Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Review

Rocky Patel—a name unknown in the cigar world until the mid 90’s when lawyer Rakesh “Rocky” Patel sold his legal practice and started a cigar company. Nowadays, however, the name is in humidors across the world and I’d venture to say most cigar smokers have had a few Patel’s in their lifetime.

In 2003, the Vintage 1990 was released and it almost immediate gained worldwide recognition. Having received a 93 and 92 rating, as well as getting a spot in the World’s Top 50 Cigars, I had to know what all of the fuss was about. Is the Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 really as good as everyone says?

Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Robusto (5.5"x50) Cigar

The Vintage 1990: Delicious, But Not As Perfect As I Hoped

The particular Rocket Patel Vintage 1990 I smoked was the box pressed Robusto (5.5″x50). First, I noticed how beautiful and well constructed the stogie was. The wrapper was a touch lighter than a semi-sweet chocolate, and I immediately got a premium feeling as I held it. Well done Rocky Patel.

To accompany the chocolate-shaded wrapper, I got hints of chocolate in both the smell and the dry draw. As I lit up and began to smoke, those hints of chocolate continued. The burn began and remained even throughout the smoke, but the draw was on the tighter side. And, as the cigar came to an end, the draw got tighter—almost to the point where it was hard to smoke.

Another thing that immediately struck me was how smoky the cigar was as I set it down. I enjoy when cigars give an excess of smoke when puffing, but not when resting. My Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 continually smoked throughout the whole thing, which is something I wasn’t thrilled with.

After the first third, notes of chocolate began to fade away and was replaced by a bit of pepper with some sweetness. The only downside to the flavor was a fair bit of harshness towards the end. However, in the Vintage 1990’s defense, I was smoking a bit eagerly as I was wanting more! Between my greed and the tight draw on my particular RP 1990, the tobacco was heating up more than normal. Harshness wouldn’t have been as bad if I slowed down.


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Overall I would say the Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 was a medium to full bodied cigar. Between a great flavor, A+ construction, and the affordable pricing, this is a cigar I think everyone should have in their humidor. Even in the smaller Robusto size my smoke lasted almost 2 hours, and most others report the same.

There’s not a whole lot negative to say about the Rocky Patel Vintage 1990. Get a few of these stogies for your humidor and be prepared to sit back, relax, and enjoy a great smoke!


Overall Score



  • Amazing construction & burn
  • Extremely good and consistent flavor notes
  • Long-lasting cigar for the size
  • Economical as far as premium cigars go


  • Tight draw, getting tighter as I smoked
  • Flavor got fairly harsh towards the end

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