A little over a year ago we provided an early look at the second release for Skip Martin and Michael Rosales’ RoMa Craft Tobac. To say the duos freshman and sophomore releases were a stark contrast is an understatement. Whereas CroMagnon is known for its grittiness and power, Intemperance is a line noted for finesse.
When Brian Burt reviewed the lines first extension, the A.W.S. IV Lonsdale I remembered it had been a while since I had smoked The Intrigue, the 4 x 46 Petito that ended up as halfwheel’s number six cigar of 2012 and probably my candidate for underrated cigar of the year.
For those that haven’t memorized the final paragraph of my original review:
In music, it’s all about the sophomore album. In the cigar industry, it’s a bit different. There are so few new brands in general, and fewer that make it successfully through their initial effort. As such, we rarely get to judge a sophomore project, particularly when it’s debuting. Mini-boom or not, we are going to be able to judge a few more efforts and it’s hard to imagine given the current freshman debuts, a more anticipated follow-up. I was not a fan of CroMagnon. But as was noted, CroMagnon was a cigar that was blended for a profile that is near polar opposite to mine. It was made to be raw and powerful, and for that, it did a remarkable job. Intemperance is not that. This is a more traditional blend, and yet, it is quite different from most other things in anyone’s humidor. Intemperance right now is a pleasure to smoke: complex, medium-full/full, made well and entertaining. The only question moving forward is are these going to lose something, and if so, how much, how quick. Because quite frankly, right now it’s difficult to imagine this line not on the Consensus Top 10. In a world where boutique is thrown around enough that yours truly despises the term, this is what boutique is supposed to be. As a sophomore work, Intemperance shows what the commitment to small batch production, care and time can produce.
For the record, Intemperance BA XXI as a line finished 17 on the Consensus 25.
- Cigar Reviewed: Intemperance BA XXI The Intrigue
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Nica Sueno
- Wrapper: Brazil Ariparaca
- Binder: Nicaraguan*
- Filler: Nicaraguan*
- Size: 4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 46
- Vitola: Petito
- MSRP: $5.00 (Boxes of 30, $150.00)
- Date Released: March 3, 2012
- Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Redux Review: 1
*Binder and Filler are described as “primarily Nicaraguan.”
No band, shaggy foot and a dark brown wrapper. While the former will change shortly, for now, it’s 100 percent familiar. I get sweet cocoa, cedar and a touch of citrus from the Intemperance, which fortunately is packed in cellophane with a RoMa Craft logo, otherwise this is getting placed into the pile of unbanded cigars in the humidor. Cold draw delivers a familiar fruity undertone with leathers and earth as well.
The Intrigue begins with a great fruity sweetness, a tingle of pepper on the lips and jalapeño on the tongue. The core is sweet with pronounced fruit notes, cocoa and leather. About a third of the way in, going slowly, I get an incredible contrast of chocolate chips and a tad bit of harshness. While I normally wouldn’t appreciate the latter, the former totally makes up for it. Eventually, the cocoa turns to mocha, while an earthy not develops on the finish with saltiness through the nose. The plethora of flavors from the four inch cigar continues with notes of barbecue sauce and creaminess. There are two truths to the flavor of the small RoMa Craft Tobac offering: there’s always flavor and it’s pretty much just south of full.
Smoking slow is the best advice I have for this cigar. While the draw remains great, the smoke production abundant and the construction more than impressive, getting as close to one hour without the cigar going out should be a goal, because you get rewarded massively in the flavor department. Strength is medium plus for those wondering.
Nothing is lost. This is a great cigar, far and away my favorite line from Martin and Rosales, and that's before we talk about the price. There might be a new size and bands, but the Intemperance BA XXI is the same winner it was 13 months ago. It seems like everyone and their mother has a new cigar line coming out of this person's factory, or that person's factory and there's a lot of good product hitting shelves in that manner. There's also a lot of bad. If you want to know what a good $5 cigar tastes like made by people who are probably not selling more than 100,000 cigars this year, let alone last year, two people from Texas give you one hell of a plate.