Rocky Patel Platinum Robusto (Prerelease)

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Rocky Patel brought six new lines to the 2013 IPCPR trade show and convention, and while none of them were described as the flagship release verbatim, it was clear that Rocky Patel Platinum was the frontrunner for the unofficial award. Platinum was characterized as varying degrees of similar to the Rocky Patel Fifty, a cigar that was received generally well despite the hefty price tag. 

On paper, Platinum appears to be an entirely different blend from Fifty. It uses an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper, San Andrés binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua. As with nearly every new non-The Edge release from Rocky Patel, it is rolled at Tabacalera Villa Cuba S.A. (TAVICUSA), the Estelí, Nicaragua-based factory owned by Rocky Patel and Amilcar Perez Castro. According to the company, at least some of the tobacco used actually comes from the company’s Nicaraguan farms.

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The Rocky Patel Platinum will be released in three different vitolas at launch, all of them box pressed and all sold in boxes of 20. They are:

  • Rocky Patel Platinum Robusto (5 1/2 x 50) – $10.30 (Boxes of 20, $206.00)
  • Rocky Patel Platinum Toro (6 1/2 x 52) – $10.80 (Boxes of 20, $216.00)
  • Rocky Patel Platinum Torpedo (6 1/8 x 52) – $11.00 (Boxes of 20, $220.00)

Here is what the boxes the Rocky Patel Platinum will come in look like:

Rocky Patel Platinum

Rocky Patel Platinum Robusto 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Rocky Patel Platinum Robusto
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacalera Villa Cuba S.A.
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
  • Binder: Mexican San Andrés
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size:  5 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Robusto
  • MSRP: $10.30 (Boxes of 20, $206.00)
  • Release Date: October 2013
  • Number of Cigars to be Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3

The Rocky Patel Platinum is covered in a very dark and rough to the touch espresso brown wrapper and features a soft, yet obvious, box-press. It is a bit softer than I like when squeezed. The aroma emanating from the cigar is a combination of strong earth, leather, cedar and chocolate and the cold draw brings notes of oak, leather and earth, along with an indistinct dark, sweet fruit.

The Rocky Patel Platinum starts off immediately with strong notes of leather, earth, hay, wood and bitter espresso. A nice, light vanilla flavor is immediately noticeable as well, but only on the retrohale. There is a fairly aggressive black pepper present as well, along with some slight spice on the tongue, and both seem to be getting a bit stronger as the first third progresses. Construction-wise, the draw is excellent, while the burn is a way off, forcing me to touch it up a few times. The smoke production is massive, and the strength ends the first third at a solid medium.

Rocky Patel Platinum Robusto 2

There are a few changes in the second third of the Platinum, most notably the black pepper on the retrohale, which has almost totally disappeared by the halfway point. The vanilla sweetness from the first third is still present, but much reduced, and I don’t see it lasting until the end of the smoke. Noticeable flavors stay pretty much the same as well with earth, leather, wood, hay and a bit of a coffee note flowing in and out. The draw remains effortless, and thankfully the burn has evened out nicely, while the smoke production continues to be quite copious.

Rocky Patel Platinum Robusto 3

The final third of the Rocky Patel Platinum Robusto does indeed leave both the sweetness and the pepper on the retrohale behind, replacing it with more flavors of cedar, hay, earth and coffee. Both the burn and draw continue to give no problems at all, and the smoke continues to billow off the foot like a house on fire. However, a major change from the first two thirds is the strength, which ramps up quickly to finish the cigar just below the full mark. The nub does get a bit hot at the end, and I am forced to put the cigar down with about three-quarters of an inch left.            

Rocky Patel Platinum Robusto 4

Final Notes:

  • While researching the Platinum for this review, I found two different videos from the IPCPR show—here and here—where Rocky Patel, the person, says some different things about the blend. In one video he says the cigar uses cover tobacco from the eighth priming, in another he says seventh priming. He also mentions that the Platinum is “very very similar” to the blend used in the Fifty, which also has an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper, according to the info we were given when that cigar launched. Interestingly, both the Rocky Patel Fifty and the Rocky Patel Platinum come in the exact same sizes and vitolas, and both are box-pressed as well. I also find it interesting that the Rocky Patel Platinum Torpedo is exactly half the cost of the Rocky Patel Fifty Torpedo.
  • Having said that, when we emailed them, a representative from Rocky Patel told halfwheel that the cigars are a totally different blend and that the reason they come in the same vitolas as the Rocky Patel Fifty is that those three are the most popular sizes they make.
  • As in years past, the IPCPR show samples that Rocky Patel gives out use plain white paper band with just the name typed on them.
  • I had three different people come up to me during and after the show to tell me how much they enjoyed this blend.
  • While the draw was wonderful for the entire smoke, the burn in the first third was quite bad for my review sample, a surprising thing for a Rocky Patel cigar, as they are usually very well-constructed. It did even up nicely in the second third, and continued that way until the end. In fairness, the other two samples I smoked had no construction issues at all and were a joy to smoke in that regard.
  • As Patrick mentioned in his Bold by Nish Patel review, lots of people give Rocky Patel a hard time for releasing as many blends as he does, but they also discontinue brands at a fairly consistent rate.
  • Platinum is certainly not a new name when it comes to cigars, as the Augusto Reyes Platinum, Baccarat Platinum, Crossfire Platinum, Graycliff Platinum, Gurkha Triad Platinum, La Aurora Preferidos Platinum, Marco V Platinum, Montecristo Platinum, Sencillo Platinum and Zino Platinum.
  • We covered the rest of Rocky Patel’s releases in our post from the IPCPR show last month.
  • The cigars for this review were provided by Rocky Patel Premium Cigars at the 2013 IPCPR show in Las Vegas.
  • The final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 20 minutes.
  • Site sponsors BestCigarPrices.com, Famous Smoke Shop, and Superior Cigars  all have preorder pages online, while site sponsors  Atlantic CigarCigar KingMike’s Cigars and Tobacco Grove are all Rocky Patel authorized retailers.
85 Overall Score

I was pleasantly surprised by this blend from Rocky Patel. While still not the most complex or balanced, the profile of the Platinum has quite a bit of flavor, and the construction on two out of the three that I smoked for this review were excellent. I really wish the sweetness from the first two thirds did not disappear and the pepper on the retrohale stuck around as well. All in all, a fairly good cigar at an okay price and well worth trying.

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Brooks Whittington
About the author

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.

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