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Cigar Review: Intemperance BA XXI A.W.S. IV

19 Feb 2014

When my colleague reviewed the CroMagnon Cranium back in May 2011, I’d wager most readers had not heard of RoMa Craft Tobac or its owners, Michael Rosales and Skip Martin. Almost three years later, if you still haven’t gotten around to trying RoMa Craft smokes, you need to get on board. You’re missing out.

Intemperance BA XXI A.W.S. IVRoMa Craft was born after the Hava Cigar Shop and Lounge in Galveston, Texas, was decimated by Hurricane Ike in 2008. At first it was an online version of the old brick-and-mortar store, but distribution and cigar production grew. The company now counts the CroMagnon, Aquitaine, Intemperance, Adrian’s Costa Rica, and Hava Cigar brands as part of its portfolio. It maintains production facilities in Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Those who’ve met Skip Martin know he’s no fan of nanny state paternalism (particularly as it pertains to tobacco). His Intemperance series pays homage to the American movement that overthrew Prohibition, and it calls on us to do our part to protect cigar freedoms. It’s also an excellent line of smokes.

Intemperance BA XXI features a Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper around an Indonesian binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. (There’s also an Intemperance EC XVIII line that’s wrapped in an Ecuadorian Connecticut leaf.) Four regular-production vitolas range in price from $5 to $7: Petito, Short Robusto, Short Perfecto, and Belicoso. Three additional vitolas are reserved for RoMa Craft events, though rumor has it they will eventually be available for online purchase: Brotherly Kindness, The Breach of the Peace, and A.W.S. IV. My favorite is the A.W.S. IV, a Lonsdale (6.5 x 44) that costs $6.50. It’s a dark, oily smoke with pre-light notes of chocolate, and binder and filler tobaccos that protrude slightly beyond the wrapper at the foot.

Once underway, black pepper spice immediately coats the palate, while a red pepper spice tingles the lips. The smoke has a hearty, gritty texture, and the flavors remind me of rich chocolate, cream, dry wood, and roasted nut. The balance is tremendous, and the spice can easily be controlled by either smoking quicker for more heat, or smoking slower for a cooler experience. Towards the end, the spice takes a backseat to sweetness, cream, and apricot.

As I’ve come to expect from RoMa Craft, the combustion qualities are downright impeccable. The burn is straight and true, the draw is smooth, the ash holds firm, and the smoke production is impressive. A tip of the hat to the professionals at the Nica Sueño factory in Estelí.

While I think the secret has been out for some time—heck, I arrived late to the party myself—it’s my pleasure to add my praise to the many accolades that have been bestowed upon the Intemperance BA XXI blend. The A.W.S. IV vitola is a great value and a joy to smoke, earning it a very rare rating of five stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here. A list of other five-stogie rated cigars can be found here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

3 Responses to “Cigar Review: Intemperance BA XXI A.W.S. IV”

  1. Rodrigo Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 12:11 pm #

    Agreed. This is a very solid smoke, especially for the price. One of my favorites, though this size is hard to find.

  2. Matt Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    Also agreed. Skip is good people and he and his crew makes some outstanding cigars.

  3. Getsome Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

    Will look for this one but quite frankly don't get the branding….lots of numbers and letters…or should I say…don't like it.