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Master Blenders: Rocky Patel, CEO of Rocky Patel Cigars

One Man`s Exotic Journey from Mumbai to Estelí - How He Become a Cigar Business Icon

EASTON, PA--(Marketwired - December 28, 2016) - If you were to pitch an idea for a movie about the son of a ball-bearing factory owner born in Mumbai, India, who becomes a major player in the world of premium handmade cigars, odds are it might be rejected on the premise that it`s a bit too improbable. The fact is, it`s Rocky Patel`s story, and quite an edgy one at that. Since he hooked-up with Nestor Plasencia during the Cigar Boom 90s, Rocky Patel has created a cigar empire represented by dozens of brands produced in his name, built upon a stunning record of high rating scores and a throng of Rocky Patel cigar loyalists. This month, Rocky is the featured cigar maker on CigarAdvisor.com`s "Master Blenders" podcast hosted by Gary Korb, wherein listeners will hear a conversation that is focused more on the present and future of the cigar business than regurgitating the past. "I think cigar smokers get tired of hearing the same old stories about how cigar makers got into the business, yadda-yadda," said Korb. "For this show I wanted to hear what Rocky`s enjoyed most about his more than 20 years in the business." During the podcast, Rocky talks about his immersion in the fight against the FDA`s new Deeming Regulations on tobacco products, and gives listeners an update on where the cigar manufacturers stand today as they await more rulings and the start of the Trump Administration. Rocky also vented his frustration with many cigar manufacturers whom he feels aren`t doing enough to help fight the war. "There are just too many people in our industry who manufacture cigars who just aren`t engaged enough, either financially or by spending time in D.C. fighting for their ability to continue making cigars." And he feels that cigar retailers and consumers also need to do more for their part. Among the other topics of discussion, a look back at his releases for 2016, which included the now #2 Cigar of 2016 chosen by Cigar Aficionado, the Rocky Patel Sun Grown Maduro Robusto, Rocky also sang the praises of his master blender, Cuban expatriate, Hamlet Paredes, about whom Rocky says, "I don`t think I`ve ever met anyone like him in the cigar business . . . he`s just phenomenal. He`s part of our family now, and is getting ready to enter his 25th year in the cigar business." In honor of that milestone, Rocky announced that he will be coming out with a Hamlet Paredes 25th Anniversary cigar in 2017. Taking an alternate route from the company`s usual Nicaraguan-Dominican-Honduran tobacco blends, next year Rocky will be releasing an all-Dominican core blend, aptly titled, Rocky Patel Dark Dominican. Rocky also mentioned a project he`s been working on with cigar blending wunderkind, A.J. Fernandez, for 2017. When asked about A.J.`s tremendous popularity these day in terms of his working with so many other cigar manufacturers, Rocky said: "I met him many years ago, before he even had a factory, and I`ve always liked his passion and his work ethic. (A.J. first teamed-up with Rocky for his Rocky Patel "Winter," "Summer," "Spring," and "Fall" collections.) Over the past five years he`s certainly become a better cigar maker, in terms of his attention to detail and consistency. We`ve become good friends and we like to work on projects that push the envelope." During the podcast, Rocky also reveals his bestselling cigar of all time, while remarking on what he feels the cigar industry does best, what they can do better, the effects of social media on branding, and the most significant takeaway he`s had from his career. "I`ve met so many, cool, fun and interesting people," said Rocky. "That`s been the best part of this job." To listen to the Cigar Advisor "Master Blenders" podcast with Rocky Patel in its entirety, click here. About Cigar Advisor Cigar Advisor, the nation`s premiere online cigar magazine, proudly serves cigar enthusiasts with a uniquely down-to-earth perspective on the enjoyment of premium cigars. Well-known and highly regarded for providing acclaimed educational cigar content and behind-the-scenes industry articles from some of the business`s top names, the Cigar Advisor editors deliver an array of content that speaks directly to those who enjoy the cigar lifestyle.
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