Cigar Review: Rocky Patel Vintage 1990

Cigar Review: Rocky Patel Vintage 1990

Size: 4.5×44, Petite Corona

Wrapper: Honduran Broadleaf Maduro

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Dominican and Nicaraguan Ligero

Strength: Medium

Price: Box of 20, $106.95

Grade: 9.2

Early into my serious smoking career, I became very fond of the Vintage series from Rocky Patel – this was back when I still ordered from Thompson, and they always touted them in various samplers. In years past, I’ve always preferred the ’92 to the ’90, but the aged smoke for today’s review has me second guessing. This little Petite Corona has been sitting in my humidor for at least four years now and I couldn’t believe I’d never reviewed it!

The ’90 and ’92 are both available in several sizes: Churchill (7×48), Mini-Belicoso (5×52), Petite Corona (4.5×44), Robusto (5.5×50), Sixty (6×60), Toro (6.5×50), Torpedo (6.1×52). The only difference between the two cigars is the wrapper, with the ’90 having a Honduran Broadleaf wrapper and the ’92 a Ecuadorian Sumatran – the binder and fillers are identical. The wrapper on the ’90 is aged for 12 years, is accompanied by a 5 year old filler and binder, and is the oldest cigar in the Rocky Patel Vintage line. To date, this is my favorite size in the ’90 lineup, so let’s get to it!

Pre-light, 1.9:
The Vintage 1990 has a gorgeous dark brown, box pressed Maduro wrapper; it is topped with a flawless double cap and a well packed foot that is perfectly boxed. Throughout the 1990, there are no soft spots, few veins, and a hazy plume throughout. The aroma is enticing, with notes of sweet cocoa and cedar, plum, and a slight hay. On the draw, the flavor reveals tastes of sweet cocoa and berry.  The draw is open and loose. Overall, this is a gorgeous cigar and even though it appears to be dyed, it shows no signs throughout the smoke. The petite size in the box press really makes for an enjoyable hold.

Burn, 1.8:
Right out of the gate, the smoke emitted is very thick and full and carries a great aroma with it. Though the cigar is well packed, the draw remains open and the smaller gauge promotes deep puffs, exhaling thick clouds of smoke.  The burn is slow and even throughout, allowing this smaller size cigar to really last and linger.

Flavor, 2.7:
Moving through the first half, the flavor is spot on with the aroma – a delicate and well balanced mixture of cedar, berry, and cocoa. The finish is short and smooth with little lingering flavor and no harshness. Up front, the profile feels very similar to the Jameson Declaration. Into the second half of the Petit Corona, the berry becomes more pronounced with a tinge of bitterness to it, while the cocoa is still present but not as fully as in the front half.


Overall, 2.8:
This really is an excellent cigar, and what of the best short smokes out there, though not quite as good as the petite version of the Illusione Epernay. The wrapper is stunning, the aromas are thick and sweet, the construction is nearly flawless, and the flavors…oh, they are mighty fine! This is definitely a winner and one that I’d like to keep a box of on hand. It will certainly entertain smokers of all levels of experience – if you’ve had the ’90 but haven’t tried this size, I’d recommend you check it out!

(Total: 9.2)