Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Toro
Size : 6.5 x 52
Wrapper : Nicaragua
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Price : ~$8.50 each
More info about purchasing Rocky Patel Private Cellar cigars...
The Rocky Patel Private Cellar is one of Patel’s newest cigars released for distribution in the summer of 2012. The Rocky Patel Company promotes this cigar as a medium-bodied one but I personally found it a bit on the milder side but perhaps this may be skewed a bit since I normally smoke strong cigars.
The blend for this cigar is made up of primarily tobacco grown in Nicaragua and is wrapped with a very rustic and, in my own personal opinion, ugly-looking Connecticut broadleaf wrapper. The cigars themselves are manufactured at Patel’s Tavicusa factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.
It is often said we eat with our eyes before we eat with our mouth and cigar smoking is no different. At first glance, this cigar looks very rustic with a nice dark oily sheen wrapper but admittedly very rustic and veiny in appearance.
I liked the color of the band and the packaging (which adds to the cost of the cigar). The cigar comes with a second band promoting the cigar as the Private Cellar. As I said though, despite the nice oily sheen to the wrapper, the cigar had many visible and distracting veins which perhaps explained why the burn was so uneven during my smoke. The cigar looked a tad rushed in construction as evidenced in the photographs. The foot looked a little squished and the press and roll did not appear consistent. There were a lot of distracting veins in the cigar but the seams were only slightly visible and tight.
The cigar was extremely spongy to the touch despite being stored, as all my other cigars, at an RH of 68%. As can be seen on the photograph of the foot, it appeared as though less tobacco than normal was used. Maybe this was done on purpose but I have smoked many Patels and this by far felt like the spongiest of them all. This led to the cigar burning a bit quicker than most Toros but the smoke always remained cool. The cigar did extinguish itself about halfway through and needed touch-ups along the way both to keep it lit and to correct the burn.
The ash was a white/brown color and extremely flaky, usually falling off at between half an inch to an inch. It needed 3 touch-ups, the second sample needed 4. I had a feeling the loosely packed tobacco would affect the burn and it did. Thankfully the draw was for the most part good and the smoke was cool and thick.
Overall I got the impression just by examining the cigar and the way it smoked that it was rushed in its construction. For a cigar bearing Patel’s Private Cellar label and promoted as being Patel’s optimal blend, one would think a little more care should have been taken in the cigar’s manufacturing. Perhaps it might be time to acknowledge that this is one of those brands that has followed the path of many others by simply producing too many cigar lines resulting in construction issues as workers rush to get out the many different blends offered.
This cigar overall was of medium strength and medium body. I smoked two of these to get a good feel of the cigar. They were consistent but both average.
The pre-light aroma of the RP Private Cellar was pleasing. Natural tobacco with some earthy woodsy notes. The cigar held up well to my straight guillotine cut. The pre-light draw offered little in the way of resistance (a little too open for my liking) but offered pleasing hints of roasted coffee, cocoa and leather.
The first third evidenced some dark cocoa, roasted espresso, earth and some nuttiness. The spice was very faint and in fact was very tough to even notice. Exhaling from my nose wasn’t uncomfortable at all and allowed for a little more spice to enter the profile. For the most part, the cigar lacked any complexity. What you got from the start of the cigar is what you got near the end with one exceptio ... there did tend to be a slight increase in spice as you worked your way down the cigar. It wasn’t an overwhelming black pepper like spice though, instead, more of a spicy pepper. It remained mild and never got overpowering.
The second third offered much of the same as the first third with a tad more toasted nuttiness noticeable with occasional sweetness that resembled some black currant or raisins. Just a touch of salt was on the lips and the finish remained short to medium. The smoke output remained good, not exceptional.
The final third had a little bit more spice but much of the same flavors. If asked to describe the primary flavor I would have to say that it was an earthy cigar with plenty of woodsy notes. It reminded me of a walk in the forest at dawn. Secondary flavors were roasted espresso bean, dark cocoa with only very occasional hints of sweetness.
The smoke was average and far from great. It lacked real texture or enough flavor dynamic or complexity to keep my interest. For the most part it only gave tobacco aromas with none of the velvety richness that I’ve gotten from some of Patel’s other blends.
This cigar isn’t cheap because of whom it’s made by. Online, before shipping, prices range from around $8.50 per stick if buying a 5 pack to as much as $9.30. I did find one online retailer selling them for $7.90 per stick only if buying a box of 20. I have also seen them in stores for as much as $9.50 per stick which is understandable given overhead costs associated to operating a store. I cannot recommend this cigar for this price given there are many more enjoyable cigars out there in this price range.
Overall Rating :
The flavors of the Rocky Patel Private Cellar Toro were “average”. It wasn’t a complete waste but it wasn’t a complete “wow” either. I would say it was a middle of the road smoke that I really couldn’t complain about (other than the price) but one that did not leave me with any reason to have another. I have a couple of Robustos in this blend that I will be reviewing shortly. I’m curious to see of the different size changes the flavors. This would make a daily smoke if the price wasn’t so high.