Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Tarred & Feathered

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Cigar smokers are known to like a glass of whiskey, so it makes sense that a line would draw its inspiration from a protest over the taxation of the spirit.

Specifically, the Whiskey Rebellion, which lasted from 1791 to 1794 and was the result of the United States government taxing distilled spirits to create revenue for the payment of debt incurred during the Revolutionary War. It also marked the first time a domestic product had been subject to a tax. It came to an end when President George Washington rode to Pennsylvania to quell the insurrection.

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As for the cigar line, the Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794, it comes from RoMa Craft Tobac and dates back to 2016 when the company worked with the online cigar community Cigar Dojo to develop the line, releasing it as an exclusive to Famous Smoke Shop.

It debuted in a 5 x 50 robusto vitola, but at the time, Skip Martin of RoMa Craft Tobac indicated that more sizes were in the works. He also had a message to share about the inspiration for the line:

What the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794 represents, for me, is two things. First, that we must resist tyrannous taxes and regulations, and second that this resistance is not futile.

At the time that the Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 was being released, the first major regulations for cigars were being enacted.

After launching as a retailer exclusive, in January 2019 the company would release the Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 to about a dozen accounts, while also announcing that it would be offered to all retailers at the 2019 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show.

Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Tarred & Feathered is the eight and newest vitola in the line, a 5 x 56 box pressed robusto extra that began shipping in mid-November. There is another 5 x 56 vitola in the line, the Bradford, although that cigar is round. Six of those eight vitolas are regular production—or at least ongoing productions if limited to a certain amount in a year, as Tarred & Feathered is. The company is only producing 500 boxes per year.

Additionally, in June 2019, Cigar Dojo, Famous Smoke Shop and RoMa Craft Tobac came up with another exclusive size, the 6 1/2 x 44 Pennsatucky, which was limited to 500 boxes of 12 cigars.

The line was also been included in the company’s El Catador de Los Gran Perfectos sampler, which was released in September 2020 and offered it in a 5 5/8 x 60 vitola. It is also going to be released in the company’s El Catador de los Petite Gordos sampler slated for May 2021, which will offer it in a 4 1/2 x 60 vitola called the Husband.

  • 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)

The Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Tarred & Feathered is priced at $9.35 per cigar, before taxes. As noted above, while the cigar is not a limited edition, it is a limited production with the company producing only 500 boxes of 12 cigars per year.

Like the rest of the sizes in the line, the blend features an Ecuadorian habano ligero wrapper, an Indonesian Besuki binder, and fillers from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Tarred & Feathered
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos NicaSueño S.A.
  • Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano Ligero)
  • Binder: Indonesia (Besuki)
  • Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
  • Length: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 56
  • Vitola: Robusto Gordo
  • MSRP: $9.35 (Box of 12, $112.20)
  • Release Date: November 2020
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

In the right light—which in this case happens to be the afternoon Phoenix sun—the wrapper on the Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Tarred & Feathered brings to mind one word: wow. It’s dark, oily, has both sheen and a bit of crystallization on it, as well as some visual depth. Veins are present but small, seams are visible but generally flat, and the slightly trimmed wrapper creates some visual contrast with the lighter brown, nutty shade of the binder that sticks out. While I generally think of RoMa Craft’s offerings as being very firmly rolled, the box press here seems to break that trend, as there is some give to the cigar. It’s not soft, but it is probably more give than I’ve experienced cumulatively on the last handful of cigars I have smoked from the company. The foot has a very soft aroma that reminds me of a loaf of wheat bread both in smell and texture. There’s a bit more sweetness than pepper, but neither is prominent unless taking some really aggressive sniffs, which also brings about the smell of dry tobacco leaves and one cigar offering some plain beef jerky. The cold draw is quite open on the first sample and repeats that wheat bread note, possibly even better than the aroma did. Other samples are also a bit open when it comes to the cold draw but not as concerning.

As if often the case, lighting the cigar resolves some of the draw issues I have with the first sample by way of delivering some smoke, but they are still present. Smoke is plentiful in the early going, and seemingly a bit more so once the burn line hits the wrapper. While starting relatively tame, the addition of that leaf quickly turns the cigar peppery and potent, and if you’re familiar with the general taste of ligero tobaccos, it is an immediate signal of its arrival. Retrohales are equally potent and pepper-laden, yet manageable if you’re familiar with or amenable to such an experience. As expected, the nicotine kick comes along not long after, which gets me thinking that I’ll be looking for the white sugar after smoking this. Through the first inch, my senses are preoccupied with the strength of the cigar, though there is s bit of aloe or honey sweetness that emerges and lightly glazes the profile. I also find myself a bit concerned at how quickly I had to relight the first sample, the result of the cigar going out as I was typing to some thoughts about it. A relight gets things going again, only to have the cigar go out again not long after. Tapping the ash off reveals some tunneling in this first two samples, while the third is much better. Flavor is medium-full to full, body not far behind, and strength full enough to have me thinking of needing some white sugar after this is over.

