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Stogie Reviews: Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Toro

4 Sep 2007

A three-day weekend calls for a special cigar. So last night I decided to wind down Labor Day with Rocky’s Vintage 1990 Toro.

Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 ToroRegular readers may recall my deep affinity for the Vintage ’92 line. I happen to count the Torpedo among my all-time favorite smokes, and have even said its full-bodied flavors “hands-down outmatch the Vintage 1990 line.”

That claim was based on my countless experiences with various vitolas of the two blends. It may not have been a fair statement at the time because, until now, I had never given a ’90 the attention required of a full review.

To start things off, it’s worth noting the main difference between the two highly successful blends is that the ’92 line has an Ecuador Sumatra maduro wrapper and the ’90 line has a Honduran Broadleaf maduro wrapper. I can’t tell the two blends apart on sight alone without looking at the bottom half of their double maroon and gold bands.

The Toro is a six and ½ inch by 52 ring gauge beauty that retails for $6.50 to $8 apiece. I rather like its slender and sleek box-pressed look. With Dominican and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos, Rocky advertises the ’90 blend as a good “balance of flavor, complexity, and richness” with “notes of cedar and espresso.” The line was dubbed the Best of the Best in the 2004 Robb Report.

From the get-go it’s easy to see why, as delicious notes of cocoa and spicy wood dominate. After two inches, the flavor isn’t terribly different from the ’92 Toro – an attribute that’s a-ok with me.

At the midway point, the spice seems to slowly fade as floral tastes come and go. This is really where the flavors of the two blends diverge. What the ’92 line has in chocolate and almond the ’90 line has in cocoa beans and jasmine.

The final third of this medium-bodied smoke is really outstanding, as the many flavors seem to come into their own. Very balanced on the palate and certainly not harsh.

The one complaint I have concerns construction. Each time I have a ’90 Toro I find a number of touch-ups necessary to keep an even burn. This stogie was no exception but, to its credit, it did have a clear draw and a dense ash that held firm for up to two inches.

On the whole I’m impressed with Rocky’s Vintage 1990 Toro, but don’t think it quite lives up to the standard set by the ’92 blend. Still, this is a terrific stick that’s well worth the price and worthy of a four and ½ out of five stogies rating.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A


19 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Toro”

  1. Robby Tuesday, September 4, 2007 at 6:01 am #

    I agree that the 92 is better than the 90, but most interesting is that both are better than the Fusion, IMO.

  2. Jerry @ Stogie Revie Tuesday, September 4, 2007 at 6:53 am #

    Funny how every has a different opinion on this. I like the 90 better than the 92. The 92 always seems to have a creamier taste to it than the 90 with its perppy/woody/natural tobacco taste.

  3. Patrick A Tuesday, September 4, 2007 at 7:12 am #

    I think you're right, Jerry. The '92 is creamier and also a bit sweeter, which I believe is why I enjoy it more.

  4. Cigar Jack Tuesday, September 4, 2007 at 11:09 am #

    I’ve been meaning to review the 90 and 92 but never get a around to it. I think the 90 is a bit milder than the 92, but I really enjoy both cigars.

  5. Keith A Tuesday, September 4, 2007 at 8:01 pm #

    “This is really where the flavors of the two blends diverge. What the ’92 line has in chocolate and almond the ’90 line has in cocoa beans and jasmine.”

    Very well put. I also prefer the 92 and would describe the taste as chocolate-covered cherries – so I guess I’m getting a hint of fruit-floral there as well. But I also enjoy the 90 for just the reasons you’ve described.

    Nice review. Thanks.

  6. Cigarmonkey Wednesday, September 5, 2007 at 3:41 pm #

    92 wins! However, we can not forget about the Olde World Series which is the best ciagr made by Rocky Patel, hands down.

  7. JoeRock Sunday, January 13, 2008 at 6:14 am #

    I saw CI had a RP Vintage Euro blend (supposed to milder blend). Has anyone tried these?

  8. Brollie7 Thursday, July 3, 2008 at 4:59 am #

    I would have to agree with the assessment that the '92 is better, but only slightly. The '90 is still a great smoke…you can do a lot worse for the price. And why all the knocks on the Fusion, it is a very good cigar, not a '90 or '92 but the Double Maduro Fusion is still excellent. You cannot really go wrong with Rocky…although I do not recommend the '99…

  9. Da Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 8:18 am #

    Robby is a dumbass. the '90's are far superior

    • Hughes Larrabee Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

      That's just no right – dumbass should be capitalized ~ DumbAss!

  10. litedave Wednesday, March 24, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    I smoked my first RP Toro 1990 in San Antonio. I purchased it in El Paso. I feel in love with the very old tobacco that they put in these smokes. They are so mild, but so full of flavors. I have bought a couple of boxes in the last year or so. Hey, they are also well priced on the market. These babies don't need a lot of age in the humidor after purchasing. They are already aged and ready to go.

  11. Don Sunday, July 11, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    Just had my 1st RP 90. Very nice smoke. Delightfully flavorful for such a mild cigar. I haven't had a 92, but after reading the comments, I'm going to get one very soon.

  12. Thomas J. Raef Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 6:01 am #

    I have a dynamite combination for you.

    Here are the requirements:

    1. RP 90 Toro
    2. Pacari Ecuadorian Organic Chocolate cacao nibs
    3. Bacardi 8 Rum

    Light the stick, have about 6 nibs, puff, sip the rum.

    The 3 combined are an awesome experience.


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