Through the good graces and an off-chance cigar trade with HavaCigarShop’s Skip Martin, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a few Intemperance cigars from newly-formed cigar company RoMa Craft Tobac. One of those cigars is the BA XXI ‘Ambition’ belicoso, a 5.5 x 54 cigar that’s about to be released sometime at the end of this month together with other cigars that make up the Volstead Sampler (check out Skip’s official blog post on the background behind the ‘Intemperance’ name). Here’s a little sneak preview of this beautifully crafted cigar.
At first glance, the Ambition is very beautiful cigar and once you look into its finer details, more of its subtle qualities begin to show off. The Brazil Arapiraca wrapper glistens with its oily sheen and sports a very toothy texture, and the short shaggy foot offers a nice aesthetic touch. The body doesn’t have any big veins and is very solid to the touch all throughout. There’s a pungent tobacco smell with a short hint of chocolate on the body and foot while the perfect draw suggests flavors of sweet wood.
The first few puffs off the cigar opens up to a mixture of wood, earth and coffee flavors with some spice in the long finish. While these flavors were essentially expected, the most interesting thing about the flavor during the first third is the orange peel zest that comes as a very noticeable aftertaste. A flavor shift into wood and dark chocolate flavors begins to appear once you’re in the second third, but that citrus zest still lingers around in the background. The last third then shows off notes of cream, citrus and wood and the cigar’s complex taste also becomes a lot smoother around this part of the cigar while leaving a buttery aftertaste. Overall, the Intemperance is a full-bodied mid-to-full strength stick.
If the full-bodied flavor doesn’t impress you, then perhaps this cigar’s burn characteristics will. The burn line on the Intemperance is consistently straight and even all the way until the last third. It’s as if the burn is equipped with its own surgical scalpel, slicing the burn line very evenly until it reaches the very nub of the cigar.
Its smoke profile doesn’t skimp out either, producing creamy, thick smoke after each puff. The ash also doesn’t fail to impress as it fell every third of the cigar to reveal a nice coned ember.
These days, it’s hard to be impressed by something new that comes into the cigar scene. There’s such a huge number of cigars out there that are vying for everyone’s attention and while some live up to the hype, most fall by the wayside only to be remembered once in a great while. Fortunately, the Intemperance doesn’t need any hyperbole to catch anyone’s attention. It’s rock-solid and good old-fashioned cigar craftsmanship coupled with its refreshing full-bodied flavor can easily earn the admiration and love of almost every discerning cigar enthusiast. I enjoyed every last bit of this cigar so much so that it was literally hard to put down until its last half inch.
The cigar can arguably be a top-drawer stick but it does have a slight shortcoming. Its flavors can be smoother, and I’m sure a little bit of rest in my humidor will smoothen out that rough edge quite nicely. I’ll be buying more of these (priced at $7.00 per stick I believe) when they become available, and for the meantime, they’ll be in the fourth drawer of my humidor.