For months, RoMa Craft Tobac co-owner Skip Martin has been teasing a new release, presumably destined for Europe: Wunder|Lust.
Last month, Martin went to Europe to celebrate the Christmas holidays and he brought some Wunder|Lust along for a special private tasting. It was a preview of what’s to come, the company’s new European-exclusive.
The blend is made up of a Brazilian mata fina (Castaño osucro) wrapper covering an Indonesia Besuki binder along with an undisclosed filler blend.
“Wunder|Lust is a very unique blend, and something completely different for both RoMa Craft Tobac and Nica Sueño,” said Martin. “It was inspired by the tobaccos we found in the massive inventory that the Schusters maintain in their own factory.”
Next month, the brand will debut in 20 accounts in Germany with an initial shipment of a bit more than 10,000 cigars limited to 250 boxes each containing two bundles of 22 cigars.
In September, RoMa Craft will offer the new brand to to other accounts at the annual Inter-tabac convention that takes place in Dortmund, Germany. There will no more than 100,000 cigars produced each year between the four sizes, and none of them will be sold to retailers in the U.S.
There are four different vitolas, all of which will be sold in boxes of 22:
- Wunder|Lust Petit Belicoso (4 5/8 x 54) — €8.25 (Boxes of 22, €181.50)
- Wunder|Lust Robusto (5 x 50) — €8.75 (Boxes of 22, €192.50)
- Wunder|Lust Gran Corona (5 5/8 x 46) — €8 (Boxes of 22, €176)
- Wunder|Lust Gran Toro (6 x 52) — €9.25 (Boxes of 22, €203.50)
The cigars and the rest of the RoMa Craft Tobac portfolio will be distributed in Germany by August Schuster GmbH & Co. KG.
In and email, Martin had this to say about the unusual name:
The name is a combination of the idea behind wanderlust and the German cultural use of the word and prefix wunder. The packaging will resemble our other lines, with the box art coming from 60+ year old molds we found at the Schuster factory.
- Cigar Reviewed: Wunder|Lust Robusto
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos NicaSueño S.A.
- Wrapper: Brazilian Mata Fina
- Binder: Indonesia Besuki
- Filler: n/a
- Length: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Robusto
- MSRP: €8.75 (Boxes of 22, €192.50)
- Release Date: February 2016
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The Wunder|Lust is covered in a red mocha brown wrapper that feels quite bit like parchment and features a small amount of oil. There are quite a few veins running up and down the length of the cigar, but none are large or thick enough to be distracting, and there is a nice amount of give when the cigar is squeezed. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of manure, barnyard, dark chocolate, coffee, leather and a bit of indeterminate sweetness, while the cold draw brings flavors of bitter cocoa, espressos beans, hay, leather and a touch of spice on my tongue.
Starting out, the Wunder|Lust features a very dominant combination of oak and black pepper, along with other notes of ground coffee, gritty earth, creamy peanuts, grass and a touch of salt on my lips. There is a faint berry sweetness on the finish that combines nicely with some substantial black pepper on the retrohale and a bit of spice in the back of my throat. Construction is excellent, with just the right amount of resistance on the draw and a burn line that is razor sharp throughout the first third. Smoke production is both copious and extremely dense off of the foot, and the overall strength comes close to hitting the medium mark by the time the first third comes to an end.
A very interesting meatiness starts to show up as the second third of the Wunder|Lust begins, overpowering the oak note, but not the black pepper, which is still aggressive on the retrohale. There are other flavors, namely earth, hay, espresso beans, dark chocolate, citrus and buttery toast, but the salt from the first third is long gone by the halfway point. I am still picking up some very nice sweetness on the finish, but it has morphed to more of a maple syrup note, while the spice is still going strong. Construction-wise, the new RoMa Craft features both a burn and draw that are close to perfect as a cigar is going to get, giving me no problems at all in either regard. The strength easily hits the medium mark by the halfway point, but stalls out there, and does not seem to be going anywhere fast as the second third comes to a close.
The final third of the Wunder|Lust seems to combine the best parts of the previous two thirds, with a dominant meatiness followed closely by oak, almost like eating a steak that was aged on wood planks. There is more black pepper on the retrohale, but the amount is reduced significantly from the first two thirds, along with other flavors of dark cocoa, coffee, earth, almonds, toast, citrus and even a little peat. The sweetness has changed again, this time to a creamy vanilla note that reminds me of vanilla ice cream at times. Both the burn and draw are unchanged, which is a very, very good thing, and while the strength has increased a bit, it still goes no higher than a strong medium before I put the nub down with less than an inch to go.
- As for the question of whether there is Cuban tobacco in the filler, Martin said he declined to comment on the contents of the filler other than “The blend was inspired by the mix of tobaccos found in use at the Schuster’s factory in Bünder.”
- For what it is worth, not disclosing the tobacco used in a specific part of the cigar—or even the whole cigar—is not exactly unusual for cigar manufacturers.
- Schuster also handles the distribution for La Flor Dominicana in Germany.
- While there has been at least one Wunder|Lust tasting, the cigars won’t go on sale until next month. As mentioned above, that’s limited to 250 boxes of 44 cigars which will only be sold through 20 accounts in Germany.
- The construction of these cigars was nothing short of phenomenal. In fact, if there is something better than phenomenal, the three cigars I smoked for this review would qualify for it. Just excellent in that regard, with none of them giving me one problem whatsoever.
- While quite a few companies use paper bands for pre-releases, the band for these are something different, a linen-like texture that is quite distinctive.
- The final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 20 minutes.
- The cigars smoked for this review were sent to halfwheel by RoMa Craft Tobac.
I have to be honest, I have been looking forward to trying the Wunder|Lust since I heard it existed, and it turned out to be as good as I hoped. While not extremely complex, there are quite a few different flavors noticeable in the profile, especially in how the rich meatiness that rears its head in the second third combines with the ever changing sweetness that is also present throughout. It is really great to see RoMa Craft trying new and different things, and the Wunder|Lust is a wonderful example of that. Highly recommended if you can get ahold of one.