Rocky Patel Vintage 2006 San Andreas Bala TAA Cigar Review
The Rocky Patel Vintage 2006 San Andreas was originally released in 2017. This year the company has released a line extension exclusive for member of the TAA. The TAA is a group of manufactures and retailers that meets once a year. At the meetings, cigar companies release a limited edition or size exclusively for stores like Two Guys Smoke Shop. This year, the company has released a size that has become synonymous with Rocky Patel, Bala. The top of the cigar is round like a traditional parejo, while the foot is tapered like a salomon.
Cigar: Rocky Patel Vintage 2006 San Andreas
Wrapper: San Andres (Mexico) (Aged 11 years)
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Ring Gauge: 58/50
The Look: Featuring the familiar orange, black and silver band the Rocky Patel San Andreas comes in boxes of 20 utilizing the same colors. The Bala size is a bit of an odd size as it looks like a traditional cigar at the cap, but a salomon at the foot. The difference is the cigar doest feature the ultra tapered nipple. Instead the foot of the cigar looks like it is rolled completely closed and then a bullet punch is used to put a hole in it exposing the foot. As a result, this cigar should be well toasted before lighting should you choose not to clip it. Not lighting it correctly could create a canoe situation.
The Notes: Once the cap is clipped the cold draw of the cigar serves up notes of rhubarb along with a touch of prunes and cookie dough. It’s interesting to note that as I am taking in the cold draw, the aroma from the wrapper wafts upward toward the nose introducing a fig like element. After toasting the cigar for a considerably longer time due to the closed foot the initial note is reminiscent of a kola nut along with some breakfast cereal marshmallows.
The first few puffs of the cigar are tough as we move past the bulbous foot before the cigar opens up and the kola nut notes really begin to shine. Moving into the first third of the cigar the kola note quickly dissipates as notes of espresso and leather begin to emerge with an abundance of white pepper that is enhanced on the retrohale. As the first third comes to a close, the leather notes are replaced the kola nuttiness once again.
As the second third begins the cocoa aroma from the wrapper becomes more noticeable as the cigar is smoked where it continues to serve up espresso and nuttiness. Around the half-way point, mocha develops giving the cigar a wonderful sweetness to compliment the power of the San Andreas wrapper. The retrohale serves up notes of brown sugar, coffee beans and white pepper.
The last third of the Rocky Patel San Andreas Vintage 2006 sees the mocha become the dominant note with a strong dark espresso on the finish. The retrohale of the cigar has finally toned down and adds some nuttiness to the mix.
The Finish: I can’t express enough that the beginning of this cigar needs to be smoked slow otherwise it can burn hot due to the shape. Once you get past the first half inch of the cigar you can return to your preferred smoking ritual. The Bala is an interesting cigar because for me the strength of the cigar toned down as we smoked it down and I also feel like the finish got shorter. The taste of the cigar was more intensified compared to more traditional vitolas in the line. This one is definitely worth a shot.
Price: $7.19 / $125.99