Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon – Cigar Review

Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon - Band

I didn’t really keep up to date this year with what was new and being introduced at the trade show this year by a few manufacturers. I chose to wait for them to appear in my local cigar shops and be surprised. Not knowing is better most of the time, and as a person who lacks patience it is better to just seem them as they appear. One of the cigars was the Vintage 2003 Cameroon by Rocky Patel which appeared at Cigar Inn this past week. According the The Cigar Feed, the stick is made at the General Factory in Honduras.

The Cameroon is offered as a Robusto (5.5 x 50 – $7.55); Toro (6.5 x 52 – ); Torpedo (6.25 x 52- ); Churchill (7 x 48 – $8.55) and a Sixty (6 x 60- $8.55). According to Atlantic Cigar who is an advertiser on this site,

The Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 blend has been in the works for many years now. Rocky has always wanted to use a Cameroon wrapper on one of his cigars lines… so here it is. For nearly the last decade Rocky Patel has been carefully selecting and amassing only the finest grade ‘A’ Cameroon wrapper leaf in hopes of one day launching a Cameroon wrapper cigar. The result is a sweet and spicy medium bodied cigar that’s well balanced and delivers a refined clean flavor and smoothness. The blend is comprised of a Nicaraguan binder and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers finished in the finest Cameroon wrapper that Rocky could get his hands on.

Cigar: Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon
Size: 5.5 x 50 (Robusto)
Wrapper: Cameroon
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
Strength: Medium
Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon

Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon

Appearance and Construction: The Cameroon wrapper of the Vintage 2003 is glistening with essential oils. Upon close examination there are some imperfections in the wrapper with some color discrepancies especially near the cap of the cigar that I would compare to the bruising of some fruit. The cigar is rolled to perfection and in the hand it feels a very smooth like enamel. There is a hefty weight to cigar and examination of the foot shows a nice variation tobacco in the filler. The dual band is a gorgeous royal blue with white text. The first denotes Rocky Patel while the second denotes Vintage 2003 Cameroon.

Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon - Foot

Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon – Foot

Flavor & Notes: The foot of the cigar has a nose of wheat and cookies baking at Christmas time. The cold draw is sweet, but it reminds of holiday cookies as well. I love when I get a cigar that triggers such a vivid image such as this. I used my Xikar soft flame lighter to spark the Vintage 2003 Cameroon up and was treated to notes of caramel sweetness which makes sense since Christmas cookies use caramel coloring. As we worked into the first third of the cigar some notes of wood began to develop, but the aroma is what really held my attention. Not to be a dead horse, but it reminded of the kitchen when my friends mom was baking, your guessed it, Christmas cookies. In the second third of the cigar the caramel was the primary note, however in the background there was some coffee and leather added to the mix. The last third of the cigar there is an aroma that is nutty that compliments the cigar which has developed a nice vanilla bean note. The finish was a little short with a nice sweetness about it.

Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon - First 3rd

Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon – First 3rd

Smoking Characteristics: What a great ash on the Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon, it held on for half the stick at a time, which was pretty damn impressive. The burn was iconic, and the draw was perfect. Just a really well constructed cigar, one of the best I ever had the joy of smoking. As stated in the last section the aroma of the cigar was even more delicious than the smoke itself. It complimented things so well and really filled the room.

Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon - Second 3rd

Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon – Second 3rd

Conclusion: I was really impressed with the Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon to the point where I might call it the best Cameroon I ever smoked. There was a nice subtle complexity to it and the cigar performed well. The price is right, and it has sparked a renewed interest to me in the brand.

Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon - Last 3rd

Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon – Last 3rd

Rating: 94
Price: $134.95 / Box of 20 or $6.80

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  • johnnyv

    Best ever Cameroon? Better than Lfd Cameroon cabinet?

  • Barry

    I might say it is the best cameroon… The LFD gets the edge because of the aroma. These are 1A and 1B in my eyes.

  • CJ

    Great review Barry, thanks for sure. This is the second such review where both men liked it very much, and the price listed is much lower than my local shop. It has me upset, mainly because most other cigars in my local are very reasonable, if not better than other out of area shops I visit. My local is charging 12 plus bucks for the 60..and one blogger paid less than 8 at his shop. I will use the net for this one, and try it based upon your review. Thanks again.

  • Barry

    CJ: don’t forget local taxes play a big part. The pretax price is 7.55 for the Robusto. in new York this makes the cigar about $10.50. 9.25 in NJ and 8.05 in CT.

  • John Werner

    I generally regard the RP 1990 vintage torpedo as one of my “go to” cigars. I truly do also enjoy the RP Sungrown line too, so it was with guarded high expections that I purchased a box of the Vintage 2003 Cameroon churchills. I am pleased I now have another unique RP flavor profile I can say I really enjoy. The above review is so “spot-on” I really don’t have anything of great note to add. I do think the burn was exceptional and the finish exceedingly clean. This is a cigar that would make a good early in the day stick in a shorter size, one that you wouldn’t continue to be reminded of due to lingering aftertastes. I like to have something of this nature, albeit one with a good amount of flavor and the 2003 certainly does. I think the patience in acquiring good Cameroon wrappers paid off and the price is certainly reasonable as I was able to purchase the Churchill for a just a bit less than the retail price listed above in my store (I sell shoes and we have a humidor in the store where we retail better grade handmade cigars).

  • Anonymous

    I had the pleasure of enjoying the 2003 over Thanksgiving holiday, and I instantly became a fan. Really good smoke with nice flavors. Give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.

  • John Werner

    Here’s a cigar with nary a harsh, or even sharp, note.  The RP Vintage 2003 is a creamy, slightly sweet and woody, smoke.  As expected from RP’s sticks, it burns wonderfully at a nice speed.  It is a lighter medium bodied flavor without much spice, there is on rare occasion just a hint of spice on exhale in the nasal passages which is probably not worth mentioning, but it’s there every now and then.  This is a easy to like smoke if not a blockbuster.

  • Arnettjs

    I just had one today.  It was extremely hard to draw.  Other than that, the flavors were good.  I’ll stick with Fuente and Garcia.

  • sirrahad

    I tried an RP03 today…this is an enjoyable, even-burning smoke with a light coffee flavor with a hint of new leather, but a little heavy on the last third, otherwise comparable to a Criollo.

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