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Intemperance EC XVIII A.W.S. IV (Prerelease)

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On February 15, we broke the news of a new event-only cigar from RoMa Craft, the Intemperance Lonsdale. The new vitola would be known as the A.W.S. IV and would be available in both wrappers of the Intemperance line. The debut date is yet to be decided, but it will be happening at a future RoMa Craft Tobac event.

Skip Martin told halfwheel that the name A.W.S. IV “will be the subject of a future ad campaign for Intemperance and will be revealed in four parts.” The name refers to the initials of the subject of the campaign.

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Martin also said that the production and release nature will be similar to the CroMagnon Atlatl, Mode 5 and Slobberknocker, in that it will be available at events featuring Intemperance cigars. In a comment left on the post announcing the A.W.S. IV, he added, “at some point these sizes will either be added to the line, or will be available at a select retailer.”

The history of the Roma Craft Tobac has its formal start in late January 2012, when news of a new cigar company was announced, as Skip Martin and Michael Rosales announced the merger of Martin’s Galveston Bay Tobacco, LLC and Rosales’ Costa Rican Imports, LLC. Prior to the formal announcement, the pair had worked together on a project called CroMagnon that brought a good amount of attention and critical acclaim to them, including being ranked sixth on the 2011 Consensus Top 25.

Since that news broke, the pair released a line called Intemperance that was comprised of a four-vitola release, each available in two wrappers, an Ecuadoran Connecticut and a Brazilian Arapiraca. Martin’s Hava Cigar Shop describes the Intemperance line:

Intemperance is our first cigar release under the newly formed RoMa Craft Tobac company. Produced in our Esteli, Nicaragua factory (Fabrica de Tobacco NicaSueno), Intemperance is presented in two capa varietals and four vitolas.

The branding for Intemperance evokes 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.

Intemperance EC XVIII (Ecuador Connecticut)
In the 18th century a global temperance movement began in rural Connecticut. After World War I, the movement began to spread like wildfire throughout the United States, and across the globe, as religious and women’s groups spread the gospel on the evils of alcohol. In 1919, the temperance movement achieved their goal when the 18th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States established a national prohibition on the consumption of ‘intoxicating liquors’.

Intemperance BA XXI (Brazil Arapiraca)
Following the ratification of the 18th Amendment, an intemperance movement was born. The Volstead Act had effectively turned every consumer, merchant and producer of alcohol into a criminal; organized crime took root. Without market and regulatory controls, alcohol became more dangerous to consume. The court system was brought to the brink of failure under the weight of criminal and civil cases related to prohibition. After a little more than a decade, public opinion had been turned and the effort to repeal prohibition emerged victorious with the ratification of the 21st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Despite the dismal failure of this ‘noble experiment’, the temperance movement marches on. Perhaps this is no better represented than in the form of the modern tobacco control movement, also known as the anti-smoking movement.

In the last sixty years, this anti-smoking movement has grown in influence and power much in the same way the temperance movement before it grew. We believe that it is well past time to initiate our own modern intemperance movement.The Intemperance line is comprised of four vitolas in each wrapper option, and while they are the same size, they differ in names:

  • Intemperance EC XVIII The Charity / Intemperance BA XXI The Intrigue – 4 x 46 Petito
  • Intemperance EC XVIII The Virtue / Intemperance BA XXI The Avarice – 4 1/2 x 52 Short Robusto
  • Intemperance EC XVIII The Faith / Intemperance BA XXI The Envy – 5 x 50 Short Perfecto
  • Intemperance EC XVIII The Industry / Intemperance BA XXI The Ambition – 5 1/2 x 54 Belicoso

The E.C. Intemperance XVIII A.W.S. IV becomes both the longest and skinniest member of the Intemperance line, which should provide for some interesting comparisons.

