Welcome to Cigar History, a series of blogs written by the knowledgeable team at Havana House all about the history of cigar brands. Today we are looking at a brand that can trace it’s roots to the other side of the Pacific ocean – Rocky Patel Premium Cigars!
Rocky Patel Premium Cigar History
Rocky Patel Premium Cigars are a boutique brand. This means that every stage of the cigar making process is overseen by Rocky Patel, from the germination of the tobacco plants to distribution of the hand rolled cigars. Rocky Patel does it all, the tobacco is grown on fields owned by Rocky Patel, bunched in factories ran by Rocky Patel, rolled by Torcedors employed by Rocky Patel and marketed across the globe by Rocky Patel himself! The man is truly at the heart of his craft. We learned this, here ourselves, here at Havana House, when the man himself joined us on one of our annual cigar cruises down the river Thames. He is a very charismatic man and certainly knows his stuff about cigars!
Rocky Patel premium cigars is a brand far younger than most, being founded during the cigar boom. A trend common with boutique cigar brands, especially those created in the cigar boom, is that the founders were not born into the cigar smoking community nor did they ever plan to begin making cigars, until they did.
Rakesh ‘Rocky’ Patel was born in India in 1961 but he lived and worked in Los Angeles as an entertainment and product liability lawyer, where he met and worked with numerous celebrities famous for their cigar smoking, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gene Hackman. Rocky had never been around cigars. Once he had however, he was instantly bewitched by the pastime, becoming one of the original founding members of the Grand Havana Club. Rocky had always been an entrepreneurial man, often dabbling in various investment opportunities. It wasn’t until the early days of the cigar boom that he really focused his efforts into his most famous project, however.
Rocky Patel sent a vast majority of his money to the Honduras to buy a patch of land along with a factory. According to Rocky himself, his friends and family all told him that he should save his money; he would never make it in the cigar industry. How wrong they were…
Rocky had already began his journey at the 1996 RTDA in Cincinnati. Businessmen and intrigued customers crowded around his booth to purchase these new, brightly packaged cigars. Rocky’s ideology had always been that the young companies held the responsibility to create fresh ideas in every industry. So he arrived into the cigar industry by storm with bold packaging and complex, full flavoured cigars.
Rocky Patel Premium Cigars are known for the unique once-in-a-life experience that they offer their customers. For a limited few, Rocky himself hosts trips to his estate on the island of Honduras so that consumers can see the passion packed into every cigar for themselves. The trip includes a tour of the whole estate, the various stages of tobacco cultivation and maturation as well as a chance to meet the Torcedores who roll the cigars. The journey is complete with luxury accommodation nearby. It’s like the gentlemen’s version of a golden ticket to see Willy Wonka’s factory!
Rocky Patel Cigar Product Range
When he is not travelling the world, Rocky Patel is focused on production. Rocky speaks to consumers from across the globe every day so he knows what the market desires. From his first hand market research, Rocky has decided to sway the theme of his cigars to be more complex than the linear cigars that many brands produce. It is true that there are many brands which produce some excellent complex cigars, but they are inconsistent in taste, at least in Mr. Patel’s opinion anyway.
Rocky produced an untold number of cigar ranges when he first began blending, some were sold, some were discarded. These were only early-stage experiments, however. It was not long before Rocky made the staple of the brand, the cigar that started it all, the Rocky Patel Vintage 1990. The cigar is nothing short of perfection and for that reason it is still in production all these years later. The wrapper tobaccos are the key ingredient. The twelve years aged Connecticut Broadleaf has a tame strength but is full of complexity. If you’ve never tried a Rocky Patel Premium Cigar, we suggest you start with this masterpiece.
Of course, there are other cigars which Rocky commissions but unlike most other cigar brands he produces a rather large range, and we couldn’t possibly name them all here. Currently Rocky Patel Premium Cigars have produced 41 different series and that is not including private labels! Each series contains several different sizes as well of course. If you want to find out more about the different Rocky Patel cigars then have a look at our vast catalogue of his cigars!
What are your thoughts on Rocky Patel Premium cigars? Leave us your opinion in the comments section down below, we love to read them and interact with the cigar community!