Dimensions/Shape: 5 by 52/56 ring gauge; Perfecto
Wrapper/Capa: San Andrés Maduro (México)
Binder/Capote: U.S. Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Filler/Tripa: Condega, Estelí, Jalapa, and Pueblo Nuevo (Nicaragua); Olor Dominicano Ligero (República Dominicana); Pennsylvania Double Ligero/Green River Sucker One (United States)
Tabacalera: Nica Sueño, S.A. (Nicaragua)
MSRP: $12 single, $290 bundle of 25, $600 box of 50
The Neanderthal was brought to market in the summer of 2014 by RoMa Craft Tobac, a boutique company co-founded by Mike Rosales and Skip Martin. This unique and complex blend of tobaccos instantly became highly popular among their already captivated following, offering fans a stronger cigar in a captivating format. The Neanderthal blend is presented in one vitola: a unique perfecto featuring a flat head and slightly-tapered foot. While all of its tobacco’s are exceptional, the robust Pennsylvania Green River Sucker One is particularly unique, and, according to Skip Martin, is essential to the blend. For more details on the backstory and blend of the Neanderthal, check out interviews with Skip Martin on YouTube and Halfwheel’s articles and reviews.
Simply, the Neanderthal is striking. The gorgeous San Andrés maduro wrapper has a slightly-toothy texture and an alluring oil sheen. The rich brown beautifully contrasts with the cigar’s orange band, which brings out an orange tinge in the wrapper. This perfecto is hefty and its shape reminiscent of a club, lending to the impression of the brand. Berries, black pepper, brownies, and cedar aromas exude from the wrapper. The cold draw brings muted notes of brine, mineral, and hot pepper into the mix.
Medium-bodied notes of rich coffee and cacao accompany cayenne-spice and a creamy finish at the first light. Settling into the first third, medium bodied notes of sweet caramel, chocolate, and cedar spice are followed by brine and more sweet notes on the finish. The foot smoke is steady, and its aroma reminiscent of a musty, sweet earth with spicy cedar. Strength slowly builds throughout the cigar, but lingers mostly at a medium-intensity.
The cigar remains highly complex and continues to offer a very pleasant retrohale. Classic maduro flavors with additions of brine and spice emanate from this smooth and nuanced cigar. The cigar does reach a high strength in the final third, while flavor intensities remain at medium-full. The Neanderthal is sure to please, offering great flavors in an exceptionally constructed and unique vitola. Its smoke time was around an hour and twenty minutes. This super-premium offering by RoMa Craft is a must-have for lovers of complex, medium to full-bodied cigars, and it will in no way disappoint.