RoMa Craft Tobac has released a number of different samplers containing each of its blends in a single size in the past—specifically, the El Catador de Los Perfectos, the El Catador de Las Panetelas, the El Catador de Las Petite Coronas and the El Catador de Los Gran Robusto—but the newest sampler from the company was produced for a very special purpose.
The name of the sampler is the El Catador de Los Gran Perfectos 10 Años and as the name indicates, it was created to commemorate the company’s 10th anniversary. Inside the wooden box are eight cigars, one each of the company’s blends, all rolled in the same 5 5/8 x 60 perfecto vitola.
Each sampler of cigars was priced at $120 per box and the only way to purchase the samplers was to purchase a ticket for Weaselfest, RoMa Craft’s 10th anniversary party originally scheduled to take place on Sept. 5 in Austin. RoMa Craft Tobac shipped the samplers and swag for the event to ticket holders in July and shortly thereafter announced that Weaselfest was postponed to 2021.
According to the company, the event is now planned for the 2021 Memorial Day weekend—most likely on May 29—but RoMa Craft Tobac has indicated it needs to work with the vendors and musicians who were scheduled to be at WeaselFest before confirming the 2021 date.
There are eight different cigars in the El Catador de Los Gran Perfectos 10 Años sampler, none of which have been sold before:
- Intemperance BA XXI Gran Perfecto (5 5/8 x 60) — $15 (Sampler of 8, $120)
- Intemperance EC XVII Gran Perfecto (5 5/8 x 60) — $15 (Sampler of 8, $120)
- Intemperance Whisky Rebellion 1794 Gran Perfecto (5 5/8 x 60) — $15 (Sampler of 8, $120)
- CroMagnon Gran Perfecto (5 5/8 x 60) — $15 (Sampler of 8, $120)
- Neanderthal Gran Perfecto (5 5/8 x 60) — $15 (Sampler of 8, $120)
- Baka Gran Perfecto (5 5/8 x 60) — $15 (Sampler of 8, $120)
- Wunder|Lust Gran Perfecto (5 5/8 x 60) — $15 (Sampler of 8, $120)
While the vitola may be new, the blend for today’s review of the Intemperance BA XXI Gran Perfecto is the same as the rest of the line: a Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper covering tobacco that has been described as “primarily Nicaraguan.”
- Cigar Reviewed: Intemperance BA XXI Gran Perfecto
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos NicaSueño S.A.
- Wrapper: Brazil (Arapiraca)
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua & Not Disclosed
- Length: 5 5/8 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 60
- Vitola: Gran Perfecto
- MSRP: $15 (Sampler of 8, $120)
- Release Date: July 21, 2020
- Number of Cigars Released: 1,500 Samplers of 1 Cigar (1,500 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
Visually, the Intemperance BA XXI Gran Perfecto is an amazing specimen with a dark chocolate brown wrapper that is somehow smooth to the touch despite the numerous veins and lack of oil. The cigar is very close to rock hard when squeezed and the short unfinished foot is a nice touch. Aroma from the wrapper and foot is a combination of very pungent barnyard, hay, cinnamon, cocoa nibs, black pepper, licorice and a touch of floral while the cold draw brings flavors of strong gritty earth, barnyard, peanut shells, hay, dark chocolate, vanilla and a bit of mint.
The unfinished foot on the Intemperance BA XXI toasts easily, allowing a dominant combination of anise and earth to easily top the profile, followed by a number of other flavors that include a powdery cocoa nibs, hay, oak, rich espresso beans, creamy nuts, leather and sourdough bread. On the retrohale, there is quite a bit of black pepper, tongue-tingling spice along with some nice vanilla sweetness carried over from the cold draw. Construction-wise, the Intemperance features an excellent draw after a straight cut, a nice even burn, and plenty of thick, dense smoke coming from the foot. The strength ramps up early but ultimately fails to reach the medium mark by the time the first third ends.
Interestingly, the vanilla sweetness from the first third begins to morph into more of a molasses sweetness during the second third of the Intemperance Gran Perfecto, a process that is complete by the halfway point. In addition, while the gritty earth note retains its place atop the profile, the anise has disappeared totally replaced by a distinct mesquite flavor. Secondary notes include freshly roasted coffee beans, licorice, cinnamon, cashews, leather and floral, along with some slight mint on the finish. Both the spice and the black pepper show no signs of waning anytime soon, while both the burn and the draw continue to impress. Finally, the smoke production remains both copious and dense, while the overall strength easily increases enough to hit a point just past medium by the end of the second third.
Both gritty earth and mesquite continue to dominant the profile of the Intemperance BA XXI Gran Perfecto during the final third. The profile gets creamier with lesser flavors of hay, cinnamon, dark cocoa powder, creamy cashews, leather, tree bark, dried tea leaves and a mild popcorn. While the spice on my tongue is still going strong, the black pepper on the retrohale has changed into a distinct jalapeño flavor, which combines nicely with the molasses sweetness that is still present. Construction-wise, the burn and draw continue to be problem-free, while the smoke production continues to emanate off of the foot in strong, dense waves. Finally, the overall strength shows a major increase, easily hitting a point very close to full before the end of the cigar, and I put the nub of the Gran Perfecto down with about an inch left.
- RoMa Craft Tobac co-founder Skip Martin told halfwheel that although the company’s factory has produced the Gran Perfecto vitola in various blends over the years. The sampler is the first time it has been released to consumers.
- I have always loved how understated the unfinished feet are on some releases of RoMa Craft Tobac cigars; in fact, if you are not looking for them, you might miss them in some blends.
- Along with the above, there is an obvious difference in the look of the unfinished feet between these and a brushed foot like the Viaje Summerfest.
- When tickets for the 10th anniversary event went on sale, RoMa Craft Tobac indicated that part of the ticket price would be non-refundable, even if the event was postponed or canceled. Since the event was postponed, the non-refundable portion was used to help support the local artists and vendors.
- Anise is a flavor I have tasted in a number of cigars over the years, but this is the first time that I can recall where it was a domiannt flavor in the profile of a cigar, albeit relegated exclusively in the first third.
- I happened to be in Nicaragua back in 2013 and was able to photograph RoMa Craft Tobac’s first factory, which at the time was located in the back of a house in an unassuming neighborhood of Estelí, Nicaragua. In fact, you would never have even known it was there if you did not have an address.
- The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- The final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 46 minutes.
- Site sponsor Cigar Hustler is offering a Weaselfest sampler which includes the Intemperance BA XXI Gran Perfecto.
I have always loved the Intemperance BA XXI blend for its combination of distinct flavors and plenty of zing from a persistent combination of spice and black pepper; the Gran Perfecto did not let me down on any of those points. Interestingly, the profile of the newest vitola is both constant and ever-changing: specifically, the constant gritty earth flavor from the first puff to the last against an ever-changing supporting cast of flavors that morphed from third to third: vanilla to molasses, oak to mesquite, black pepper to jalapeño pepper. I do wish there was a bit more overt sweetness in the blend to balance out the strong earth notes and that the overall strength did not ramp up so quickly in the final third. But the mint note I tasted on the finish in the first and second thirds was a nice consolation prize and the combination of all of the aforementioned points makes the Intemperance BA XXI Gran Perfecto a worthy addition to a line already full of excellent cigars.