My selection for today’s review is the latest of Rocky Patel’s Vintage Series, the Rocky Patel Vintage 2003. This time around it’s a blend of 7-year aged binder and filler tobaccos from Honduras and Nicaragua, and a Cameroon wrapper from the 2003 harvest. Having tried all of Rocky’s other Vintage blends, I figured it was time to light up the 03’ and see how the newest addition to this top-selling line would hold up to it’s predecessors. I chose the Sixty (6×60) vitola, since that’s what all the cool guys are smoking these days.
The cigar had a beefy look and feel to it, and felt quite large in my hand. The Cameroon wrapper was an even brown shade with a nice oily sheen, and sported two attractive royal-blue bands. After clipping the sturdy cap, pre-light draws produced a very mellow woody note, backed by a slight malty sweetness. I commenced the toasting.
Initial flavors were of butter and toast, with a caramel undertone that seemed to build as I smoked. The draw had a good amount of resistance, and produced a light and airy smoke. The taste definitely had a mellowness that I would attribute to the extensively aged tobaccos in the blend. This cigar had one of the smoothest openings I had ever tasted, with absolutely no bite.
As I burned into the 2nd third, the profile turned to a culmination of smooth cedar and butter, along with a very quiet spice-note, and a syrupy sweetness that continued to coat my palate. This portion of the stogie had great taste and character to it, and by now I was rocking a big, sturdy, 2’ grey ash. At one point the burn-line started to go a bit awry, but it soon evened out without any assistance.
During the final portion of the cigar, notes of peanuts and smoked cedar piped up, along with a pronounced taste of smooth and slightly spicy tobacco, and the ever-present sweetness. At this point the draw loosened up significantly, and the smoke took on a new creaminess. This profile lasted for the rest of the smoke, making for a long, clean finish.
The Rocky Vintage 2003 showed great construction and performance, and the ample 60 ring gauge allowed for a nice cool burn throughout the length of the smoke. I absolutely enjoyed the sweet and buttery flavor of this stogie. I would call it medium in complexity, and it would be a great stick for anyone who’s trying to sharpen up their palate, as it has a good amount of tasting notes that aren’t too difficult to identify. Of all the Rocky Vintage blends I’ve sampled, I would say that this one is the most well-balanced in terms of taste, and the most enjoyable over-all. If you weren’t crazy about the previous Vintage releases, I would still recommend you try the 03’, as it really stands on its own. I deem the Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 a winner, and give it a grade of B+. This Cameroon was as cool as they come.
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