Virtue (Short Robusto), 4.5 x 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
|Cigar age||0 yr. 11.4 mo.|
BACKGROUND: On January 24, 2012, Michael Rosales and Skip Martin announced the formation of a new boutique cigar company called, RoMa Craft Tobac. The partnership between these longtime friends would produce such cigars as CroMagnon, CroMagnon Aquitaine, and Intemperance, among others.
This week's featured stick is called the Intemperance, which comes in two varieties, a Brazilian Arapiraca-wrapped BA XXI and the Ecuadorian Connecticut-wrapped EC XVIII. Of course, the Roman numerals in the names of each Intemperance line are loaded with meaning. In the Intemperance BA XXI, the BA stands for Brazilian Arapiraca and the Roman numeral XXI represents the 21st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, that which repealed prohibition.
Today's featured cigar, the EC XVIII, alludes to a totally different time in the history of the temperance movement. In 1919, the movement finally achieved its goal when the 18th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States established a national prohibition on the consumption of ‘intoxicating liquors’.
Unfortunately, despite the dismal failure of the temperance movement and prohibition, the desire of some people to legislate the freedoms of their fellow Americans continues to run rampant. The current political climate seems to be following the same path today in the form of the anti-tobacco movement, which intends nothing short of another prohibition, this time against tobacco.
With that in mind, let me introduce this week's featured cigar, the 4.5-inch by 52 ring gauge Intemperance EC XVIII Virtue.
TASTING NOTES: One of the things I want to mention is that I purposely let this cigar age in my humidor for 10.5 months before reviewing it. Why? Some people think that Connecticut-wrapped cigars won’t age well, but really, if you keep them in the right conditions they will age almost indefinitely.
Obviously, any cigar is going to change in character as it ages and the character that I wanted to see changed was the typical grassy bite that is a feature of most Connecticut Shade cigars. In my experience, this feature is more prominent in USA Connecticut than in Ecuadorian Connecticut. I heard one cigar expert say that he thought it was because the delicate and light Connecticut wrapper burns more readily and that people tend to smoke it too fast, making it burn hot and increasing bitterness and bite. Whatever the case, I don’t like to see so much grassiness. So, my approach was to put these cigars down in my humidor in hopes that an extended rest would make a difference and it did.
The grassy character was toned down and the cigar displayed more nutty flavors and a vanilla sweetness. I wouldn’t say that this cigar is overly complex, but it did display good balance.
The aging didn’t reduce the impact of the cigar on my palate (of course 10.5 months is not a long time). There was plenty of zest and a nice long finish and I felt that the flavors were well balanced.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The Intemperance Connecticut displayed a consistent flavor profile throughout the smoke. I noted the same nutty sweetness and a slight grassy tingle during the second half. And, there was a richness to the retrohale that you don’t get with most Connecticut’s. Come to think of it, this Connecticut was slightly fuller in body and strength than most, and I have to say that it is a great expression of a Connecticut-wrapped stogie.
The construction and burn were excellent. A smooth draw, an even burn line and a consistent gray ash highlighted the smoking features. In fact, the ash was so firm that, when I tried to tap it off in my ash tray, it stubbornly wouldn’t let go. So, instead I figured I would do an ash stand and, sure enough, the cigar stood proudly on its ash. What was even more incredible was that, when I picked the cigar back up again after mashing the ash into the table, the ash still wouldn’t let go until I literally broke it off the end of the cigar. How’s that for great construction?!
I can recommend the Intemperance EC for the majority of cigar smokers. It’s not too light, it’s not too grassy and it delivers a solid smoking experience. Without a doubt I would recommend that you pair this with your favorite cup of coffee and I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.
You can pick up a 10-pack of the Virtue at a per cigar price of $6. All in all, that’s a great deal.
These cigars are stored as singles on a shelf in my retrofitted Wine Cooler cabinet humidor. They are protected by individual cellophane wrappers, which I've left intact. The active Oasis humidifier is set for 68%RH and the average temperatures are moderate, given that I live in California and that the humidor is located adjacent to an inner wall in my closet. An added computer fan provides a secondary source of air movement, making sure that the humidity will reach all cigars in the cabinet evenly.
This is the first of two podcast reviews on these sticks, which have been aging in my humidor for 11 months and 1 week.
Cigar Info Page » for RoMa Craft Tobac, Intemperance EC XVIII
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