There’s nothing like wanting something you just can’t have, or may not be allowed to have, or really even supposed to have.
While RoMa Craft Tobac has built a solid following with its stateside releases, a few years back the company seemed to double down on its U.S. fans’ loyalty by creating a new line that wouldn’t be available domestically.
That line, the Wunder|Lust, debuted in February 2016 bearing a white band indicating them as pre-release cigars, though given that it was released to 20 retailers, that qualifier might have been a bit misleading. Not to mention that each of the original four sizes had 250 boxes of 44 cigars produced, a total run of 44,000 sticks. Of course, those 20 retailers weren’t in the United States; they were in Europe, specifically in Germany.
“Wunder|Lust is a very unique blend, and something completely different for both RoMa Craft Tobac and Nica Sueño,” Skip Martin, RoMa Craft Tobac’s co-founder, told halfwheel in 2016 when the cigar was released. “It was inspired by the tobaccos we found in the massive inventory that the Schusters maintain in their own factory. The name is a combination of the idea behind wanderlust and the German cultural use of the word and prefix wonder.”
The Schuster family and its company, August Schuster GmbH & Co. KG, are cigar distributors in Europe. Beyond RoMa Craft Tobac, the company has distributed Camacho, Debonaire, Drew Estate, JetLine and La Flor Dominicana among others. While RoMa Craft had previously never thought iit would be selling cigars outside of the U.S., it was a 2014 conversation that Martin had with Annmarie Schuster that led them to seriously consider the idea of distribution on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
In 2017, the cigar would get a more proper release, now wearing the company’s familiar dual bands, an inner white band topped by one in baby blue that bears the Wunder|Lust mark. Additionally, the wrapper on the full release version was said to be a little higher quality than that found on the prerelease, making the blend a bit stronger, according to Martin.
This September, the fifth size of the Wunder|Lust vitola began hitting retail shelves. It is a 5 5/8 x 46 corona gorda named Fiorella in honor of Martin’s youngest daughter.
- Wunder|Lust Petit Belicoso (4 5/8 x 54) — €8.25 (Boxes of 40, €330)
- Wunder|Lust Robusto (5 x 50) — €8.75 (Boxes of 40, €350)
- Wunder|Lust Gran Corona (5 5/8 x 46) — €8 (Boxes of 40, €320)
- Wunder|Lust Gran Toro (6 x 52) — €9.25 (Boxes of 40, €375)
- Wunder|Lust Fiorella (5 5/8 x 46) — €8 (Boxes of 40, €320)
It’s also a limited edition release, with just 5,000 cigars produced, split into 125 boxes of 40 cigars, each priced at €8, or just under $9 depending on the current exchange rate.
Like the rest of the line, it uses a Brazilian mata fina wrapper, Indonesian binder and an unspecified but often speculated filler.
- Cigar Reviewed: Wunder|Lust Fiorella
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos NicaSueño S.A.
- Wrapper: Brazil (Mata Fina)
- Binder: Indoensia
- Filler: n/a
- Length: 5 5/8 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 46
- Vitola: Corona
- MSRP: €8 (Box of 40, €320)
- Release Date: September 2019
- Number of Cigars Released: 125 Boxes of 40 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
While I haven’t smoked a lot of the Wunder|Lust line, the wrapper on the Fiorella reminds me of the ones that I have smoked: a rich, darker than medium shade of brown for the wrapper, which has a network of small veins criss-crossing the leaf and giving it some distinct visual texture. All of that gets visually contrasted with a very light band combination that seems to work pretty well despite being a somewhat non-traditional color for bands. As I have come to find with many if not most cigars from Fabrica de Tabacos NicaSueño S.A., it is rolled in such a way that the cigar is extremely firm, if not outright hard, especially in comparison to other cigars. The cigar looks nearly flawless with flat, almost invisible seams and a very cleanly applied cap. The foot of the cigar offers an aromas that has a bit of pepper but reminds me more of an old, wooden house or even some of the rooms in a tobacco factory where there’s a mixture of tobacco and shelving. There is also some sweetness; in the first and third samples it’s light and has a hard time sticking out, while in the second it is a berry note that is thick and jammy. I’m consistently impressed that the NicaSueño factory makes cigars that feel as hard as they do yet allow air to move so well on the cold draw. In this case, there’s a bit more of the tobacco and wood combination but less pepper in the equation, while the sweetness contributes proportionately to how much was picked up through the nose.
