RP continues to live up to his reputation as being the "Sam Adams" of the cigar industry. Too many blends with not enough emphasis placed on the complexity or flavors in a consistent manner. Pretty boxes with generic tasting sticks in them for the most part.
Review: Rocky Patel Edición Unica 2011
In late 2011, Rocky Patel quietly shipped the Rocky Patel Edición Unica 2011 to a select amount of retailers. For most, this was just another in the long line of releases for a company noted for their sometimes overwhelming amount of new cigars. The reality is, it wasn’t just another release, it actually might have been the most controversial cigar of 2011.
The Rocky Patel Edición Unica 2011 is billed as the winning cigar from the inaugural Humo Jaguar Festival, the Honduran cigar festival.
A news article from February provides more detail:
TEGUCIGALPA. – The deployment of the economic power of the Honduran industry tobacco, was shown nationally and internationally during the Smoke Jaguar Festival 2011, which closed on February 13 in Tegucigalpa.
The last day of the event offered a unique show at the legendary park “Herrera” of Tegucigalpa and then in the National Identity Museum, a place where they performed the closing ceremony of the program.
The activity carried out for 5 days, resulted in the selection of the winner of the first among the companies involved and have placed Honduras as a strong exporter of tobacco.
National and international tasters were conquered by the Honduran tobacco ancestral virtues, however, was danlidense Plasencia Tobacco Company, which brokered the first place.
Plasencia Cigar, founded in 1898 as well as a prize may market a limited edition with the name of Smoke Jaguar.
The festival, named after the powerful Mayan king Smoke Jaguar known as the “divine lord of water and earth”, was held from February 13 in the presence of more than one hundred producers, marketers, experts, amateurs and journalists from some 17 countries from America, Asia and Europe.
It should be noted that one of the strongest sponsors of the event was Ficohsa Bank, who was proud to continue supporting the export sector, which represents an engine for development of Honduras.
Smoke Jaguar Festival Activities The Smoke Jaguar Festival, which was held in the cities of Tegucigalpa, Danlí, San Pedro Sula and Santa Rosa de Copan, achieved its goal: to promote tobacco industry, tourism and investment.
Before closing the visitors had the opportunity to meet the main factories and artisanal producers of tobacco in the region, taste the exquisite cuisine and artistic Honduran.
Participating brands are: Flor de Selva, Rocky Patel, Flor de Copan, Plasencia Cigar, Camacho Cigar Factory Alliance.
So Honduras scored an international hit with Smoke Jaguar, magna activity highlighting the country with a penchant own upper classes of developed nations, which in a balanced taste an exquisite cigar, accompanied by good wine.
Before the 2011 IPCPR trade show, we broke the news that Miami Cigar & Co. would be introducing a host of new cigars, including Humo Jaguar, which they claimed won the Humo Jaguar festival. The cigar would be offered in three vitolas (Robusto, Toro and Gigante) and was made by Plasencia.
Fast forward a few months and Rocky Patel shipped their version. To date, neither company seems to have publicly resolved what actually took place. Miami Cigar & Co. still claims that they have the winning blend, whereas Rocky Patel has described the Miami Cigar & Co. version as a commemorative cigar for the festival, whereas the Edición Unica 2011 is in fact the winning cigar.
Of note, both the Rocky Patel Edición Unica 2011 and Humo Jaguar Toro are 6 x 52 Toros. While the full blends aren’t known, both are Honduran puros and both feature a wrapper grown in Jamastra.
The Rocky Patel Edición Unica 2011 boxes are some of the best. Gigantic 100 count cabinets feature sturdy fixture and great engraving. Each of the boxes are hand-numbered and look like this:
And the particulars.
