|Rocky Patel II-XXVI|
The Rocky Patel II-XXVI is a limited release cigar that was launched by Rocky Patel Premium Cigars in 2013. The II-XXVI is the roman numeral for “2-26” – which happens to be Patel’s birthdate. This marks the first major release in 2013 by Rocky Patel Premium Cigars following a very busy year that included launching six new lines at the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show. The Rocky Patel II-XXVI was originally planned to be launched to coincide around the time of Patel’s birthday, but a decision was made to hold off shipment until the April timeframe. With the Rocky Patel II-XXVI now making its way into retailers, I recently had an opportunity to smoke this cigar. Overall, I have found this to provide a complete cigar smoking experience – and it proves to rank as one of the better releases made by Rocky Patel Premium Cigars.
The Rocky Patel II-XXVI is positioned as a premium offering with price points starting at $12.95 and ranging to $14.95. This is the third cigar to commemorate Patel’s birthday. In 2009, the company released the Rocky Patel 1961 (to commemorate the year of Patel’s birth). In 2011, the limited edition Rocky Patel Fifty was released (to commemorate Patel’s 50th birthday). The latter cigar finished as our #12 Cigar for 2011.
Without further adieu, let’s break down the Rocky Patel II-XXVI and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The blend profile that was released by Rocky Patel Premium Cigars in the press release is not what was in the original Cigar Aficionado report that broke this story. We are using the blend profile of the press release.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: San Andres Mexican
Filler: Brazilian Mata Fina, Nicaraguan (Condega, Jamastran Valley, and Ometepe)
The Rocky Patel II-XXVI has been made available in three sizes. There will be 1,000 boxes of 20 produced for each size for a total of 60,000 cigars). The press release had no official announcement of the dimensions, but Cigar Snob magazine reported it as follows:
Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 1/2 x 52
Torpedo: 6 1/8 x 52
For this cigar experience, I smoke the Toro vitola of the Rocky Patel II-XXVI. The Broadleaf wrapper to the Rocky Patel II-XXVI has a dark coffee bean color. Upon close examination, there is some darker marbling. The wrapper has an oily sheen to it. The wrapper really didn’t have any major visible veins. Upon closer examination, the wrapper seams were noticeable.
There are two bands on the II-XXVI. The primary band has a white background. On the center of that band is the circular “RP” logo. in black font with silver trim. There is a series of black and silver “party-like” squares on the band.
The secondary band is also white. It features the text “II-XXVI” in black font with white and silver trim. There is a series of black and silver pin-striping across the top and bottom of the band.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Before lighting up the Rocky Patel II-XXVI, I opted to use a straight cut to remove the cap. It was then on to the pre-light draw phase. The dry draw notes provided notes of leather and what I would term a “sharp” baker’s spice (in other words a noticeable baker’s spice). Overall, I considered the pre-light experience to be satisfactory. At this point, I was ready to light up the Rocky Patel II-XXVI and see what the actual cigar experience would deliver.
The start to the Rocky Patel II-XXVI provided a mix of pepper, leather, and espresso. The leather notes would change over to more of a classic nut flavor by the five percent mark. There was no dominant flavor in the early stages of the cigar as these flavors held throughout the first third of the cigar. On the retro-hale, there was an exotic spice. This spice actually was more subtle on the retro-hale – giving the cigar a very smooth quality.
In the second third, the espresso notes at times took on some variations. There were times the espresso had a “syrupy” (sweeter, richer) characteristic. The espresso also took on some mocha-like characteristics as classic chocolate and cocoa powder notes surfaced from time to time. The pepper notes were also a primary flavor and balanced nicely against the espresso/mocha notes. The nut flavors played more of a secondary role.
In the last third, the pepper spice was the primary flavor. Of the flavors in the espresso/mocha family, it was the cocoa powder notes that remained – and now these notes were a secondary flavor. The nut flavors pretty much dissipated. While the end of the cigar was spicy, there was no harshness. The resulting nub was a true finger-burner – cool in temperature and firm to the touch.
Burn and Draw
The construction on the Rocky Patel II-XXVI is excellent and this was reflected on the burn and draw. The burn line relatively sharp from start to finish – requiring a minimal amount of touch-ups. The resulting ash was tight with a salt and pepper color – with only a couple of minor flakes along the way. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of the Rocky Patel II.XXVI|
The draw was also excellent. It made the II-XXVI a real enjoyable cigar to puff on.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, the Rocky Patel II-XXVI starts out in the medium range. The strength does build up and by the second half, the cigar progresses to medium to full strength. As for the flavors, there is some nice depth to them. The cigar starts out as a full-bodied cigar and it remains that way from start to finish. Overall this is a cigar that pretty much is going emphasize flavor over strength, so the body going to have an edge here.
With all of the cigars being released by Rocky Patel Premium Cigars in the past couple of years, it is easy for cigars to get lost in the portfolio. In the case of the Rocky Patel II-XXVI, this is a stand out cigar. This cigar has a wonderful flavor profile which is supported by some outstanding construction. As mentioned, the II-XXVI does carry a higher price point – $12.95 to $14.95 SRP. While we do not factor price into our assessment ratings and scores, we mention this for informational purposes. Overall this is cigar that I could recommend to a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. Both types of cigar enthusiasts will appreciate the flavors here. As for myself, this would definitely be a cigar I would consider for a box purchase.
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Burners Cigar Company in Huntersville, North Carolina.