BEST of the BEST 2014 | Leisure | Cigars: Rocky Patel Royale

Photo by Cordero Studios

The former entertainment-industry attorney Rakesh “Rocky” Patel has become one of the world’s top boutique cigar producers, renowned for his products’ packaging, which is always eye-catching and occasionally over the top. The cigars themselves are equally noteworthy. The brand’s tobacco blends attract serious smokers and earn accolades, including two previous Best of the Best honors, for the Fifteenth Anniversary and the Renaissance releases. The brand makes its third Best of the Best appearance this year with the Rocky Patel Royale (www.rockypatel.com, $7.50 to $11.60), a box-pressed cigar made from an Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper, all-Nicaraguan filler, and a double binder of Connecticut shade and Connecticut broadleaf tobaccos. The flavor is big and meaty, with hints of milk chocolate and curry. Patel offers five sizes, including a 6 × 52 torpedo.

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