Review: Intemperance EC XVIII The Faith (Prerelease)
Last week, Charlie reviewed the Intemperance BA XXI The Intrigue, a new cigar from RoMa Craft Tobac. As was mentioned in the review, there were four vitolas in two different wrappers. Today’s review is of one of those other vitolas in the other wrapper, the Intemperance ECX VIII The Faith. Charlie did most of the work in getting the history of this release, so I think it is easier to just quote him:
Earlier this year, Skip Martin and Michael Rosales announced the creation of RoMa Craft Tobac, the new parent of Martin’s Hava Cigar Shop/Galveston Bay Tobacco and Rosales’ Adrian’s/Costa Rican Imports. The pair first teamed up in 2011 for the launch of the CroMagnon, which had a rather successful initial launch, earning sixth place honors on the Consensus Top 25. Intemperance was one of two new projects that Martin and Rosales announced last year as part of their efforts to expand their new company, the other being Aquitaine, which is expected some time in August. It is not only the first new brandunder the formality of RoMa Craft Tobac, but was also originally described as being the first brand that would debut in locations other than Martin’s online Hava Cigar Shop. Ultimately, CroMagnon has hit shelves of brick and mortar humidors in Texas before the release of Intemperance. While CroMagnon was very much a cigar that was made for Martin’s unique personal preference for stronger cigars, Intemperance has been characterized as a brand that could be enjoyed by a much wider customer base.
And here is a quote from the Hava Cigar Shop website, which explains the thinking behind the names of the cigars:
Intemperance is our first cigar release under the newly formed RoMa Craft Tobac company. Produced in our Esteli, Nicaragua factory (Fabrica de Tobacco NicaSueno), Intemperance is presented in two capa varietals and four vitolas.
The branding for Intemperance evokes the history of prohibition and features a logo inspired by a famous artifact of the temperance movement, a propaganda poster/political print produced by a temperance hymnodist, A.D. Fillmore in 1855.
Intemperance EC XVIII (Ecuador Connecticut)
In the 18th century a global temperance movement began in rural Connecticut. After World War I, the movement began to spread like wildfire throughout the United States, and across the globe, as religious and women’s groups spread the gospel on the evils of alcohol. In 1919, the temperance movement achieved their goal when the 18th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States established a national prohibition on the consumption of ‘intoxicating liquors’.
Intemperance BA XXI (Brazil Arapiraca)
Following the ratification of the 18th Amendment, an intemperance movement was born. The Volstead Act had effectively turned every consumer, merchant and producer of alcohol into a criminal; organized crime took root. Without market and regulatory controls, alcohol became more dangerous to consume. The court system was brought to the brink of failure under the weight of criminal and civil cases related to prohibition. After a little more than a decade, public opinion had been turned and the effort to repeal prohibition emerged victorious with the ratification of the 21st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
Despite the dismal failure of this ‘noble experiment’, the temperance movement marches on. Perhaps this is no better represented than in the form of the modern tobacco control movement, also known as the anti-smoking movement.
In the last sixty years, this anti-smoking movement has grown in influence and power much in the same way the temperance movement before it grew. We believe that it is well past time to initiate our own modern intemperance movement.
Here is a photo of both the Intemperance ECX VIII The Faith (top) and Intemperance BA XXI The Envy (bottom):
There are a total of four vitolas across the two wrappers, and while the names are different, they are in fact identical in size and price:
From left to right:
- Intemperance BA XXI The Ambition/Intemperance EC XVIII The Industry — 5 1/2 x 54 ($7.00)
- Intemperance BA XXI The Envy/Intemperance EC XVIII The Faith — 5 x 50 ($6.50)
- Intemperance BA XXI The Avarice/Intemperance EC XVIII The Virtue — 4 1/2 x 52 ($6.00)
- Intemperance BA XXI The Intrigue/Intemperance EC XVIII The Charity — 4 x 46 ($5.00)
(Image via Hava Cigar Shop)
But enough of that, let’s get down to business, shall we?
- Cigar Reviewed: Intemperance ECX VIII The Faith
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Fabrica de Tobacco NicaSueno
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
- Binder: Nicaraguan*
- Filler: Nicaraguan*
- Size: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Double Perfecto
- MSRP: $6.50 (Boxes of 25, $162.50)
- Release Date: March 3, 2012
- Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 1
*Binder and Filler are described as “primarily Nicaraguan.”
The Intemperance ECX VIII The Faith is an extremely interesting looking cigar: a Double Perfecto with an exposed foot, i.e. the wrapper is cut cleaning about a quarter of an inch up, and the binder is allowed to show through. The wrapper is an oily, light honey brown color with quite a few bumps and veins running up and down the length. It also has one of the strongest scents of barnyard and manure I have ever smelled from a cigar that did not come from Havana. The cigar is extremely pliable when squeezed and it is also extremely light when held, almost to the point where I am thinking it might be under filled.
