Coming in at #5 this year is a the first retailer exclusive cigar to make my list. The cigar is the Intemperance BA XXI A.W.S. by RoMa Craft Tobac, and it is an exclusive for The Cigar Hustler in Deltona, Florida. I believe it to the best cigar in the Intemperance brand, and I also believe that it is the best individual cigar made by RoMa Craft Tobac. The Lonsdale is a magical size and with the perfect blend and a great wrapper, you can make a tremendous cigar. I am typically not the biggest fan of the Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper, but Skip and Esteban have blended a tremendous line with the tobacco. For a cigar to make my Top 5, being a cigar I smoked in the beginning of January means a lot. An end of the year cigar can easily draw a smokers attention, and have them remember that smoke come December, but for a cigar to capture my attention for an entire year is truly something.
The A.W.S. measures 6.5″ with a 44 ring gauge, and comes in two offerings. There is the BA XXI and the EC XVIII made for The Cigar Hustler, but the BA XXI is what I am talking about. The cigar is covered with a Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper and has a binder that is Indonesian. The filler blend is a combination of tobacco from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, and it is a tremendous blend. The construction is terrific on the cigar from beginning to end, and it is a cigar that smokes a medium body and strength level from beginning to end. The flavors are complex, showing transitioning from beginning to end, and the flavors being delivered are that of cocoa, pepper and leather, and there is a nice nutty, cedar and floral quality with them as well. If you are a fan of the Intemperance BA XXI smoke, and you have never smoked this size, pick up a box from The Cigar Hustler. It is truly an incredible cigar and one that every smoker should have.