By: Julian I. Spring
RoMa Craft Tobac was founded in 2012 by industry veterans Mike Rosales and Skip Martin. Following a simple philosophy of using the finest tobacco, skilled craftsmen and allowing ample time to age, RoMa Craft has earned a reputation for creating quality boutique cigars which are highly sought after by aficionados. The company is based in Austin, TX with factories and offices in Esteli and San Jose.
The RoMa WR McFarland is 5×50 midsize stick, featuring a medium Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Indonesian binder and mixed Dominican/Nicaraguan filler. I would call it a Robusto, however, it has an interesting torpedo shape which comes to a rounded point at the end which I love cutting at an angle. The cigar construction has visible seams with little to no veining and a nice triple cap. The wrapper doesn’t quite reach the end of the foot, exposing some of the binder and filler.
The WR Cigar is adorned with a double band, one with the RoMa Craft logo and the Intemperance badging, a second band with the snake and tree logo on one side and the words Whiskey Rebellion 1794 on the other. The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper has a little tooth and feels slightly rough but is nice and oily looking. It has a faint smell of barnyard with a hint of cocoa and a little spice on the nose.
First Third: Upon initial light, I was picking up strong notes of coco with a bit of spice in the retro. There was a hint of bitterness left on the pallet, a vegetal taste with a good medium finish. The cap started coming unwrapped after my cut, but I was able to fix it with a little saliva, this was a minor aggravation as it was not being held well and needed repeated attention. The burn was not razor sharp but seems to be progressing evenly, no runs or severe canoeing. I was also tasting flavors like mesquite or a burning charcoal grill.
The ash was a nice salt and pepper color showing off rippled layers as it burned down. The cigar produced ample amounts of smoke with a single draw which gave the perfect amount of resistance. I want to stress again how nice the draw was on this cigar, I found it to be very comfortable. Unlike some sticks where you must double puff to get ample smoke, the WR stick gives it up on the first pull. While I sat admiring the cigar, I noticed the smoke escaping the foot had a bluish cast to it. The smoke I exhaled was white. The aroma was strong tobacco, I did not pick up any notes of floral or anything other than just tobacco. As the burn progressed down the first third, I felt the smoke was anemic in the mouth, lacking that chunky creamy feel. I was not getting much flavor from the smoke itself and the finish seemed to be shortening. The ash took on a slightly coppery color as it began to cool and it was starting to show a nice layering, what I heard others call “stacking dimes,” very flaky in appearance and holding strong. Nothing new was picked up in the retro or in the mouth other than an ever so slight spicy heat. Approaching the second third momentarily.
Second Third: As I began the second third, I started to pick up a dry flavor that almost reminds me of a paper towel flavor with a slight sweetness starting to develop in the finish. Pepper is starting to wind down and smoke continues to just billow out of the stick at the burn line with its nice bluish color. The burn line has gotten wavy but seems to be maintaining itself still, no intervention needed. That paper towel sweetness begins to take on more of an anise flavor, like a black licorice… just not very strong. Ashes are still holding super strong with a respectable inch and a half from the original lighting still attached. No signs of it weakening or getting ready to fall off. I would place the strength of the cigar in medium range and it can give you a little buzz of nicotine. I am seeing more smoke at the cap between puffs, so I set the WR down for a few minutes to let it cool down as the draw was beginning to warm. I may be pulling on it too often. Ash is still straight showing no signs of bending or wanting to give yet. This may be due to the stems used in the filler which were visible when I cut the cap. Stems are often used to support the ash in the construction as it burns. They are also a good source of nicotine which I felt affecting me halfway through this cigar.
As I get to the midway point of the cigar, its ashes starting to bow ever so slightly and I’m seeing some larger cracks opening which tell me I’m going to need to ash this stick soon. Retro is got a strong peppery burn which makes the eyes water. Not getting a very strong tobacco a taste, the anise seems to be the more pronounced. The cigar burn is evening out and smoke production when drawing is still incredible. The spicy heat is only noticeable during retro so you are able to easily turn up or reduce the heat on the WR. The smoke started taking on a creamier finish on the pallet and the ash dropped on its own at about the halfway point. I felt the strength was picking up slightly, I could feel the nicotine affecting me more. I had to peel the Whiskey Rebellion band off at this point but I was able to slip the Intemperance band off over the cap of the cigar without any damage to the wrapper. There was no signs of any blemishes or patchwork hiding under the band, this is an excellently constructed cigar. If I had tried it, I bet the cigar would’ve passed the ash hold test. When the ash broke off it left a nice pencil tip in the center, further indicating a very good quality cigar. I’m drinking water as I’m trying to not taint the raw flavors of the cigar and I’m not getting a whole lot on the finish I would say the stick is slightly mild to medium bodied as it approaches the final third.
Final Third: There’s just enough flavor there to let you know you’re smoking a cigar without leaving too much on the pallet. The cigar can be held very close to the burn line which is also a sign of good construction. I am seeing small flakes of ash fall off on their own. Strength is kicking up while all the flavors remain quite mellow. This stick deserves a fine whiskey or scotch to pair with it. To sum up the cigar and smoking experience I would say the stick exhibited excellent construction, it never required a touch up from my torch. Even after letting the stick sit for a while, I was able to pick it up and continue smoking it. Flavors on the pallet remained muted. It left no palate trauma and would complement whatever was paired with it. Strong for a medium bodied cigar, good kick in the end. If I had to give a number rating, I would say an 89. Points taken for the cap unraveling, medium flavor, strength and lack of complexity, which was too consistent for my taste.