Good news, D.C. Soon, you won’t have to suffer the waitstaff of Shelly’s to enjoy an indoor cigar in the District.
That’s because Rocky Patel — the famed cigar maker — is coming to our fair city, and though his capital cigar lounge is still in the works, if it’s anything like Rocky Patel’s Burn in Naples, Fla., it is going to be fine. Damn fine.
We landed at Fort Meyers Thursday morning and needed to get out of D.C. winter mode fast, so, of course, we headed to the cigar bar. By two in the afternoon, Burn already had a bar full of gents enjoying cocktails and the cigars sold in the walk-in humidor near the back. Impressive. But we knew we couldn’t stay all day, so we made plans to come back that night. A wise decision.
That night, Burn’s sleepy, relaxed Bahamian feel was replaced by a dark, exclusive, exotic feel featuring rich men and beautiful women in every corner. And, of course, Rocky Patel — quiet but confident; blazer, no tie — holding court on the patio with an impressive cast, including Tommy Bahama’s white mustached founder, Bob Emfield and his wife; a classy couple from Minnesota (we know they were classy because they were Daily Caller fans); and Rocky’s Northeast sales rep, Max Bichler of “Amazing Race Season 22″ fame.
Saturday night, we’re told, is when things really get going. But we were on vacation, so after a pretty, LBD waitress grabbed us glasses of Bulleit Rye, three rocks, we were set to try some of Rocky’s world-class cigars.
It was evening now, and there was no time left for mild cigars, so we opted for a Rocky Royale Sumatra Toro.
Crafted with Nicaraguan tobacco from Rocky Patel farms in Esteli and Condega, the Royale is wrapped in an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper — a seed originally from its namesake island in Indonesia — and bound with Connecticut shade and broadleaf.
We tasted immediate nuts (macadamias, especially) with a good spice. It was about an hour smoke and mellowed fast, though by mid cigar we still detected some pepper on the tip. And on the last third, that pepper hit with a spicy and delicious vengeance, helping the Royale Sumatra to wrap up strong.
Right now, folks have to trek to southwest Florida to enjoy Burn. But Rocky tells us he’s coming to D.C. next, with eyes on the Chinatown, Verizon Center area. The next big question is this: Do we want a capital theme, complete with a big old dome, or the kind of Eastern theme Burn is decked in? Let us know what you think on Twitter.