Here’s the obligatory opening line about a new cigar that is being released for a special occasion. You’ve read it before and I’ve written it before, both likely more times than we care to recall.
The occasion is the 60th birthday of none other than one of the biggest personalities in the premium cigar industry, Rocky Patel. On Feb. 26, 2021, the man behind the brand turned 60, and as is only fitting, his company has released a cigar in celebration of the event.
The blend uses a Mexican San Andrés wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and filler, and which the company says gets two years of aging as finished cigars prior to their release. The line is currently offered in three box-pressed vitolas.
- Sixty by Rocky Patel Toro (6 1/2 x 52) — $17 (Box of 20, $340)
- Sixty by Rocky Patel Sixty (6 x 60) — $18 (Box of 20, $360)
- Sixty by Rocky Patel Robusto (5 1/2 x 50) — $16 (Box of 20, $320)
The company has also announced that a fourth size—a half corona—is scheduled to be released in European markets before the end of 2021.
It’s the latest in a number of cigars that celebrates Rocky Patel’s birthday; there is the Rocky Patel II-XXVI, which came out in 2013 and gets its name from Rocky’s birthday in Roman numerals. There have also been the Rocky Patel 50 and Rocky Patel Fifty-Five, which celebrate those respective birthdays.
If you’re looking for something a bit more special with which to celebrate Rocky Patel’s 60th birthday or just to enjoy the cigars, the Sixty by Rocky Patel Toro is offered in a humidor, with 100 toros and an MSRP of $2,500.
- Cigar Reviewed: Sixty by Rocky Patel Toro
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Tabacalera Villa Cuba S.A.
- Wrapper: Mexico (San Andrés)
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 6 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Toro
- MSRP: $17 (Box of 20, $340)
- Release Date: September 2021
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
A 60th birthday is certainly something to celebrate, and the Sixty by Rocky Patel Toro is dressed for the occasion, so much so that only a little more than an inch of the wrapper leaf is visible, and I’m not quite sure where to start when to comes to taking off the bands. I thought there might be a total of four items to remove but thankfully there are only three, and the first one either slides off or peels apart fairly easily. That is the large, graphic-laden band that covers the lower third of the cigar. Removing that reveals a good amount of the wrapper, which is a dark and fairly evenly colored shade of brown. The leaf has a texture that is an interesting mix of fine velvet and fine grit, which has just a bit of an oily sheen to it. There is the usual box press firmness, a bit more pillowy from front to back than side to side, which has a bit less give to it. There are some softer spots, but nothing concerning. The foot of the cigar leads with an aroma of light milk chocolate, almost a refined chocolate syrup as opposed to the Hershey’s syrup you’d find at the grocery store. It’s not an overly sweet cigar, and a few more sniffs will confirm that with a sneeze-inducing black pepper that turns into a red pepper sensation. The cold draw ranges from ideal to a bit firmer than I would have anticipated. It also leads with chocolate but quickly develops a subtle apple flavor, almost like a chocolate covered apple, which then leads me to think of caramel apples, even though that flavor isn’t explicitly there. There doesn’t seem to be nearly as much pepper as there is in the aroma, but there is a very enjoyable supporting flavor of light soil.
The Sixty by Rocky Patel Toro opens with an earthy, peppery flavor that wastes no time getting to work tingling my taste buds, while a bit of clay comes along to dry them out a bit. It’s a medium-plus, maybe even medium-full and robust start that sees the tongue and throat both touched with flavor, the latter of which is a debatably good thing as it doesn’t come across as harsh but still leaves a mark. In the first sample, the burn line quickly becomes uneven, a problem followed up by the ash dropping off when I try and touch up the cigar. Retrohales show more of the clay note as an accompaniment to the pepper, which is mainly the bright, white pepper type but has a bit of heavier black pepper. This is definitely a cigar that is at its most enjoyable when those retrohales get combined with regular puffs, as the taste buds get more clay and earth, while the sensation through the nose adds vibrance and liveliness via the pepper. The first third closes out with a sudden introduction of white pepper both on the palate and through the nose, where it is quite stimulating and enjoyable, and can even transform into some dry chili pepper. One sample has an uneven burn line and some delicate ash but otherwise is fine. Flavor is a solid medium-plus, body is medium, and strength is mild thus far.
