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Stogie Reviews: Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary Toro

9 Sep 2010

About five years ago, lawyer-turned-cigar-maker Rocky Patel celebrated the tenth anniversary of Rocky Patel Premium Cigars. He later commemorated the occasion with Decade, a highly acclaimed series of Ecuadorian Sumatra-wrapped cigars.

Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary ToroThese days Patel is honoring his company’s 15th anniversary with, you guessed it, another new blend. Aptly called “15th Anniversary,” the line includes four trunk-pressed sizes: Corona Gorda (6 x 46), Robusto (5 x 50), Toro (6.5 x 52), and Torpedo (6.1 x 52). Prices range from $8 to $12 per cigar.

“I wanted a cigar that’s like the Decade on steroids,” Patel told Cigar Aficionado in July. “The 15th has the elegance and the balance of the Decade, but it has the richness, complexity, and spice that kind of puts it over the top.”

To create the series, Patel paired a Cuban-seed Ecuadorian wrapper that he had been storing for two years with binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua. The blend is handmade at the Tabacalera Villa Cuba S.A. factory in Estelí, Nicaragua—a facility Patel owns in partnership with Amilcar Perez.

The long, dark Toro comes complete with a reddish hue, a few large veins, and two silver bands with slightly raised lettering.

It looks like a powerful smoke that requires a heavy time investment. The pre-light scent off the foot reminds me of dry chocolate cake and powdery cocoa.

Once lit, the cigar packs a mouth-coating punch of pepper that lasts for half an inch. Thereafter, it settles into a flavor profile of leather, creamy latte, cashew, and cedar. Balanced, albeit a tad sour. The overall effect is resoundingly smoother than I had envisioned—especially given Patel’s apparent intention to build a stogie on “steroids.”

As the cigar becomes meatier and more tannic in the final third, the following physical properties make themselves apparent: the burn line is wavy but maintenance-free, the gray ash is very flaky, and the draw is effortless throughout.

On the whole, I don’t think the 15th Anniversary can stand up to the Decade. Where the former is complex and nuanced, the latter is straightforward and predominantly consistent from light to nub. Still, cashew is a taste too unfamiliar to cigars these days, and this savory flavor helps the mighty Toro earn a respectable rating of three and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate

One Response to “Stogie Reviews: Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary Toro”

  1. BigSmokeDan Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    I smoked one back to back with a Rocky 1961 which I thought to be one of Rockys most complex sticks and I agree with most of your review. The strength and complexities were lacking in the 15th but it was a more smoother and tastier smoke that I will undoubtedly do again, and again!