RoMa Craft is a great boutique brand available in select shops. The CroMagnon was the first cigar they ever produced, and in under a decade RoMa Craft has earned quite the following. You can usually find an excellent cigar from this line in the $7-10 range, making it a great go-to for the budget conscious premium cigar smoker.

As with many cigar manufacturers these days, you can often find RoMa Craft events near you. It’s worthwhile to get to know the folks in your local shops because this is where the magic happens. Cigar events are a great way to get to meet the people behind your favorite brands and gain a greater appreciation of the work that goes into a premium cigar. These things don’t grow on trees.

The Cigar: RoMa Craft CroMagnon Mode5 Figurado Maduro

The CroMagnon Mode5 Maduro is made in Nicaragua at the Nica Sueño factory. The wrapper is Connecticut Broadleaf, the binder is Cameroon, and the filler is Nicaraguan. This particular cigar has an MSRP of $6.50, which is an absolute bargain for this well-made, expertly blended, full-bodied cigar. The band is simple – the RoMa Craft logo is on one side and the name of the line, in this case CroMagnon, is embossed on the other side. If you didn’t know where to look you would never see the name. Sleek and simple, but effective, branding.

Upon first light there are notes of earthiness and black, unsweetened coffee with a hint of pepper at the end. There’s great balance with just a hint of sweetness.

The Bourbons

Old Fitzgerald Prime 80 Proof

Nose: corn and apple

Palate: buttered corn and apples

Together: The smoke brightens the apple notes to become red, ripe apples. The bourbon brings out nice chocolate and coffee notes in the cigar.

Wild Turkey 101

Nose: cherries

Palate: cherries and leather

Together: The bourbon brings out lots of chocolate in the smoke, while the smoke highlights the spice in the bourbon, bringing forth a little tannin. Together they are like chocolate covered cherries.

Barton 1792 Single Barrel 98.6 Proof

Nose: leather and chocolate

Palate: butterscotch

Together: The smoke brings out spice and sweet corn in the bourbon. The bourbon brings out earthiness and cedar in the smoke.

The Conclusion

I was surprised to find these were all great pairings. My top preference was for the Barton 1792 Single Barrel – it was a barrel I picked with the Bourbon Classic a couple of years ago, and I’ve always loved the flavor profile of it. It’s also right in that sweet-spot proof wise for bourbons that pair well with cigars – you want to hit between 80 and 110, ideally. The Wild Turkey was a close second, and the Old Fitzgerald Prime put up a good show.

If you want to learn the art of pairing bourbon and cigars, the first thing I suggest is getting a notebook and keeping notes. It’s the single best way to train your palate – you need a frame of reference for when you forget that one bourbon you really liked that one time. But most importantly, have fun with it!

Photos Courtesy of Maggie Kimberl