April 29, 2012

Cigar Review: Rocky Patel Decade Edición Limitada 2012

This ain't your daddy's Decade
Following my review of the Burn by Rocky Patel, I decided to continue with the other new release by Rocky Patel, and review the new Rocky Patel Decade Edición Limitada 2012. As everyone knows, the Decade was created by Rocky Patel to celebrate his tenth anniversary in the cigar industry, and it has been a tremendous hit since. I for one saw that cigar as the turning point for Rocky Patel, and since then he has continuously been making great cigars. It was not that he was making poor cigars before, but since then he has been making some incredible sticks that have really been exceptional. Rocky has really built a lot of positive relationships with several manufacturers in the industry throughout his years, and is because of this that he has had access to several varieties of tobacco.



Originally crafted in Honduras at Nestor Plasencia's factory, El Paraiso, production of the Decade was eventually moved to Rocky's new factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, TAVICUSA S.A. With most of Rocky's cigars being produced now in Nicaragua, Rocky decided to have these cigars be produced at El Paraiso, and be produced under the watchful eyes of the Plasencia Family. Why this cigar was not produced there like the Burn I don't know, but given that they are both great factories I am not concerned. Limited to three sizes, 500 boxes of each, the  Decade Edición Limitada 2012 is a special blend. It has been posted as a secretive blend, but I have heard from reliable sources what the blend is.
Edicion Limitada 2012
Through the grapevine I have heard that the filler and binder are the same as the original Decade blend, Nicaraguan fillers and Honduran binder, but the wrapper is not Ecuadorian Sumatra but Pennsylvania Broadleaf. I am not entirely positive that this is the blend, but fairly sure especially after smoking the cigar. For this review I chose the Toro vitola, and the cigar is your standard toro measuring 6" with a 52 ring gauge. The cigar has a lovely dark Maduro wrapper, almost Oscuro, and has few veins present. The wrapper is oily and toothy and is firm in hand. The coloring is really that of dark chocolate, and has aromas of licorice, dark cherries, rich earth, coffee and damp wood on the wrapper and at the foot.
The Mysterious Wrapper
Upon lighting the cigar I am greeted by rich and warm flavors. There is a nice rich spice to the cigar, very pleasant and not peppery, and there are tons of damp wood notes with that. There is a nice flavor profile of espresso beans, and I am also getting some rich earth with that, practically chocolate. There is a hint of anise/licorice present as well, and you could say that lies in the spice department. To top it off there are some nice dark cherry notes present with the cigar, and it really provides a complex and rich finish. This is a cigar that is perfect with a nice port or Shiraz. The cigar is burning fairly uneven, I imagine because of the thick and oily wrapper, but it is leaving a really pleasant dark gray ash that holds on to the cigar firmly. To me the strength is at a medium medium full level, and it really focuses on the flavors.

In the second third of the cigar I am finding that it is continuing those great aspects from the first third and it is very rich and hearty. That damp wood and licorice flavor profile is truly present in the second third of the cigar, and the espresso notes have turned more to coffee. There is really this Mexican hot chocolate flavor profile present as well, and it almost like a dessert cigar. The soft spices continue on through the second third, and there is a long finish with tons of smoke after each draw. I am finding that the cigar is remaining slightly between the medium and medium full flavor profile, and it really is balanced. I believe that this is a cigar that many could smoke, and the reason for that is the balance more focus on the flavors. I am getting a similar burn line in this third, and that ash is keep the solid dark gray coloring.  

The cigar is coming to a close and it is finishing wonderfully. I am thinking to myself if I prefer this cigar to the original Decade, and the answer is that they are completely different and incomparable. This cigar is very rich and hearty, and you can pick that up in the dark cocoa notes, coffee, licorice, soft spices and dark cherry notes. I will say that I am getting those dark cherry notes in the original Decade, and that is similar. I really enjoy the damp wood flavor profile as well with this smoke, and it really captures that classic Pennsylvania Broadleaf Maduro flavor profile even if that is not the wrapper. The burn remains a little wavy in the final third, but with the great flavors I could careless, because the cigar is not going out or presenting other problems. I am finding the strength to be closer to medium full when I get down to the nub, and even on the last draw it was cool and rich. 

This was really a great Maduro, and this is a Maduro I would gravitate towards. The cigar captured tons of rich flavors while remaining very balanced and flavorful. The strength was perfect, not too strong or light, and it really focused more on the flavors. I think a lot of people focus more on strength, when the best aspect of the cigar is the flavors. I would say that this is Rocky's best Maduro on the market currently, and if you are a fan of the flavor profiles I listed then I would buy a box of these limited smokes. Once again, it really captures a lot of those flavors I find in a Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper, and that is typically my preferred Maduro of choice. The cigar did have a couple burn issues, but that was due to how oily the wrapper was. This cigar is great now, and is not a cigar that needs some age. I give this puppy 92 points, and I found a great weekend Maduro while they are in stock. Good call on getting boxes of these Havana Phil's! 
Decade Edicion Limitada 2012
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