Cigar Aficionado

Seasonal Smoke From Rocky Patel

Rocky Patel is doing something different, making a small-quantity cigar rather than a big brand. He's poised to release Rocky Patel Summer Blend 2008.

This small-batch release is being made in a diminutive factory in Estelí, Nicaragua, called Tafenic, which is run by Abdel Fernandez. The cigar is made with Nicaraguan filler, an Ecuador wrapper grown from Sumatra seed, and a Cameroon binder, something new for Patel. He described the cigars as medium to full in body, with a spicy, peppery flavor.

"It just has enough spice," he said, "with almost some sweet undertones to it."

The cigar will come in four sizes: robusto, which measures five inches long by 50 ring gauge, and has a suggested retail price of $6.65; Toro, 6 1/2 inches by 52, $7.90; Toro Grande, 6 by 58, $8.50; and Lancero, 7 inches long by 42 ring, and retails for $7.30.

The cigars will be on sale within two weeks. They were previewed earlier this month at the Tobacconists Association of America meeting in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.