In 2020, Rocky Patel Premium Cigars announced the third incarnation of the Rocky Patel Winter Collection. The story of the Winter Collection dates back to 2008 when Rocky Patel launched a series of limited edition cigars to coincide with each of the four seasons. This series included the Spring Collection, Summer Collection, Autumn Collection, and Winter Collection. Of the four blends, it was the original Winter Collection that built up a core following. Since then, this has led to a limited edition Rocky Patel Winter Collection 2012 and now a regular production Winter Collection 2020. Today we take a look at the Winter Collection 2012 in the Robusto size.
Each of the three incarnations of the Winter Collection has had a different blend, and each has incorporated a different wrapper. This was a cigar that featured a Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper and was produced at AJ Fernandez’s factory. This led to the return of the Winter Collection in 2012 with the Rocky Patel Winter Collection 2012. The 2012 edition was a box-pressed line that featured a completely different blend and utilized an Ecuadorian Maduro wrapper. The Winter Collection 2020 is a parejo (rounded line) that also features a different blend highlighted by a San Andres Mexican wrapper.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Rocky Patel Winter Collection 2020 Robusto and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
In addition to the Mexican San Andres wrapper, the Rocky Patel Winter Collection 2020 features a Nicaraguan binder and a combination of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos for the filler. Production is handled out of Rocky Patel’s Tabacalera Villa Cuba S.A. (TAVICUSA) factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Filler: Honduran, Nicaragua
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacalera Villa Cuba S.A. (TAVICUSA)
The Rocky Patel Winter Collection 2020 is available in four sizes. Each is presented in 20-count boxes.
Corona: 5 1/2 x 42
Robusto: 5 1/2 x 50
Toro: 6 1/2 x 52
Sixty: 6 x 60
The Mexican San Andres wrapper of the Rocky Patel Winter Collection 2020 Robusto had a coffee bean color to it. This certainly wasn’t the darkest shade I’ve seen on a San Andres wrapper. At the same time, the wrapper was still dark enough to hide many of the wrapper seams. There also were some visible veins on the wrapper.
The Rocky Patel Winter Collection 2020 features two bands. The primary band features the RP circulus logo on a black circular background. There is a silver stripe protruding to the left and right of the band on the upper portion of the band. In addition, there is a purple stripe protruding to the left and right on the lower portion of the brand. On the purple stripe is the text “Rocky” and “Patel” on the left and right side of the band respectively. The lower trim of the band is also silver.
The secondary band rests just below the primary band. This band is silver with “Winter Collection 2012” in purple. There are two thin black stripes on the top and bottom of the band.
Prior to lighting up the Rocky Patel Winter Collection 2020 Robusto, a straight cut was used to remove the cap. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered a mix of earth, baker’s spice, white pepper, and a natural tobacco note with a wine-like flavor. The wine-like flavor was subtle and was more of an extension of the natural tobacco. Overall this was an excellent (and unique) pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to light up the Rocky Patel Winter Collection Robusto and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Rocky Patel Winter Collection 2020 Robusto picked up where the pre-light draw left off with more notes of earth, baker’s spice, white pepper, and more of the natural tobacco/wine flavor. Early on the earth notes moved into the forefront. As the cigar moved through the first third, a rich coffee note joined the earth notes in the forefront. Meanwhile the retro-hale delivered an additional layer of an exotic spice.
The second third saw the coffee and earth notes remain primary. The natural tobacco/wine notes remained constant. During this third, there was an increase in both the baker’s spice and white pepper notes. While the spice component increased, the baker’s spice and white pepper remained secondary notes.
There wasn’t much change going into the final third. The coffee and earth notes remained primary. The white pepper, baker’s spice, and natural tobacco/wine notes rounded out the flavor profile. This is the way the Rocky Patel Winter Collection 2020 Robusto came to a close. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The Rocky Patel Winter Collection 2020 Robusto maintained a straight burn path, but the burn line was quite wavy. This was wavy enough to warrant several touch-ups along the way. The number of touch-ups was more frequent than I prefer. The resulting ash was tight with a near-white color to it. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to the Rocky Patel Winter Collection 2020 Robusto was in the sweet spot of having a slight amount of resistance to it. At the same time, this was a low-maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
The Rocky Patel Winter Collection was a medium strength, medium to full-bodied cigar from start to finish. There wasn’t much in the way of variance of the intensity levels of the strength and body. In terms of strength versus body, the body maintained the edge throughout the smoking experience.
The Summer of ’20 saw Rocky Patel introduce four new blends into the U.S. market. Much of the attention was on the Rocky Patel Quarter Century release. I have no problem saying the Rocky Patel Winter Collection 2020 was the one that flew under the radar the most. The Winter Collection 2020 Robusto was a home run flavorwise. In fact from a flavor perspective, I have no problem putting this toward the top of Rocky Patel’s releases. In the end, this is a cigar I could recommend to anyone. At 92 points, it exceeds the threshold for Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence. It’s a cigar I would not only buy a box of, but it’s one I’d fight Chuck Norris for.
Key Flavors: Coffee, Earth, Natural Tobacco, Wine, Baker’s Spice, White Pepper, Exotic Spice
Burn: Very Good
Body: Medium to Full
Finish: Very Good
Value: Fight Chuck Norris for Them
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop