Friday, August 31, 2007

Retro Smoke: Rocky Patel Vintage 1992 Toro

By Gary Korb

If you ever wanted proof that a great premium cigar just about always lives up to its reputation, then I submit the Rocky Patel Vintage 1992 Toro as evidence. Although this cigar has always remained high on my list of favorites, I'm usually distracted by smoking sample blends, or new cigars, so I don't get to this cigar as often as I'd like.

However, the other night, I dipped into a stash of Rocky Patel Vintage 1992 Toros that I picked up almost one year ago. I was joined out on the deck by my good neighbor, Richard, who brought a Plasencia Reserva Organica Corona that coincidentally had been sitting in his humidor for about the same amount of time. I paired my cigar with what remained of my bottle of Cockburn's Special Reserve Port, while Richard had his trusty flask of cognac.

Now I've had enough "fresh-out-of-the-box" Rocky Patel Vintage '92's to know that this cigar is primarily full-flavored with a medium body. The smoke is a smooth and creamy brew of earthy, and sweet cedary flavors that harmonize on the palate with notes of coffee, cocoa and nutmeg. One year later, the cigar had mellowed into a what I would describe as a "softer" smoke in which the flavors were even more honeyed and unified. Richard noddded that his home-aged cigar was also noticeably more mellifluous.

I smoked the cigar down the bone, and every aspect of it held up beautifully. Perhaps even more so in this case, because the RPV '92 Toro has always been one of the most consistent cigars for me. But at the risk of sounding like a broken record (is there such a thing anymore?), thanks to that extra year of home aging, I can confidently call it "Old Faithful."

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