Weekend Cigars: An Undercrown, an Arandoza and a CroMagnon

As I was rummaging through the humidor Thursday evening I came across a Drew Estate Undercrown Robusto that I didn’t realize I had. Finding cigars is a special treat, and this event must be celebrated by smoking the new-found treasure, and an Undercrown is  a treasure. If you don’t know the story behind cigar yet, it was basically blended by the Liga Privada rollers to replace the No. 9 cigars they were not allowed to smoke due to the scarcity of the wrapper leaf. The replaced the components with similar, but less used leaf and replaced the wrapper with a rich and oily San Andreas capa.  Quick tangent: it cracks me up a hen I read descriptions on websites that specifically identify a (insert varietal here) capote binder. Of course, this is redundant, as “capote” is the Spanish term for binder. It would be like saying this cigar had a San Andreas Capa wrapper.  Back to the Undercrown. The robusto is a 5″ x 54 cigar that’s stunning in appearance  it burns perfectly and is loaded with the deep, rich flavors I love. Those dark chocolate and black coffee flavors.  While this still isn’t an inexpensive cigar, it’s more affordable than it’s Liga Privada siblings and a worthy substitute.


I don’t normally try new things on Fridays but the Arandoza samples I received a few weeks ago from Robert Arango intrigued me, so I had to smoke one.   I hadn’t heard of this company, so Robert gave me a little information:

We are a new company, family owned and operated, established in April 2011. I’ve been an avid cigar smoker all of my adult life. Everyone at my house smokes cigars, from my two sons, to my beautiful daughter all the way up to my wife. We enjoy sitting outside after a long day, just chatting and smoking…seems to be a great bonding factor in my family. I always dreamt of starting my own line and I decided to do it last year. My children have become very involved and knowledgeable in the business. I am very proud and extremely happy that I decided to begin my own line. It has brought my family even closer than it already was and we believe that tradition begins with family so this has become a tradition that my family wants to share.

Our blue label is our newest creation consisting of a Nicaraguan binder and filler with a Habano Nicaraguan wrapper. This cigar is hand crafted in Esteli Nicaragua at “La Zona” factory, owned by Erik Espinosa, the owner of “601” and “La Bomba”. The cigar is a medium to full bodied smoke and is available in four sizes – Robusto 52 x 5, Toro 52 x 6, Torpedo 52 x 6 and a 60 x 6.

Price point for the Blue Label is between $6.00 – $7.00 for each of the four sizes.


This cigar performed admirably, the construction was top notch. I don’t know that I’ve smoked anything from Eric Espinosa’s factory yet, unless the Smoke Inn exclusive E-Doble was made there, which is an excellent smoke.  I found this to be a well balanced cigar with the flavors I would expect to find in a Habano wrapped cigar. If you can pick up a couple of these to sample I think you will be pleased. It’s a nice, satisfying smoke.  I appreciate the opportunity to try this new cigar from Arandoza Cigars!


Saturday evening I felt a cold coming on so I made a selection that I thought would power through the symptoms. The CroMagnon EMH from RoMaCraft Tabac is a beauty. The broadleaf wrapper is dark and oily.  I picked this up at Total Tobacco a few weeks ago at their grand opening (I still believe this is the only place in my area that carry this line), just so you know I didn’t weasel this cigar from Skip Martin :-).  First, I love broadleaf wrappers, almost as much as I love the San Andreas wrapers.  This one was such a treat to smoke, it burned perfectly, and I really wish I had smoked this in daylight so I could appreciate the aesthetics of the cigar while it burned.  One of my great joys is watching a cigar burn, one of the many reasons I hate Autumn in the northeast, the days get too short too fast!  Anyway, great, solid smoke, satisfying in every way, and I’ll buy more of them the next time I get out to Newtown Square, PA.

On the subject of the CroMagnon and RoMaCraft Tabac, here is a video from the IPCPR show where Skip Martin draws parallels between the boutique cigar and craft beer beer businesses.


That’s about it for now, I just returned from a nice lunch out with my wife, where I had steak and shrimp and am thinking about taking a fist full of cold meds and picking out a nice cigar…or not, I might just take a nap!


Until the next time,







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