In honor of making it through Storm Sandy without losing power, though I did lose some trees, I decided to treat myself to a Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon, accompanied by a Shock Top Belgian White for my libation. The Vintage 2003 is the latest addition to the highly acclaimed 1990, 1992 and 1999 Vintage series.

Cigar Stats: The Vinatge 2003 features a select Cameroon wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and a Dominican and Nicaraguan filler. The binder and filler have both been aged for over 8 years, hence the 2003 in the name. The Vinatge 2003 is available in five sizes: Robusto (5½x50), Toro (6¼x52) Torpedo (6½x52), Churchill (7x48) and Six by Sixty (6x60). I sampled the Robusto, with an MSRP of $7.55.

Appearance: The medium-brown wrapper is toothy and oily with near-perfect seams and a few minor veins. Surrounding this loveliness is two metallic blue bands that denote the name, logo, cigar line, and wrapper.

The Smoke: The flavors of the Vintage 2003 consist of cedar, leather, and dark chocolate that come and go throughout the smoke. But it’s the sweet spice of the Cameroon wrapper that ultimately becomes the backbone of the smoke.

Verdict: Rocky Patel produces so many cigars that eventually I’m bound to come across a dud, right? Well, not this time. The Vintage 2003 Cameroon Robusto is a medium-to-full bodied cigar that is rich and complex with that unique sweet spice flavor found in Cameroons that make them so special. If you get a chance give one a try. For more information about the Vintage 2003 or the entire line of Rocky Patel cigars, visit – Jason Zahner

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