In an industry built on name recognition and reputation, Rocky Patel’s passion has brought his brand to heights unseen by most boutique cigar manufacturers. His hard work and long hours have been paying off in big ways. A survivor of the cigar boom, Patel has outlasted his competition with unrivaled persistence on his quest for perfection. With a grueling travel schedule, office responsibilities and production, Rocky still maintains the enthusiasm that he has had since day one. As he travels the world, putting his cigars in the mouths of his consumers, his passion extends beyond the retailer, allowing his customers the experience of meeting the man behind their favorite smokes. Rocky Patel has created a company that has out shined even those created by multimillion-dollar corporations, and he’s doing it one customer at a time.
It was the mid-1990s when the premium cigar market was drastically changing. Rocky Patel lived and worked in Los Angeles as an entertainment and product liability lawyer. Through a friend, Rocky was introduced to cigars and was instantly fascinated by them. He then became one of the original founding members of the Grand Havana Club in Los Angeles. While dabbling in various investment ventures, Rocky was approached with a business plan to manufacture cigars. In 1996 at the RTDA in Cincinnati, Ohio, Indian Tabac Cigar Co. was formally introduced. With his eye-popping packaging, Patel went against the grain and this strategy has continued to pay off. While meeting new and unique people everywhere he goes, Rocky also hosts trips to Honduras for his customers, providing them with a one of a kind experience of witnessing his operation and passion first hand.
In 2003, Rocky put aside the Indian Tabac brand name he spent years building, to focus on the Rocky Patel Vintage Series. A superior smoke to anything Patel had created previous, the Vintage Series was made up of premium quality aged tobaccos. In Honduras, Rocky discovered unused bales of old Honduran-grown broadleaf and Ecuadorian Sumatra. He used these two different tobaccos to create both lines of the Vintage Series. The hard work Patel put into Vintage was worth it as he soon found out that the older tobacco performed significantly better than anything he had used before. He also cut back on production to focus on quality control. Instead of 400 to 500 Cigars being rolled a day, Rocky cut it back to 250. This left room for unprecedented craftsmanship and his attention to quality has produced a fine line of cigars.
Due to Rocky’s charisma, enthusiasm and personal approach, the cigar industry has definitely taken notice. No one can question his methods as the proof is in the pudding. However, while his company is thriving, Rocky is still on his quest for perfection. His greatest wish is to create the optimal tobacco mixture that makes his cigars ‘immortal’. Rocky believes that his cigars should evolve into the prime example for quality for generations. His hard work is paying off as he is building a brand that is being recognized everywhere. Rocky assures his consumers that, “You can expect more and you will get more”.
The cigar is almost seamless, with a beautiful creamy brown wrapper that had a silky feel. A slight sweet smell on the nose with a clean cedar pre-light flavor.
1st quarter: There was sweetness right away with some mild earthiness. The draw was very smooth and effortless, which produced dense and creamy smoke to the palate. Some coffee notes with an earthiness to the start. 2nd quarter: Hints of woody notes and a great, mild creaminess in the smoke began to hit the palate. Big, bold flavor noticeable in the aroma. A very smooth and creamy texture on the palate with spiciness in the smoke and through the nose. 3rd quarter: The aroma was very rich with a hint of spice and full, sweet, and earthy notes. The cigar has a slow and very even burn, producing a long and thick gray ash. Very luring texture developed, along with robust flavor. Some underlying sweet notes with an ever-present richness. 4th quarter: The cigar maintained its flavors and character and had a near flawless burn. A lot of rich tobacco notes with a roasted texture that produced very well. Flavors plateau and the aroma became full as the cigar came to an end.
The Decade Cameroon had creamy characters with smoky notes. Very rich overall with outstanding construction. Its medium-full body stayed consistent and never overwhelmed the palate. Very well-made cigar for its value, and effortless smoking enjoyment to the finish.
Myron Gooch Sr.
Reviewed at: The Man Cave.
Time Smoked: 1 hour 50 minutes
Size: 6½” x 52”