Monday, October 15, 2007

My Weekend Cigar: Rocky Patel Vintage 1999 Robusto

By Gary Korb

As I sat down to write today, I was tempted to call this week's article "Her Weekend Cigar." The cigar I smoked this weekend is actually less interesting than the company with whom I smoked it. I usually smoke out on the deck alone, or with my friend Richard from up the street, but yesterday afternoon I was joined by a lady cigar smoker. No, I'm not cheating on my wife. As a matter of fact, she was there, too.

As it turns out, the woman in question (another good neighbor, whom I'll refer to as "Mrs. F."), was over the house visiting my wife who's been helping her redecorate her home. As I prepared to repair to the deck with my cigar, etc., Mrs. F. caught eye of it and asked if she could join me.

"Sure!" I said. "Would you like anything in particular?"

"Surprise me," she said. So, the male chauvinist in me - assuming she would most likely prefer something on the mild side - offered her a Carlos Toraño Casa Toraño Robusto. Being in the mood for something mild, myself, I selected a Rocky Patel Vintage 1999 Robusto. It's a really nice, creamy-smoking cigar with the same filler/binder blend as the Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 and 1992, but with a gorgeous '99-vintage Connecticut wrapper that mellows the cigar out, while adding a dash of natural sweetness to the mix. As much as I like this cigar, I prefer the Vintage 1992, but as a change of pace, the 1999 is a mighty mellow fellow.

Prior to heading out to the deck I mixed up some martinis made with Absolut Vanilla vodka, Curacao, and pineapple-orange juice. The result was a green tinted drink which Mrs. F. dubbed a "Green Venus," since I had no idea what to call it.

Once we got the cigars going I learned that Mrs. F. was quite the cigar aficionado. She told me she stops into the local cigar store down the street on a regular basis, and that at first the guys in the store assumed she was coming in to shop for her husband. (Lesson #1: Be careful of presuppositions when a woman walks into a cigar store.) It seems I'd guessed correctly, though. Mrs. F. prefers mild to medium-bodied cigars, and she was really enjoying the Casa Toraño. She emphatically added that she does not like flavored cigars. And it also turns out that Mr. F. enjoys a good cigar, too, so now I've got two more neighbors to call for a smoke.

There we were, relaxing with our cigars and who shows up but Richard from up the street armed with a glass of cognac and an Oliva Serie G Robusto Maduro. Ah yes, a sunny and cool October afternoon enjoying good cigars in mixed company. Does it get any better than this?

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