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Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Robusto

Cigar Review & Rating | 8 April 2013 | 

Posted by Jeandrť Hartman of Cigar Affection  


This specific reviewed cigar from Rocky Patelís Vintage line of cigars is called the Vintage 1990 Robusto. It just comes to show how cigar manufacturers blur the lines when it comes to naming their cigars. Traditionally a Robusto is 124mm x 50 but this Robusto from Rocky Patel is 140mm also with a ring gauge of 50. I have also noted that others refer to this size as a corona gorda even though a corona gorda only has a ring gauge of 46. Let it be - I however donít hear anybody complaining about the additional 16mm.


The really big story about this cigar is the wrapper. It is a broadleaf wrapper that was aged for 12 years. Where do you find 12 year old broadleaf tobacco? A tobacco company in the US famous for its chewing tobacco entered the cigar industry. Unfortunately for the company, its marketing and sales did not come together and in the end they had bales and bales of this very fine wrapper leaf from the Talanga Valley in Honduras. They left the cigar industry and didnít know what to do with it and along came Mr. Rocky Patel himself. He struck a deal with the company, bought the tobacco and now we have the Vintage 1990.
According to Rocky Patel the broadleaf wrapper has softened in strength over the years yet gained in complexity and flavour. 



The filler and binder is 8-year old Nicaraguan & Dominican tobacco.

Our review samples were factory sealed in cello and once taken out of the packaging the typical sweet chocolate and peppery flavours were present. 


The cigar is a box pressed beauty reminiscent of the box pressed Alec Bradley Prensado. The wrapper is a beautiful nearly flawless maduro wrapper with minimal veins and near invisible seams. The deep maroon & gold double band is a characteristic of Rocky Patelís cigars. No hard or soft spot were present either. Rocky Patel is serious about the quality of his cigars and you can see that.


The cold draw produced fairly pronounced cedar and Scotch infused tones.


There is however no use in drawing on an unlit cigar forever - letís give her the gentle flame...

Immediately on the first draw salty leather and nuts are present. I have said it before and I will say it again - I am a real admirer of cigars that give you an instant flavour dash once you light it and the Vintage 1990 does not disappoint. 

After the third draw cocoa bean appears on the short finish. There is a pleasant aftertaste of leather. The cocoa bean however does not stay and its demise is characterised by a new introduction - cedar. The leather is still present although the cedar now fights for its place over the leather profile.

Just after the first centimeter into 1/3 hints of dried fruits emerged. The best way for me to describe it is caramel raisin sweetness although the leather is still the dominant flavour.

Into the second centimeter and a gentle spice gets introduced to the palate. Faint hints of cocoa bean remain on the mid palate but it is still being overshadowed by the cedar and leather.

So far the burn is fairly even with no real concerns.

Approaching the end of 1/3 the flavour profile now changes and adds a gentle pecan nut flavour - all this while cedar is now the predominant aftertaste with a gentle hint of spice on the finish.

Right into 2/3 a dark bitter chocolate combined with hazelnut flavour appears on the finish. It is gentler than the cocoa bean mentioned earlier in 1/3. 


Slightly futher on the nutty flavours disappears and only the cedar wood now remains as an aftertaste.


At this point the ash breaks off for the first time.

Then a delicious burst of salty leather appears on the finish. Dark bitter chocolate remains on the back palate for at least 5 seconds before disappearing and the cedar wood sets in again.

Mid 2/3 the finish changes to strong leather and cedar wood. A single draw exhibits an equipotent hint of dark roasted espresso and then disappears again never to return.

Three quarters into 2/3 the pecan nut profile returns and again it is combined with the dark bitter chocolate that now emerges stronger and cedar is still the ever-present aftertaste that becomes increasingly woody.

Into 3/3 the leather makes its gracious and delicious, although short, reappearance on the finish. This time it is combined with cocoa bean that lingers on the back palate for a few seconds. The strong woody cedar is still present but all of the gentle spice mentioned earlier has now completely vanished.

Into the first centimeter of 3/3 the cocoa bean again morphs into dark bitter chocolate. It must be noted here that the bitter taste is not that of tar. This is a flavour profile of this cigar and must not be confused with the unpleasant bitterness of tar.

The pecan nut makes its final appearance for a few draws and then finally bows out.

Into 3/3 the toasty wood is the predominant flavours with the interchanging cocoa and dark bitter chocolate profile still present after each draw.

In the end the taste that lingered was not that of wood, but bitter chocolate.



This cigar is marketed as mild to medium bodied, although the scales are tipped way more to medium side and maybe even to the medium to full, although it is not an overpowering smoke. I would only recommend this cigar to the more seasoned smoker who enjoys a nutty, bitter chocolate taste and woody flavours.

There were no real issues with the burn and no correction was needed. The smoke remained cool even though the heat increased towards the end but not to finger and lip burning proportions.

Construction is as good as it gets and the draw was perfect too. Itís a lush smoke-making-cigar with a pleasant tobacco aroma. 

Overall it is great, smooth and well balanced cigar with a fair amount of complexity. 

This cigar is worthy indeed of our Humidor Premium Select accolade


Humidor Premium Select



Featuring Cigar: Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Robusto

Country of origin: Honduras

Wrapper: Honduran Broadleaf

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Dominican & Nicaraguan

Size: 140mm / 5.5 Inches

Ring Gauge: 50

Release Date: 2003

Availability: Full Production. Contact Nicci Pain at 011 453 9975 or

Review weather notes: Early afternoon, 24įC with passing clouds and a gentle intermittent breeze.



Cigars are reviewed on appearance (20 points), quality of construction (20 points), 

flavour/taste (40 points) and an overall satisfaction rating (20 points). 

Total points: 100 Maximum.


Review & Rating by Jeandrť Hartman

Mobile: 082 450 7497


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