RoMa Craft Tobac Aquitaine Venus

The Aquitaine Venus is a limited production cigar that was released by RoMa Craft Tobac as a part of their Aquitaine line. The Venus introduced what RoMa Craft has called a petit salamones vitola into both the Aquitaine and CroMagnon lines. Both Venus releases were released as shop exclusives.  While the CroMagnon Venus found a home at R. Field Wine Company in Honolulu, Hawaii, the Aquitaine Venus would head at Doc James Tobacco located in Westchester County, New York. In addition to these shops, the Venus blends can be found at select RoMa Craft Tobac events.  Today we take a closer look at the Aquitaine Venus.  Overall, I have considered the Aqutiaine line to be the best line in the RoMa Craft portfolio.  While my personal preference has always been toward the box-press Blockhead and parejo shapes with in the Aquitaine line, this salamones really knocked it out of the park.  Without a doubt, this is the best vitola in a line that has some very good vitolas; thus earning our “Belle of the Ball” ranking for best size.

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.

In terms of the name, CroMagnon and Aquitaine pay homage to early man. Aquitaine is a region of Southern France known to be a settlement for Ancient Man.  While Venus may be known as a Roman Goddess, there are also ties to early man as the company explained on a photo posted on the RoMa Craft Tobac Facebook page back in 2013:

These fertility figurines are thought to have been at the center of a Cro-Magnon religious fertility practice. It is evidence of the culture that differentiates Cro-Magnon as Early Modern Humans from the more primitive Neanderthals.”

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Aquitaine Venus and see what this cigar brings to the table.

Blend Profile

The Aquitaine Venus features the same components common to the RoMa Craft Aquitaine line. The ratios of the tobaccos are consistent to the majority of the Aquitaine line.

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)
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Nica Sueño SA)

Vitolas Available

The Venus is one of four shop exclusives that make up the ten vitolas of the Aquitaine line.

Venus (Petite Salamones): 6 1/2 x 56 – Shop Exclusive to Doc James
Breuil (Panetela): 5 1/2 x 37 – Retail Exclusive to Just for Him
Blockhead (Box-press Gran Toro): 6 x 54 – Shop Exclusive for Monte’s Pipe Shop
Atlatl (Lancero): 7 x 38 – Shop Exclusive to Fine Ash Cigars
Mode 5 (Perfecto): 5 x 50
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

Appearance

The Aquitaine’s Ecuadorian Habano Ligero wrapper has a dark caramel color.  Depending on how the light shines on it, it may give off a slight colorado red tint to it. There is some oil on the surface of the wrapper. Upon closer examination, some darker marbling can be seen on the wrapper. There are some visible veins and some visible wrapper seams.

The vitola is called a petit salamones. From looking at the cigar, the 6 1/2 x 56 cigar is still quite large – but just smaller than a traditional salamones. It has a sharp tapering toward the head of the cigar converging with a torpedo-style tip. There is less tapering by the footer and it has an open foot.

The Aquitaine Venus features the same banding found on the other vitolas of the Aquitaine line.  . 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.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

Prior to lighting the Aquitaine Venus, I clipped a little less than half of the tip off the cigar so I could still get plenty of the tapering effect of this cigar.  Once the tip was removed, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. There was plenty of flavor on the cold draw as I detected notes of cedar and natural tobacco sweetness.  I also picked up some earth and light pepper notes. Overall I considered this to be an excellent pre-light draw. At this point I was ready to light up the Aquitaine Venus and see what the cigar experience would have in store.

Flavor Profile

The Aquitaine Venus started with a short blast of black pepper.  The pepper quickly subsided and was joined by notes of cedar and natural tobacco. The cedar notes moved into the forefront while the natural tobacco and pepper notes moved into the background. This was soon joined by a cherry sweetness. Meanwhile the black pepper was still quite prominent on the retro-hale.

Throughout the first third, the cedar notes remained in the forefront. I found the cherry sweetness to vary moving in and out of the forefront and background. The pepper and natural tobacco remained in the background – and from time to time I also detected a slight caramel note.

The second third was similar to the first third – namely the cedar notes in the forefront with the cherry sweetness moving in and out. In the background the natural tobacco had transitioned to more of a coffee flavor. The black pepper was still a background note as well.

The last third saw the black pepper increase a little more, but it didn’t turn the Venus into a spice bomb.  The cherry notes were more distant right now.  There was still a nice coffee note in the background that added some nice balance. This is the way the Aquitaine Venus came to close. The resulting nub was outstanding as it delivered a firm, cool nub. I found this especially pleasing for a salamones to produce a nub like this.

Burn and Draw

In 2014, we named Nica Sueño our Factory of the Year for a small single operation and with good reason – namely for the consistency and quality of the products coming out of it.  We had not smoked the Aquitaine Venus prior giving the factory this honor.  However, the Venus did nothing but solidify this choice.  This is an extremely well-made salamones and this reflected nicely on the burn and draw.

The Aquitaine Venus delivered an outstanding burn.  No doubt the open footer started things off on the right track, but as the cigar burned, it remained on a straight path.  There were some touch-ups along the way, but the amount of touch-ups were not excessive.  The ash produced was a nice silver-gray ash.  It wasn’t an overly tight ash, but it wasn’t too loose either. There was a little bit of flaking, but nothing that was out of the ordinary nor excessive.  The ash came off the cigar in clean chunks.  The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.

Burn of the RoMa Craft Aquitaine Venus

The draw was not too loose, nor too tight.  I found the Aquitaine Venus to produce a nice amount of smoke.  Overall I considered this a low maintenance draw and it was very easy to derive flavors from this cigar.

Strength and Body

From a strength perspective, I found the Aquitaine Venus to be in the wheelhouse of several of the other vitolas in this line.  It pretty much was on the upper end of medium to full strength from start to finish.  There was a slight increase in strength in the second half, but it didn’t quite reach the full strength level.  In terms of body, I found the Venus to also play on the upper end of medium to full-bodied.  When looking at strength versus body, I found both attributes to balance each other nicely – with neither overshadowing the other.

Final Thoughts

This is a cigar that really delivered a lot.  It had great flavor, excellent construction, and a nice amount of complexity.  I’ve found the Aquitaine one of those lines that might have a lot of sizes, but each of the sizes really tells their own story in terms of what is delivered.  The 6 1/2 x 56 format was a real nice size – and I like how this was slightly smaller than a traditional salamones.  This is definitely a size worth seeking out if you have enjoyed many of the Aquitaine vitolas.  It’s a cigar I’d probably steer more toward an experienced cigar enthusiast, but in general I usually don’t recommend a salamones to a novice.  As for myself, this is a cigar I’d easily smoke again – and it’s definitely box worthy and a designation as a “Belle of the Ball”.

Summary

Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: High
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Finish: Excellent
Assessment: 4.0 – Box Worthy
Score: 93

References

News: RoMa Craft Tobac Aquitaine Venus Heading to Doc James Tobacco
Price: $10.00
Source: Cigars Provided by Retailer (Doc James Tobacco)
Stogie Geeks Episode: Episode 127
Stogie Feed: RoMa Craft Tobac Aquitaine Venus