I first heard about RoMa Craft on Stogie Geeks a few months ago. They talked about the Mode 5 in such glowing terms I was inspired to arrange an interview with Skip Martin and feature his cigars. This is the first RoMa Craft cigar I have had and I could not wait to try it. The Aquitaine Mode 5 has a dedicated following and is taking cigar smokers by storm. Let’s look and see if it performs as well as its reputation implies.The Basics:
- The Wrapper is: Ecudaor – Habano / Ligero
- The Binder is: Cameroon
- The Filler is Nicaraguan
- The vitola is a short perfecto, which is 5 inches x 50 RG
- The smoke time on this is about 70 minutes, but you may be able to go 85 minutes if you have a slower pace.
- This cigar was purchased from Cigar Hustler
- I smoked this cigar at night and I think it is a perfect end of the day cigar. This is mainly due to its strength.
Draw / Burn:
First of all, the draw and burn on this cigar is exquisite. I think it is mainly due to the vitola. The short perfecto in this blend is perfect. The 50 ring gauge works really well and gives the cigar a nice even draw with a razor sharp burn line. Moreover, the draw and burn remain consistent throughout the entire smoke. The draw itself is not too loose, but also not tight. It has just enough give to help you set the right pace for smoking the cigar and creates a nice balance with the cigar’s overall strength. In other words, the draw allows the perfect amount of smoke without burning the cigar too hot or giving you too much of a strength hit. Overall, the 50 ring gauge on this vitola is perfect to showcase this blend.
Final Grade: A+
Much like the draw and burn, the Aquitaine Mode 5’s construction is second to none. The best way to describe it is that Skip’s love and passion for cigars comes through in the construction. This is one of the best made cigars I have ever smoked. You can feel the love and care for the cigar really come through during the smoke. Looking at the cigar I had a true appreciation of the craftsmanship necessary for a well made cigar. The wrapper is beautiful and the strip of tobacco wrapped around the tapered foot of the cigar illustrates RoMa Craft’s attention to detail. A lot of cigars have great flavors; however, few cigars have the level of skill on display as this Mode 5 did.
The vitola burns well and keeps its shape throughout the entire smoke. The first ash came at 35 – 40 minutes and I thought that I may never ash this cigar. The ash held on nicely and the burn rate was perfect. The cigar itself never got hot and never had to be corrected. The construction reminded me of Paul Stulac’s cigars, which are extremely well made, in how it kept its shape the entire time.
Final Grade: A+
Flavor / Finish:
Get ready for a wild ride. Skip lets you know that you are smoking a cigar and it is an amazing journey. The first third has full flavors of spice and wood. The cigar then develops a deep richness with different layers all coming together at the end of this third. Hints of cream and coffee come on the front of the finish with a wonderful spice foundation hitting you at the end. This layered finish is very complex and keeps your interest throughout the entire smoke.
The wonderful construction and draw creates an even combustion rate that allows the flavors in the cigar to really shine. The second third is characterized by a number of rich flavors. Cream, coffee, chocolate, oak and tobacco all make appearances at different intensities. The rich oak and tobacco flavors dominate, but the hints of coffee and cream really balance out those stronger flavors. The best part of this third is the rich texture of the finish. I find that I prefer flavor profiles that showcase rich tobacco flavors, as opposed to more crisp flavors.
This richness continues in the final third; however, the chocolate and cream notes start to drop off in favor of leather and tobacco flavors. Coffee flavors come out more during this last third, but only if you take the last third slowly. If you burn the last third too hot you may miss more subtle flavors, so take it easy and kick back. You will be rewarded for your patience.
Now we come to strength. This cigar is not for everyone and definitely not for beginners. The strength is up there and the cigar amps up in the last third. Now, I love strong cigars that are balanced well with a great draw and rich flavors. Therefore, I was loving the strength and how it worked with the full flavors in the finish. However, some people may be turned off by the strength.
Final Grade: A
This is a cigar smoker’s cigar. From the understated band to the strip of tobacco wrapped around the foot of the cigar, Skip showcases the tobacco and makes that the hero. The Aquitaine Mode 5 is a prime example of how a passion and love of cigars can come through in the final product. Even though the review focuses on flavors and technical aspects of the cigar, you can feel the passion for cigars during the smoke. It is hard to put a finger on it, but this feeling you get from the cigar really adds to the experience. It feels as if Skip took the time and care to make a cigar just for you. This cigar is a crowning achievement for Skip Martin, RoMa Craft and the craftsmen that put their hearts and souls into this cigar.
This cigar makes the highest on the scale and is a humidor necessity. It will also find a home in the Cigar Hall of Fame. If you are a beginning cigar smoker, this cigar is something to aspire to. If you are an experienced cigar smoker, what are you doing?! Go buy a box!
Overall Grade: A+