Brand: Roma Craft
Type: Neanderthal HN
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Shape: Figurado Flat Cap
Length: 5 inches
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Binder & Filler: Condega, Esteli, Jalapa, Pueblo Nuevo, Dominican Olor, & Pennsylvania Double Ligero
Price: $12.00 per stick
While I am no stranger to the RoMa craft brand and lines of products, this release was one that I highly anticipated and was eager to try, possibly a little too eager as I will explain later. For this review I smoked two sticks on different occasions, one in the morning with coffee, and several days later, one in the evening with a lovely adult beverage…Bourbon of course. Let’s jump in a get started with this beautiful full flavored, full bodied stick.
The Neanderthal HN is cloaked in beautiful San Andres wrapper and has a coffee bean color with a slight Colorado tint to it. The wrapper itself is smooth with a thin coat of oil. There were some visible veins, but most of the wrapper seams were thin.
Skip Martin the co-founder of RoMa Craft Tobac and the associated Fabrica de Tabacos NicaSueño S.A. factory described the Neanderthal (HN) as a “a very complicated cigar to make – a complicated size, a complicated shape.” This is one of the most unique figuardos I have ever seen as the cigar features a completely flat cap and tapered shape. In fact I used a punch cutter and made what I call a Mickey Mouse or clover cut on the footer instead of trying to shave off the cap.
Flavor/Taste & Aroma
Once I performed my unique clover cut I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The dry draw produced notes of cedar, rich coffee, and a sharp pepper spice. Overall I consider this an excellent pre-light experience in both flavor and aroma. Toasting took a little longer than average as the “business end” is a fairly large size ring gauge. Once lit, the burn and smoke production were outstanding. The flavors from out of the gate were exactly what I seek in a cigar, baking spice, cocoa, and a woody/savory taste. With most cigars I tend to shy away from the usual 1/3 checkpoints and prefer to give my overall smoking experience in start-to-finish format. An example here would be how I liken many RoMa craft’s stronger products to the experience of sitting around a campfire, cooking a steak, and then making s’mores.
On the day I smoked this in the morning with coffee, after a light breakfast, I found myself a little woozy from the nicotine about half-way through. I consider myself an experienced cigar smoker so this caught me off guard. I “backed off” a little bit, slowed down, and enjoyed the remainder of the stick with no problems. On the night I smoked with an little cocktail I had eaten a full meal and had no problems with the nic-sick at all.
I have read that these Neanderthals have aged for over ten months already and the fact that it still delivers a full strength, full-bodied, and very flavorful smoke is a testimony to the skill and craftsmanship of NicaSueño. This is definitely a smoke for an experienced cigar enthusiast and in my opinion is not for the beginner. It’s definitely not for someone who can’t handle a strong cigar. With further ageing this cigar will only get better but the beauty of RoMa craft’s products are that they are ready to smoke when they are released. Even at $12.00 I would recommend picking up a fiver anytime…just enjoy after a good meal with your beverage of choice. Stay smokey and ash on!
RoMa Craft Tobac Neanderthal HN
(Photo Credit: Skip Martin, Facebook)