This months new world cigar brand of the month is Rocky Patel Cigars, if you haven't read our post about the brand and it's history you can check it out HERE. Each week we focus on one of the cigars from the brand that we think is an exceptional example.

This week our cigar of the week is the Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Petit Corona . The Vintage 1990 blend has become nothing short of legendary since it's release in 2003. The wrapper is a 12 year aged Honduran broadleaf, whilst the filler and binder comprise tobaccos from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua aged for 7 years! It also comes in a large range of vitolas which make it a great choice whether you like em fat or thin, long or short!

So why have we chosen the Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Petit Corona as this week's cigar of the week?

Firstly, many of my life's memories are punctuated by cigars and food, I have a funny way of remembering life's events in parallel with either of them! I remember clear as day the first Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 I smoked. I know where I bought it (and how many), exactly where I smoked it and exactly how I felt when I smoked it (hungover!). That was the impression the Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 made on me. I won't bore you with the entire story, but it was on a balcony of a hotel in Romania overlooking my better half's home town. I'd bought it from El Unico (FYI the best chain of cigar shops in Romania). I had one, from a full box out of the back of their humidor. The cello beautifully discoloured. Even with my hangover, it blew my mind... the next day I was back at El Unico and the remainder of the box is in the humidor next to me as I type!

Secondly, the vitola and flavour profile. It's getting nippy outside, the leaves are starting to turn their beautiful autumn colours and the never ending UK rain is back for a few months! Petit Coronas offer a beautiful length smoke for the British winter. At 4.5 inches long by 44 ring gauge it's big enough to know you've had a 'proper' cigar, but with a smoke time of around 30 minutes quick enough to still enjoy outside at this time of year. Personally I love the Vintage 1990 blend in the cooler months, it has a spicy, nutty edge to it which goes perfectly with a coffee and a sip of rum or whisky when there is a nip in the air!

Finally, the Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 is a new world cigar that has been on many cigar smokers journey as they graduate from mild cigars and start to explore slightly stronger cigars. It is also one of the first new world cigars many people smoke made with seriously aged leaves. Once you've smoked it once, like me, you will be coming back for more!

Check out this weeks special offer on the Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Petit Corona

As always, stay smokey, stay safe, Pete

This months new world cigar brand of the month is Rocky Patel Cigars, if you haven't read our post about the brand and it's history you can check it out HERE. Each week we focus on one of the cigars from the brand that we think is an exceptional example.

This week our cigar of the week is the Rocky Patel Number 6 Robusto one of Rocky's newer releases in the UK it had already become an international best seller. If that wasn't enough success, it also won Honduran Cigar of the year a couple of weeks ago in the prestigious Cigar Journal awards!

So why have we chosen the Rocky Patel Number 6 Robusto (5.5x50) as this weeks cigar of the week?

Firstly, (even before it won the Cigar Journal Honduran Cigar of the award) it had been one of my favourite new world cigars of the year. I still remember the first box of these we received and we were one of the first UK cigar retailers to have them so I hadn't seen them in advance. Everything aesthetically about these cigars is stunning, utterly stunning. The box is a work of art, on opening it up you are greeted by a line up of perfectly matched chestnut coloured cigars with an oversized black band with gold edging, the foot also has a small band around it also in the same colours. Finally the cigars are wrapped white ribbon. It's one of those boxes of cigars you open for the first time step back, look at and just think hell yeah... Of course, no cigar can survive on looks alone!

Secondly, probably more important than the aesthetics is the cigar and how it smokes. I will be bold here (especially given how successful the Rocky Patel ALR II has been) and say that I think this is the best cigar that Rocky Patel have put out for some time. The construction is flawless and the draw on every Number 6 I've smoked has been excellent. It's a great credit to the rolling team at the El Paraiso factory. I tend to stay away from commenting on flavour profiles of cigars as they are so subjective, but I will say that there is a very unusual characteristic to this offering from Rocky Patel - it has a slightly sweet edge to it. The Rocky Patel Number 6 has a 93 point rating from Cigar Aficionado and won Honduran Cigar of the year - It is genuinely exceptional and I suspect will become one of the legendary lines from Rocky in the years to come, it may also do very well in the Cigar Aficionado Top 25 cigars of the year awards!

Finally, price! Even before the special offer below, the price point for this cigar is remarkable value. Cheap, no, but compared to many other cigars at the same price point in the UK this one really does deliver serious bang for the buck!

Check out this weeks special offer on the Rocky Patel Number 6 Robusto cigars

As always, stay smokey, stay safe, Pete

Starting a new world cigar business is hard. Having a moderately successful cigar business is an exceptional achievement, but from scratch, with no background in the cigar industry to veteran and titan with a global brand over 25 years old, that is the preserve of very, very few people. Rocky Patel is one of those, a true pioneer and innovator in, and of, the new world cigar business.

