Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro
In 2018, Rocky Patel Premium Cigars introduced the Rocky Patel Grand Reserve. What would be different about this cigar compared to other Rocky Patel releases is that the Rocky Patel Grand Reserve would be an exclusive cigar offered to the non-U.S. market. At that time, there was still a lot of uncertainty around what new releases could enter the U.S. market, so Rocky Patel Premium Cigars’ strategy was not off the mark. The cigar proved to be successful and in 2020, a decision was made to bring the Rocky Patel Grand Reserve into the U.S. market.
The Rocky Patel Grand Reserve was originally soft-launched in April 2018 at a private three-day event known as Mountain on Fire. Held in Sölden, Austria, this event is described as a three-day luxury experience with 120 guests in attendance, including company president Rocky Patel. 300 boxes of the Grand Reserve were brought to the event and sold out. As a result, the decision was made to formally launch it. The official launch of the Rocky Patel Grand Reserve took place at InterTabac 2018. The U.S. launched was originally slated for the 2020 PCA Trade Show, but the show was cancelled.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
Other than reports the Rocky Patel Grand Reserve contains tobaccos aged two years, details of the blend have not been disclosed. Production for the cigar is handled out of Rocky Patel’s TAVICUSA factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.
Wrapper: Not Disclosed
Binder Not Disclosed
Filler: Not Disclosed
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacalera Villa Cuba S.A. (TAVICUSA)
The Rocky Patel Grand Reserve is offered in three sizes – consistent with many of the sizes found across many of the brands in Rocky Patel Premium Cigars’ portfolio. Each of the three sizes are presented in 10-count boxes.
Robusto: 5 1/2 x 50
Toro: 6 x 52
Sixty: 6 x 60
Packaging of the Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro (Photo Credit: Rocky Patel Premium Cigars)
The wrapper of the Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro had a medium brown color with a slight cinnamon color tint to it. On the surface there was a slight amount of oil on the surface. This was a wrapper that had some visible veins, and there were minimally visible wrapper seams.
The band of the Rocky Patel Grand Reserve has a very similar design to another cigar in the Rocky Patel Premium Cigar portfolio, the Rocky Patel Special Edition, but with a different color scheme. The upper portion of the band has a white background while the lower portion is red (the Special Edition is purple). The upper portion features the Rocky Patel circulos “RP” logo surrounded by gold adornments. On the red section is a white nameplate design with the text “GRAND RESERVE” in gold font. Below the nameplate are some additional gold adornments. The band itself has gold trim, but the red section has some additional white trim on the lower portion.
A straight cut was used to commence the cigar experience of the Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw delivered a mix of natural tobacco, dusty earth, and cedar. Overall this was a satisfactory pre-light draw experience. At this point, it was time to light up the Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro opened up with more notes of natural tobacco, dusty earth, and cedar. In addition, there was a combination of mixed pepper present. Early on the natural tobacco took control with the earth, cedar, and pepper notes settling in the background. On the retro-hale, there was an additional layer of spice more of the red pepper varietal.
During the second third of the Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro, there was a slow gradual increase in both the earth and pepper notes. The earth notes increased at a greater rate than the pepper notes. Meanwhile, the pepper and cedar notes remained grounded in the forefront. Toward the latter part of the second third, the earth notes joined the natural tobacco in the forefront, and near the end of the second third, the earth became the sole dominant note.
The final third saw the earth notes primary with the pepper, natural tobacco, and cedar notes secondary. This is the way the Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro remained until the end. The resulting nub was cool in temperature, but soft to the touch.
While the Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro maintained a relatively straight burn path and burn line, there were several touch-ups along the way. The number of touch-ups was more frequent than I prefer, but they did do the trick of keeping the burn on track. The resulting ash was slightly loose. This was an ash that had a salt and pepper color to it. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both were ideal.
Burn of the Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro
Overall the draw to the Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro was open, but not loose. Normally I prefer to have a little more resistance on the draw. At the same time, this still was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from, yet it wasn’t a cigar for which you had to worry about the combustion.
Strength and Body
The Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro is not a cigar that will be on the bold side. This is a cigar that started out mild to medium in both strength and body. By the second third, the Grand Reserve Toro moved into medium territory for both strength and body where it remained for the rest of the cigar experience.
When comparing strength and body, both attributes of the Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overpowering the other.
