Rocky Patel Vintage 1992 Torpedo

Hello there! I guess a quick introduction is in order. This is Brian Hewitt of Brian’s Random (Cigar) Thoughts and I’m filling in for Jerry while he’s away tending to the new edition to his family, the wee lil torpedo! I also should give Walt and Jerry a quick thanks for maintaining such an essential blog for all cigar smokers, and for giving me a chance to add to it. (Is it weird to thank them for their blog on their blog?)

At the moment the video equipment I do have is in an unusable state, so this review will be all text, and with a little luck, some decent pictures.

For this week, I’ve selected the Rocky Patel Vintage 1992 torpedo. It’s a cigar I’ve been smoking quite a bit of recently, and one I’ve been making hollow threats about reviewing on my own blog for at least a month. Well my procrastination has paid off, it left me in a perfect position to write my first review on Stogie Review.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 6 1/4 x 52
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Mexico
Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
Price: $9.99
Smoking Time: 1 1/2 to 1 1/4 hours
Beverage: Water

The Pre-Smoke
My first impression of the Vintage 1992 is that it really is an attractive, sophisticated looking cigar. The double band looks great on the dark maduro sun-grown wrapper without being really over-the-top. The box-pressed shape is a nice touch and makes it very easy to hold. Upon closer inspection, I found the wrapper to be smooth with a slight oily sheen and free of obvious imperfections. The cigar was also pleasingly and consistently firm throughout.

I clipped the end with my flamboyantly-red Xicar and immediately saw the problem that has plagued my experiences with this cigar. Almost immediately the wrapper leaf forming part of the remaining cap began to lift away. I’ve experimented with different clipping depths in the other ’92’s I’ve smoked so far and only one of them didn’t have this problem. So it was disappointing, but expected.

Before lighting it I took a sniff of the wrapper and noted a rich chocolate scent. In the cold taste I also detected this chocolate flavor, with a hint of either a sweet berry or cherry. (I fully expect somebody to tell me I’m nuts on this, but I swear, man, I swear!)

The Burn
This cigar burns very evenly and has a beautifully solid light gray ash. The first ash made it to around two inches before landing solidly and completely intact in the ashtray. The burn line was nearly perfect until hit the part of the wrapper I clumsily damaged when removing the bands. But in spite of it, the cigar continued to burn pretty evenly.

One thing I have to note about the burn is the amount of resting smoke given off by this cigar. Smoke literally rolls off the cigar. Constantly. So much so that in my collected notes from different smokes I’ve written things like “it burns like a grass fire”, “it smokes like a chimney” and “it reminds me of an incense stick”. I don’t find those to be bad points (the smoke has a good rich aroma that I enjoy), but it’s definitely noteworthy. Even more interesting is that with all the smoke this cigar gives off, I only got an average amount of smoke in a given draw.

The Flavor
One of my favorite parts of this cigar is the earlier part of the first third. In it, the chocolate flavors seem to come out most strongly and that slight berry/cherry flavor I detected in the cold taste make a brief appearance as does a sweet almond flavor. Throughout the duration of the cigar, the most dominant flavor seemed to be creamy coffee flavor, with chocolate reappearing throughout the smoke. In this most recent cigar, I also noticed some cinnamon notes in the final third that I don’t think I noticed previously.

One thing Walt has brought up in past reviews is a dryness in the flavor of a cigar. And I definitely got that from this cigar. In earlier smokes, I did have it with some red wines that probably contributed to this dry mouth feel, but it was still present in this water-only smoke. I don’t mind it, and sometimes find that to be a good thing in a cigar. I this case it didn’t add or detract from the experience for me.

The Price
The price I’ve noted above seems to be the going rate at the B&M’s in my area. The going rate from online cigar retailers puts them down around $7.85 a cigar if you buy a box. And that strikes me as a very reasonable price for this cigar.

The Verdict
I really like this cigar in spite of the issues I seem to have with the wrapper. I’ve also found it to be very popular with my casual smoking friends. (Casual meaning they are happy to smoke a cigar if I offer them one.) I find it goes very nicely with my perennial beer favorite Flying Dog Old Scratch Amber or a good porter or stout. Either one really brings out the chocolate flavors in the cigar and make for a great smoking experience.

Liked It: YES
Buy It Again: YES (And I have.)
Recommend It: YES

The Cigar In Action