In early June I did some shopping around for a short smoke that would satisfy my craving for a full bodied cigar, and yet could be consumed in less than 30 minutes. This in an effort to minimize the amount of time I would spend baking on the deck in the summer heat.
I found exactly what I was looking for in the Rocky Patel Sun Grown Petite. There’s nothing so intoxicating as cracking open a full box of cigars and inhaling the scent of aged tobacco, so it’s lucky for me that I had the presence of mind to take a picture before I dug in.
Rocky Patel’s Sun Grown line has been in and out of production since 2004. Apparently something went awry with the blend at one point in time and Rocky put a halt on production. Rocky’s reputation in this regard is pretty much impeccable — you’re getting the high quality cigar you expect, or you get nothing at all. The glitch in the blend was corrected in due course and today we have Sun Growns aplenty.
The highlight of this cigar is the Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, sun grown (of course) and aged for 5 years. In discussing his favorite growing regions, Rocky said in an interview with cigar.com,
I love the Sumatra from Ecuador. I think that wrapper has tons of flavor, strength, and it has that sweetness and it burns very very well compared to the wrappers used in Nicaragua or Honduras which are very thick, if you want the strength…
The wrapper on this cigar is so dark that it could almost be confused for maduro. It’s oily and deep in color, enriched with a reddish tone that makes it a real looker. Complementing the wrapper are a Nicaraguan binder, and filler from three countries: Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua. That’s a lot of leaf in one little corona, but it results in a sophisticated and well balanced blend.
There’s a lot of power packed into this little cigar. It starts up with a burst of pepper that burns off after a minute or two. Then a band of coffee and chocolate flavors comes marching in and trades choruses… is that coffee, no, it’s more like cocoa, no it’s coffee… and the sweetness of the wrapper suggests once again that it is maduro. But it’s much more aggressive than maduro, sweet but headier and more potent.
The burn and construction of all the cigars in this box was consistently good, though I am still testing. Maybe one of the last five sticks will disappoint, but somehow I doubt it.
The finish is long on these Sun Grown petites, and the aftertaste is a lasting reminder that you have just enjoyed a robust, though diminutive, cigar. It’s been a while since I smoked one of the larger sizes in this line, but I believe these little guys can stand up to the big boys. Try em. You’ll like em.