During my early days of cigar smoking, I’ve always saw and heard of Rocky Patel cigars. From the monthly catalogs or just reading about stogies online, RP’s seem to be here to stay. The funny thing is Rocky was a lawyer who represented actors such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gene Hackman. While wining and dining in Hollywood, Rocky caught the cigar bug and went on to drop his practice. Hence Rocky Patel Premium Cigars was born.
So while outside of New York, I decided to finally pick one up. I decided on the Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Petit Corona. Always leery of unfamiliar brands, I always pick up the smallest size available to avoid a pricey disappointment.
The Vintage 1990 features a 12-year-old dark maduro wrapper that is oily but smooth. At first inspection this is a good-looking stick. It is beautifully box pressed, firm throughout with only one or two minor veins that don’t even stick out.
My only cosmetic complaint is the cap. For a $5.95 stick at this size I would expect the cap to be flawless, but it wasn’t. It had some noticeable wrinkles in it and I wondered why. After further inspection I noticed the cap was a separate piece of wrapper all together that was just tacked on. Tisk tisk tisk, nonetheless this stick is still pleasing to the eye. The aroma is nice too; like a light creamy spice.
The Vintage 1990 RP comes with two separate burgundy bands which in my opinion is a nice touch. After I’m done with every cigar, I make sure to save the band as a keepsake. The same goes with champagne corks.
Well the cap has come back to bite me. As soon as I cut the cigar, some of the wrapper unraveled which has never happened to me in my cigar smoking career. Strange. The pre-light draw feels firm and I get a hint of pepper. Time to fire this one up.
Upon toasting the foot and taking my initial puffs, I immediately got a smooth taste which at this time is difficult for me to put a flavor to. Nothing too drastic though as the profile so far is definitely in the mild zone. The burn is ok so far, the burn line aka the mascara isn’t completely even. Also the draw is a wee too tight for my liking. Still this mild ride is a comfy one so far.
Right now I’m at odds with this stick. The flavor is smooth but rich and ash is firm at a dusty white grey and holding up just like I like it. Another plus is the draw has loosened up and I get nice intake of smoke which each pull with no extra effort from my lungs.
The thing is the wrapper is loose as a goose at the head of the cigar which is becoming annoying. I’ve tried sticking it back with some saliva but no luck. The ash finally dropped and the burn line is still looks like a stock market graph.
This Patel has about another 20 minutes or so from being done. The subtle spice provides a nice undertone and overall this is a smooth smoke. Still in the Mild region too. The loose wrapper is really a hassle and the burn line is uneven again so I know the problem doesn’t lie with how I lit it. Shrugs.
The top band is off now and I can tell its burning a little bit hotter than before as I’m getting a little harshness now. Time to put this guy to bed.
Truth be told I like this stick; keyword is like. I could have enjoyed the Rocky Patel 1990 much more and but was held back due to construction issues. Admittedly the cigar was tasty but it wasn’t really complex and there was no build up of flavors. I would still recommend it to any fellow smoker looking for a consistently safe mild mellow smoke though. Long ashes everyone.
3 out of 5 crowns