To the best of my recollection it was about a month ago Skip Martin started talking publicly about a cigar he was creating with Michael Rosales. Skip Martin owned a cigar shop in Galveston, TX before it was destroyed by a Hurricane and Michael is the man behind Adrian’s Cigar. Both men have a vast knowledge of tobacco and based on Skip’s personals tastes I assumed this was going to be a knock you on your ass strong cigar. Well a few weeks back Skip started taking orders on the first batch of the new cigar, which he was selling as part of a sampler pack called, The Taxonomy.
I’ve been friendly with Skip via the website and Twitter and I had met Michael down at IPCPR in New Orleans last year so I bit on the sampler pack which contained 10 cigars to see what it was all about. On my right shoulder the devil appeared hoping the cigar wouldn’t be my cup of tea and I would dislike it immensely while the angel on my left shoulder said I should keep an open mind and who knows, I just might like it. I jest about the devil part, but you get the picture.
Size: 4 x 52 (Peit Robusto)
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Appearance and Construction: If you look at the picture of this cigar you can see the oils off the wrapper, but let me tell you, the picture does not do it justice. Amazing how it just glistens, truly a sight to behold and is far an above anything I have ever seen on a wrapper. Looking at this toothy stick there are minimal veins that are ultra thin and it is extremely well rolled. There is a slight groove in the cigar of a soft spot that runs about 2″ long but it isn’t too deep so it shouldn’t effect the over all burn. Sadly, there is no band on this cigar and it will remain this way til at least the third batch.
Flavor & Notes: Prior to lighting up the cigar the foot and wrapper had some earth like notes, while the draw was similar with a slight sweetness to it as well. Once the cigar is lit I am surprised by the lack of spice that I expected through the nose. The smoke passes through the nasal passages with ease. The spice does exist on the tongue though with some leather notes as well and we are only 1/4″ into the Knuckle Dragger. Surprisingly a sweetness lingers around as well making this an intriguing smoke. As we get to the second third there are notes of spices, wood, nuts and some more of that sweetness, but this time it is more on the finish. The final third is the strongest yet with notes of leather, and nuts. The sweet finish is gone, but remains pleasant.
Smoking Characteristics: Despite the size the cigar last a long time so I was glad I had the time to enjoy it. It burned very slow and I needed to relight it once. But I guess that is to be expected considering how oily the cigar was. The stick has a fairly even burn and although I was tempted to correct it a couple of times it never got to far out of hand. There was a thick volume of smoke off the stick and it had a nice aroma.
Conclusion: As to be expected this stick was strong. Skip said on Stogie Fresh that the cigar was all about the flavor and I am not sure I 100% agree with that. Sure it was tasty, and very enjoyable but the strength is definitely part of the equation. This stick is not for the mild cigar smokers out there and the nicotine can creep up on you rather quickly. Personally, I think the CroMagnon line of cigars would best be enjoyed after a nice steak dinner. Perhaps a Porterhouse for two, and knowing how Skip can put away the food I am sure he finishes those off,solo. The score gets a +1 due to price.
Score: 89 (I know you hate ratings Skip, so I’ll throw in 4 out of 5 stars)
Edit: These and other CroMagnon cigars can be ordered via Hava Cigar Shop