The terroir of the earth note is what stands out most as the Sixty by Rocky Patel Toro gets into its second third, it’s a lighter flavor that has me thinking Mexican San Andrés as I don’t know what the blend is as I smoke the cigar and write these notes. It’s a bit dry by way of a clay or brick flavor that is just prominent enough to notice but not take over the profile, though it does stand out on the finish. The profile lightens a bit as the burn line approaches the midway point, staying dry and now a bit more chalk-forward. The midway point sees things shift a bit, revealing a flavor that is thick and almost soupy in the sense of a mix of flavors having had time to come together during a long simmering period. There is still some pepper, but it has settled down on the palate while remaining vibrant through the nose. That respite lasts until the final puffs of this section, when the intensity of the flavor picks up quite noticeably, going from medium-plus to full. Body is medium to medium plus, and strength is shy of medium. Construction is generally very good with decent smoke production, a smooth draw, and fairly even burn line.
The earthiness remains a constant thread of the Rocky Patel Sixty Toro as it enters the final third, though now it has more rockiness than clay, a change that hits the tongue with a bit more texture. The pepper turns a bit hotter and more pointed as a bit of red chili pepper flakes join the profile. While the profile has largely been dry, earthy and a bit rough, there are some softer spots as a soft, warm cake donut flits in and out at times. The homestretch of the Sixty by Rocky Patel Toro begins with more rich earthiness and a thick black pepper that weighs on the palate more than it hits it with a typical tingling sensation. There aren’t much in the way of changes in the final third, as the flavor settles more and more into the stewed sensation that comes with cigars that have had the chance to rest for an extended period. Flavor is medium-full, body is medium-plus, and strength is now medium-plus.
- I’m a bit surprised not to see an image of Rocky Patel on the large foot band; I’m not complaining about the image of some tobacco plants, but it would seem to make sense to celebrate the man with his image.
- I don’t like describing a cigar’s ash as bad, but I will say that the ash of the Rocky Patel Sixty can be frustrating, dropping off randomly and thus rarely in the ashtray. Thankfully, only one of the three samples was truly problematic, while the others were more in line with norms.
- When I was doing some searching for notes on the Rocky Patel Sixty, I was reminded that Rocky Patel Premium Cigars has often used the word sixty for the vitola name of its 6 x 60 releases across a number of lines.
- I have not yet smoked the Rocky Patel Disciple, which Brooks Whittington reviewed in early November and which shipped alongside the Sixty by Rocky Patel and also uses a Mexican San Andrés wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and filler. That said, the company as confirmed there are notable differences between the two blends.
- The company has also used that on-paper blend combination for the Rocky Patel A.L.R. Second Edition, which I reviewed in December 2019.
- Nicotine strength is present but very controlled in the Rocky Patel Sixty Toro; I didn’t feel enough to be really noticeable in any of the three samples.
- Rocky Patel Premium Cigars, Inc. advertises on halfwheel.
- The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time was two hours and 15 minutes on average.
- Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co. Corona Cigar Co., Famous Smoke Shop and JR Cigar carry the Sixty by Rocky Patel Toro. Gotham Cigars carries the Robusto and Sixty vitolas, but does not currently list the Toro.
If you’re an experienced enough cigar smoker to have an idea what kind of profile a Mexican San Andrés wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and filler is likely to offer, you’re likely to enjoy this cigar. If you can imagine that blend with two years of age on the finished cigars, you’re likely to enjoy this cigar. It’s certainly not a cigar for everyone, as the clay-forward earth, the pepper and the general robustness won’t sit well on every palate. It’s refined but fairly unapologetic, distinguished but unafraid to cut loose. For my palate, that’s an enjoyable cigar, though I wished it had some more complexity, harmony and nuance—all things I wish almost every cigar I smoke would have more of but something I make more of a request of from a cigar with a truly premium price tag and an age statement of two years as finished cigars. That all said, the Sixty by Rocky Patel Toro is an enjoyable cigar, one I would gladly smoke again but one I might be a bit hesitant to add multiples of to my humidor.