Considering how many cigars are produced every year, there is a curious lack of sampler boxes from manufactures that include multiple of their different blends in the same box. However, if you asked me to name one manufacturer who releases sampler boxes on a semi-regular basis, RoMa Craft Tobac would have to be very close to the top of my list.
The reason is simple: the company has released a number of different samplers in the past four years; specifically six different samplers, including the El Catador de Los Perfectos, the El Catador de Las Panetelas, the El Catador de Las Petite Coronas, the El Catador de Los Gran Robusto and the El Catador de Los Gran Perfectos 10 Años.
However, it is the latest sampler that we are concerned with today, the El Catador de los Petite Gordos. This sampler was offered exclusively to people who purchased tickets to RoMa Craft Tobac’s WeaselFest 2021, which took place May 29 at RoMa Craft Tobac’s headquarters in Austin, Texas. There were two different prices for the boxes that were sold at different times: the boxes cost $100 before WeaselFest 2021 and $110 during the actual event.
My colleague Charlie Minato had a bit more information on the recent WeaselFest in his review of the Intemperance BA XXI War:
WeaselFest is a party nearly two years in the making. Originally scheduled for September 2020, coronavirus restrictions in Austin forced the company to delay it until Memorial Day weekend. The event, which was created to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the company, includes barbecue and Tex-Mex from famous Austin restaurants, local Texas alcohol vendors, and a trio of musical acts: Third Root, Superfónicos, and Scarface & The Formaldehyde Funk Band.
Standard tickets ($275) include access to the event, food, alcohol and Weasel Packs, which include swag and other items. VIP tickets ($475) include all of the above plus one sampler, unlimited food and drink and more.
As the name suggests, the 12 cigars inside the box are all the same 4 1/2 x 60 parejo size and there are two of each of the following blends:
- Intemperance BA XXI War (4 1/2 x 60) — $8.25 (Box of 24, $198)
- Intemperance EC XVIII Peace (4 1/2 x 60) — $7.95 (Box of 24, $190.80)
- Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Husband (4 1/2 x 60) — $8.10 (Box of 24, $194.40)
- CroMagnon Mandible (4 1/2 x 60)
- Aquitaine Mandible (4 1/2 x 60)
- Neanderthal C3 (4 1/2 x 60) — $11 (Box of 15, $165)
The Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Husband features an Ecuadorian habano ligero wrapper covering an Indonesian Besuki binder as well as filler tobaccos grown in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. The line debuted in 2016 when it was released in conjunction with the online cigar community Cigar Dojo as an exclusive for Famous Smoke Shop. In 2019, RoMa Craft Tobac began selling it to other stores.
There have been 10 different vitolas in the Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 line so far:
- Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Bradford (5 x 56)
- Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Hamilton (4 x 46)
- Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Jefferson (4 1/2 x 50)
- Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 McFarlane (5 x 50)
- Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Washington (5 1/2 x 54)
- Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Pennsatucky (6 1/2 x 44)
- Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Gran Perfecto (5 5/8 x 60)
- Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Tarred & Feathered (5 x 56 box-pressed)
- Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Husband (4 1/2 x 60)
- Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Collective Sovereign (5 x 50)*
- Cigar Reviewed: Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Husband
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos NicaSueño S.A.
- Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano Ligero)
- Binder: Indonesia (Besuki)
- Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
- Length: 4 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 60
- Vitola: Petite Gordo
- MSRP: $8.10 (Box of 24, $194.40)
- Release Date: May 28, 2021
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 3
From a visual perspective, the Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Husband features a rustic and rough to the touch espresso brown wrapper that has a touch of oil and a number of prominent veins running up and down its length. The cigar is extremely dense when held in my hand, and the small brushed foot is very well done. The aroma from the wrapper is a combination of strong aromatic cedar, sweet hay, leather tack and earth, while the foot brings notes of peanut butter, manure and milk chocolate. The cold draw features flavors of generic wood, cashews, gritty earth, leather, espresso beans, slight citrus and raisin sweetness.
The first third of the Intemperance starts with a combination of mesquite and earth as the main flavors, followed by lesser notes of hay, toast, leather, powdery dark cocoa and slightly salted cashews. Although there is some black pepper on the retrohale and spice noticeable on my tongue, both are too mild to have much of an impact on the profile, unlike the rich raisin sweetness that is also present on the retrohale. Construction-wise, the Whiskey Rebellion features an excellent draw after a straight cut as well as a wonderful burn, while the smoke production is extremely copious off of the foot. The body is about medium so far while the strength starts out fairly mild, and while it does increase noticeably, it is still well short of the medium mark by the end of the first third.
While the top flavors morph a bit during the second third of the Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794, they stay in the same vein as before, reminding me strongly of mesquite and charred meat, along with more black pepper and spice on the retrohale and finish respectively. Secondary flavors of cashews, earth, hay, toast, dark chocolate and baker’s spices flit in and out at various points, and the rich raisin sweetness increases enough to make it a major player in the profile. Both the burn and the draw continue to impress, while the smoke production is still quite thick from the foot. Strength-wise, the Intemperance increases enough to hit the medium mark just as the second third ends, but still seems to be increasing, albeit slowly.
Mesquite and charred meat remain the main flavor combination during the final third of the petite gordo, which makes for a very enjoyable profile, especially when combined with the raisin sweetness that continues to dominate the retrohale. In addition, there are more flavors of freshly roasted espresso, cashews, cinnamon, hay, sawdust and dark chocolate. In terms of construction, the draw continues along its excellent path, by the burn has become problematic enough that I am forced to touch it up twice in quick secession to avoid larger issues. The strength increases, but a bit slower than I expected, eventually reaching a point about halfway between the full and medium marks before I put down the nub with slightly more than an inch remaining.
- The Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 brand gets its name from the Whiskey Rebellion, an uprising of sorts that lasted from 1791 to 1794 which came about after the United States government started taxing distilled spirits in order to create revenue for the payment of debt incurred during the Revolutionary War.
- There are two RoMa Craft Tobac blends missing from this sampler: Baka and Wunder|Lust.
- While the CroMagnon and Aquitaine Mandible cigars are not new, four of the remaining cigars have never been sold before: Intemperance BA XXI War, the Intemperance EC XVIII Peace, the Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Husband and the Neanderthal C3.
- As I have mentioned before, the brushed foot on these cigars—and most of the other releases that the company has sold—is extremely well-done and tastefully understated, in stark contrast to a cigar like the Viaje Summerfest.
- While not quite up to Liga Privada levels—but really, what is?—there is a massive amount of smoke that emanates from the foot of these cigars from the first puff to the last, something to take into consideration if you ar smoking indoors.
- The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 34 minutes.
- For those who were unable to make it to Austin event to purchase the samplers, Habana House North (512.996.8706) was given individual boxes of the four new 4 1/2 x 60 cigars to sell. next year, RoMa Craft Tobac plans on offering them to retailers nationwide.
Update (June 7, 2021) — The original version of this story indicated that the Collective Sovereign vitola was originally known as the McFarlane. The Collective Sovereign was previously known as the Cigar Dojo Robusto.
A 4 1/2 x 60 is not exactly my preferred vitola, but I was curious how the blend—which I have enjoyed in at least two other sizes—would smoke in such a large ring gauge. What I found was a profile that is distinct and rich, with a mesquite and charred meat combination that is extremely enjoyable, punctuated by a raisin sweetness on the retrohale that sticks around for the entirety of the cigar. Overall construction was very good and the medium-full strength was well-integrated, making this an excellent addition to RoMa Craft Tobac’s lineup.