The best way to sum up my experience of the Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro is that it does deliver a satisfying smoke. It’s not the best Rocky Patel cigar I’ve had, but it’s not the worst one either. The flavors of the Rocky Patel Grand Reserve are good, but at the same time, there wasn’t a “wow” factor with this cigar either. Coming in at $13.00, this cigar is not on the inexpensive side. While from a pure smoking experience it satisfied me, there are other cigars – including other Rocky Patel cigars, that will offer more bang for the buck. My advice is to give the Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro a try and see if it is something you want to invest in.
Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Earth, Cedar, Pepper
Burn: Very Good
Draw: Very Good
Strength: Mild to Medium (1st Third), Medium (Remainder)
Body: Mild to Medium (1st Third), Medium (Remainder)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Try a Sample
News: Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Heading to U.S.
Brand Reference: Rocky Patel
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted
Rocky Patel Number 6 Robusto
Over the years, Rocky Patel Premium Cigars has been known to introduce a wide variety of brands into the market. I remember once asking company founder Rocky Patel why he introduced so many brands and he told me there are so many great blends and blend derivations that they have come up with and that he wanted to share the better ones with his consumers. At the 2019 IPCPR Trade Show, it didn’t come as a total surprise when the company would unveil two cigars named for the blend codes. These cigars are the Rocky Patel Number 6 and the Rocky Patel LB1. Today we take a closer look at the Rocky Patel Number 6 in the Robusto size.
Over the past few years, Rocky Patel Premium Cigars has placed a lot of attention on its Tabacalera Villa Cuba S.A. (TAVICUSA) factory. This is a boutique factory owned and operated by Rocky Patel in Estelí, Nicaragua. Sometimes we lose sight that Rocky Patel still does a majority of its production up in Danlí, Honduras, at El Paraiso. El Paraiso is a 120,000 square foot facility that is leased to Rocky Patel by the Plasencia family. The Number 6 and LB1 are two brands that come out of Honduras.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Rocky Patel Number 6 Robusto and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
Honduran tobacco is nothing new for Rocky Patel Premium Cigars. The Rocky Patel Edición Unica 2013 is an all-Honduran blend, but lately Rocky Patel Premium Cigars seem to get more attention for its Nicaraguan tobaccos. With the case of the Number 6, this is what I call a “Honduran forward” blend – in that the majority of the tobaccos used in the plenty come from Honduras. This is highlighted by a Honduran Corojo wrapper.
Wrapper: Honduran Corojo
Filler: Honduran, Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Honduras
Factory: El Paraiso
The Rocky Patel Number 6 is offered in five sizes. Each is presented in 20-count boxes. One difference with the Churchill vitola compared to the other four sizes is that the Churchill has an unfinished footer.
Corona: 5 x 44
Robusto: 5 1/2 x 50
Sixty: 6 x 60
Toro: 6 1/2 x 50
Churchill: 7 x 48
The Honduran Corojo wrapper of the Rocky Patel Number 6 Robusto had a medium-shade of brown color to it. Thee was a very light sheen of oil on the surface of the wrapper.This was a wrapper that also had a relatively smooth surface on it. Any visible veins or visible wrapper seams were on the thin side.
The Rocky Patel Number 6 has two bands. The primary one is a large band where part of it covers about half of the length of the Robusto size. Both bands have a black background. At the top of the band is a gold “RP” circular logo. Going down the length of the band vertically is the text “NUMBER 6” in white font. There are some additional black embossments on the band as well. The band is finished with gold trim.
The secondary band is located around the footer. it has a black embossed “RP” circular logo. Surrounding the logo is the text “SINCE” on the left side and “1996” on the right side. Both are in gold font. It has gold trim on the upper and lower edge of the black background of the band.
A straight cut was used to commence the cigar experience of the Rocky Patel Number 6 Robusto. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw experience. The cold draw delivered a mix of sweet natural tobacco and earth. The sweetness from the natural tobacco had almost a mixed fruit quality to it. Overall this was a straightforward, but satisfying pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to remove the footer band of the Rocky Patel Number 6 Robusto, toast up the foot, and proceed into the smoking phase.
The Rocky Patel Number 6 Robusto started out with a combination of sweet natural tobacco, black pepper, earth, cedar, and floral notes. The sweet natural tobacco and earth notes moved into the forefront early on. The pepper and cedar notes settled in the background. The pepper notes were more prominent on the finish of the cigar as well as on the retro-hale.
The second third of the Rocky Patel Number 6 Robusto saw the natural tobacco and earth notes remain in the forefront. During this stage, some of the sweetness diminished and there was a slight bitter component that emerged. The bitterness never became overpowering during the smoking experience. Meanwhile the pepper notes continued to gradually increase in intensity.
