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When Rocky Patel stopped by our offices for a visit back in April he was very excited about some upcoming releases that would make their debut at the 2013 Trade Show, one of which was the Rocky Patel Royale. This new blend is comprised of Nicaraguan filler tobaccos beneath a two binders: a Connecticut Broadleaf and a Connecticut Shade, topped off by an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper leaf and finished with a Cuban-style box press. This week when we received a fresh batch of Rocky product it dawned on me that it had been quite a while since I had lit up anything from Mr. Patel, so for this week’s review I decided to crack into a sample of the new Rocky Patel Royale Robusto (5×52.)
The Royale Robusto was nicely packed into a neat box-press shape with seamless construction. Its silky Sumatra wrapper was an even reddish-brown hue from head to foot, and pre-light tastes were of apple-smoked cedar with some tangy spice. Maybe it’s because I’m a product of the 90’s era, but I cannot say or think of this cigar’s name without being reminded of John Travolta’s bit about French fast food joints from Pulp Fiction. If you do not get that reference, I am sorely disappointed in you.
After a near-effortless light the smoke began with lots of spicy black pepper coupled with a malty taste and notes of unsweetened cocoa. Eventually the pepper cooled off enough to make way for a rich cedar flavor to emerge. Tons of thick, milky smoke was flowing with each pull and the burn was as straight as they come.
In the second third a malty caramel sweetness became apparent and took its place at the core of the cigar’s profile. I was also picking up notes of salt and dark roast coffee through a wide open draw as the smoke remained very rich with palate-coating full flavor.
After an especially bold intro and mid-section the cigar’s final third was surprisingly smooth, in a buttery, silky way. The elusive “salted pretzel” note reared its head during this portion, though not in as pronounced a way as I’ve experienced in other smokes. As a final flavor development, a subtle creaminess trickled in to work as a negotiator for the deep, sweet, and spicy notes that had been building since I lit the cigar.
The Rocky Patel Royale had the layered flavors and complexity that can be found in Rocky’s best blends. Fans of Rocky’s Decade and Vintage Series might be most familiar with this. Despite its intense flavor, the Royale’s strength level keeps to an even medium from beginning to end, making it an easygoing smoke that allows you to concentrate on its many flavor nuances rather than making you sweat. Truth be told, I enjoyed the Rocky Patel Royale more than I had anticipated and I would gladly smoke one again. Today I’m giving it an A grade, grab a 6-pack here to see for yourself what this dynamically tasty new blend is all about.