Size: 6 x 54
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder and Filler: Cameroon, Nicaraguan
Price: Give or take 7 dollars
Behind The Stick:
The Cromagnon Cigar is a collaboration from two men who’s lives have been deeply involved within the cigar industry. Michael Rosales ( on twitter as @smokeadrians ) has produced other very enjoyable and popular cigar blends throughout the years and Skip Martin ( on twitter as @chiefhava ) is not only the twitter ‘cigar heavyweight’ but also ran a successful B&M in Galveston, Texas until a hurricane destroyed the physical location. I must also admit, both these guys impressed the hell out of me. When I was placing my original order Michael had me call him directly and we bullshitted for about a half hour – traded short life stories, goals and generally just chatted – was taken back by it but he is very down to earth. Chief on the other hand, we usually play XBOX Call of Duty at 1 or 2am and although we might take a 2 minute hiatus to talk cigars, most of the time were talking shit, telling jokes or losing matches – sometimes all 3 – but similar to Michael, very down to earth.
The story goes that these two men were hanging out in the ‘Man Cave’ and decided to create a cigar – through testing and boring details ( ha ) they were able to create the cigar I am about to review, although they remained nameless. After some deliberation and brain storming, the ‘Man Cave’ gave light to history and after a few grunts and chest thumps – Cromagnon was born ( maybe not exactly that last part, but makes for a story right? ). Leading with this theme, five different sizes were produced – the Knuckle Dragger ( 4 x 52 ), Anthropology ( 5.75 x 46 ), Mandible ( 5 x 60 ), EMH ( 5 x 56 ) and Cranium ( 6 x 54 ) and range from ~ 6 to 8 dollars depending on size. I purchased the original sampler pack and I plowed right through them. I am reviewing the Cranium, mainly because I smoked all the others and didn’t take pictures before hand ( whoops! ).
God damn this is a dark cigar! I would have to put it up there with one of the darkest and most oily cigars I’ve ever encountered. With some minor blotching and slight color differences I’m positive they are not dyed but damn – these are dark as hell. There are a few medium to small sized veins but going with the darkness of the wrapper, it is much more of a dark and rustic feel to the overall cigar rather than an indication of any potential issues. The cap, nearly seamless across the head begins the stick – well packed down to the evenly clipped foot. Future releases will carry a band with them, but with the sticks I reviewed they were all unbanded – so no idea on my pet peeve ( maybe i’ll revisit this one later ).
This cigar starts off with a kick to the nuts and lets you know who is in charge. Very rich smoke, full of flavor and it does carry a good nicotine kick ( not enough to make you light headed but noticeable for sure ). Just like the smell of the cigar, the barnyard and earth flavors take hold and provide a great base line for the experience. An inch or so into the cigar, once it has had a chance to warm up and show off, the barnyard sensation calmed down but was quickly replaced with a wild kind of leather and earth mixture that carried this creamy note with it, maybe a mild vanilla? The retrohale provided a healthy dose of spice which reminded me of pepper – not black or white pepper but like a cooking pepper, mild spice but carrying a ‘heat’ factor if that makes sense. Unique and surprisingly very enjoyable.
The second half ( first ash ) is where this cigar took a change for me – could have been the fact of me ashing it or something within the blend but the barnyard has all but left, the earth and leather combination fluctuating in intensity and this wood note seemed to come out of nowhere and slid right to the foreground. One thing I found very interesting was that near the final inch or so of the cigars life I was anticipating this extremely dark, tar ridden nub but instead the solid flavor combination previously mentioned was added to by some hay and grass notes – Yes I know, odd.
This is one dark, oily, full body mofo. The flavors provided in this blend hit right up my alley, although this heavy and dark of a cigar is not something I would want to smoke at noon, before food on my ride into work. I’ve had one after a steak dinner followed with some scotch and I can not begin to explain how well that trifecta went together. This is not a cigar I would recommend to the novice smoker either, but, if your up for the task or are a fan of full body smokes I would highly suggest picking a few of these up. These are not the roller coaster of complex cigars but they are interesting enough to keep your attention and wanting more. Reasonably priced, unique and they deliver – the Cromagnon Cranium is one of those cigars that may fall into a niche, but I feel will be well received. If you have not had a chance to give them a try and these sound to be right up your alley, contact Michael or Skip on twitter or go to http://www.havacigarshop.com/ and grab a few.
Every Cigar Has A Story, Every Smoke A Memory