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Staff Reviews

Rocky Patel Renaissance Staff Review

Grant T. Thompson's picture

Grant T.

Join me friends and thrifty thespians on a crusade as we explore another tasty cigar harvested directly from the top-shelf of my humidor. My top-shelf selections are inhabited by cigars that have easily surpassed my lofty expectations. I’ll be the first to admit that my ratings show a decided favoritism towards cigars that exhibit above-average construction, superior flavor, even burn and an enticing aroma for less than $3 a stick. I like to get what I pay for, but I love to get more than what I pay for!

Rocky Patel Renaissance has quickly become a featured cigar in my rotation. It checks off all of the boxes in my aforementioned ratings criteria with aplomb. It’s a cigar with depth and diversity not often seen in the sub-$3 sweet spot. With a deep reservoir of 5-star reviews, and a hit parade of 90+ ratings by Cigar Aficionado, Rocky Patel is on fire! Let’s see what the fuss is all about…

If I were to judge a book by its cover, or in this case a cigar by its wrapper, the Rocky Patel Renaissance Toro I’ve selected for this review would easily take first place in a beauty pageant. Enrobed in a sultry Ecuador Sumatra wrapper that shimmers under the sunlight like a mirage in the desert, this cigar is quite the looker! The pre-light aroma is decidedly earthy with a sweet, malt-like aroma. The elasticity and suppleness of the wrapper displays marvelous density as I roll the perfectly balanced 6.25 x 52 Toro-sized cigar between my fingers. 

The seamlessly applied cap separates easily and cleanly from the cigar. The pre-light draw offers the perfect resistance punctuated with a sweet and savory amalgam of sweet cream and nougat. Tasting notes of damp earth and savory figs make fleeting yet inviting cameo appearances. Sadly and noticeably missing from the pre-light festivities is the peppery spice, either prominent or subdued, that I fondly gravitate toward.
I gently and patiently toast the foot to ensure complete combustion. With wrapper, binder and filler alight, prominent notes of Turkish coffee meld harmoniously with a raisin-like sweetness. Smoke output is voluminous with an appealing room note that belies the frugal $2.99 price tag. Although firmly rolled, a nearly 1.5-inch, grayish-white ash separates cleanly from the cigar after 20 minutes. 

At about the halfway point, I’m surprised how consistent the cigar has burned. There were no remarkable or noticeable flavor transitions, while the cigar dutifully and respectfully maintained a solid medium body with an appealing medium strength. The Nicaraguan and Honduran filler tobaccos are well-aged and leave a clean, non-lingering aftertaste. As we enter the home stretch of the cigar’s 50-minute lifespan, the flavors are just a bit deeper and darker with robust, pronounced flavors of cocoa and chicory on the palate.

Although I prefer fuller-bodied cigars, this blend will have mass appeal as it fits just about every budget and strength preference. I recommend this cigar and bestow a well-deserved 89-point rating.

Until next time, long ashes to you!


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