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Staff Reviews

Rocky Patel Decade Staff Review

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

I am reviewing a seminal cigar from Rocky Patel called the Decade in a 6.5 x 52 Toro. Rocky Patel is a living legend in the cigar world. He’s built a stellar reputation over the past 20 years as a talented cigar-maker and an industry luminary who radiates enthusiasm for his customers. I’ve met him numerous times over the years during his visits to Holt’s headquarters here in Philly and at our annual cigar trade shows. Genuinely eager to hang and out share a cigar with his fans, Rocky’s a total gentleman. You can see he loves what he does.

Rocky Patel Decade was originally released in 2007 to commemorate Rocky’s tenth year in the cigar business – a stretch that includes his stewardship of the Indian Tabac brand. Because it’s been a top seller in the Rocky Patel portfolio for so long, Decade is a great introduction to Rocky’s cigars.

The blend hails from Nestor Plasencia’s El Paraiso cigar factory in Honduras, where it’s handmade from an aged concoction of all-Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos tucked under the oily sheen of an Ecuador Sumatra wrapper leaf. Rocky Patel Decade is available in a handful of classic shapes. The Torpedo scored high marks from the critics in Cigar Aficionado following the cigar’s debut, but I’ve always preferred the box-pressed Toro for its cooler, easier draw.

A nice blast of black cherries and dampened earth emerges in a few puffs of the unlit cigar. You can anticipate the peppery profile you’ll taste just by holding the foot of the cigar up to your nostrils and taking in a deep sniff. Decade displays a texture that’s a touch rough, reminiscent of brown butcher paper but darker.

The cigar ignites with ease and the first draws bring the spices to life. Earthy notes of cocoa and black cherries gush to the sides of the palate while peppery flavors engulf the top of the tongue and influence the overall aroma. Decade is complex and balanced. Creamy and nutty notes compensate for the cigar’s tendency to become astringent if you smoke it too fast. That’s why I prefer the Toro – it burns with less intensity.

Tasting notes of hickory, coffee beans, and leather make cameos – but beware, Decade can leave a metallic impression on the palate if the cigars are not aged long enough. To be safe, buy a few Decades in your favorite shape and let them rest in your humidor at home for a few weeks or months. A firm light-gray ash grows reliably every few inches of the cigar – a sign it’s well made. The Toro delivers hearty, nicotine-rich taste in the last few inches. The finish is medium to full-bodied and lingers. Sip a bourbon with this cigar.

Decade is so popular you can find it in both of our bestselling samplers from Rocky, the ’Luxury Collection’ and the ‘Red Carpet’ Collection. And if you’re on a serious budget, you’re in luck! Rocky Patel Decade is frequently featured in our recurring weekly deals for a nice discount. You can also scoop up a 20-count bundle of Rocky Patel Mulligans Eagle Reserve – rumored to be an early prototype for the Decade blend – for as low as $2.24 per cigar when you’re craving premium Rocky flavor at yard ‘gar prices.

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