|Rocky Patel Prohibition San Andres (Pre-Release)|
At the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show, Rocky Patel Premium Cigars launched four new cigar lines. One of those lines is called the Rocky Patel Prohibition. For the past few years, company President Rocky Patel has invested many time and resources in the crusade to defend cigar rights. The name of this cigar is a reference to the real threat of regulation now staring the cigar industry in the face. The Prohibition line consists of two distinct blends – one containing a Connecticut Broadleaf and another containing a San Andres Mexican. Today we take a look at a pre-release of the Rocky Patel Prohibition San Andres. Overall I found this cigar to be a real surprise when it came to the San Andres wrapper as it delivered a very good cigar experience.
The company has incorporated the Prohibition theme into the packaging of this cigar. For both the Rocky Patel Prohibition in the Connecticut Broadleaf and San Andres version, the cigars are packaged with loose tobacco in Rocky Patel branded mason jars reminiscent of the Prohibition-era moonshine bootleggers. The jars are also packaged in crates reminiscent of the Prohibition era. This is believed to be Rocky Patel’s first jar release.
|Packaging of Rocky Patel Prohibition
(Cigar Coop IPCPR 2014 Photo)
|Jar Packaging of Rocky Patel Prohibition
(Cigar Coop IPCPR 2014 Photo)
It is time to break down the Rocky Patel Prohibition San Andres and see what this cigar brings to the table. As a disclaimer, this write-up is based on a single cigar smoking experience. Since that cigar is a pre-release we will default to our pre-review format to share some thoughts and perspectives about this cigar. After this cigar hits the retailer shelves, we will revisit this cigar and provide an assessment rating and score.
For completeness we list both blends. These cigars are a product of the vertical integration happening at Rocky Patel Premium Cigars. The binder and filler incorporate Nicaraguan tobacco grown on the Rocky Patel farms. The cigars are also being made at Rocky Patel’s Tavacusa factory.
Prohibition (San Andres)
Wrapper: San Andres Mexican
Prohibition (Connecticut Broadleaf)
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Both cigars are only available in a single size – a 6 1/2 x 52 toro. The cigars are packaged 16 cigars per jar.
The San Andres Wrapper on the Rocky Patel Prohibition San Andres had a classic maduro coffee bean color with a slight colorado red tint to it. The surface of the wrapper had some oil on it. While there were some thin visible veins, the cigar was virtually void of any significant wrapper seams. I was pretty surprised how smooth this San Andres wrapper was as usually this type of wrapper can have more of a rugged feel to it.
This pre-release sample contained a pre-release paper band and did not have the final banding on it.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up the Rocky Patel Prohibition San Andres, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut. After the cap of the Prohibition was removed, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw provided notes of coffee, hazelnut, and a pepper spice that had a lingering effect on the tongue. Overall I was quite pleased with this pre-light draw experience. At this point, I was ready to light up the Rocky Patel Prohibition San Andres and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The start to the Rocky Patel Prohibition San Andres provided notes of white pepper, nut, and coffee. As the cigar moved through the early phases, the primary notes became a sweet, earthy, coffee flavor. The pepper notes became secondary. As the flavor profile took shape the earth / coffee notes became more prominent on the draw while the pepper was more prominent on the after-draw. The retro-hale had notes of white pepper, but I also detected an espresso syrup-like (somewhat heavier) sweetness through the nasal passages as well.
The flavor profile continued throughout the first third. By the second third, there was also a nut flavor I was detecting with the white pepper on the after-draw. As the Prohibition San Andres burned through the second third, I also detected a cream note on the after-draw.
By the last third, the white pepper was now firmly in control. The cream and nut flavors in the background had dissipated. The earthy / coffee flavors were still present in the background. The end of this cigar was a bit spicy but flavorful. The resulting nub was slightly soft but cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Overall I found the Rocky Patel Prohibition San Andres to perform very well in the areas of burn and draw. While there was a slight curvature to the burn line, I found this cigar to maintain a relatively straight burn. The cigar was never in danger of tunneling of canoeing. The resulting ash had a light gray color with some darker speckling mixed in. The ash itself was firm – there was no flowering nor flaking from this ash. and the ash itself came off in nice clean chunks. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of the Rocky Patel Prohibition San Andres|
The draw was not too tight and not too loose. This was a low maintenance cigar to puff on and derive flavors from. In the end, this made this an enjoyable smoking expeience.
Strength and Body
One thing that really impressed me about the Rocky Patel Prohibition San Andres is how well the strength and body countered each other. In fact, this is a cigar where neither attribute overshadowed the other. The Rocky Patel Prohibition San Andres started out as a medium-strength, medium-bodied cigar. By the second half, both the strength and body had increased into the medium to full-range. The end result is you get the best of both worlds from these attributes.
I have been pretty open and candid on my thoughts on the surge in San Andes Mexican wrappers. I’m not convinced the wrapper is the greatest thing since sliced bread. My criticism isn’t over the quality of the tobacco, but simply because this is a tougher wrapper to blend with. Many San Andres cigars have resulted the wrapper overpowering the blend – often with a pungent (sharp) spice). However, even with some spice at the end of the cigar, the Rocky Patel Prohibition San Andres is not one of those cigars.
There have been some Mexcian wrapper releases by Rocky Patel Premium Cigars before. This one has all of the makings of being a winner. This cigar backs up its flashy packaging with an excellent flavors, complexity, balance, and construction. It’s a cigar I’d recommend to a novice looking to move into the medium / medium plus range for strength and body as well as to an experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this will be a cigar I smoke again when it hits the retail shelves.
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)