|Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon Special Edition Box-Pressed|
The Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon Special Edition Box-Pressed is a series of limited edition line extensions to the Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon line. It was at the 2011 IPCPR Trade Show, where the original rounded Vintage 2003 Cameroon was launched as Rocky Patel’s
fourth entry into its Vintage Series. This proved to be an outstanding release as it finished as our #15 Cigar of 2011. For the Vintage 2003 Cameroon Special Edition Box-Pressed, the blend will be the same as the round. core line Vintage 2003 Cameroon. The Vintage 2003 Special Edition Box-Pressed was launched at the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show along with six other new blends by Rocky Patel Premium Cigars. I recently have had a chance to smoke this new line extension and found this to be a solid addition to the Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon series.
Nish Patel explained in an interview conducted on the Cigar Dave Show recorded at the 2012 IPCPR that the Vintage 2003 Cameroon was intended to originally come out as a box-pressed. He said that Rocky Patel Premium Cigars was releasing other box-pressed cigars in 2011, so they made a decision to release round vitolas instead. However the box-pressed cigars were already rolled and were allowed to age. Based on the quality of how the cigar aged, a decision was made in 2012 to release the box-pressed version. According to Patel, 1000 boxes of each size were made in the box-pressed shape – and that is all that is planned. In regards to the box-press, Patel says “It changes the flavor profile of the Cameroon. It lets you taste the nuances of the Cameroon blend”.
Without further adieu, let’s look closer at the Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon Special Edition Box-Pressed.
As mentioned above, the blend profile remains the same Vintage 2003 Cameroon Special Edition Box-Pressed.
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan
The Vintage 2003 Cameroon Special Edition Box-Pressed is sold in boxes of 20. As mentioned above, this is intended to be a one time production of 1000 boxes each. The new frontmarks are listed below The dimensions are the same as the rounded equivalents in the line.
Robusto (box-press): 5 1/2 x 50
Toro (box-press): 6 1/2 x 52
Torpedo (box-press): 6 1/4 x 52
Here are the original rounded Vintage 2003 Cameroon offerings:
Robusto: 5 1/2 x 50
Toro: 6 1/2 x 52
Torpedo: 6 1/4 x 52
Churchill: 7 x 48
Sixty: 6 x 60
For this cigar experience, I opted to smoke the Robusto size. This was equivalent size of what I originally assessed on the rounded Vintage 2003 Cameroon. The wrapper to the Special Edition Box-Pressed is a classic Cameroon wrapper with a light brown bag color to it. The wrapper itself is not oily. It has very little in the way of visible wrapper seams and visible veins. In terms of the packing of the box-press, I would categorize it as firm.
There are three bands to the Vintage 2003 Cameroon Special Edition Box-Pressed. The first two are identical to the core Vintage 2003 Cameroon line. The primary (top) band has a metallic blue background with white font and striping. The Rocky Patel logo is at the center of this band. Above the logo is the text “ROCKY PATEL” with a white pinstripe on each side of the text. There is a dotted white pattern with a white pinstripe below it.
The secondary band is directly below the top band. It has a thick metallic blue stripe in the middle with the text “Vintage 2003” in cursive and the text “CAMEROON” (in printed font) below it. All of the text is in white font. There is also some additional white and blue pinstriping near the top and bottom of the band.
The third band is unique to the Vintage 2003 Cameroon Special Edition Box-Pressed and is on the footer. It has a metallic blue, silver, and white color scheme. There is a silver grid pattern (on a 45 degree angle) over a white background. Over that pattern is the text “Special Edition” in cursive and below that text is “BOX-PRESSED” in printed font. The font is metallic blue in color. There is also blue and silver striping across the top and bottom.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
I started the pre-light experience with the Vintage 2003 Cameroon Special Edition Box-Pressed by placing a straight cut into the cap of the cigar. It was then on to start the pre-light draw. The dry draw was almost identical to the original Vintage 2003 Cameroon – namely wood and caramel. The box-press did seem to have a little less caramel sweetness on the tongue. Overall this was a satisfactory dry draw, so it was time to remove the footer band, toast the foot and see what this cigar would bring to the table.
The original rounded Vintage 2003 Cameroon didn’t offer a lot in terms of flavor transitions. The Special Edition Box-Pressed did a better job here. I do concur with Patel’s assessment that you do pick up more nuances of the Cameroon blend.
The caramel sweetness that was present in the original rounded Vintage 2003 Cameroon was also present in the Special Edition Box-Pressed. I also detected more of a woody note in the Special Edition Box-Pressed (as opposed to a coffee note in the rounded cigar). The wood and caramel held for a good chunk of the first third. Later in the first third, a floral component surfaced as a background note and there also was some tertiary spice.
In the second third, the caramel sweetness and wood notes were still in the forefront. The caramel seemed to be robust than in the first third. The secondary an tertiary notes changed quite a bit. The floral notes became more of a citrus flavor. The pepper spice also moved up as secondary note. It melded nicely with the citrus creating a citrus spice. This citrus spice was still a secondary note.
In the last third, the caramel notes dialed back a bit. The woody notes still remained present. The citrus spice came on par with the caramel and wood. This was the way the smoke of the Vintage 2003 Cameroon Special Edition Box-Pressed came to a close. The finish had some spice on it, but it was not a rough finish. The resulting nub was soft to the touch, but cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The one area of the Vintage 2003 Cameroon Special Edition Box-Pressed where I was a little disappointed in was with the burn. The burn was good, but it wasn’t excellent like I consistently have gotten on the rounded Vintage 2003 Cameroon. The burn required more touch-ups in the first half than I would have normally liked. These touch-ups did the trick to keep it burning straight, but I still seemed to have to reach for my lighter more than I prefer. There also was a slight tunnel around the midway point of the cigar. The burn on the second half was much better as it remained straight. The ash from the Special Edition Box-Pressed was a salt and pepper color and remained firm. As for the draw, no issues here as it was flawless. Puffing on the Vintage 2003 Cameroon Special Edition Box-Pressed proved to be a lower maintenance task.
Strength and Body
Like the original rounded Vintage 2003 Cameroon, the Vintage 2003 Cameroon Special Edition Box-Pressed is not going to overpower you with nicotine. I assessed the Special Edition Box-Pressed to be medium strength. I did notice some differences when it came to the depth of the flavor notes. The original rounded Vintage 2003 Cameroon was a solid medium to full-bodied smoke from start to finish. The Special Edition Box-Pressed starts out more in the medium-bodied area. It does progress to medium to full by the second third, but I still think the rounded Vintage 2003 Cameroon had a little more to offer in body. As for the balance of these attributes, I give the body a slight edge over the strength.
When comparing the original rounded Vintage 2003 Cameroon to the Vintage 2003 Cameroon Special Edition Box-Pressed, I think the flavors were bolder on the rounded one. However, I think there is an edge to complexity and nuances on the box-press. The issue with the burn on the first half were not showstopping and I’d categorize it more as a nuisance.I’d still recommend this cigar to both novice and experienced enthusiasts. While I’d still go for an original rounded Vintage 2003 Cameroon, this would provide a nice change of pace for the blend from time to time.
Body: Medium to Full (Medium to Start)
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Burners Cigars in Huntersville, North Carolina.