Released in 2008, the Rocky Patel Decade celebrates the brand’s 10-year anniversary. In this article, you will discover the Rocky Patel Decade as we review it according to the following considerations:
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- Brand: Rocky Patel
- Range: Decade
- Reviewed Vitolas: 6.5 x 52 Toro
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Factory: Taviscua, Nicaragua
- Handmade: Yes
- Body: Full
- Estimated Smoking Time: 95 Minutes
- Pricing: $14 / Single [Buy Now]
The Rocky Patel Decade was first launched as a limited edition and, as they often do, ended up becoming part of the brand’s regular lineup. Today, the Rocky Patel Decade is manufactured at the Tavicusa factory in Esteli under the watchful eye of Hamlet Paredes.
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Rocky Patel Decade Look & Feel
- Wrapper Hue: Antique Oak
- Rolling Consistency: Straight
- Spring: Firm
- Aromas: Tonka Bean, Agarwood, Cacao
Despite a box-pressed shape, the Decade features a remarkably straight construction with no bumps or soft spots. Furthermore, the spring is very firm and occasionally borders on hard. Its wrapper has an antique oak hue as well as a slightly oily sheen that reflects some of the light.
The veins can be a little bit on the rustic side. Indeed, it’s a touch coarse. However, it does actually lend to the cigar’s distinctive style. The aromas of the foot consist of tonka bean, agarwood, and cacao.
Rocky Patel Decade Review
As with all of the cigars that we cover, the Rocky Patel Decade were stored in a Boveda Acrylic Humidor for a period of three weeks with 69% RH Boveda packs. We monitor them with a Boveda Butler to make sure that they’re properly acclimated.
- Draw: Slightly Tight
- Aromas: Chocolate, Tonka Bean, Caraway Seed
Although slightly tight, the draw produces a good airflow overall. Personally, I didn’t find it all that distracting and it doesn’t really bother me that much. Indeed, I do like it when cigars have a bit of resistance. Otherwise, the construction is very good.
In terms of the prelight flavour, it delivers a nice bouquet and features rich notes of chocolate, tonka bean (again), and caraway seeds. The latter offers a slightly bracing and refreshing residue on the lips.
1st Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Cacao, Damson Plum, Pepper
The first third produces a rich, opulent, and full-bodied smoke. There is some minor waviness in the thick and oily burn line. Meanwhile, its flavour profile is dominated by syrupy cacao. You also have an intriguing fruity note, which is a little bit like black cherries but I would liken it to damson plum.
Finally, a strong element of pepper adds texture and substance to the smoke, especially in the retrohale.
2nd Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Coffee Grounds, Black Cherry, Pepper
Unfortunately, burn issues may continue in the second third. However, you can refrain from any touch-ups for now. Otherwise, it displays an impressive ash backbone, which is a beautiful white and steely grey colour.
The cigar’s character has, of course, grown in intensity, but not by much. It’s still quite intense compared to the first third, which was already quite full-bodied. It has developed a slight bitterness and this is reflected in the flavour.
The most dominant of which are coffee grounds or even espresso beans. Meanwhile, the fruitiness of the first third has transitioned from damson plum to cooked black cherry. Nevertheless, it’s not sweet but quite tart.
Furthermore, the pepper note has persisted from the first third. Yet, it hasn’t grown much in intensity despite retaining its presence in both the retrohale and on the tip of the tongue.
Final Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Oak, Pepper
Although its body hasn’t really increased in the final third, this isn’t such a bad thing as it’s already quite full-bodied. Nevertheless, the final third is far less complex than the first two. Indeed, it only delivers an accord of oak and pepper notes. While verbose and profound with a savoury and meaty thickness, it does lack complexity.
That said, the rest of the cigar does provide you with decent complexity with a diverse variety of aromas. Its mouthfeel has a thick and unctuous texture that leaves a slight coating on the tongue.
Similarly, its astringency is balanced even though there were some noticeably bitter and tart flavours. Furthermore, there were developments in each third, but the lifecycle showcase the best transitions that we have experienced in a Rocky Patel cigar.
Although the finish does last for a while, it doesn’t leave refined flavours that linger on the palate. These made fade quite soon.
Finally, the residual scent in the room is fragrant but very strong and almost overpowering. Therefore, make sure that it’s smoked in a well-ventilated environment.
- Ash Backbone: Quite Strong
- Burn Angle: Quite Wavy
- Temperature: Mostly Cool
- Draw: Ideal Airflow
- Final Smoking Time: 95 Minutes
As stated earlier, there were generally minor burning issues throughout the first two thirds. However, the cigar doesn’t require touching up and tends to behave by the final third. I also noted that the draw was somewhat tight in the prelight. Fortunately, for those who don’t enjoy too much resistance, it opens up quite nicely as you smoke it.
It delivers a pleasantly cool smoke, but it may heat up towards the final third. Meanwhile, its ash backbone is excellent and produces some pretty nice stacks!
Admittedly, while I like the overall presentation, I can’t help but feel that the colour and typography of the band feels a little dated. Indeed, it would merit a minor facelift to modernise its appearance. However, it’s functional and shows off a certain Latin zeal.
As we didn’t receive a box, we sadly can’t comment on that. However, looking at a few pictures on the internet, it appears to have a rustic black look with a stencilled image in the centre.
At $14 RRP per stick, the Decade is a little pricey for a Nicaraguan blend. Purchasing a 20-count box will bring the individual price down to $12, which is better but still a little high for the experience it provides.
As for its usage, it’s best enjoyed as a late-night casual smoke. It’s excellent for unwinding after a backyard barbecue with friends or during winter by a firepit. Yet, I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners nor for formal events and special occasions.
Pairing Recommendations With Rocky Patel Decade
Argencove is a Nicaraguan brand in Granada that produces delicious artisanal chocolate. Its saffron chocolate is a spicy one and would pair beautifully with this particular cigar. Consider also a savoury snack like pretzels or even Rugbrød (a Danish rye bread) tartines.
Otherwise, you could enjoy it alongside cured ham such as prosciutto, jambon Bayonne, or bresaola.
When it comes to beverages, I would personally opt for well-aged cognac. Damson gin, if you can find or make it, would also be a great choice since it would marry well with the first two thirds.
Coffee is always a great pairing option and espresso would be ideal. Since espresso is quite short, consider serving them as you make your way through the first third. It will then follow a previous drink as well as cleanse your palate.
Finally, a Highland single malt would be the better whisky pairing as it will have the character that will offset the cigar’s boldness.
Rich, opulent, and full of flavour, the Rocky Patel Decade has character. Aside from a few minor burning issues, it offers a great experience for those who enjoy bold cigars.
"One for those who love late-night full-bodied cigars!"
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