9/30/15

RoMa Craft Tobac Neanderthal - Cigar Review

Prologue:
5:36pm

The Cigar:
RoMa Craft Tobac
Neanderthal
San Andrés maduro wrapper
Connecticut Broadleaf binder
Nicaraguan/Dominican Olor/Pennsylvanian Double Ligero filler
5 x 52/56 Figuardo

Just the facts, ma'am.
Pre-light:
Toothy. A slight dink in the full city roast coffee colored wrapper. The shape is bowling pinesque. More so and more apt -- the funnel end of a beer bong. A good couple of surly veins and visible seams. It looks like a RoMa.

Smells like a RoMa, too. In that it don't smell a whole lot. Waxy chocolate, espresso, and mud. The foot smells of black pepper.

The packing is firm- and nicely even. The cap is squared and willing to come off. I more lick it off than bite. A cold pull is of cinnamon left in its McComick's tin too long. I'm also picking up some hardwood notes.

Light:
Toasting the foot lets loose the smell of coffee beans roasting. Very sharp first hot draw I almost want to say lemon. I will not. Finish is burnt coffee and black pepper. Second pull is retro-haled and pure black pepper wallop.

Full across-the-board profile. Even-burning, at least this early on. Plenty of foot smoke that is earthy and much more than a lil bit peppery.
Act I:
There is a very clean mouthfeel that keeps wanting me to say lemon. It begins on the draw and fades well before the finish. I'll keep noticing. Other than that, we have the aforementioned waxy chocolate, espresso, and mud -- I should say damp soil. There is a lot of leather with undertones of oak on the draw which yield to that that burnt coffee being joined by the espresso which runs from wire-to-wire, and a LOT of black pepper sprinkled with red pepper. Especially on the retro-hale.

I don't know if it's the nicotine buzz off the Pennsylvanian Double Ligero filler or not, but I taste cigarette. Luxury cigarette. The clean taste is not lemon, it has warmed and matured into an anise. With that, a baker's spice blend drops in and a dark rye breadiness with caraway seeds.

My hair is tingling, gentlepersons. I like it, gentlepersons. I wanted to slam this offering as a novelty smoke -- instead , I am tempted to call it a game changer. I believe Skip Martin has that Genius-Insanity Gene.

Burn is okay. Ash is grey to charcoal and very, very densely stacked. Later, at an inch+ it grows a flaky exterior and I roll it off. Its dense and heavy. The cigar burns cool and slow as a big man lumbering about. The draw tightens a bit but is still medium. Foot smoke lessens to a smolder.

The cigar is speaking softly and too is a big stick. Softly as a barely held refrain, one you wish not to tread upon. Only experienced smokers need apply.

Act II:
When I was a kid, I picked my scabs. Now I retro-hale this cigar. Same sensation of ouch-laden satisfaction via mainly black and then red pepper.

Flavor notes are the same as ever. Profile is something I will refer to as FULL. Still, tho, there are not subtleties -- but nuances of a sort. Cue a deaf person whispering. There is a touch of savory note from I believe the wet rich dirt. It is of a mineral not meaty umami quality. The marrow of a bone.

I brew some Chai Spiced Tea and lower my hat over my eyes. Hold my calls -- this is quite a solitary offering. My eyebrows are tingling, gentlepersons. I like it, gentlepersons.

Flavors now subdue to a near mottle, but a seemingly purposeful one. Tobacconists should not only not publicly display this -- but too keep it under lock and key. Safety glass comes to mind.

Smoke now increases to Act I levels and scratches my palate/throat a tad -- nothing egregious. Espresso is not as syrupy as it once was. This allows more oak and bread to come through. Not certain if that qualifies as a transition or not, but it's pleasant.

My heart is beating at a hummingbird's rate. Someone should tell that deaf guy that everyone in the room can hear him. There is an emerging sweetness to the finish, possibly some heavy cream, but just a half-dollop. I cough. Must be allergies.

Construction holds near perfectly and the burn is spot on even, sans razor. Ash is medium to dark grey and a noticeable bit more powdery. When I can see my heartbeat through my Fruit of the Loom tshirt, gentlepersons. I like it, gentlepersons, I place the Neanderthal in my tray. It's always ready to be picked up again -- never needs a re-light.

Act III:
Mrs. K joins me on the porch. "It's so smokey! I would barf!" says she.
I calmly tell her... I actually forget what I said... I might not have said anything.
She heads back in.

Red pepper flares now and lasts to the finish and then onto the next draw. Not exactly kind to the ol' throat. I cough again. Maybe I should take a Benedryl.

To my surprise, it seems to wish to end in a bit of a whimper, and the (luxury) cigarette returns. Too, the nub resists being smoked to an extent, as the mud muddies. However, this passes and

bang.
Notes:
Failed game-changers become novelties. This is not, I believe, a failure. It is artisan moonshine.

Most notable is both Maduro and Ligero are done their rightful and proper justice herein.

Pairings:
I daresay it don't need it. That stated, whatever you like, but make it strong. Strong like bull.

Opera fit well. Big Italian guys screaming, fits nicely. G Rossini, "The Barber of Seville" was a blast. Pavarotti really knocks Figaro out of the park. But whatta I know?

Final Grade: A
If you like FULL, you owe it to yerself to stock up on these.

Epilogue:
7:19
This offering prompted me to send Skip Martin a piece of fanmail.