On March 15, RoMa Craft Tobac’s most limited publicly-released cigar debuted, a green version of the company’s CroMagnon EMH. The cigar came about because the company set aside about 250 cigars for aesthetic issues, those cigars were re-rolled with a Candela wrapper and released at the 2013 DC Tweetup.

We covered details of the cigar a few months ago:

Skip Martin posted the above picture to Facebook over the weekend showing off both Fomorian and Mode 5. The former is based off of RoMa Craft’s 5 x 56 CroMagnon EMH, but uses an Ecuadorian Connecticut Candela wrapper instead of the normal Connecticut Broadleaf. Martin explained how the cigar came about on Leaf and Grape:

We had about 250 EMH made over the last year that had aesthetic issues in the Broadleaf wrapper. Generally, these are separated during quality control and kept for us to smoke when we are in Esteli. A few months ago I asked the factory to put a candela wrapper on them.

CroMagnon Fomorian.pngRoMa Craft has made 10 boxes of 24 cigars for the DC Tweetup on March 15 & 16. Pricing is set at $7.50 per cigar, roughly the price of the regular EMH. “We may make it a regular line next year, but this year there are only 10 boxes,” said Martin.

There are now 10 vitolas in the CroMagnon line. While the Slobberknocker has a different binder, the Fomorian is the only one with a different wrapper. In total, they are:

  • CroMagnon Anthropology (5 3/4 x 46) — Grand Corona — $8.00 (Boxes of 24, $192.00)*
  • CroMagnon Atlatl (7 x 38) — Lancero — $9.50 (Boxes of 10, $95.00)
  • CroMagnon Cranium (6 x 54) — Gran Toro — $8.50 (Boxes of 24, $204.00)*
  • CroMagnon EMH (Early Modern Human) (5 x 56) — Robusto Gordo — $7.75 (Boxes of 24, $186.00)*
  • CroMagnon Knuckle Dragger (4 x 52) — Petit Robusto — $6.50 (Boxes of 24, $156.00)*
  • CroMagnon Mandible (4 1/2 x 60) — Petite Gordo — $7.25 (Boxes of 24, $174.00)*
  • CroMagnon Slobberknocker (7 1/2 x 56) — Gordo— $12.00 (Boxes of 10, $120.00)
  • CroMagnon Fomorian (5 x 56) — Robusto Gordo — $7.50 (Boxes of 24, $180.00)
  • CroMagnon Epoch (7 x 49) — Churchill — $10.00 (Boxes of 10, $150.00)
  • CroMagnon Mode 5 (5 x 50) — Short Perfecto — $6.50 (Boxes of 24, $156.00)*
*Indicates regular production. The Mode 5 will be released at IPCPR 2013.

CroMagnon Fomorian 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: CroMagnon Fomorian
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Nica Sueño
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Candela
  • Binder: Cameroon
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 56
  • Vitola: Robusto Gordo
  • MSRP: $7.50 (Boxes of 24, $180.00)
  • Date Released: March 15, 2013
  • Number of Cigars Released: 10 Boxes of 24 Cigars (240 Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 1

There’s tons of moisture in the wrapper, which is odd because the cigar itself is a bit hard. The color is faded, looking nearly identical to this year’s release of the Viaje WLP St. Patrick’s as far as the wrapper goes, but at least the aroma is preserved via cellophane and quite a bit different. There’s a big aroma of cinnamon and grass with lots of other notes including an odd sawdust sensation mixed, however, nearly all besides the aforementioned peculiarity is noticeable. From the foot, the RoMa Craft Tobac product provides a concentration of black pepper, much more reminiscent of a typical CroMagnon with bit some of the sweetness from Candela. It’s a great draw from the large Robusto with notes of wood, cotton candy and a dominating black pepper.

