What’s In Your Humidor? with Rocky Patel

What’s In Your Humidor? with Rocky Patel

It’s hard to be a cigar smoker and not know the name Rocky Patel. I often refer to him as the Donald Trump of cigars, just because it seems like his name is everywhere. Few people have done as much for all aspects of the cigar industry as Rocky Patel. After twenty years in the cigar industry, Rocky is no longer an outsider, but a prominent member of the cigar community. His Rocky Patel Premium Cigars brand is know worldwide, and for good reason. There have been some really impressive recent releases from RPPC including the Tabaquero by Hamlet, Sun Grown Maduro and Twentieth Anniversary. So, it was a pretty cool that we got Rocky to be a part of out What’s In Your Humidor? feature.

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The obvious first question is, what’s in your humidor? Is it all your own stuff, or there any other cigars and brands you enjoy?
Mostly my own…Decade, Royale, 15th Anniversary, Sun Grown Maduro. I enjoy smoking the Rosario, Padron, Ashton Symmetry, and La Aroma de Cuba.”

What are some of your all-time favorite cigars?
Some of my favorite cigars include the Decade 10th Anniversary, Arturo Fuente Anejo Shark, Padron 50th Anniversary, 15th Anniversary, Ashton BSG, and Cohiba Siglo Six.

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What do you consider most import when choosing a new blend to add to the Rocky Patel Premium Cigars line? 
The taste of the blend must be complex, distinct, different, unique and balanced. It all begins with having great, well-aged wrapper.

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Not long ago, you began producing cigars in Nicaragua, as well as Honduras. How did that come about? Is there a difference to working in Nicaragua rather than Honduras?
Yes, we wanted to have cigars in both countries made in different variations. The bunching in Honduras is done in an accordion fashion. The bunching in Nicaragua is done in a tubular fashion. Cigars in Honduras are double-capped vs Nicaraguan cigars, which are triple capped. We are also using more of our own tobacco grown on our farms in Esteli for the cigars in Nicaragua compared to the tobacco from Honduras.

Your name has become so synonyms with the modern cigar industry, so much so that I often refer to you as the “Donald Trump of cigars”. How hard was it to develop from a small start-to like Indian Tobak to the massive force that is now Rocky Patel Premium Cigars?
It was an effort that involved 18 hours a day of relentless hard work. It involved a lot of sacrifice and time on the road to meet consumers and retailers. I spent countless hours down at our factories to ensure that we have the strictest quality control standards in the world. These high standards ensure that we will have the most consistent cigars in the world.”

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Obviously, travel has had a lot to do with building your brand’s awareness. It seems like everywhere we go, be it a small shop in rural Ohio or the larger shops like Smoke Inn in Florida, everyone has a “when I met Rocky Patel” story. Are you planning on continuing such a grueling travel schedule?
I enjoy traveling, it does get a little old on the mind and body. However, the reward of enjoying cigars with our consumers drives me to continue with the difficult travel schedule.

Few people have done as much to support the rights of cigar smokers as you have, especially through your contributions and effort to Cigar Rights of America. With new FDA regulations looming, what do you think the average cigar enthusiast can do to protect this lifestyle that we all love so much? 
The most important thing to do is to stay in contact with your state Congressman and Senators. Write, email or call and explain to them that premium cigars are very unique and very different from a pack of cigarettes. They’re enjoyed by aficionados not under a cigarettes addictive habits. It’s an art form and a culture, much like the wine and spirits community. Be relentless in educating other the differences between premium tobacco and cigarettes.

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As a Mets fan I have to ask, how did the Garry Sheffield HR 500 come about?
Gary and I met and became good friends. He was an avid aficionado himself and was very enthusiastic to learn about the trade and create his own cigar in collaboration with RPPC.

Is there anything else about yourself or Rocky Patel Premium Cigars you think our readers would be interested to know? 
Our consumers should know that we take over 2,000 people to our factories in Honduras and Nicaragua for tours. I know they will be very impressed with how hard it is to make a great quality cigar. If given the opportunity, they will gain the knowledge to appreciate the strict quality controls that are in place to make the finest cigars in the world.

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Interview by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)

Rocky Patel Premium Cigars is a Brand Sponsor of Toasted Foot. We are grateful for their continued support, and their commitment to the cigar media world.