|RoMA Craft Tobac CroMagnon Aquitaine
The CroMagnon Aquitaine is a new line of cigars that was launched by RoMa Craft Tobac at the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show. The CroMagnon 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. I recently had an opportunity to sample the Aquitaine and I found a cigar that provided an outstanding cigar experience.
The Aquitaine is the fourth line core blend by RoMa Craft Tobac and their third core line blend to be released this year (joining the two blends of the Intemperance). When we previewed the Aquitaine following IPCPR, we provided this brief synopsis on RoMa Craft Tobac.
Earlier this year, RoMa Craft Tobac was launched as a collaboration
between Michael Rosales and Skip Martin. This collaboration combined
the operations of their two companies, Costa Rican Imports, LLC and
Galveston Bay Tobacco, LLC. RoMa Craft Tobac’s two collaborative efforts, the CroMagnon
and Intemperance have garnered a lot of attention in the online
community. So far, most of the distribution of the CroMagnon and
Intemperance has been sold through Martin’s online Hava Cigar Shop.
While there have been some brick and mortar retailers signed up, the
2012 IPCPR marked a chance for RoMA Craft Tobac to open up new accounts.
Let’s break down the RoMa Craft Tobac CroMagnon Aquitaine and see what this cigar brings to the table. Since this cigar experience was based on a sample provided at the IPCPR trade show, we will default to our pre-review approach. The pre-review will allow us to share some thoughts and perspectives. When we sample a post-release version, we will provide a final assessment rating and score.
As mentioned, the CroMagnon Aquitaine differs in wrapper from the original CroMagnon, but has a similar cigar architecture when it comes to binder and filler.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Ligero
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 web-site, the Ecuadorian Habano Ligero wrapper is from eighth and ninth primings. The web-site also mentions the leaf from Pueblo Nuevo provides a strong, smoky, savory flavor to the blend.
The Aquitaine is available in the same five sizes as the original CroMagnon. Like the original CroMagnon, the sizes of the Aquitaine are all parejos.
The five core sizes referred to as the Taxonomy. These cigars are packaged 24 to a box.
There is also a sixth limited edition vitola called the Atlatl. This is a lancero-sized vitola.
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 ¾ x 46
Cranium (Gran Toro): 6 x 54
Atlatl (Lancero – Limited Edition): 7 x 38
On an editorial note, I love the fact that the Aquitaine (like CroMagnon) is an all-parejo release. To me, I’ll always choose a parejo over a torpedo or perfecto every time.
For this cigar experience, I smoked the EMH (Robusto) vitola. As currently with all of the cigars made by RoMa Craft Tobac, the Aquitaine comes unbanded. The Aquitaine’s Ecuadorian Habano Ligero wrapper is a dark caramel color. It also has a very oily complexion. There are also several visible veins and wrapper seams.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my smoke of the Aquitaine EMH, I went with my usual cut selection – a straight cut into the cap. Once the cap was clipped, I commenced with the pre-light draw. I’ll admit, the pre-light draw did not overly excite me. The dry draw notes yielded a woody profile with some hints of cedar. Since we do not count the pre-light experience into our final assessment rating and score, there was no loss of points here. It was now time to fire up my RoMa Craft Tobac CroMagnon Aquitaine and see what this cigar would bring to the table.
The Aquitaine continued the notes of wood that were found on the pre-light draw. I also detected some background floral notes. About a minute into the smoking experience, some pepper spice emerged. The pepper and floral notes became primary within the first five percent. The Aquitaine did yield a sharp pepper aroma through the nasal packages.
Around the ten percent mark, some natural tobacco sweetness entered the equation and joined the pepper notes. The floral notes remained as background favors. As the first third progressed, there was no doubt the ligero had begun to kick in. The pepper along with the natural tobacco sweetness kicked it up a notch, and by the midway point, the pepper notes were in control.
In the second half of the Aquitaine, some of the wood notes resurfaced. These wood notes had a classic old-school oak flavor. I found these oak notes to balance the pepper spice perfectly. Meanwhile, the natural tobacco sweetness moved to the background with the floral notes.
On the last third of the Aquitaine, there was also a mesquite quality that joined the floral and natural tobacco in the background. The pepper and oak notes remained in control to the end. This was the flavor profile as the cigar came to a close. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and firm to the touch – the way a nub should finish off.
Burn and Draw
The Aquitaine scores very nicely when it comes to the attributes of burn and draw. Normally whenever I hear ligero with a cigar, I sometimes get concerned about how it will burn. My conversation with Skip Martin at the 2012 IPCPR, gave me a clinic on cigar making. While the topic of ligero did not come up, I had a confidence level of Martin and his partner Michael Rosales being able to produce a cigar of high quality construction. This was reflected in the burn as ligero did not result in any issues. The burn line remained relatively straight from start to finish with minimal touch-ups. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal. The draw was also ideal – making the Aquitaine a joy to smoke.
Strength and Body
If you like to see a cigar build in terms of its nicotine profile and flavor depth, the Aquitaine is going to be the cigar for you. The Aquitaine starts out medium in terms of its strength. As the cigar progresses through the first half, the ligero kicks in and the Aquitaine progresses to medium to full strength. By the time the cigar is in the second half, this cigar is a full strength cigar. At the same time, the depth of the flavors seems to keep pace with the strength. The Aquitaine starts out medium-bodied. It progresses to medium to full-bodied later in the first half, and by the second half this is a full-bodied cigar. Given the body keeps pace with the strength, the two attributes counter each other very nicely from start to finish.
Prior to the 2012 IPCPR trade show, we targeted RoMa Craft Tobac as one of our five boutiques to watch. In the end scheme of things, it all comes down to the product. The team of RoMa Craft Tobac is making some very good cigars and the Aquitaine is a great example of this. This isn’t going to be a flashy cigar in terms of its flavor profile or even banding, but this is a very good cigar. The original CroMagnon was a solid cigar, but the Ecuadorian Habano wrapper makes for an even better cigar. This is probably a cigar I’d recommend to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast as it does move to a full strength/full-bodied by the second half. This is a cigar I look forward to smoking again.
Strength: Full (Starts out medium and progresses to Full by second half)
Body: Full (Starts out medium and progresses to Full by second half)
Source: The cigar for this assessment was provided by RoMa Craft Tobac. This request was initiated by RoMa Craft Tobac in order to provide feedback. Cigar Coop is appreciative for the sample, but in no way does this
influence this review.