RoMa Craft Tobac released the Neanderthal line back in 2015 with the goal of delivering a powerful yet flavorful cigar. While the line originally consisted of only a single vitola, it has since expanded to nine, being a core component of the RoMa Craft portfolio. The latest such size was first showcased at the 2019 IPCPR trade show, with RoMa Craft debuting the Neanderthal LH as their strongest cigar to date.
RoMa Craft Neanderthal LH Breakdown
- Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
- Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
- Filler: Dominican Republic | Nicaragua | Pennsylvania (Green River One Sucker Ligero)
- Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Nica Sueño S.A. (Nicaragua)
- Production: Regular Production
- Vitola: 4¾″ × 56 (Gran Robusto)
- Price: $13.35 (MSRP)
Neanderthal LH is a 4¾” x 56 box-pressed cigar named after Lord Humungus of the Mad Max movie franchise. “The Warrior of the Wasteland” and “The Ayatollah of Rock and Roll-ah” seem befitting nicknames to a cigar that was created for the brute strength its namesake portrays. This cigar has an extra dose of the Green River One Sucker leaf known to give Neanderthal its strength and potency—twice the amount of ligero seen throughout the rest of the Neanderthal line. Skip Martin, co-owner of RoMa Craft, said in an interview with Cigar Dojo at IPCPR, “Because it is a box-press, it is a little under-filled so they can press it, so you get all the extra airflow. It’ll make you sick it’s so strong.”
Similar to the rest of the line, the cigars are neatly packed in a compact cedar box with the silhouette of a neanderthal man. The cigars themselves, while under five inches, look and feel chunky! They have a rich, dark milk chocolate Mexican San Andrés wrapper, with a nice oily sheen and just a little bit of tooth. The box-press on these cigars is obvious and definitely a departure from the rest of the Neanderthal line. The seams and veins are hardly noticeable, creating quite a smooth surface to the body of the cigar from the foot to the Neanderthal’s signature flat cap. Knowing this is supposed to be the strongest of the Neanderthal line, while taking in its smaller yet chunky size, kind of makes me feel like I am ready to get in the ring with Tyson.
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The aroma coming from the foot is a combination of dark chocolate, espresso, and a smoky chipotle pepper zing. With a cut, the almost-perfect pre-light draw produced notes of espresso, blackberries, and molasses.
Getting things fired up, the cigar hits with the first wave of spice. Interestingly, the spice and finish is more of what you would get from a hot rye whiskey, with more of a buildup of the spice as it sits on your palate. The other notable characteristics present are salty dark chocolate, espresso, and oak. The retrohale is full-on black pepper, but is not overpowering, complimenting the primary notes of the flavor profile. What is intriguing is the charred steak note that seems to hang in the thick smoke coming off the foot, which also sits heavily on the front and back of the tongue for quite a long finish. It is making for a great experience having the charred steak still sitting on the tongue when taking another puff. Strength and body at this point are at the upper end of medium-plus Thus far, the draw is just about perfect and the cigar is burning straight and true.
Getting about halfway in, one characteristic observed is how slow this cigar is burning, which I would imagine is a product of the amount of ligero used to roll it. Even with the slow burn, the cigar is staying lit and has required nothing in the way of burn maintenance. The slow burn is also allowing the flavors to really keep hitting hard, just like Humungus himself.
The charred steak is now becoming the dominant flavor, pushing the rye to the background but not out of the picture. The pepper intensity is increasing on the retrohale and, while still smooth, is starting to get a significant amount of burn to it, pushing the cigar firmly into the full category in strength and body. Before continuing, I decided it was time to remove the band and was able to get it right off. In the past, the white sub-band of RoMa Craft cigars—while quite attractive—has been the source of much frustration.
Getting to the end of the cigar, a couple more flavors enter the game to carry it home. Plum and black cherry add to the mix, with the charred steak going completely away. The molasses that has been absent since the pre-light draw re-appears as well. The rye whiskey spice also steps back up a notch and plays well with the dark fruit notes, all of which are complemented by the strong pepper of the retrohale. The cigar has literally transitioned from meaty, smoky, and spicy, to sweet and spicy at the end, all while increasing in strength along the way. I smoked the cigar down to the point where it was burning my fingers to continue.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
Easy answer: yes! I have been a fan of the Neanderthal line since I first got my hands on the original HN size. The LH, which are not too hard to find at the moment, will be a regular resident in the humidor.
- RoMa Craft Tobac co-founder Skip Martin says, “We built ourselves to be a small producer with a focus on the sourcing of high-quality raw materials, hands-on production, and direct relationships with our consumers.”
- This is a very slow-burning cigar, yet never needs a touchup to stay lit.
- Flavor: Full
- Strength: Full
- Body: Full
- Dark Chocolate
- Rye Whiskey
- Black Pepper
- Charred Steak
- Smoke Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
- Pairing Recommendation: Rum | Porter | Old Cuban cocktail | Mineral water
- Purchase Recommendation: Box
- Great transitions
- Lots of power to push the flavors forward
- While regular production, they can be hard to find
- The strength may make it hard to pair