RoMa Craft Tobac Aquitaine Mode 5

The Aquitaine Mode 5 is a limited production cigar that recently has been released by RoMa Craft Tobac. Earlier this year, RoMa Craft Tobac announced it was adding a short perfecto into its CroMagnon line of cigars.  The company also made an equivalent shaped Mode 5 in the Aquitaine line.  Back in October 2013, RoMa Craft Tobac co–owner Skip Martin was a guest on our Stogie Geeks show and announced that the Aquitaine Mode 5 would be released as a part of a perfecto sampler.  Late last year, it was announced that the sampler pack – the RoMa Craft Tobac Nica Sueño Holiday Sampler (El Catador de Los Perfectos) would be heading to Tobacco Locker in Port Charlotte, Florida.  While I normally prefer a classic parejo to a perfecto, the Aquitaine Mode 5 did quite well in my book.  In fact the more I smoke Aquitaine vitolas, the more I feel this might be the best cigar in the RoMa Craft Tobac portfolio.

The Aquitaine is a variant from RoMaCraft Tobac’s popular original CroMagnon line.  The main difference is the Aquitaine uses Ecuadorian Habano wrapper on a similar binder and filler to the original CroMagnon.  The Aquitaine was launched at the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show.

Without further ado, let’s break down the Aquitaine Mode 5 vitola and see what this cigar brings to the table.

Blend Profile

The Aquitaine features tobaccos from three countries.  As many are aware, this is similar to the CroMagnon blend but replaces the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Ligero
Binder: Cameroon
Filler: Nicaraguan (3 Fillers): Esteli, Condega, and a ligero leaf from Pueblo Nuevo (a small farm north of Esteli on the Honduran border)

According to the RoMa Craft Tobac Website
…the Aquitaine features a beautiful Ecuador Habano Ligero wrapper selected from the best tobacco we could find. This eighth and ninth priming ligero leaf is thick, oily and has amazing texture. The filler leaf for this blend was acquired from three separate growing regions in Nicaragua: Esteli, Condega and a small farm north of Esteli on the Honduran border, Pueblo Nuevo. This third leaf, a ligero, brings a strong, smoky, savory flavor to the blend.

Vitolas Available

The Mode 5 is one of eight frontmarks available in the Aquitaine line:

Mode 5 (Perfecto – Limited Edition): 5 x 50
Blockhead (Box-press Gran Toro – Limited Edition): 6 x 54
Knuckle Dragger (Petit Robusto):  4 x 52
Mandible (Petit Gordo): 4 ½ x 60
EMH (Early Modern Human) (Robusto Extra): 5 x 56
Anthropology (Grand Corona): 5 3/4 x 46
Cranium (Gran Toro): 6 x 54
Atlatl (Lancero – Limited Edition): 7 x 38
Appearance

The Aquitaine Mode 5’s Ecuadorian Habano Ligero wrapper has a dark caramel color. There is a slight amount of oil on the surface of the wrapper. The surface of the wrapper is slightly bumpy. There are also several visible veins, but most of the wrapper seams are well hidden. The perfecto has an open foot and torpedo head

The Mode 5 features the Aquitaine line’s recent added banding. Three is a thin brown band with the text “Aquitaine” embossed on it. The back of the band contains the RoMa Craft Tobac logo. The brown band sits on top of a thicker white band. On a recent Facebook post by Martin to David “Doc Diaz of Stogie Fresh, Martin further explained the nature of the band “The bands reflect the anthropological nature of cro-magnon. It serves the purpose but meant not to distract. If you ‘dig’ you see the brand and the white band has cave art much like the art found in Aquitaine.”

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

Prior to lighting up the Aquitaine Mode 5, I went with a small straight cut through the tip of the perfecto. After successfully removing the tip, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw provided a mix of earth, cedar, and natural tobacco. This pre-light draw seemed to parallel closer to the Blockhead than some of the other Aquitaine vitolas. Overall I found the pre-light draw of the Aquitaine Mode 5 to be satisfactory. At this point I was ready to light up this cigar and see what the overall cigar experience would have in store.

