In January, RoMa Craft Tobac announced its 2022 release calendar, a month-by-month outline of what would be shipping to retailers from the company. That calendar included not only new creations, but also a number of cigars that RoMa Craft sells only on an annual basis or exclusively at select events.
One of the new releases was the El Catador de Las Gran Coronas—which translates to The Taster of the Gran Coronas from Spanish—a 16-count sampler made up of two each of eight different blends. This was the seventh El Catador sampler from RoMa Craft Tobac so far, which the company uses as a way to let its customers smoke the company’s various blends in a specific size. The first sampler was released back in December 2013 and debuted at Port Charlotte, Fla.-based retailer Tobacco Locker.
Past El Catador samplers have included:
- El Catador de Los Perfectos —2013
- El Catador de Las Panetelas — 2014
- El Catador de Las Petite Coronas — 2015
- El Catador de Los Gran Robusto — 2015
- El Catador de Los Gran Perfectos — 2020
- El Catador de Los Petite Gordos — 2021
- El Catador de Las Gran Coronas — 2022
Each of the eight cigars in the newest sampler are the same 5 3/4 x 46 vitola—the company calls the size a “gran corona”—but of those, only the three Intemperance releases are new. My review concerns the Intemperance EC XVIII Reverence, which is made up of the same blend as the rest of the Intemperance EC XVIII line, namely an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper covering an Indonesian binder and filler tobaccos grown in Nicaragua.
- Intemperance BA XXI Contempt
- Intemperance EC XVIII Reverence
- Intemperance WR 1794 Lee III
- CroMagnon Anthropology
- CroMagnon Aquitaine Anthropology
- Baka Jengi
- Neanderthal HS
- Wunder|Lust Fiorella
Each of the El Catador de Las Gran Coronas samplers has an MSRP of $165 per box and only 2,500 boxes were shipped to retailers early last month. However, RoMa Craft says it will release 300 boxes of each Intemperance blend in the same 5 3/4 x 46 vitola that is included in the El Catador de Las Gran Coronas sampler during the winter holiday season.
- Cigar Reviewed: Intemperance EC XVIII Reverence
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos NicaSueño S.A.
- Wrapper: Ecuador (Connecticut)
- Binder: Indonesia (Besuki)
- Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
- Length: 5 3/4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 46
- Vitola: Corona Gorda
- MSRP: $10.31 (Box of 16, $165)
- Release Date: April 2022
- Number of Cigars Released: 2,500 Boxes of 2 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
An extremely attractive golden brown wrapper that almost glows in the sun is the first thing I notice when I pick up the Intemperance EC XVIII Reverence for the first time, but a closer inspection reveals a number of small veins as well as a short brushed foot. That wrapper is fairly smooth to the touch and features a bit of oil as well, and while all three cigars are extremely firm when squeezed, I find a small soft spot to the right of the main band on one sample. The aroma from the wrapper is aggressive and includes strong earth and generic wood with smaller amounts of nuts, hay and manure bringing up the rear. The notes from the foot are similar—albeit with even more cedar and nuttiness—but also include new scents of leather and a light citrus aroma. After a straight cut, the cold draw features flavors of cream, cedar, peanut shells, hay, toast and cinnamon, along with some slight vanilla sweetness.
Cream and hay—along with some white pepper—are the flavors that greet me in the first three puffs after I light the foot of the Intemperance EC XVIII Reverence, and while they remain in the profile, they are quickly overtaken by stronger notes of cedar and earth. Secondary flavors of peanut shells, dark chocolate, hay, cinnamon, leather and slight citrus peel flit in and out in various amounts as well, while the retrohale is chock full of both white pepper and a sweetness that reminds me of vanilla bean ice cream. Flavor is a solid medium out of the gate, but both the body and strength seem content to hover around the mild-plus mark thus far. In terms of construction, I have absolutely no issues with any of the samples when it comes to the burn—which is close to razor sharp—the draw or the smoke production.
The profile makes a major change in the second third getting quite a bit creamier with flavors of cedar and peanuts easily taking the main spots, followed by hay, toasted bread, dry oatmeal, cocoa nibs and citrus peel. The retrohale also changes significantly as there is a bit less pepper while the vanilla bean sweetness has been joined by an orange flavor, the combination of which reminds me of an orange Push Up Pop. Flavor increases to medium-plus, body increases to just under medium and the strength is firmly in the medium range. One of the cigars’ burn becomes just problematic enough to need correcting, although the draw and smoke production on all three samples—not to mention the burn on the remaining two cigars—continues to be excellent.
As the final third begins, the Intemperance EC XVIII retains a number of the aspects from the previous third that made it so enjoyable. These include not only the profile’s overt creaminess, but also the main flavors of peanuts and cedar. Additional notes of cinnamon, gritty earth, leather, sourdough bread and coffee beans make themselves known at various points, while the combination of white pepper and orange Push Up Pop sweetness continues to dominate the retrohale. Flavor reaches the full mark by the end of the cigar, while the body and strength stop hand-in-hand at a point just over medium. Finally, the construction is back on track, with the draw, smoke production and burn giving me no issues whatsoever across all three samples.
- When it debuted in 2013, the impetus of the branding for the Intemperance line was described as “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.”
- The “Gran Corona”—also known as an “A”—vitola has historically been used to describe a cigar that measures around 9 1/4 by 47. This is obviously a different “Gran Corona” vitola.
- In the past, the Wunder|Lust blend has been a European exclusive release, but this is actually the second time that the line has been featured in one of RoMa Craft’s samplers. The first to include the blend was the El Catador de Los Gran Perfectos 10 Años sampler that was released in 2020.
- The Intemperance blends feature a short brushed foot, which is basically when the wrapper at the foot of the cigar is cut short, allowing the binder and filler to be exposed. The design is used on quite a few RoMa Craft releases, although none have never been as prominent as what is seen on cigars like Viaje’s Summerfest line.
- Although the Intemperance line deputed in March 2012, they were sold sans bands until the following year.
- The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- The final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 39 minutes.
- If you are looking to purchase any of the Intemperance EC XVIII Reverence cigars, site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co. and Famous Smoke Shop have the El Catador de Las Gran Coronas in stock on their websites.
The Intemperance EC XVIII has long been one of my favorite blends from RoMaCraft Tobac, but the Reverence takes it to another level entirely. The core flavors I have come to expect in this blend are all there—cedar, earth, nuts and citrus—but this incarnation is creamier, sweeter and just all-around more distinct than any other vitola I can remember, along with more than enough white pepper on the retrohale to keep the complexity high for the entire smoking time. Then you have the construction, which was virtually flawless for each cigar I smoked—only one sample needed a correction, and the burn line on all three almost never wavered from being straight as an arrow—which was just the topping on the cake. In the end, the Intemperance EC XVIII Reverence blend seems almost perfectly suited for this vitola, and I can’t wait for the stand-alone boxes to show up later this year.