notes moved to the background where they were joined by nut flavors.
In the second half of the cigar experience, it was the nut flavors that would move into the forefront. The mocha notes dialed back a bit and became more of a complementary flavor. The spice was now present on the full draw. As the cigar experience moved through the final third, the pepper increased but never became overwhelming, The resulting nub was ideal – cool in temperature and firm to the touch.
Burn and Draw
The construction of the Freedom by Rocky Patel is outstanding. This construction is reflected very nicely in the attributes of burn and draw. From a burn perspective, the Freedom maintained a relatively straight burn line – requiring little maintenance from my butane lighter. The resulting ash was a salt and pepper color. It was slightly on the loose side and there was some slight flowering – however, for the most part the ash was fine. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to the Freedom was outstanding. This cigar was a joy to smoke from start to finish.
Strength and Body
The Freedom by Rocky Patel is one of those cigars that is not going to be too overpowering, and not overly bold on its flavors. From a nicotine standpoint, this cigar is your classic medium strength smoke. It has just enough kick to satisfy a good cross section of cigar enthusiasts. From a depth of flavors standpoint, there is what I term “just enough depth” to them. I assessed the Freedom to be a medium-bodied smoke. Overall there is a nice balance between the strength and body with neither attribute having an advantage over the other.
With six new blends, and seven releases overall I wasn’t sure where the Freedom would fit into the scheme of things. This is actually a very good cigar, and should make an excellent core line addition into the Rocky Patel Premium Cigars family. It is a terrific medium strength/medium-bodied oscuro that has excellent construction. This is definitely a cigar I would recommend to a novice enthusiasts – and it’s a great cigar for someone to try their first oscuro without overpowering them. I’d also recommend this to experienced cigar enthusiasts, however those who like full strength/full-bodied cigars might be expected more of a full profile. As for myself, this is certainly a cigar I would reach for again.
Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Burners Cigars in Huntersville, North Carolina.