Intemperance EC XVIII A W S IV 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Intemperance EC XVIII A.W.S. IV
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos NicaSueno
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
  • Binder: Indonesia
  • Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
  • Size: 6 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 44
  • Vitola: Lonsdale
  • MSRP: $6.50 (Boxes of 12, $78.00)
  • Release Date: May 2013  
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 2

The Ecaudorian Connecticut wrapper is a gorgeous light tan with small veins and a clean seam line. There’s just the slightest bit of binder and filler sticking out from the foot that provides a visual contrast and seems to call the eye towards it. The wrapper also has a great texture – by and large very smooth, though further inspection reveals that the cigar has a fair amount of give to it. It is also fairly thin, as one has a slight crack near the cap. The pre-light aroma is very light with a faint note of caramel syrup, some cereal notes without the grain component, and a finish that is reminiscent of dulce de leche. The air moves easily through the cigar, and the cold draw has that same flavor that makes me think more of dessert than anything else thanks to a note that again suggests dulce de leche or possibly flan, though one cigar also provided a significant amount of pepper and cedar.

The first puffs are palatable and creamy with a bit of woody spice in the background providing some edge to the introduction. Smoke production is good and the addition of the wrapper brings a significant new element to the flavor profile, adding some back of the throat pepper and an increased intensity to the wood note. The ash is fairly weak, falling off about half an inch in and it becomes apparent that the intensity of this cigar can ramp up to unpleasant levels if it’s puffed on too aggressively. The aroma of the smoke is also very enjoyable, providing a campfire like note to the surrounding air.

Intemperance EC XVIII A W S IV 2

At the start of the second third the flavor mellows and the smoke gets lighter and picks up a slightly fluffier texture – very enjoyable in the mouth if slightly lacking on the palate. When puffed at the proper pace, the smoke is incredibly smooth and starts picking up a graham cracker note minus the overt sweetness. There continues to be this quasi-sweetness present through the middle portion, as notes of honey and vanilla show up, but the Intemperance EC XVIII A.W.S. IV doesn’t become a sweet cigar in any regard. By the midpoint, the pepper has returned and is becoming much more of a force to be reckoned with, hitting the palate and the eyes with equal vigor. It also starts to develop a more rounded flavor—not because of the pepper, but because the texture of the smoke thickens up and allows for a more complete delivery of flavor.

Intemperance EC XVIII A W S IV 3

The burn line stays sharp as the final third of the Intemperance EC XVIII A.W.S. IV begins and the ash continues to struggle to hold on much past three-quarters of an inch, meaning fairly frequent taps into the ashtray. The smell of freshly baked, doughy pretzels saturates the air just shy of where the band would be on this cigar and continues to develop the rounded flavor that began earlier. A slightly charred note comes along in the final inches before a good bit of pepper closes out the cigar, something unseen up until the final puffs and gives the cigar a strong and distinctive finish that can be taken as far down as you want to go.

Intemperance EC XVIII A W S IV 4

Final Notes:

  • After months of holding out, Skip martin recently announced the Intemperance line will be getting bands.
  • This ranks high on my list of uniquely named cigars, as well as my list of cigars I don’t like typing the name of.
  • That being said, I appreciate what RoMa Craft Tobac is trying to do with the name Intemperance and connecting the previous movements against alcohol to the current movement against tobacco.
  • Once the meaning of A.W.S. IV is unveiled, I have a feeling I’ll be getting a history lesson from Martin. Odds are good it will be in reference to someone involved with the prohibition or temperance movements.
  • The more Lonsdales I smoke, the more I think this might be my favorite size.
  • With that said, I really should know that getting the most out of a Lonsdale requires a slower pace than I gave the first cigar smoked for this review.
  • For a small-batch cigar, the price on the Intemperance line is fantastic.
  • The cigars for this review were provided by Skip Martin of RoMa Craft Tobac.
  • Final smoking time is about one hours and 35 minutes.
87 Overall Score

Having previously tried the other vitolas available in the Intemperance EC XVIII line, firing up the A.W.S. IV was more of an experiment to see what the vitola might offer as opposed to an introduction to the line. While the flavor was as good as any of the other sizes I've tried, it wasn't particularly more intense than the others, something I thought might be the case due to the slightly smaller ring gauge and thus a higher proportion of wrapper in the flavor profile. While I certainly wouldn't turn this down, it falls just a bit short of The Virtue vitola, the Short Perfecto that seems to offer just a bit more dimension, possibly due to its shape. Regardless, the Intemperance EC XVIII A.W.S. IV is another solid offering from RoMa Craft and worth trying at least once if not several times over.

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Patrick Lagreid
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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