The first third of the Intemperance EC XVIII The Faith starts out with a strong creamy cedar note, along with a great amount of spice on the lips, and just a tad bit of pepper on the retrohale. There are other flavors noticeable as well during the duration of the first third, including honey, vanilla and a small amount of sweetness that pulls it all together. The cigar seems to be burning very quickly and it only takes me about 15 minutes to get to the end of the first third. Draw is a bit loose, but the burn is wonderful so far. Coming into the second third of The Faith, the flavors are mostly the same, but the creaminess and sweetness ramp up a notch while the spice and pepper die down a bit. Still flavors of honey and vanilla, along with cedar and a touch of leather. It’s a very enjoyable profile, albeit not overly complex so far. The burn is still great, and the draw has tightened up a tiny bit, but it is still burning quicker than I would like, even after I slowed down on the puffing to compensate. Strength is a mild medium and I don’t expect that to change. The final third of the Intemperance has some minor changes, but nothing too solid. Spice picks up big time compared to the prior two thirds, but the creaminess is still there, as is the sweetness, although more of a background note at this point. Flavors continue to be constant, although I do get a small amount of nuttiness every once in a while. Burn is excellent until the end, but the draw is still a bit looser than I would like, albeit not loose enough to negatively affect the smoke, just a personal thing for me. Strength ends as I thought it would, a mild medium. I was easily able to nub the stick far past what I should have, and the Intemperance never burned hot, even that far down.
- I find it wonderful that a new line has come out with some smaller sized cigars and nothing over 54 RG. Add to that the great price and it is a solid release by any estimation.
- The Ecuadorian Connecticut version is one of those cigars that you do not want to puff on too often. Every time I took a puff too quickly, the profile turned bitter fast, but reverted back to the great flavors it had once I slowed down.
- Like the CroMagnon before them, none of the different vitolas or wrappers of the Intemperance have bands. Although if I recall, there was some thought of CroMagnon bands.
- While I appreciate the thought and effort that went into the naming of each vitola/wrapper combination, the Intemperance line might have the longest names and most variations of said names of any cigar on the market at the moment.
- Having said that, I also appreciate the fact that they do not care what other people may or may not think and that they named the cigars whatever the hell they wanted to.
- I absolutely love the little exposed foot on the foot of these cigars. They are just the right size, not too overwhelming (Viaje Summerfest), and they add just a bit of an interesting look, especially with the Connecticut wrapper, which contrasts quite well with the darkness of the binder underneath.
- According to Martin, Intemperance should arrive at retailers in May. Samplers, five packs and ten packs will be sold until May, when the boxes are also released.
- For the next month or so, the only way to purchase these will be to purchase them from Hava Cigar Shop. Currently the Volstead sampler which includes each of the eight different Intemperance sizes is for sale. The name is an obvious homage to the Volstead Act of 1919, which was crucial to the enforcement of the Eighteenth Amendmentand named for Rep. Andre Volstead, one of the key proponents of prohibition.
- The construction and burn were wonderful throughout, but the draw on my one sample was a bit loose and the cigar seemed a little under filled. Honestly, it was probably just my sample, as the Ariparaca wrapper in the same vitola I smoked had none of the same problems, and other than the final smoking time, those really did not cause any issues.
- The final smoking time was an astounding 1 hour and 10 minutes, which is insanely quick for a cigar this size.
The Bottom Line: Like Charlie, I was not as much of a fan of the CroMagnon as some people, although, like Charlie, I totally understand why people love the blend and I was extremely interested to see what the second release would be like. Well, I can say with all certainty that RoMa Craft Tobac has some winners on their hands. As I said above, I smoked both of the wrappers of this specific vitola (the Brazil Ariparaca the day before the Ecuadorian Connecticut version that this review is based on) and I have to be honest, I liked the Brazil Ariparaca wrapper quite a bit more than the Ecuadorian Connecticut. For the record, the Intemperance BA XXI The Envy, the Brazilian version of this vitola, would get a 91-92 in a review, easily. Not that the Connecticut version is a bad smoke at all, in fact, it is one of the better Ecuadorian Connecticut cigars on the market in my estimation, but the Ariparaca wrapper was miles above it in terms of complexity and flavors. Having said that, the Connecticut version has a great creamy and sweet profile, with light and crisp flavors, a bit of spice throughout, and great burn. I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for a milder, creamier smoke, but I still think I like the E.P Carrillo New Wave Connecticut a bit more.
Final Score: 88