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Rocky Patel Disciple Robusto | halfwheel


During the 2021 PCA Convention & Trade Show, Rocky Patel showed off a new blend which is one of three new lines the company will be releasing in 2021. Named Disciple, the four vitola regular production creation is made up of a Mexican San Andrés wrapper covering Nicaraguan tobacco used in both the binder and filler.

“In all of our years creating world-class cigars, we’ve never produced anything that more rigorously adheres to our high standards and dedication to quality,” reads the Rocky Patel website. “We call it: The Disciple, and it’s anything but a follower.”

The Disciple cigars are rolled at the company’s Tabacalera Villa Cuba S.A. (TAVICUSA) factory in Estelí, Nicaragua and began shipping to retailers on Sept. 10.

  • Rocky Patel Disciple Sixty (6 x 60) — $13 (Box of 20, $260)
  • Rocky Patel Disciple Toro (6 x 52) — $11.50 (Box of 20, $230)
  • Rocky Patel Disciple Bala (5 3/4 x 58/50) — $12 (Box of 20, $240)
  • Rocky Patel Disciple Robusto (5 x 50) — $10.50 (Box of 20, $210)

  • Cigar Reviewed: Rocky Patel Disciple Robusto
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacalera Villa Cuba S.A.
  • Wrapper: Mexico (San Andrés)
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Robusto
  • MSRP: $10.50 (Box of 20, $210)
  • Release Date: Sept. 10, 2021
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

Although the foot band is big enough to cover pretty much the entire cigar below the main band—more on that below—removing it reveals an attractive dark chocolate brown wrapper that is smooth to the touch, albeit with only a touch of oil. In addition, there is plenty of mottling as well as some protruding veins, and each of the three cigars I smoke has a small soft spot, albeit in different locations. The aroma from the wrapper is a combination of sweet barnyard, hay and raisins, while the foot brings notes of earth, leather tack, cocoa nibs and slight vegetal. After a straight cut, the cold draw features flavors of strong, rich raisins, roasted espresso beans, black pepper, cedar and generic nuts.

A distinct leather tack note greets my palate immediately after lighting the foot of the Rocky Patel, but flavors of espresso and earth quickly take over the top spots in the profile. Secondary notes of powdery cocoa nibs, hay, cedar, minerals and slight vegetal flit in and out while both black pepper and raisin sweetness pulled over from the cold draw are easily discernible on the retrohale. Construction-wise, the cigar is giving me no issues whatsoever so far with a wonderful draw, a very close to razor straight burn line and plenty of dense, white smoke. Flavor is just north of medium, body is just south of medium and the strength hits a point between mild and medium by the time the first third comes to an end.

 

Coming into the second third of the Rocky Patel and the profile is basically staying the course, with the same espresso beans and earth notes easily topping the more minor flavors of dark chocolate, leather tack, anise, hay, sourdough bread, cedar and a touch of citrus that a are also present in various amounts. There is also very little change in the retrohale, which is still full of both black pepper and raisin sweetness, albeit slightly more of the former than the latter. In terms of construction, the cigar continues to impress, including an excellent draw and a burn line that remains trouble-free. Flavor ends just above medium, body increases to a solid medium and the strength ends the second third very slightly above the medium range.

There are very few surprises during the final third of the Disciple Robusto: gritty earth and rich espresso beans take the main spots, followed closely behind by additional notes cedar, hay, cocoa nibs, leather and a slight lemongrass. Having said that, there is a noticeable change on the retrohale, with the raisin sweetness taking a back seat to the sharply increased amount of black pepper. The overall construction is also largely unchanged with a wonderful draw and a burn line that—while wavier than the previous two thirds—continues to give me no problems that would need attention from my lighter. Flavor ends just above medium, body increases slightly to just north of medium, and the strength bumps up to a point between the medium and full mark by the time I put the nub down with less than inch remaining.

Final Notes

  • The first time you see the robusto vitola, it is hard not to notice that the combination of foot band and main band take up 90 percent of total real estate of the cigar. In addition, the back of the main band is colored black, something I don’t recall seeing very often.

  • Speaking of the foot band, if you look closely you can see that it is not one color all the way around as it first appears: there is a gradient of sorts on alternating lines.
  • The Rocky Patel website has a very well-done section titled From Seed to Smoke which goes into detail about how cigars are made, complete with videos, explanations and high-quality photographs.
  • During this year’s PCA Trade Show, Rocky Patel also showed off a specially-made Tubo humidor—bearing the appropriate name of Tubeaux—for retailers which will allow from between 4-16 different SKUs to be displayed.
  • Rocky Patel advertises on halfwheel.
  • The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time averaged one hour and 19 minutes for all three samples.
  • If you would like to purchase any of the Rocky Patel Disciple Robusto, site sponsors Atlantic Cigar, Corona Cigar Co. and JR Cigar all have them in stock.

86
Overall Score

Although it features a fairly linear profile throughout its entire smoking time, I found the Rocky Patel Disciple Robusto to be quite enjoyable overall. In part, that is due to the main flavors that are present in the profile—including rich espresso beans and earth, along with some nice raisin sweetness on the retrohale—that are very well defined, as well as construction that was excellent on all three samples. Having said that, the medium plus strength sneaks up on you—peaking smack dab in the middle of the final third—and the final third on two samples did suffer some balance issues due to noticeably increased black pepper on the retrohale. This is not a blend that is going to blow you away with complexity, but those looking for a flavorful, stronger blend that you barely have to think about after lighting it up should definitely pick one up to try.

Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.

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