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Cigar Review: CroMagnon Cranium

27 Aug 2018

We’ve been operating since May 2006. As a result, for over twelve years, much of what I’ve smoked has been dictated by necessity for this website. And while I’m sure you won’t shed any tears in my honor (despite being a lot of work, running a cigar site is a rewarding, entertaining endeavor), you can probably appreciate my predicament. Sometimes I just want to smoke—and, yes, write about—an old favorite.

So today I’m reviewing a cigar that most certainly did not debut at the 2018 IPCPR Trade Show. It’s also not new to this website (we previously wrote about it here and here). In fact, there’s no good reason for me to publish this—other than I simply want to, and that I’m secretly hoping to inspire a few readers to pick up a CroMagnon Cranium who maybe haven’t grabbed one in a while.

In the event you’re unfamiliar, the CroMagnon line from RoMa Craft Tobac is handmade in Estelí at the Fabrica de Tabacos NicaSueño S.A. factory. It sports a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper around a Cameroon binder with Nicaraguan filler tobaccos.

The toro-sized Cranium (6x 54) retails for about $9. It has a dark, reddish exterior leaf with moderate oils, plenty of tooth, and a few large veins. The feel is firm and the foot exhibits a cross-section of tightly packed tobaccos. The pre-light notes remind me of molasses and cocoa power. The rough cap clips cleanly to reveal a moderate cold draw.

Appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes they can be telling. If you were to judge the CroMagnon Cranium based solely on its intimidating looks and menacing presentation, you’d probably expect it to be a full-bodied powder keg. The initial puffs would validate those expectations. The thick, leathery profile is packed with char, black pepper, espresso, and chalky earth.

To write this toro off as a power-bomb, however, would be to overlook the expert blending that so clearly went into the cigar’s creation. There’s a complexity and balance here that’s often missing from many straightforwardly strong cigars. Creamy peanut, dark chocolate, and hickory add layers. And the strength level dips and surges—an effective strategy that ensures interest is not lost.

Along the way, the physical properties are consistent with what I’ve come to expect from RoMa Craft. The white ash holds well off the foot, the burn is straight, the draw is smooth, and the smoke production is above average.

Trying new cigars is important—especially if you write about cigars. But there’s so much out there, and it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. So don’t overlook the tried and true blends that have performed consistently well for years. Your palate, and your wallet, will thank you.

This solid, fairly priced, full-bodied cigar is best enjoyed with a full stomach and a side of brown liquor. I continue to be a fan, and award it a very solid rating of four stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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