Cigar Reviewed: Rocky Patel Edición Unica 2011
Country of Origin: Honduras
Factory: El Paraiso
Wrapper: Honduras (Jamastra)
Size: 6 Inches
Ring Gauge: 52
MSRP: $9.00 (Boxes of 100, $900.00)
Release Date: November 2011
Number of Cigars Released: 500 Boxes of 100 Cigars (50,000 Total Cigars)
Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 4
The bands aren’t anything special from Rocky Patel, but the creme-colored bands provide a great contrast with the slightly red wrapper. Aroma off the wrapper is aged tobacco with some caramel and earth and bits of leather. It’s medium-full, likely aided by the use of cellphone. From the foot, the Rocky Patel has notes of hay, nuts, cedar and touches of sweet leather and cocoa. Cold draw provides nuts, cocoa, classic Honduran earth and a touch of black pepper. It’s a bit dry, medium-full and dense.
The first third begins with a nasty sour aroma, but flavor is good with a core nuttiness, some cedar and a bit of Honduran spice. Once again, the Rocky Patel Edición Unica is a bit dry, but the flavors are decently developed. As the cigar progresses, the core solidifies to nuts, cedar, earth and bits of pepper. The cedar note is dominant and the overall profile is clearly Honduran, which isn’t the most popular of tobacco sources these days.
As the Edición Unica continues, it becomes a bit harsher. There’s an added sourness and plum and a shift with the cedar taking over, but the largest change comes from the black pepper. Unlike the first third, where the Rocky Patel possessed a controlled pepper, the second third sees a big harsh black pepper overwhelm the latter portions of the profile. Construction is much like the first, awesome burn, perfect draw and a smoke production that is average, although improving greatly.
Into the final third and I think the medium cigar is getting a lot closer to full. Flavor-wise, things clean up with the pepper dying down, although still remaining harsh, and the cedar becoming even more developed. Once again, Honduras is written all over the cigar. The Edición Unica avoids getting hot and harsh, although I opt to avoid nubbing it.
- Honduran puros are probably the least popular puros amongst major cigar producing countries. Cuban puros? Check. Nicaraguan puros? Definitely. Dominican Puros? FFOX, Litto Gomez Diez, Cien Años, Puro d’Oro, etc. Honduran Puros? Camacho makes a few, Alec Bradley makes Plantation for Thompson, Punch Gran Puro? Unlike the former three countries, the latter requires a bit of Googling.
- The boxes are very-well made, notably the fixtures, but they aren’t very heavy when empty.
- Strength is medium, topping out somewhere in the medium-full.
- The nasty aroma passes quickly.
- Rocky Patel is oftentimes listed as the company that makes too many cigars. While they definitely make a lot of cigars, a quick glance at the 2012 list shows there’s a lot of work to do to catch up with the likes of Tatuaje, Viaje and others.
- I’m pretty sure this is the most expensive box of Rocky Patel to date. This is not the first 100 count for Rocky, whose popular The Edge is sold in 100 count crates.
- As for the most controversial moniker, I still think this is the most controversial release, largely because it’s unclear what actually took place and both manufacturers claim they have the winning blend. Truth be told, if we polled our readers, I assume the Viaje WLP Candela wins quite easily, perhaps for all the wrong reasons.
- I smoked one of these fresh, one a month or so ago and two in the past week. The cigars have definitely gotten better. Maybe in a few months the harshness is gone.
- It burns pretty quick, particularly through the first third, final smoking time ends at one hour and 25 minutes.
- If you’d like to purchase the Rocky Patel Edición Unica 2011, site sponsor Atlantic Cigar has a few in stock, although you need to call 800.887.7877.
The Bottom Line: In my mind, this is what the Decade could age like. The Rocky Patel Edición Unica 2011 has some great detail, but it’s overshadowed by the harshness. Ultimately, the real problem for me is simple: it’s just another Rocky Patel. It’s not bad, it’s actually better than a lot of cigars, but it’s just not enough. As for those wondering the differences between this and the Humo Jaguar: the Humo Jaguar is stronger and less complex, the Rocky Patel burns a lot better and has a bit more detail. Regardless, both cigars could use a bit more in my opinion. I’m not the largest fan of many Rocky Patels, but if I was told to choose one to smoke independent of price: Rocky Patel Fifty, Xen by Nish Patel, Edición Unica 2011 and then a big drop-off for the Vintage series. While it might be one of my favorite Honduran puros, the Rocky Patel Edición Unica 2011 seems slightly overpriced and slightly over billed.
Final Score: 84