One of the hardest working men in the cigar industry is Rocky Patel and we caught up with him on The Cigar Authority April 18th, 2020. Today we review the latest from Rocky Patel with the TAA Exclusivo 2020 which is limited to only 1,000 boxes made at Tabacalera Villa Cuba S.A in Esteli, Nicaragua.
Cigar Review: Rocky Patel TAA Exclusivo 2020
Wrapper: San Andres
Ring Gauge: 52
The Look: Package in 20 count boxes emblazoned with the Tobacconist Association of America logo is the 2020 TAA Exclusive from Rocky Patel. Featuring a red white and gold band the TAA Logo pops out at you on the primary band with a secondary band denoting Exclusivo. The foot of the cigar is protected with a red ribbon. The San Andres wrapper that adorns the cigar has some subtle oils and bit of tooth to it. In the hand the cigar feels a little light however there are no voids of tobacco and a well packed foot.
The Notes: The cold draw of the cigar has a subtle plum sweetness with a hint of dark chocolate while the aroma off the foot serves up some raisin sweetness. Once the cigar is lit there is a burst of pepper before giving way to a subtle molasses.
Smoking the first third of the Rocky Patel TAA Exclusive for 2020 the molasses notes are dominant for the first inch of the cigar before it being to pull back as an espresso component takes control of the palate. As the first third comes to a close, caramel begins to develop alongside a subtle earth. The retrohale of the cigar is front loaded with black pepper but as it subsides it increases the caramel.
The second third sees the caramel sweetness become dominant on this mouthwatering smoke. As we cross over the mid-way post of the cigar the caramel remains dominant as mocha begins to develop with continued espresso notes and a touch of leather. The retrohale sees the black pepper tone down considerably adding some lychee nuttiness to the flavor profile.
The final third sees the sweetness exit the building with notes of birch, leather, strong espresso and a touch of earthiness. The flavor changes throughout the cigar keep you engaged throughout and the retrohale sees the return of black pepper. The finish of the cigar was short to moderate in the first two-thirds but by the time we put this down the finish is long and savory.
The Finish: The Rocky Patel TAA Exclusivo is another winner out of the TAVICUSA factory. It’s notes are dark at times and the strength creeps up on you at the end, but its a well balanced cigar that offers just enough sweetness to keep things in my wheel house. I think the cigar would pair really well with Ron Zacapa 23 or even XO if it is in your budget. It’d definitely worth picking up and in my opinion this is a cigar that should age really well in theory.
Price: $12.69 / $224.99