By the final third, the pepper notes joined the natural tobacco in the forefront. The natural tobacco maintained a good balance of sweetness and bitterness. There still were notes of earth and cedar in the background. This is the way the smoking experience of the Rocky Patel Number 6 Robusto finished up. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and slightly warm in temperature.
The Rocky Patel Number 6 had somewhat of a jagged-burn line. While this was remedied with touch-ups, there were more frequent touch-ups required than I prefer. At the same time, the Number 6 Robusto was never in danger of going off the burn path. The resulting ash was a medium-gray color. This was an ash that wasn’t overly firm, but it wasn’t loose either. The burn rate was ideal. As for the burn temperature, it remained ideal until the nub where it got slightly warm.
Burn of the Rocky Patel Number 6 Robusto
The draw of the Rocky Patel Number 6 Robusto was excellent. It had a touch of resistance to it – which is something that I like. There was also an ample amount of smoke produced from this cigar.
Strength and Body
Strength-wise, the Rocky Patel Number 6 Robusto falls dead-center medium. However, this is a cigar where the flavors had some depth on the palate – resulting in a medium to full-bodied smoke from start to finish. Throughout the smoking experience, there wasn’t much in the way of variance of intensity levels of the strength and body.
In terms of strength versus body with the Rocky Patel Number 6 Robusto, the body maintained the edge from start to finish.
I’ve heard many people complain when there is a lot of spice up-front in a cigar. I take a similar position when it comes to sweetness. In either case, it is a sign for me that I could be in for a unbalanced flavor profile. This was the case with the Rocky Patel Number 6, but this did correct itself and it made for a much better cigar – particularly in the second third. Once things balanced off, the smoking experience was bette, but nothing to take it to the next level. In the end, this is a cigar I would steer to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast, but I wouldn’t discourage a novice from trying. As for myself, this is a cigar that I would still smoke and buy one to smoke as well. At the same time, this is a cigar that I feel can appeal in some of the other sizes.
Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Earth, Black Pepper, Cedar, Floral
Burn: Very Good
Body: Medium to Full
Value: Buy One
News: Rocky Patel Number 6 Makes Debut at 2019 IPCPR
Brand Reference: Rocky Patel
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop
How we rate cigars?
Rocky Patel Ocean Club – Toro 6.0 X 52
Over the years I have enjoyed many Rocky Patel cigars but I have to admit I have not tried many new blends in some time so this is a review I am looking forward to doing. This blend is one you can't find except on Holts.com and is at a very reasonable price. Time to get to the fun part of our process...
Look and Feel:
The Ocean Club has a medium brown shade wrapper and has a smooth paper feel to the touch. The seams are tight and hard to see and the pack has a fair amount of give. The shape is a semi box pressed cigar with minimal veins providing a slight barnyard aroma to the wrapper. The blend includes a Nicaraguan wrapper, Mexican binder, and fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The pre-light draw offers a good draw with leather, wood, and salt mixed in for good measure.
Off the top, the Ocean Club is an earthy cigar, slightly gritty, mixed with black pepper and cayenne pepper. On occasion you taste a hint of citrus and white pepper. Quickly the flavors moved to a creamy vanilla and floral notes mixed with white and black pepper. The flavor then moved to a strong vanilla cream with just a hint of spice. On the finish you taste the cream move to black pepper and then cayenne pepper. Very smooth medium bodied cigar with very pleasant flavors and a long finish.
The second third slowly moved to a coffee binding flavor with hints of earth. The secondary flavors consist of vanilla cream mixed with nutmeg and clove. Through the nose you get hit with a strong white pepper which is very sharp. The finish is still long with a mixture of earth, black pepper, and some coffee. The body moved to a medium full with a well-balanced mixture of flavors.
The last third continued with a coffee flavor with the vanilla moving to a graham cracker note. The coffee moves to a creamy coffee mixed with sweet spices. The retrohale becomes smoother as the white pepper became mild and smooth. The finish is shorter and very clean with a hint of citrus providing a pleasant ending. The earthy flavor kicks in later in this third losing the complexity that this cigar had for the first two thirds.
The Rocky Patel Ocean Club performed very well especially considering it is a budget cigar. If this cigar was double the price I wouldn't rate it as high but due to the value, this cigar outperforms its price. Offering flavors of earth, coffee, vanilla, graham cracker, black pepper, white pepper, and cayenne pepper, this cigar will fit many smoker profiles. Thank you to Holt's for providing this cigar for review. Check these out in the Rocky Patel Luxury Collection sampler pack on Holt's.com.
Look & Feel:
Flavor & Balance:
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