The second third of the Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Tarred & Feathered begins by shifting the focus of the flavor a bit more to its earthiness, though don’t think for a moment that the pepper or ligero have disappeared. Retrohales are still peppery but are brighter than they were earlier on, while the finish has just a bit of the aloe sweetness that often pairs with ligero strength. There’s a bit more of a peppery sensation on the tongue, and while I don’t want to call it a burning sensation, it does feel like my taste buds have been worked pretty well up to this point, even if I can’t remember any specific instances where the cigar got overbearing. Not long after that first sensation comes along, a bit of chile pepper spice comes along to seemingly reveal the source of the sensation. From there, the first taste of rich, thick chocolate comes along. It’s a wonderful combination in its subtlety, even if I generally abhor the combination of chocolate and chiles. The draw is generally good, combustion is good with regular puffs but can struggle if not properly attended to, and smoke production is still plentiful. It’s still full in flavor, body and strength.

While the Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Tarred & Feathered is undoubtedly a strong cigar—even a very strong cigar—the flavor is remarkably clean, especially at the start of the final third. Pepper is still part of the retrohale but has settled down on the palate, sliding into a background flavor that blends in with the earthiness and standing out more on the lingering finish. The earthiness picks up a bit more of the chocolate in the final inches before gradually letting it go, and the pepper returns to stand out like it did earlier. I’m still having thoughts of some palate fatigue setting in as my taste buds tingle in response to each puff, while a few puffs bring on a bit of irritation in the throat. The strength is also setting in as the cigar nears its conclusion, as I can feel the nicotine making its way into my system and leaving me a bit woozy. Other than the loose draw in one sample, construction and combustion have both been very good. Things wrap up squarely full in flavor, body and strength.

Final Notes

  • The construction of the first cigar really hurt its score and thus the overall score; to the tune of 13 points between the two cigars that didn’t have issues and the one that did. As has been noted before, our scoresheet takes into account draw and construction issues, and when there are a few, it can quickly lead to a loss in points.
  • If I could find both the Bradford and the Tarred & Feathered vitolas, I think it would be fascinating to smoke them side-by-side to compare how the vitola influences the blend. That said, the ligero might have me on the floor during or afterward.
  • I know it’s not a fair comparison given the difference of 226 years, but can you imagine a modern-day president riding anywhere to enforce a law?
  • I was a bit thrown by the phrase Intemperance Cigars on the main band, as it makes it look like that’s the name of the company.
  • Smoke production on some puffs can be truly voluminous.
  • There are a lot of cigars that are strong for the sake of being strong, yet aren’t flavorful, let alone offering a clean flavor. The Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Tarred & Feathered offers all three of those things in impressive amounts.
  • That said, if you are really averse to strong cigars, it would seem that the other two aspects won’t matter much when it comes to your enjoyment of the cigar.
  • It should be no surprise that this is a strong cigar, and sometimes it gets to be really strong. This is definitely a cigar that has me searching for some white sugar to neutralize the nicotine effect a bit.
  • The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time was one hour and 35 minutes on average.
  • Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co. and Cigar Hustler carry the Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Tarred & Feathered.
86 Overall Score

Make no mistake about it, the Intemperance Whiskey Rebellion 1794 Tarred & Feathered is a strong cigar; where it ranks compared to others in the RoMa Craft Tobac portfolio will largely be a personal decision, but it's up there. Beyond being strong, it is flavorful, balanced and engaging from start to finish. While strength will do its best to command your attention, the true rewards are found by paying attention to what else is going on, namely the earth, pepper and sweetness that dance beautifully throughout the profile and provide the movement from start to finish. While the one cigar's draw had me worried, smoking three seemed to prove that sample to be an aberration, though it still cost the overall score a number of points. When free of issues and smoked with the proper attention, the Tarred & Feathered rewards the palate handsomely and plentifully. If you can find this particular size and are up for a strong cigar, it's definitely worth it.

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About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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