Flavor Profile

Overall, I found the Aquitaine Mode 5 to have similar flavor notes to other vitolas of the line. I had found the Aquitaine Blockhead to offer the most complex flavor profile of what I have smoked in this line. The Mode 5 still delivers great flavor and does an outstanding job at bringing the strengths of what the Aquitaine blend offers to the forefront.

The start to the Aquitaine Mode 5 provided notes of pepper, cedar, and natural tobacco. The natural tobacco had a touch of cherry sweetness. As the Mode 5 moved through the early stages, some nut and floral notes surfaced in the background. Meanwhile on the retro-hale I picked up a a combination of cedar and pepper.

By the midpoint of the first third, the nut flavors became a primary note joining the cedar, pepper, and natural tobacco flavors in the forefront.

By the end of the first third, the nut flavors became a constant as a primary flavor. The pepper and cedar notes moved back and forth between the forefront and background. The floral notes and natural tobacco remained secondary notes.

In the last third, the nut flavors still held on primary. The pepper/cedar spice returned to the forefront. As the cigar experience came to an end, I found the Mode 5 was on the spicy side. The resulting nub was firm and cool – something I was quite pleased with for a perfecto.

Burn and Draw

One thing I had liked very much about the Aquitaine and CroMagnon lines is that the earlier released vitolas focused on parejos – are always my first choice of a vitola.  I’m always skeptical when it comes to figuardo and perfecto vitolas as (in my personal opinion), they don’t deliver as good an experience as a parejo in terms of draw.  The Aquitaine Mode 5 proved me wrong as this delivers an excellent burn and draw.

From a burn standpoint, I found the open-ended footer was a big plus here as it helped get the burn off to a nice start.  After lighting the footer, the burn was low maintenance from start to finish – requiring minimal touch-ups along the way.  The resulting ash was tight with a nice salt and pepper color.  The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.

 

Burn of the RoMa Craft Aquitaine Mode 5

The draw was outstanding too.  I found the draw to be open, but not loose.  Like the burn, the draw was also a low maintenance experience.

Strength and Body

I found the Aquitaine Mode 5 to be very similar to the Aquitaine Blockhead when it came to the attributes of strength and body.  From a strength perspective, the Aquitaine Mode 5 comes in at medium to full and remains like that throughout the whole cigar experience.  In terms of the flavors, I found there was some nice depth, and it weighed nicely on the pallet.  I assessed the Mode 5 to be a full-bodied smoke.  In terms of the two attributes, I found the Mode 5’s body has a slight edge over its strength.

Final Thoughts

As I mentioned above, I had liked the fact that the CroMagnon and Aquitaine lines started with parejo vitolas.  However, the Mode 5 really surprised me in the Aquitaine.  I liked the whole design of this perfecto from the open footer to the way the cigar tapers.  Most importantly, I liked the way this cigar performed.  When I assessed the Aquitaine Blockhead, I noted how well this blend has been smoking across the different frontmarks, and the Mode 5 confirms this.  With the Aquitaine blend as a whole, I usually would recommend this to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast – and the Mode 5 is no exception.  As for myself, the Mode 5 solidified Aquitaine as the best blend made by RoMa Craft Tobac.  It’s a cigar I’d smoke again – and one worthy of a box split.

Summary

Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Full
Finish: Good
Assessment: 3.5 – Box Split
Score: 90

References

Price: Part of 8-pack Nica Sueño Holiday Sampler (Total cost $52.00)
Source: Sample provided by RoMa Craft Tobac
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 52Episode 80
Stogie Feed: Aquitaine Anthropology by Roma CraftRoMa Craft Tobac Aquitaine Blockhead

The cigar for this assessment was given to Cigar Coop by RoMa Craft Tobac.  Cigar Coop is appreciative for the sample, but this does not influence the review.