Rocky Patel "Vintage 1990 Broadleaf" Review: With Age Comes Maturity

When it comes to box-pressed torpedo cigar types, few have attracted the level of accolades as that of Rocky Patel's Vintage 1990. Firmly constructed, oily, aromatic, and highly rated, this tough-to-obtain smaller batch smoke serves as a flagship for the Rocky Patel name.

Being that I've been on a bit of a spicy stogie bender as of late, I was curious as to the type of spice profile the Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 offers cigar smokers. For a cigar can have notes of spice, without it being spicy, and this particular cigar flavor profile is a shining example of this fact. 

Buy 5 Pack 

Unlit Impressions

Rocky Patel Vintage 1990

The primary reason why this smoke has retained its role as one of the most highly praised box-pressed cigars of all time, is its stunning wrapper. Connecticut Broadleaf wrappers have found their way to many corners of the cigar-growing regions of the globe, with this coveted 12-year small batch Honduran smoke being a real gem.

Earthy, sweet, espresso bean-rich, and spiced aromas are all backed by an unlit pull that is more of the same, but with a bit more toothy tobacco and leather backbone. 

Initial Smoke

Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 12-year


A mellow start slowly brings out loamy, tannin-rich earthen tones, with the Vintage 1990's chocolatey-colored Honduran cigar wrapper providing fantastic aromatics. It's a much milder beginning than what the unlit aromatics might have implied, and this cigar's spice notes are just as refined. A pleasant, vanilla-like undercurrent flows within this cigar. Making for a fine balance to that robust sun-grown tobacco spice and toasted espresso-like aftertaste. 

2nd Half

Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 12-year


Nearing the center of this cigar, and things start to heat up a bit. Both in sun-grown Ligero tobacco intensity and in spice. Fortunately, for fans of milder strength cigars and more mellow tobacco flavors, this premium cigar blend's extended fermentation periods have smoothed out all of the rougher edges.

What's left behind is a smoke that is medium in strength, but full-on in the cigar flavor wheel. It's complex, but cloyingly smooth. Definitely a worthy contender for the title of best box-pressed cigar of all time.

Parting Puffs

Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 12-year

As the nicotine intensifies toward the final third of the Rocky Patel Vintage 1990, all of those oils and resins turn into quite the kick-ass collage. 

There's a far more profound baking cocoa profile, accompanied by a final whiff of vanilla bean, and some toasty peppercorn spice. All swirled together in a leathery earthen binder, and awaiting incineration, it's a very fine finish that is indeed a dash robust. This is where the fans of milder smokes will set the Vintage 1990 down, and admire what they've just experienced. Whereas spice explorers like myself will keep puffing, just to see what the next draw holds.

Ash / Burn / Smoke / Draw

The lush white ash of this box-pressed torpedo held nicely, with a crisp burn line leading all the way to the evening's parting puffs. However, despite having cut the tip of the torpedo at an ideal location, it took a while until this snuggly-pressed stick provided the grade of draw and smoke that I am accustomed to.

Final Thoughts

Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 12-year


Despite feeling a tad on the tight side, and not being as intense as I remembered, the Vintage 1990 Torpedo from Rocky Patel was a real treat. Medium throughout, but with just enough kick toward the end to keep me on my toes, this cigar is a beautifully built box-pressed gift that just keeps on giving. 

Cigar Stats

Cigar Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Broadleaf
Wrapper Honduran 12-year 
Tobacco Binder/Filler Nicaraguan / Dominican and Nicaraguan
Factory Honduras
Size Torpedo
Strength Medium
Pairing Drink Yebisu Märzen Bier
Rating 4.3/5

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.