Monday, January 7, 2008

My Weekend Cigar: Reevaluating the Rocky Patel Sun Grown Selection


By Gary Korb

I recently split a box of Rocky Patel Honduran Classic Toro Maduros with Hayward, my new office roomie. As part of the deal, we also got four free Rocky Patel Sun Grown Robustos. Well, until this past weekend, I had pretty much begged-off on the RP Sun Grown, because I felt they'd become too spicy for me.

If I may digress for a moment: When the Rocky Patel Sun Grown cigars were introduced in 2004, I took to them immediately. Rich, smooth, medium-bodied, extremely flavorful, and very aromatic. A "right-in-the-pocket" cigar. About a year later, I remember smoking one and found it to be much more full-bodied and considerably spicier, too, which was not to my liking. I love spicy food; hot wings, Tai food, Texas chili, Indian curry dishes, you-name-it, but not my cigars. Ironic, ain't it? Moreover, after mentioning my surprise to someone from Rocky Patel Cigars, they told me the blend had been cranked-up a notch. This didn't surprise me, because Rocky has a rep for making outstanding full-bodied fare. OK, fine, and I left it at that. However, you may remember that I was impressed with the Sun Grown Sixty in my blog of August 20th. 2007. I chalked that experience up to the extra width of that cigar.

So I arrive at the Famous Smoke Shop Retail Store, head down the hall to my office to choose a cigar from my office stash, and I decide I'll give one of those free Sun Grown Robustos a go. Well, I fired that number up, and I gotta tell you, it was shear delight. The smoke was cool, earthy, creamy-smooth, fantastically aromatic, and not spicy in the least. If anything, it was more on the sweet side. Plus, it burned perfectly with a nice little round cherry right down to the bone. I mentioned this to one of the guys, and he commented that maybe my palate has changed. I admitted that I do have a higher tolerance for the spicy stuff than I used to, so, point taken, but this cigar was really splendid. It hit on all cylinders and gave a me a whole new perspective on this selection that I'd been ignoring all this time. So, as I said back in August, "I guess I have a greater appreciation for the Sun Grown line than I thought."

Moral of the story: Don't completely write-off a cigar you may not have enjoyed in the past. Give it another whirl, or try a different size in the line. Things change.

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