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In mid-August, Houston-based retailer STOGIES World Class Cigars received 53 boxes of the newest addition to its H-Town Lancero Series from RoMa Craft Tobac, the Neanderthal OM.

Originally envisioned to consist of 10 lanceros from 10 different companies, the H-Town series now includes 12 releases, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

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As the name suggests, the Neanderthal OM is a 7 x 38 lancero that shares the same blend as the rest of the Neanderthal line, namely a Mexican San Andrés wrapper covering a Connecticut broadleaf binder and filler tobaccos from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Pennsylvania.

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The cigar is rolled at Fabrica de Tabacos NicaSueño S.A. factory in Esteli, Nicaragua and is sold in boxes of 15, with each cigar carrying a retail price of $9.50.

There have now been 12 different H-Town Series releases so far.

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In addition, there have now been four releases in the Neanderthal line.

neanderthal-vitolas

  • Neanderthal HN (5 x 52/56) — May 2015 — Regular Production
  • Neanderthal SGP (4 1/2 x 52) — June 2015 — 250 Boxes of 15 Cigars (3,750 Total Cigars)
  • Neanderthal HoxD — August 2015 — 600 Samplers of 2 Cigars (1,200 Total Cigars)
  • Neanderthal OM H-Town Lancero (7 x 38) — August 2016 — $9.50 (Boxes of 15, $128)

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  • Cigar Reviewed: Neanderthal OM
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos NicaSueño S.A.
  • Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
  • Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua & Pennsylvania
  • Length: 7 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 38
  • Vitola: Lancero
  • MSRP: $9.50 (Boxes of 15, $128)
  • Release Date: August 2016
  • Number of Cigars Released: 333 Boxes of 15 Cigars (4,995 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

The cigar is covered in a mocha brown wrapper that has a reddish tint and is sandpaper rough to the touch. Although there is very little oil present, there is a number of prominent veins running down the length, and the flat cap is a unique touch that you notice immediately. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of strong earth, manure, hay, leather, oak and floral, while the cold draw brings flavors of barnyard, gritty earth, almonds, leather, barley and milk chocolate sweetness.

Starting out the first third, the cigar features an extremely obvious milk chocolate note, along with flavors of barnyard, earth, leather, bread and nuts. There is some significant black pepper on the retrohale, as well as some slight spice on my tongue that seems to be fading fast as the first third continues, and am tasting some strong maple sweetness as well that only seems to be getting stronger. Both the burn and the draw are excellent so far, with neither giving me even a hint of trouble, and the smoke production is way above average. Strength-wise, the cigar starts out very close to the medium mark, and it does not increase as much as I expected, ending the first third just slightly above that point.

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As the second third of the Neanderthal OM H-Town begins, the maple sweetness is actually one of the dominant flavors, combining nicely with strong notes of leather and milk chocolate, while lesser flavors of anise, creamy oak, earth, barnyard, hay and slight citrus bring up the rear. While the black pepper on the restrohale has remained fairly constant, the spice on my tongue from the first third is long gone by the halfway point. Construction-wise, both the burn and the draw continue to impress, while the smoke production is still billowing off of the foot like a grass fire. The overall strength has increased somewhat, and ends the second third at a solid medium, but is still rising.

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Although the maple sweetness is still a major note in the final third of the Neanderthal OM H-Town, it is overtaken somewhat a companion of creamy oak and milk chocolate that is really quite pleasant, followed by notes of dough, hay, peanuts, espresso beans, earth and a touch of salt. The black pepper on the restrohale has finally started to abate, and the overall construction continues to give me no issues whatsoever, either in terms of the draw or the burn, both of which are excellent unit the end. The smoke production actually calms down quite a bit, and the strength reaches a point just north of medium by the time I put the nub down a less than an inch to go.

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Final Notes

  • Only 53 boxes of the Neanderthal OM H-Town Lancero were sent in the first shipment—all of which sold out almost immediately—but STOGIES received more this week.
  • Although I am used to RoMa Craft Tobac cigars being well made, I just cannot say enough about the construction of this release. All three samples lit easily, burned close to perfect with only one touchup needed at most and had an excellent draw, regardless of whether I straight cut the cap or used a punch. Just tremendous in that regard.
  • Along with the above, I that due to the flat cap, I would punch one of the samples to see if there was a noticeable difference in the draw. Turns out, while the draw on the punched cigar was a bit tighter, there was not enough difference to recommend going one way over the other.
  • The box on this release is heavy and the top is not attached in any way by hinges or anything else.
  • The latest release in Stogies’ H-Town series, the Herrera Estelí Edición Limitada H-Town Lancero, was released last week.
  • It has been said that STOGIES World Class Cigars sells more lanceros than any other retailer in the country, and having seen how much owner Jorge Ahued loves to smoke the vitola, it would not surprise me in the least if it were true.
  • The final smoking time for all threes samples averaged one hour and 20 minutes.
  • The cigars smoked for this review were given to halfwheel by STOGIES World Class Cigars, which advertises on halfwheel.
  • If you would like to purchase any of the Neanderthal OM the only place to get them is STOGIES World Class Cigars online here.
91 Overall Score

Since the series began, manufacturers have seemed to bring their A game to be sold at the Houston store, and the OM is no exception. Using my experience smoking the Neanderthal HoxD and Neanderthal SGP in the line as a guide, I was concerned the strength would be an issue, but my fears turned out to be groundless. In fact, I found the cigar to have a bit more flavor and complexity that the other two releases I have smoked in the line, and the strength is definitely better integrated into the profile. An excellent cigar in pretty much every way, and well worth tracking down.

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Brooks Whittington
About the author

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.

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