Rocky Patel Cigars are this months ‘brand of the month’. Read on to find out more about the man, the brand and his cigars and keep your eyes open for our ‘cigar of the week’ blog each week, which, as always will have some special offers and a giveaway!

The US cigar market is of course very different to the UK cigar market due to the almost complete absence of Cuban cigars from it for over 50 years since the US - Cuban trade embargo began. What we and most of the world refer to as new world cigars are to the US just cigars. Post the embargo and with the outflow of many Cuban families who had been in the cigar trade to the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua a whole new tobacco industry had began. It’s also worth remembering that the US has always grown tobacco for cigars as well, perhaps most famously Connecticut tobacco!

Despite its proximity to tobacco growing and cigar producing nations, ongoing political turmoil in Latin America meant the US cigar industry as we know it now didn’t take off until the 1990’s following decades of stagnation. Then boom. 3 things happened in the 90’s which started to create the new world cigar industry we all know today. 1) Economic boom, just like the UK, the US banking, financial services and industries allied to them exploded and money was looking for the finer things in life. 2) The political situation in Latin America, and America's relationships with it stabilised, tobacco grown in different countries was able to cross borders far more easily. 3) With access to diverse tobaccos and a booming interest in cigars, immigrants from Cuba had the opportunity to establish cigar businesses in a way they previously couldn’t. Big shot executive from New York with an interest in cigars, no problem. Create a brand and find a factory to roll it! The cigar industry that we know today was born. Very few of those brands created in the 1990’s US cigar boom still exist. Rocky Patel is one of them!

Rocky Patel lived and worked in Los Angeles as an entertainment and product liability lawyer. Through a friend, he was introduced to cigars and became instantly fascinated by them. While dabbling in various investment ventures, Rocky was approached with a business plan to manufacture cigars. Despite some misgivings about the venture, the investment was made and the first Indian Tabac cigars were rolled in Honduras.

In 1996 at the RTDA trade show in Cincinnati, Indian Tabac Cigar Co. hit the big time. People flocked to the booth to purchase hundreds of these new, brightly packaged cigars. Rocky had begun to change the cigar market with fresh ideas, bold packaging and fuller cigars. With his eye-popping packaging, Rocky had gone against the grain and it certainly paid off.

In 2003, Rocky changed the company’s marketing direction by emphasizing on branding himself. The first step was changing the company name from Indian Tabac Cigar Co. to Rocky Patel Premium Cigars. Rocky’s first brand featuring his name, the Rocky Patel Vintage cigars, has become his flagship brand comprising five Vintage Series, although only one is now widely available in the UK now, the legendary Rocky Patel Vintage 1990, Since the company’s new direction began, Rocky has launched numerous top-selling brands, including Decade, Fifteenth Anniversary, Twentieth Anniversary, and Sun Grown Maduro – his highest rated cigar from Cigar Aficionado magazine that earned 95 points and the #2 Cigar of 2016. Newer releases like the Rocky Patel Number 6 and the Rocky Patel Aged, Limited & Rare have already become international best sellers.

The more I delve in to the background of some of the most successful new world cigar producers the more I become conscious of 1 thing. Many, if not most of those who produce consistently exceptional cigars are obsessed with quality and the need to control it. The 'vertically integrated' cigar business is the backbone of many of these brands. From seed, to drying, curing to aging and aging to rolling they own or directly manage all these aspects that go in to producing great cigars! Interestingly the boutique cigar brands we work with operate in the same way, albeit on a much smaller scale. Rocky doesn't perhaps fit this mould so much as he was one of the creators of it.

Much of his time is focused on production and blending. He aspires to create more complex cigars while avoiding linear such as puros cigars. Rocky believes that blending tobaccos from various regions takes greater skill and deft knowledge. Developing complex blends, however, is a painstaking feat, yet Rocky also strives for 100 percent consistency, placing heavy emphasis on quality control. Every cigar is thoroughly inspected through various quality control departments before being packaged for export.

Cards on the table, Rocky Patel makes a few of my all time favourite new world cigars. The consistency and variety of blends is astounding and the packaging, true to his first exhibition way back in the 90's remains some of the most beautiful you will find on cigars. Picking the cigars for this month's cigar of the week slot has been hard... well hard if you count smoking a lot of Rocky Patel cigars in the last few weeks to remind myself of some of his greatest hits!

Keep your eyes open each week for the cigar of the week, some special offers and as always a little giveaway at the end of the month!

Stay smokey, stay safe. Pete


Created with crazy genius, beer, rum, smokes and tears in 2019 - in loving memory of the most humble, loving, caring soul I ever met. Bracken. 2008 - 2019