We got talking about Rocky Patels today, and naturally they were on my mind, so when I realized that the reviews I’d set up to post before the holidays had finally run out and it was time to do another one, I couldn’t resist delving into a new Rocky Patel. This time my victim was the Rocky Patel FusionToro.
This dark robusto is six and a half inches long and a 56 ring gauge. It was adorned with an attractive double band; a blue and gold label displaying the brand name, and a blue, white and gold label reading “Fusion” below it. Apparently it is a fusion of the RP Vintage ’90 and the Vintage ’92. I understand the initial blend wasn’t well received, but this was the revamped version and that’s been going over well. The Fusion is billed as a medium to full bodied Cuban seed mixture of Nicaraguan, Honduran and Cameroon long fillers with a sun-grown Ecuadoran Connecticut binder. I thought the blend sounded intriguing and quite promising!
The rich cocoa shaded wrapper had exactly that scent to it. It displayed a beautiful triple cap and an obviously leafy, veined wrapper with almost no seams to speak of. I guess it was a little dry because the wrapper peeled slightly at the cap when I clipped it with my Ciguru cutter, and I corrected the slightly-ragged cut with my double guillotine. I needn’t have worried though; it lit beautifully and evenly with my cedar spill from Cigar Reserve (still going strong after almost a year) and it drew with the perfection I’ve come to expect from Rocky Patel. I was greeted with a delicious cocoa first draw, blending perfectly into a slightly bitter coffee bean flavour as I got into it. The first third, which lasted a full 45 minutes, revealed that rare mint undertone that only the very best maduros can offer, with just a hint of vanilla and perhaps a suggestion of molasses. It also had just the faintest element of white pepper that lingered in the nose. It reminded me a little of the CAO Osa with that fantastic blend of dark, mint and pepper, and I was thoroughly enchanted with that, so I felt no differently about this!
The cigar displayed a lovely cylindrical white ash, which I tapped off after it reached about an inch and a half in length; which, unfortunately, meant that it went out a few minutes later; about 25 minutes after the first third ended. So we’ll call that the second third, during which the flavour profile remained very similar to that of the first third, except that it lost the bitter element. Absolutely divine! Perhaps it was just as well, though; after that point I was beginning to feel that powerful Rocky Patel nicotine rush and I was getting a little dizzy. This, even though I had just finished dinner when I fired up the smoke.
The final third went out once more and had to be re-lit, and unfortunately that cost this otherwise brilliant cigar marks. It gained a delightful citrus element and lost a little of the cocoa. It finally went out for good about 35 minutes later.
Well, I can’t give it perfect marks because of the relighting issues. But it definitely ranked among my personal favourites of the cigars I’ve tried in the past year, largely because of that unique flavour profile! I asked Erin to get me more of them.
But he might have some trouble because they appear to be difficult to find! Isn’t that just the way of it with my favourite cigars? You can find them for a great deal — only $32.01 USD at Cigars International for a ten pack sampler right now — and you can get a variety of options at Pipes & Cigars, including a special deal for a ten pack sampler at only $20.75 USD; why would you miss that?! Either way you’d better hurry because they’re rapidly running out of stock in all the larger box options there. But that’s where I got mine, as part of the Rocky Patel Five Card Stud Sampler, for $22.45 USD, which has turned out to be a good use of my money thus far. And that’s a lady’s perspective!