A Fine Vintage (Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Toro)

2016-03-07 13.37.33For my 41st birthday, a truly special cigar was called for, and so I went back to my Rocky Patel Luxury Toro Sampler from Holt’s Cigar Company, this time for the Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Toro.  This lovely six and a half inch long, 52 ring gauge, box-pressed cigar had a beautiful wrapper note of coffee and chocolate.  I understand that it consists of Dominican and Nicaraguan Ligero tobaccos rolled into a natural broadleaf Honduran wrapper.  The 1992, its sister cigar, is wrapped in a ten-year-old dark Ecuadoran wrapper.  Sounds like I’ll have to try that one someday too!  But back to the 1990; that Honduran wrapper had an appealing matte Colorado maduro finish, with few seams and few veins, presented in elegant maroon and gold labels.  It’s billed as a medium to full bodied cigar, but I have learned from experience that RPs should never be believed in this department, and one should always count on the smoke being a lot stronger than they let on.  Fortunately I was settling in to enjoy it just after lunch!

The double cap clipped perfectly with my Ciguru cutter. It lit perfectly and evenly with my Bic and a cedar spill.  The first draw was of coffee, cocoa, and some unplaceable sweet floral elements, producing delightfully copious amounts of smoke that filled my kitchen.  It left a tingle on the mouth, and a slight burn in the throat. The first third lasted 40 minutes and left a long, cylindrical almost white ash that flicked off just as I remembered that I needed photos and picked it up to take them!

2016-03-07 13.36.09I was right to be suspicious of Rocky’s nicotine content claims.  The cigar turned out to be quite strong; I was buzzing ten minutes into the second third, which lasted about half an hour as I chatted with the guys and made plans for the evening.  I found a certain complexity in middle portion of the smoke; some earth, nut and cedar elements that had the overall effect of reminding me of roasted pine nut chocolates at Christmastime.  There were several oils that left their mark on the mouth and they almost seemed to have a competition going.

Hints of butter and caramel joined the party at the beginning of the final third.  And like most Rocky Patels, it really packed a punch; I got a little dizzy from the nicotine!  And keep in mind that I was sitting down and had just eaten lunch!

The smoke went out once near the end, but the final third didn’t end for another 40 minutes; and if I’d wanted to, I could have lit the Vintage 1990 once more and sucked another ten or fifteen minutes out of it.  So kudos for the staying power too!

Just an all around great cigar with a delightfully rich, complex flavour and excellent construction.  It was one of Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 cigars for 2006 in the robusto size, achieving a 92 rating, so obviously the critics agree with me.  A welcome edition to the Luxury Sampler and definitely a cigar worthy of my birthday!

I have no complaints and lots of praise, so in this lady’s perspective, I give the Vintage 1990:

Stars - 4 and a half

You can get the Toro Vintage 1990 at Cigars International for about $45 USD for a five pack; or at Cigars International, Holt’s or Thompson Cigar for about $170 USD for a box of twenty (and the TC folks are also offering a bonus black glass melamine ashtray as a bonus item with that right now, though it’s backordered until the 23rd,) or you can get it at Holt’s as a single for $9.40 USD or as part of the Rocky Patel Luxury Toro Sampler at Holt’s Cigar Company, like I did.


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