What do you get when Rocky Patel asks you to make a cigar that is both flavorful and very full in strength? Oh yeah, and what do you do when he says that it needs to sell between five and six dollars? The answers is quite simple, Thunder by Nimish. If you are not aware of who Nimish is, his full name is Nimish Desai, and he is Rocky’s cousin and one of the top two guys for Rocky Patel Cigars along with Nish, Rocky’s brother. Thunder is one of the three new releases from Rocky Patel this year, and what a beast it is. I think Rocky really made his first really strong cigar when he made the 15th Anniversary, and this one topples that smoke. The cigar, like all of Rocky’s new smokes is made in Esteli, Nicaragua at Rocky’s new factory Tabacalera Villa Cuba S.A., which he co-owns with Amilcar Perez Castro. Amilcar Perez Castro worked for a long time with his father-in-law, Don Pepin Garcia, before going to make cigars with Rocky Patel, and since then I have loved Rocky's production even more than before. ...
The Thunder is made in the old Cuban fashion, like all new releases from Rocky, with a triple cap and rolled in the entubar fashion. The line begins with an oily and dark Colorado maduro wrapper that is Ecuadorian Habano. There are two binders for the cigar, and they are of Nicaraguan and Honduran tobacco. To finish it off, the filler tobacco is composed of Costa Rican, Honduran and Nicaraguan tobacco. The blend alone sounds great, but let us get into the cigar. The aroma of the toro and robusto is of chocolate, rich earth, oak, pepper and leather, and giving the name and what I have heard from Rocky and Nish about the cigar, it is definitely a full bodied cigar. I smoked the toro and robusto version to this line, and they measure 6 ½” with a 52 ring gauge, and 4 ½” with a 54 ring gauge respectively. One great aspect to the robusto vitola in this line is the pigtail finish it has, I love pigtail finished cigar!
The cigars begin like firecrackers! There is a ton of black pepper and cinnamon up front, and it is accompanied by notes of wood, leather, and earth. The wood notes are more that of oak, and I am getting a little peat in there as well. Both smokes are burning perfectly, and they are producing a wonderful amount of thick dense smoke. The cigars are definitely full in body, and I have found the robusto to be stronger than the toro. Both cigars showed similar flavors, and with the robusto ring gauge, I believe you will get more flavors from the filler tobacco. So far the burn on both cigars have been great, and I look forward to the final two thirds of these smokes.
When I get into the second third of the cigars, the strengths decrease some, and they are now around medium-full in strength. The pepper notes are still present and strong, but the other flavors in the cigar have shown more characters and presence. The peat and oak notes have stepped up some, and the cinnamon has been accompanied by sweet dark chocolate and espresso notes. There is a nice meaty quality to the cigars at this point, and this is a great evening smoke that pairs great with a bold red after a big steak dinner. The burn was a little wobbly in the robusto during the second third, but the toro vitola was burning very well. The smoke is still wonderful, and I am having some great smoke rings. One great aspect of the second third of the two cigars is that they began to shore much more in flavor, and it balanced out the strength of the two cigars.
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In the final third of the cigars now, and they are ending wonderfully. The flavors of pepper have remained throughout, and they have kept the spotlight throughout. The oak notes are also more prominent now, and it is perfectly paired with chocolate and espresso bean flavors. The toro is still smoking softer than the robusto, but both are ending around medium-full body. I am not picking up much cinnamon notes in the end as I was in the first two thirds, but the leather flavor is there. The burn on both cigars is perfect, and the smoke is very dense and dark.
If you are looking for a full bodied and full flavored cigar for a great price point, than you can’t beat this line. I think Nimish achieved what Rocky asked for, and more with this cigar. I would give the toro a 90 rating, and the robusto vitola a 92. I typically prefer a smaller ring gauge, but with this cigar I loved the robusto. Easily Rocky’s strongest cigar, I believe this cigar will do very well among cigar smokers, and I know that I have seen a lot of serious smokers picking these cigars up once they have tried a single stick. I for one will definitely keep these cigars around for those nights where I want a peppery full bodied cigar, and it will go great with a Malbec, Shiraz or Zinfandel. The name really matches the cigar in this case, and this delivers in strength and flavor like a nearby thunderbolt. Great job Nimish, great job!