You guys make me almost want to give Rocky Patel another try... almost.
But I was so put off by his cigars, back when they were called Indian Tabac, and even when he first changed the name, that I put them aside and never looked back.
Patel, a former lawyer to the stars, certainly knows marketing, and he used his connections to promote his cigars.
He doesn't actually make cigars... he contracts them from Nestor Placencia. And while Placencia makes some good cigars, I have found most of what he makes to be inconsistent. Some lines come consistently loosely rolled, others have a tight draw to almost being plugged more often than I care.
But perhaps with the cigar glut, they have improved.
But while they may have gotten better, there are far too many brands out there that I know are good to be bothered.
I've enjoyed every Rocky Patel brand that I have ever tried. Have never had one that didn't draw flawlessly, burn evenly, and taste wonderfully. Not expensive, and readily available. Plus, he's a very gracious and approachable guy. I've been at cigar events where it's packed, and he has always taken time to chat, sign boxes, and genuinely seem interested in my opinions. I like the man, and I like his cigars. Listen, if you're the kind of person who stops in the cigar shop now and again to pick up a few smokes (that's me), it's hard to go wrong with RP's.
If my comments on Rocky Patel came across harsh, I am sorry. It was not intended as such. It is just my opinion with some extra facts thrown in, intended to enlighten, not be harsh.
I don't know, nor have I ever met Rocky Patel, and I don't hold anything against him... I just didn't care for his cigars when I tried them.
Taste is SO subjective though. And my palate with cigars is beginner level, at best. Maybe a year or so from now I could smoke the same Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary and find it atrocious. Who knows?
I'm always looking for recommendations though. I even joined the forums over at Cigar Aficionado's website!
I don't know why you thought your opinions might be construed as harsh. You simply offered one, just like everyone else?
Smokinjoe's comments are right on the mark, matching my experience. Jaymonster, your comments were not news to me either, and didnt come across as harsh in my mind. My comment is that very simply, if you haven't tried any since Indian Tabac, it's probably worth giving some of these a shot. I would put the '90 and '92 vintage and the Decade lines on top. There was one with a purple band called Royal Vintage, I think, that didn't turn me on, and the sun grown line was not to my personal tastes. Yes, there are a lot of good smokes out there, but I would these couple of blends up there above many of them.
Alright, you guys convinced me... I am not one to buy singles (usually), but fortunately I have a business trip to Baltimore which affords me more time than usual to smoke, so I am going to give Rocky another chance (assuming the shop has one).
Bought a La Gloria Cubana Wavell today along with a Partagas Naturales. Didn't want to buy anything pricey. My humidor will be delivered today and it will take a few days to season before I can use it.
Still, I can't decide which one of these el cheapos I want to smoke tonight...