Rocky Patel Renaissance
Honduran cigars are notably meaty—?though, of course, this loose adjective makes no distinction between the lowly top round and the mouthwatering porterhouse. But if we are to liken cigars to cuts of beef, then the Rocky Patel Renaissance (www.rockypatel.com, $7.30–$8.30) is certainly our bone-in filet mignon—a sublime steak not often found on the menu. Indeed, the Renaissance cigar, now in its second year of production, graces few tobacconists’ humidors, thanks to a small first-production run of only 6,000 boxes. The cigar’s dark, oily Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper has been aged for four years; when combined with rich Nicaraguan filler and a binder from Jalapa, the dark, damp leaf yields an almost perfume-like bouquet and a rich, sophisticated smoke that sizzles at the top end of medium-well. The new 5½ x 50 robusto is our particular favorite.