The Fomorian starts the first third with grassy and sweet notes including an eccentric sugar cane before black pepper and woody notes take it through the finish. There’s great smoke production from a now open draw, but the size is beginning to become something I’m aware of, it’s big. While I’ve been smoking a lot more large ring gauge cigars than I was two years ago, they are generally Perfectos or box-pressed, a round Parejo is a different animal. Eventually the first third settles to a big pepper note, some hints of Candela and leather and peanuts through the nose. The gigantic black pepper note is present at every step of the way, more CroMagnon than Candela at this point, but without the roughness that I typically associate with Martin and Rosales’ freshman release. As expected, open draw and lots of smoke production with strength and body levels somewhere in the full range, albeit, fluctuating throughout the initial third.

CroMagnon Fomorian 2

Interestingly, the strength continues to increase in the second third, but the pepper doesn’t follow the nicotine. It’s long gone by the halfway mark and what’s left is basically a typical Candela with lots of nicotine. Sweetness, sugar cane, citrus and woodsiness are the identifiable notes with the aroma now more Candela than the first third, which was mustard-like to me. The flavor increases to a heavy full before peaking right after the halfway mark while the rest of the cigar stays the same. A touch-up is needed at this point of the cigar, but it’s hard to knock a cigar for a slight burn annoyance when it’s delivering this much smoke as easily as the CroMagnon.

CroMagnon Fomorian 3

Any thought of this being a CroMagnon is gone by the heart of the final third, except for the strength, which hasn’t given up. Flavors are less complex, particularly a departure of the citrus, and are now easily described as a mixture of sweet Candela grassiness and cedar. No complaints elsewhere, but this definitely is not the shining profile of the Fomorian.

CroMagnon Fomorian 4

Final Notes:

  • I always think of RoMa Craft Tobac as a relatively small company with simple-to-explain lines. The plethora of single store, event-only and limited releases has made the latter a lot harder to stand by. Sure, it’s three lines and a special release, but CroMagnon now has 10 vitolas, which is a lot.
  • It’s difficult to imagine this site reviewing a cigar that was sold, not by auction, this year that had a smaller release. The La Flor Dominicana Texas Cigar Fest was a tiny 500 cigars, but this is even less than half of that.
  • The company will show off an 11th vitola for CroMagnon at the IPCPR 2013 trade show, the Femur. It’s not totally a joke as Martin has told halfwheel they will sell them to whoever buys them.
  • I’ve heard a lot of complaints from retailers about the resurgence of Candela cigars and the difficulty they have selling them. Alec Bradley, Arturo Fuente, Illusione La Flor Dominicana, Macanudo, Rocky Patel, RoMa Craft Tobac, Viaje and a few house brands are now competing for what can’t be that many sales. A few shops will do well with Candela, but those shops likely do well with the brands who sell it year-round. Big limited releases around St. Patrick’s Day are risky and there’s definitely results of them not working in retailer’s favor.
  • This is, without any question, the strongest Candela cigar on the market.
  • The pictures from the second and final third shots look like two different cigars. Lighting.
  • Martin and Rosales take a lot of pride in their factory. There isn’t a whole lot to complain about construction-wise. One touch-up the entire cigar, a draw that was appropriate to the vitola and tons of smoke.
  • To be clear, the cigars were sold in boxes, not bundles.
  • In addition to the cellophane, the wrapper itself is noticeably tougher than some of the more fragile Claro wrappers, noticeably Illusione’s earlier offerings.
  • Skip Martin told both Brooks and I that we would not like this cigar, yet, he still provided this for a review.
  • Final smoking time is one hour and 40 minutes. A bit quicker than I probably would have guessed, accelerated by the open draw.

Update: The Epoch is the same blend as the regular CroMagnon line, only the Slobberknocker and Fomorian are different.

84 Overall Score

This is the easiest cigar I've had to describe in a while. The first third is very similar to a typical CroMagnon, sans the signature roughness and with a bit of Candela. The final two third are a very strong Candela cigar. At no point is this a particularly bad cigar, but at no point, other than the transition at around the two inch mark, is it a very exciting cigar. The flavors are nowhere close to being as developed as they are on the any of the company's regular production cigars or any of the limited cigars I've had to date. Great idea, one that I think RoMa Craft Tobaco should continue doing, but I'd stick to the just have one approach for now. I have no clue who I would recommend this cigar to, other than the guy at the back of the shop who claims Candela cigars cannot be strong.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.