Team Cigar Review: Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro

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Cigar Details: Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro

  • Vitola: Toro
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Undisclosed
  • Binder: Undisclosed
  • Filler: Undisclosed
  • Factory: TAVICUSA
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $13.00
  • Release Date: July 2020
  • Source: Developing Palates via Havana Phil’s

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper on the Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro is medium brown and has a network of fine veins. The seams are smooth and barely visible while the head has a top cap that is a bit ragged on the edges. The band is white, red and gold and has the company logo up top with the line name down below. The aroma from the wrapper is a mix of wood and tobacco sweetness while the foot brings wood, leather and tobacco sweetness. The pre-light draw brings a sweet and airy cedar.

Pre-light Experience

Honestly, this is an average cigar in terms of pre-light experience. The wrapper of the Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro has this uneventful Colorado coloring. It has a little shine to it, and it is slightly oily in texture, but there is nothing popping about it. The veins present are medium in size throughout. The cigar is firm in hand, and it has aromas of earth, currants, tobacco and spices.

Pre-light Experience

The Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro has a UPC sticker with a tear area that leaves the UPC and cigar name intact after opening the cellophane. The cigar features a large single band, which takes up about a third of the entire cigar landscape. Aromas from the cigar included sweet graham cracker and mild wood from the wrapper. From the foot, dried raisin along with wood and light hay.

Pre-light Experience

The Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro has a uniform Colorado Claro wrapper shade. Veins well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even and head well wrapped. Aromas from the wrapper and foot tell high levels of rich nuttiness and barnyard. Cold draw reveals hay and dried nuts.

First Third

The cigar begins with wood, mustiness and mild baking spice. A mild chalkiness joins in at a half inch. The retrohale has a decent baking spice zing to start and then allows musty wood to come through. As the third comes to a close, the musty wood is up front, with chalkiness right behind and baking spice light in the background. The strength in this third was slightly below medium.

First Third

The first third opens up by delivering some soft sweet spices. There are some toast notes present as well, and touches of nuts, earth and wood. It has a nice spicy barnyard quality. In terms of strength and body, I would classify the cigar as being a solid medium.

First Third

My first few puffs brought flavors of dry baking spices, wood and mild mustiness. Sweet baking spices define the retrohale. As the first third progressed, powdered cocoa adds complexity to the retrohale, and shortly after nutmeg begins to finish the draw. In the bottom half of the first third, baking spices move up to medium strength on the post draw.

First Third

The first third has a good mix of spice and sweetness. There’s a nice fresh jalapeno spice mixed with naturally sweet and creamy nuttiness. Retrohaling gives elevated spice and sweetness. The finish is long and lingering with the jalapeno spice going minutes on end paired with cedar. Strength is medium plus, body medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the wood becomes more defined as oak and becomes a bit fuller while the baking spice morphs into a mild black pepper. At a half inch in, a light meatiness joins the profile while the black pepper increases a bit. The retrohale is now musty oak with light chalkiness. At an inch and a half, the oak gains a heavy toast. The strength in this third bumped up to medium.

Second Third

I am in the second third now and finding a change in flavors. I am picking up some coffee and cream notes, and they are pairing nicely with the sweet spices and earth qualities. It has increased to a level just above medium, and that goes for strength and body.

Second Third

Musty baking spices and mild earth make up the retrohale going into the second third. On the post draw, medium lingering baking spices are the primary flavor driver. Dry cedar moves into the middle of the profile as the second third settles in. Powdered cocoa eventually returns to the retrohale, and is roughly light plus strength. Dry cedar joins the post draw, as cedar is driving the profile by the halfway mark.

Second Third

The second third is just like the first third. Rich in fresh seeded jalapeno pepper spice, sweet and creamy rich nuttiness. The finish is still incredibly long with these notes. Strength and body remains medium plus and medium.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the chalkiness has transitioned to a dry earth. At a quarter inch in, the toasted oak, mustiness and dry earth are even with a light meatiness in the background while the black pepper has departed. The retrohale is toasted oak, mustiness and dry earth. At an inch and a quarter, the toasted note transitions to char. As the cigar wraps up, the profile is charred oak, mustiness and dry earth with meatiness in the background. The strength in this third bumped up to slightly above medium.

Final Third

The final third delivers a flavor profile that starts off with some coffee and earth notes but is quickly taken over by peppery spices and leather qualities. There are hints of cocoa, but predominantly strong spices. In terms of strength and body, the cigar smokes at a medium-full level.

Final Third

Dry cedar greets me in the last third with tannins settling into the middle of the profile. No other commentary here as the flavor profile remained unchanged for the remainder of the review.

Final Third

The final third creates a muddled and staleness to the profile. The once easily identifiable spice and nuttiness is mixed into a jumbled single note. Also, a staleness joins the profile, further deteriorating the smoking experience. Strength and body is unchanged at medium-full and medium.

Burn

The burn was a bit wavy throughout and did require one re-light in the second third. The ash held on in near two inch increments.

Burn

Burn was very good throughout. Presented no problems and smoked well. Solid cigar.

Burn

As with most of the Rocky Patel cigars I’ve smoked or reviewed, the construction is impeccable. A straight burn throughout with ash holding on over 1.5 inches. It likely would have held longer but I wasn’t going to risk wearing it.

Burn

Burn was almost perfect. Just a couple touch-ups to get the burn on track. Aside from that, cool burning temperature, solid ashes and respectable burning time.

Draw

The draw was perfect, with just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.

Overall

The cigar started on the lighter strength side with a mellow fullness of flavors and picked up through each third. I never thought the enjoyment level got above average, but there was nothing wrong with the flavor profile. I could see how this Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro could appeal to the European market where it was initially released, but in the end, it really isn’t a cigar for me. The price point is also a bit on the high side, so it might be worth trying one to see what you think.

Draw

Draw was very good from start to finish. Well constructed cigar.

Overall

The Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro is a decent cigar overall. It is well constructed and has a solid flavor profile from start to finish. There is some transitioning throughout, but the flavor profile itself lacked depth and complexity. In the end, it smoked like another Rocky Patel release. It will perform well for a period of time, replacing what was currently trending for the company, and then be forgotten when something new is released. In terms of packaging, it is right in line with the Special Edition despite the different colors. With that, Special Edition is a better blend. I would have been fine with this being an exclusive for Europe. North America was not missing out on much.

Draw

The draw was fairly resistant with roughly 3 to 3-1/2 notches of resistance to each puff. Not uncomfortable, but a mild distraction.

Overall

The Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro had a promising start with an engaging combination of baking spices, mustiness, wood, powdered cocoa and nutmeg. For the second and last third, the flavors became increasingly muted which detracted from the complexity that I enjoyed so much. Construction was good, with an ideal burn experience but an average draw. The cigar was a slightly above average experience, but given the vast range of Rocky Patel cigars out there I’d probably be inclined to reach for something from the portfolio that is less expensive. I don’t think the price point matched my overall enjoyment level. Total smoking time was 1 hour and 49 minutes.

Draw

The draw was ideal, providing the best balance between air flow and resistance.

Overall

This was a good flavor profile, delivering a small set of flavors, but big flavors. The fresh seeded jalapeno and richness in sweet and creamy nuttiness was all it took. I really enjoyed that simplistic nature of the Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro. This, coupled by a great burning and drawing cigar, yields just a darn good cigar.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
GoodPre
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Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.55

Cost/Point

$2.34

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

5.85

Cost/Point

$2.22

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

5.65

Cost/Point

$2.30

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.72

Cost/Point

$1.94

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro
Jiunn LiuTeam Cigar Review: Rocky Patel Grand Reserve Toro

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