HBTC Review: RoMa Craft Neanderthal LH

Since it became widely available in late 2014, the Neanderthal from RoMa Craft Tobac has been widely regarded as one of the strongest cigars out there. As the Neanderthal evolved additional sizes were added. A Lancero size of the Neanderthal is part of the H-Town collection from Stogies World Class. Additionally, three special sizes of the Neanderthal were released exclusively in Germany through Dalay Zigarren in Saarbrücken Germany. This year, RoMa Carft Tobac announced the upcoming release of a new size in the Neanderthal line, this time as a box pressed vitola. The Neanderthal LH is the newest addition the the line, and Matt decided to give it a full review.

In addition to the LH vitola reviewed here, the Neanderthal is or has been available in the following vitolas: SGP (4.25 x 52), HN (5 x 52/56), HoxD (4 x 46), OM H-Town Lancero (7 x 38), GD (4.5 x 52), HS (5.75 x 46), JCF (5.25 x 50), KFG (4.75 x 56)

Neanderthal HN
MSRP: $14.99
Size: 4.75 x 56 Box Press
Origin: Nica Sueño (Esteli, Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Pennsylvania GRS1, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua

The Neanderthal LH has an intensely dark wrapper with a very pronounced toothy texture. There are some prominent veins on the wrapper surface, but it is not overly rustic in appearance. On each on the ones I smoked for this review, the wrapper used for the flat cap was wrinkled and the amount of vegetable gum seemed a bit heavy handed. The outer wrapper has an earthy and woody aroma, but the foot of the cigar smells spicy, earthy, and a little musty. The cold draw is more of those spicy characteristics.

Act I
When the fire hits this cigar, pepper and spice are on the tongue right away in the first few puffs, but also some woodiness. When it starts to warm up I get earthy and sweet notes like dark espresso. All the while, a consistent black pepper note is present. At times it is in the foreground, other times it is very subtle, but it is the underlying note throughout. The retrohale has plenty of that spice and definitely some of those earthy aromas.

Act II
The smoke output keeps rolling and the boldness factor goes up in this middle section. Those earthy notes are still there, as is the spice, but something new comes to the front as those other aromas move to the back. The frontal notes are an interesting mix of bitter cocoa and something that reminds me of dark raisins, prunes, or dates. The boldness factor also ramps up an incredible amount pretty much exactly at the halfway point. The retrohale is now dominated by black pepper, with a little sweetness that tends to linger.

Surprisingly, it almost seems to mellow back just a little toward the end. Don’t take that to mean that the cigar is mellow. Picture it like Andre the Giant losing 20 lbs. He’s still a giant, just 20 lbs less of one. The flavors and aromas in this last section are really a mix of everything. I get a mix of each of the flavors from earlier in the smoke. Since the nub is heating up there are some decidedly bitter notes, but there is still enough of the sweetness to keep the bitterness from overpowering everything. Good news is, at this point I can throw away my nose hair trimmers because the retrohale at the end of this cigar is so intensely spicy, it removed my nose hair for me.

As I’ve said on our show multiple times, I tend to not feel adverse affects from strong cigars. Even so, this cigar makes me feel the strength every time I smoke one. For me it is not at all overpowering, but if you are inexperienced with strong cigars, please proceed accordingly. The flavor and aroma from this cigar are really great, and for my palate is the best iteration of the Neanderthal blend to date, at least from the ones I have tried. It gives strength, richness, sweetness, spiciness, and a very thick and textured smoke. It is a cigar that I would highly recommend to a smoker who loves the heavy stuff, and a brave intermediate smoker who is ready to take the next step.

RoMa Craft Neanderthal LH – How Bout That Cigar?
Rating: How Bout A Box?
Overall Score: 92
PAD: +0.0 (What is PAD?)
Flavor Summary: Pepper Spice, Earthiness, Dark Sweetness, Espresso
Strength Assessment: Strong
Source: Cigars for this review were purchased by HBT Media LLC

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