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Rocky Patel Private Cellar Robusto 5 x 50

Today we go with a Private Cellar, vintage 2013, Rocky Patel.Rocky Patel Private Celar robusto cigar

Punch: This Rocky Patel Private Cellar robusto has Nicaraguan binder and fillers with a Connecticut Broadleaf? Hmm… $8  We got these at the 2013 Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival so they have been 571 days in hand (or at least in humidor).

Draw: This maduro wrapper has an eggshell finish and not quite an oily appearance. The stick is not so tightly wrapped; both visible wrapper seams and a lot of squeeze to the stick, despite a reasonably dense bunch of filler. Double bands in royal purple and silver – very elegant. Initial scent is of…carrots, fresh from the ground. So that’s earthy, and veggie sweetness. Cold draw is slightly loose, and actually speaks of carrots!

Punch: Lighting it up I’m struck with the rich complexity — some Concord grape with leather and hardwood. Let’s see how this holds up after it warms a bit.

D: I’ve got an even looser draw, with radish heat as the initial flavor. I definitely get rich leather and hardwoods (like, mahogany?) but concord grape is a reach for me, at least initially.

P: Draw it in real slow, and that’s when I get that grapeness on the sides of my tongue.

D: Mmmm.. I still don’t quite get “grape”, but maybe less radish and more carrot. First third, the radish fades, but does leave some starch, like chinese noodle, in a lo mein sauce: slightly smoky, and slightly sweet, with subtle exotic spice. The aftertaste still hints at the radish heat on the roof of my mouth at the front, but the smoking experience is otherwise quite smooth now. Also, this loose draw generates a tonne of smoke in the mouth, and it doesn’t smokestack much. The ash held on for more than an inch, and is very sooty.

P: Getting to the second third I haven’t noticed a lot of change. I’m not able to identify any of your radish-n-heat, Draw. There is some jalapeno on the aftertaste that I didn’t mention earlier – just enough for balance.

D: After my ash dropped, I set this Private Cellar down to type my notes. When I picked it up, it had gone out, so maybe the ash took the cherry. Either way, full-disclosure: I did relight. At half-way, I’m experiencing a transition. The flavor has moved up a notch in intensity, and there’s a new meaty leather taste, and the subtle exotic spices are also moving forward. It still has a residual brightness or tartness, but it’s not distracting now. It’s more like a lemon spritz added to the meal. Micro- and macro-pulls each yield a different flavor mix. More leather, “meat” on the macropuff.

P: Near the middle the flavor intensity has jumped up from mild-medium to medium-full and developed further to a rich complexity. Yes, it is a meatiness that has joined in. Mine has a lazy side that I have to keep touching up to keep the burn even.

D: Last third, the flavors continue to build or mutate, but the intensity remains about the same from the ramp-up at the middle. The flavor has built to a woody munge. After a purge, I taste a full-on Chinese dish, like chicken lo mein – not the suggestion of it from before, but like noodles splashing my lapel. Okay, not splashing. The flavor is still rather dry. And…it doesn’t idle well, because it went out as I typed two sentences. [relighting] It still delivers a meaty, sweet, noodle‑y flavor. But purging is part of the routine to enjoy this til your fingers burn.

P: After the middle the flavor in mine went on a gradual slide down the back side, dropping back to a medium intensity, and as expected, got more blended as it mellowed. I’m feeling some strength as I finish and put it down.

Burn it or Spurn it?

Draw: I like. Burn this. The flavor of this Rocky Patel Private Cellar was not too desirable for me initially, but the last two-thirds were quite pleasant, and it’s not a flavor you taste every day. This would probably pair well with a plum wine, or even a dryer white wine. Maybe saki. Burn quality was okay: great smoke production, good ash-hang, but it did not idle well at all. Medium flavor intensity, medium-to-full flavor complexity on the meaty side. Some strength, mild I’d guess as I can still walk, but do know I’ve had a cigar.

Punch: Very burnable. It starts off slow with some grape sweetness and leather and builds to a complex and interesting flavor profile at the middle before tapering back down to the end. I had some burn issues with a stubborn side that required me to be attentive. Still, a solid $8 stick that was very likeable.


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