The Wunder|Lust Fiorella starts off somewhere north of medium in terms of body, led by a bit of earth and coffee grounds while accented by some black pepper. One sample has an introductory note that is hard to really turn into words; it’s not chemical but there is a part of it that reminds me of the kind of lemon or other scent added to such products, were it to be separated and concentrated. Even with that and even more so once that experience passes, the cigar offers a fairly smooth and almost creamy smoke, though that descriptor doesn’t quite carry over into the flavor. It becomes pretty readily apparent that the blend does not respond well to being over-smoked, something I learn while shooting the first photograph in hopes of getting an eye-catching waft of smoke in the shot. The flavor doesn’t turn particularly harsh, but it shows a sharper side that isn’t its best. When I’m not worried about photos and thus able to better focus on the cigar, pepper through the nose catches my attention for its brightness and interesting companion aromas, almost minty but again more concentrated. It’s certainly an interesting combination that I can’t say I’ve experienced before but for the most part seems enjoyable, at least when it finds some balance. There are a few spots where the smoke generates a bit of irritation in the throat, enough that it merits mention. The technical performance of the cigar has been outstanding so far with an even burn line, smooth draw and plenty of smoke.
There is definitely some variance among the first thirds of the cigars, but even in the samples with the more unique first thirds, the Wunder|Lust Fiorella tends to land on a similar path around the start of the second third. There’s still some earth but my mind wants to draw comparisons to the kind of flavors I get from coffee other than the most basic coffee flavor. There’s a certain juiciness to the smoke that is definitely unique, an evolution of the berry jam from the pre-light aroma. Through the nose, the cigar isn’t shy with white pepper, which while fairly plentiful provides an enjoyable complement to the flavors on the palate. Right around the midway point, the Fiorella kicks up its flavor profile and body, with some aspects of the flavor picking up a bit of char while other aspects get a rockiness that I’d usually associate with earthiness, but doesn’t latch onto that flavor here. Instead, there’s a bit of chocolate, which also carries over to the aroma with favorable results. It’s not long before that profile shifts into a familiar meaty note, something distinctly memorable from my experiences with the blend in other sizes. The technical performance is still quite good, with only one sample needing a quick relight due to my inattentiveness.
While I feel like I’ve been smoking a number of cigars lately that have less than ideal final thirds, that of the Wunder|Lust Fiorella might just be the high point of the cigar, at least at the onset. There is still a bit of chocolate hanging on while the meatiness drives the flavor, accented by some black pepper and a very enjoyable campfire aroma. Something else I have noticed about the cigar is that it is not a very quick burning one, as I’m well over the 90-minute mark and feel like I have a ways to go before putting this stick down. The final inches bring on a bit of a metallic taste in one sample, while the profile generally gets a bit more concentrated and robust by way of some rocky earth. Thankfully it doesn’t lead to much irritation the throat, and I’m able to smoke the Fiorella to a point where I don’t feel like I’m leaving much unburnt tobacco. The technical performance continues to be outstanding, though combustion needs to be more carefully tended to in this section than in the others.
- RoMa Craft Tobac made another cigar called Fiorella in celebration of the birth of Fiorella. That cigar features a different band and is not for sale.
- If you take the time to remove the blue band, you’ll find Fiorella embossed on the white band that lies underneath.
- This was definitely a case of one cigar tasting notably less enjoyable than the other two, which hurt the overall score.
- The Wunder|Lust Robusto finished 9th on halfwheel’s Top 25 of 2016 list.
- Prior to this review, I can’t remember the last time I had used the key that creates the vertical line used in the Wunder|Lust name on my laptop. Incidentally, it’s referred to as a vertical bar or a pipe, and there are a number of uses for it.
- I didn’t get much in the way of nicotine strength from the Wunder|Lust Fiorella, which I found somewhat surprising given that RoMa Craft is known for producing some fairly strong blends.
- The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 50 minutes on average.
- While the Wunder|Lust line is an exclusive to Europe, site sponsor CigarHustler.com offers the Fiorella as part of a sampler.
As I mentioned earlier, I haven't smoked a ton of the Wunder|Lust blend, but the Fiorella hits a number of the same flavor marks as those cigars, albeit in a more intense version. In this skinnier corona vitola, the flavors feel like they have been condensed and intensified a bit, which can be a good thing in spots but can also result in some irritation at times. A slow puffing rates helps to minimize this but can only do so much, as at times it feels like the blend just offers too much for this size. The technical performance is near stellar, only showing some issues in the final third, a consistent note I had across all three samples. While I'd have no problem smoking more of the Wunder|Lust blend in this size, for my palate, a bit bigger ring gauge gives the blend more room to breathe and show all of its enjoyable nuances instead of forcing it into a more concentrated, and occasionally overly intense, experience.