It’s no secret Skip Martin of RoMa Craft Tobac loves his company’s CroMagnon Mode 5. As such, it should be no shock that next month, Aquitaine, the sister line of CroMagnon, will be receiving the 5 x 50 short perfecto. Given that this is RoMa Craft Tobac, it should also not be shocking that there was already a preview of the cigar.
On December 26, Tobacco Locker of Port Charlotte, Fla. formally took delivery of 50 samplers entitled, El Catador de Los Perfectos, literally, the taster of the perfectos. The sampler contained two each of the company’s three current perfectos—the aforementioned CroMagnon Mode 5, Intemperance BA XXI The Envy and Intemperance EC XVIII The Faith—and the Aquitaine Mode 5.
The samplers retailed for $52 and look like this:
This is the third extension to the Aquitaine line, which brings the total vitolas up to eight. They are:
- Aquitaine The Knuckle Dragger (4 x 52) — $6.50 (Boxes of 24, $156.00)
- Aquitaine The Mandible (4 1/2 x 60) — $7.25 (Boxes of 24, $174.00)
- Aquitaine The EMH (5 x 56) — $7.75 (Boxes of 24, $186.00)
- Aquitaine The Anthropology (5 3/4 x 46) — $8.00 (Boxes of 24, $192.00)
- Aquitaine The Cranium (6 x 54) — $8.50 (Boxes of 24, $204.00)
- Aquitaine Blockhead (6 x 54)* — $9.00 (Boxes of 10, $90.00)
- Aquitaine Atlatl (7 x 38)* — $9.50
- Aquitaine Mode 5 (5 x 50) — $6.50
*Indicates non-regular production.
While the price has not formally been announced, the CroMagnon and Aquitaine blends have previously shared identical pricing. If that remains true for the Mode 5, MSRP will be set at $6.50 per cigar.
The two Mode 5s look like this.
Cigar Reviewed: CroMagnon Aquitaine Mode 5
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Nica Sueño
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Ligero
Filler: Nicaragua (Condega, Estelí & Pueblo Nuevo)
Size: 5 Inches
Ring Gauge: 50
Vitola: Short Perfecto
MSRP: $6.50 (Samplers of 8, $52.00)*
Date Released: December 26, 2013*
Number of Cigars Released: 50 Samplers of 2 Cigars (100 Total Cigars)*
Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3*The cigar will become a regular production offering in February.
It took long enough, but when RoMa Craft Tobac finally decided to get its band, they did it right. From a distance, the text is a bit challenging to read, but much like the wrappers, the CroMagnon’s black bands are much darker than the Aquitaine’s brown. As for the wrapper itself, the Ecuadorian habano ligero has an oiled leather appearance and a soft feel. While there’s a noticeable sweetness from the foot, there’s little more than barnyard, hay and cedar from the wrapper. I get an incredible sourdough note on all three cigars I smoked for this review, it’s followed by a big blast of black pepper and some tidbits of fruit.
There are two different starts to the Aquitaine Mode 5. On two cigars, it’s sweet cedar, sunflower seed—without the salt—and some coffee bean. On another, it’s black pepper, a more generic pepper and cedar. As the first third progresses, the cedar remains a constant alongside the coffee bean and a bread-like sweetness. Through the nose, there’s a bit of harshness and black pepper, alongside a generic sweetness. Flavor is full, not overpowering, and consistent. Strength is medium plus, body is in a similar place, not as strong as some other sizes.
At the back of the palate, there’s some lingering sweetness through the second third. I can’t place it in detail, but it’s coated the palate. There’s a bit of a refining as the Aquitaine moves on, the nuttiness becomes much more present, the coffee more separated and the cedar begins to shed some of its less precise characteristics. A few consecutive retrohales develops a bit of tea underneath a peppery cedar. A touch-up seems to be needed about once per cigar, but other than that the construction is great.
With two inches left, I begin to pick up some chicken brine touches, it’s never a large note, but I can find it occasionally on the finish. Other than that, the cigar is much like the second third, although building with precision. I do notice the sweetness increasing, but it’s unclear to me if that is just its continued presence on my palate, versus the actual flavor that is coming from the final third. Smoke production continues at the above average pace until about the inch mark, when the cigar begins to narrow down and I am forced to pick up pace.
- The packaging for the sampler is great. Normally, multiple fonts are not a good idea, it works really well here.
- A glance at Skip Martin’s Twitter feed would suggest that he loves the CroMagnon Mode 5, it also does not hurt that the cigar is backordered. Martin has talked repeatedly about how they tried to prepare as best as possible for this problem with Aquitaine Mode 5.
- Part of the preparation for this was delaying extensions to Intemperance until after the release of Mode 5.
- One of the three samples smoked for this review was significantly stronger than the other two. It wasn’t the CroMagnon blend, but it definitely had a lot more CroMagnon in it than the other two.
- I can’t help but wonder what this would cost from another manufacturer. RoMa Craft Tobac’s prices are incredible competitive. Sure, this is only a 5 x 50 cigar, but it’s a cigar that some other companies would charge $10 for.
- RoMa Craft Tobac went from no bands to two bands, there’s some irony there.
- Speaking of the bands, I’m shocked we don’t see more manufacturers using the white border to contrast the darker colors internally a la Romeo y Julieta.
- Cigars for this review were provided by both RoMa Craft Tobac and Tobacco Locker.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 30 minutes.
- As of this moment, the only way to buy the Aquitaine Mode 5 is through Tobacco Locker, who still has some for sale in the El Catador de Los Perfectos sampler.
I’ve understood the CroMagnon blend and I’ve appreciated it, but it’s never been my thing. I’ve always viewed Aquitaine as an alternative to CroMagnon. It is in fact, formally listed as “CroMagnon Aquitaine” and shares similar sizes, logo and fillers. For me, the blend has never stood on its own, except until now. While I am far from the most seasoned smoker of the Mode 5, I’d argue that it is better suited for this blend than it is for the CroMagnon proper. I don’t think the world needs an Aquitaine Slobberknocker, Epoch or Venus, it surely does not need an Aquitaine Femur, I’m fine with just eight vitolas for Aquitaine, but it could surely use more Aquitaine Mode 5s.