The Neanderthal was first mentioned by RoMa Craft in 2014, but it wouldn’t see a release until 2015. There was a 4″ version called SGP that was limited to two cigar shops in Texas; and a production line called the HN.
Today we look at the 5″ version that contains 6 different filler tobaccos including an exceptionally strong variant of Double Ligero from Pennsylvania known as Green River Valley Sucker One. According to the guys at Romacraft the additional filler leaves were needed to create a balance. To me it sounds like this tobacco was named by Skip as it has a feel of old hip-hop which is probably what he is listening to this very second.
Cigar Review: Neanderthal
Size: 5 x 52/58 (HN)
Wrapper: San Andres (Mexico)
Binder: Broadleaf (Connecticut)
Filler: Condega, Jalapa, Pueblo Nuevo, Estelí (Nicaragua); Olor (Dominican Republic) and Green River Valley Sucker One Double Ligero (Pennsylvania)
The Look: This unique figurado has a cap that reminds me of Frankensteins head and a body that reminds me of a bowling pin. It’s different, much like the cigars that come out of RoMa Craft Tobac. The wrapper is gritty looking with a lot of oils and magnesium bumps.The cigar is flawlessly rolled with a nice weight and a well packed foot. The cigar band of burnt orange and white is a tribute to Skip Martins love for the Texas Longhorns.
The Notes: To this reviewer the cold draw reminds one of the smell of raw tobacco from inside a cigar factory. It’s distinct and triggers a memory from my first visit to one in the Dominican Republic. The aroma off the foot and wrapper is pretty much nonexistent.
After we toast the cigar, I’ll be honest I expected it to be much stronger based on the stories about the Pennsylvania Double Ligero in the filler. The initial flavors on the Neanderthal are oak, with some sweetness that borders on caramel. Through the nose the cigar serves up some similarities to wasabi. As the first third comes to a close there is a flavor of steak that has been charred ever so slightly on the grill and the aroma of the cigar begins to shine.
The second third continues to serve up notes of meat that hit their peak around the half way point. The cigar continues to serve up some sweetness in the background but that slowly begins to fade away as some coffee notes begin to emerge. As the steak begins to fade the coffee notes become dominant with a slightly nutty finish. Through the nose some wasabi remains and the strength of the cigar also reach full.
In the last third of the Neanderthal HN some faint remnants of steak remain in the background as nuts and coffee remain dominant. There is some black pepper on the aroma of the cigar and wasabi on the retrohale. With the pepper on the aroma a comparison of peppercorn crust stake is a very fair comparison to the lingering finish on this full-bodied cigar.
The Burn: A super slow burning stick, the Neanderthal features a razor-thin combustion line with an incredibly even burn. The medium gray ash has a little bit of flake to it however, it holds on for approximately a third of the time. The burn was perfect and the cigar remained lit throughout the cigar smoking experience.
The Finish: Earlier in the year we reviewed the SGP, and while both cigars will score the same, we give the edge to the HN for the simple reason, I can get them easier. The cigar was like dining on a steak and I love it when a stick can relay that feeling. While a 50 count box makes it expensive for a box purchase, if you are a full-bodied fan such as myself this one might just be worth it.
Price: $12.19 each / $47.99 a 5 pack / $533.99
- HN stands for the scientific name Homo Neanderthalensis who became extinct 40,000 years ago.
- While many Cuban cigars have a flat cap, I don’t recall any cigar having a cap as flat at this one.
- Cutting this cigar properly is important as only the cap should be removed without any filler. A razor-thin cut is needed.
- I love the simplicity of the bands that RoMa Craft went with. In their early days they weren’t going to go with bands, but they caved (thankfully) to retailers.
- I expected Uncle Nic to visit during the cigar; but he never appeared although I had a hearty of lunch of Pasta Fagioli that my fiancé made for me.
- This one one of the slowest smoking cigars I’ve ever come across. As we know I smoke slow and this smoke remained lit for the entire 2 hours and 43 minutes it took me to smoke.
- I paired the cigar with water.