My Weekend Cigar: Rocky Patel 1961 Toro

Last weekend I joined the regulars in the Famous Smoke Shop cigar store for a Rocky Patel Cigars event. One of the featured cigars was one of Rocky's latest creations, the 1961 series, which he introduced at IPCPR New Orleans last year. Rocky's production manager, Shawn Bussler was kind enough to treat me to a Rocky Patel 1961 Toro which weighs-in at 6" x 52. And it really has some weight, too, being very solidly packed, while allowing an easy draw.

The first thing you notice is the striking black, white and red two-piece band, but it's the dark, oily Ecuadorian Habano wrapper that gives these cigars their panache. The aroma of the wrapper leaf alone is enough to make your mouth water.

The cap clipped-off easily and the pre-light flavor was sweet and spicy on the tongue. Looking at the foot you can see an ample amount of Ligero (the core is all Nicaraguan with an Honduran binder). It took a little longer to toast-up as a result, but once it got going that wonderful aroma revealed all of its redolent beauty.

The first few puffs were quite peppery (cayenne comes to mind) and earthy with a subtle nuttiness and sweet wood flavor on the finish. Now THIS is a full-bodied cigar.

During the second act, the pepper rounded out and more of the nutty-woody flavors began to take over with some leathery notes sneaking into the finish. The cigar remained pretty consistent into the last third building somewhat more in strength, so I strongly recommend you take your time with this cigar and let it smoke itself somewhat to prevent it from becoming too overpowering, or worse, bitter and tarry. It's very complex, and you'll want to savor every puff.

This is an ideal after-dinner cigar for relaxing with a long-aged single malt or even a sweet Port as a counterpoint to the spicy tobacco flavors. And here's a little cigar trivia for you: 1961 was the year Rocky was born, hence, the source of the name.

Highly recommended, especially if you've got a well-educated palate.

Appearance - 10
Construction - 9
Draw - 9
Burn - 9
Aroma - 10
Flavor - 9
Balance - 9
Total Score: 9.2

~ G.K.


Danny said…
Great review! I gotta get my hands on 1 of these bad boys.
Anonymous said…
I was disappointed with my 1961, maybe I should try another.
Anonymous said…
That's a great stick. Good to see something decent from Rocky. They changed the blend on the Sun Grown and ruined what was nearly a perfect stick, and many of their others have gone downhill as well. My local shop has all the Sun Growns and Vintages in the 40% off clearance section because they won't sell, but the 1961 is a hit. Please don't change it. And bring back the original Sun Grown blend!!

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