Intemperance EC XVIII
Welcome to May, loyal Stogie Review fans. A new month brings us a new cigar line: Intemperance by RoMa Craft Tobac. You’ll recall back in November I reviewed the CroMagnon Knuckle Dragger, the brainchild of Skip Martin (aka @ChiefHava), which I liked so much that it wound up in my list of the Top 5 Cigars of 2011. Well, Skip is back with his latest creation, the new Intemperance line, again in collaboration with Michael Rosales of Adrian’s Cigars fame. Together, Skip and Michael have formed RoMa Craft Tobac, and this is their first release under the newly-formed company.
The name “Intemperance” harkens back to the Temperance Movement of the 19th century that brought us 13 joyless years of prohibition in the United States. The branding is intended to rally opposition against the modern temperance movement, which today targets smoking tobacco in place of alcoholic beverages. The Intemperance is offered in two different wrappers. The first, called the EC XVIII, is an Ecuadorian Connecticut in light of the Temperance Movement’s origins in rural Connecticut and the 18th Amendment establishing prohibition. The second is the BA XXI, a Brazil Arapiraca celebrating the ratification of the 21st Amendment repealing the failed “noble experiment.”
My original plan was to cover both wrappers in a single review, since I had mistakenly assumed they surrounded the same blend. However, upon checking with Skip, I learned that the two blends are composed of almost completely different tobaccos. So, this review will serve as part one of my coverage of the Intemperance line, with part two to follow in the coming weeks.
Intemperance EC XVIII by the numbers:
Size: 5.5×54 belicoso
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut
Binder & Filler: described as “primarily Nicaraguan” with the remainder being “not Nicaraguan”
Factory: Fabrica de Tobacco NicaSueno in Esteli, Nicaragua
No. smoked for review: 3
Duration: 1.75 hours
Source: review samples
The pre-light inspection reveals a nice and well-packed roll with just a little give. The wrapper is a very light brown color, with tiny veins and minor wrinkles here & there. About an 1/8 of an inch of the binder is exposed at the end of the foot. Off the wrapper, I picked up a light barnyard scent, while the foot gave off some sweet hay and light manure. The cold draw provided just the right amount of resistance with barnyard and manure mixed with an almost raisinette-like flavor.
Right off the bat, the EC XVIII offered a great draw that produced lots of smoke. Initial flavors were coffee & cream with some red pepper and a gentle sweetness. This quickly gave way to nutty and woodsy notes, with a slightly flaky white ash.
In the second third, the creamy flavors continued to build, and while the spice remained, it seemed to transition into a cinnamon-nutmeg profile. The burn was quite well-behaved, requiring only the slightest of touch-ups even in a stiff breeze.
Towards the end, the flavors mellowed-out a bit (almost approaching “bland” in comparison to the saporous CroMagnon line), as I was left with just a bit of black pepper. The strength grew ever-so-slightly from mild into the mild-medium range as the final third came to a close, with the nicotine proving to be barely noticeable even early in the day on an empty stomach.
The Intemperance EC XVIII is quite a change of pace from the full-bodied, full-flavored CroMagnon line released last year. Although I enjoyed it, the Ecuadorian Connecticut was a bit milder than I prefer. The flavors are somewhat delicate, so I’d recommend trying it as a first cigar of the day when your palate is still fresh. I’d like to thank Skip for kindly sending these review samples to me, and I invite you all to stay tuned for the thrilling conclusion of this two-part series of my reviews of the Intemperance line, as I share my thoughts on the Brazil Arapiraca-wrapped BA XXI in the near future.