Cigar Reviews

Adrian’s CroMagnon Knuckle Dragger

By  | 

Getting right back on it this week I am bringing you a review of Adrian’s CroMagnon Knuckle Dragger.

Cromagnon Knuckle Dragger

This cigar is one stirring up lots of talk on the twitter boards as of late, as it is the brain child of one of the #CGARClan’s very own Skip Martin, in combination with Mike over at Adrian’s Cigar. Everyone pretty much within the twitter cigar community knows of both of these guys, and thier superior knowledge in all things tobacco related. Knowing this, combined with Skip’s distinct full bodied blends of choice, i knew we were in for a nice little treat way before hearing any type of reviews.

Cromagnon Knuckle Dragger

The Good Stuff: The CroMagnon line, from what I know, isn’t fully available yet. And when it is, I believe the only place to get it will be direction from @CroMagnonCigar, or from the Hava Cigar Shop (which is an online store that Skip runs ever since the hurricane blasted through his B&M). I picked up the first run sampler pack from Skip a few weeks ago that he calls the “Taxonomy”, and really enjoyed smoking through the entire line. Skip made mention that the first sampler packs were intended for his disposal, but he was so happy with the blend that he couldn’t wait to get these cigars in the hands of BOTL and SOTL everywhere.  The entire selection will have nice “Cro Magnon” themed names and will come in five sizes: The Knuckle Dragger (4 x 52), the Anthroplogy (5.74 x 46), the Mandible (5 x 60 at first release but will be 4.5 x 60 going forward) , the EMH a.k.a the Early Modern Human (5 x 56), and the Cranium (6 x 54) and will run you around six to eight bucks a stick. Today, I decided to review the Knuckle Dragger. You can purchase any of the Cromagnon line direct for Havacigarshop.com.

Size: 4 x 52  –  Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf  – Binder: Cameroon  –  Filler: Nicaraguan  –  Body: Full

Cromagnon Knuckle Dragger

Prelight: The CroMagnon Knuckle Dragger is one ridiculously oily cigar. In fact, this has to be one of oiliest cigars I have ever hand. Just handling the cigar leaves a silky layer of oil on my fingertips. The CroMagnon sports a very hefty, thick, very dark almost bittersweet chocolate brown wrapper. There are patches of darker spots throughout the leaf that covers the body of the cigar. The construction is impeccable. The body of the cigar shows only very small, smooth veins leading up to a nice, rounded,  double cap. It’s worth the note that some of the cigars I received in my sampler pack from Adrian’s actually had triple caps. This Knuckle dragger may have a partially covered up one. I’m not sure if they will be double, or triple, but hopefully Skip will read this and shed some light. The cigar is really firm to the touch, and the wrapper feels very durable.

The CroMagnon gives off a hell of a lot of pungent, sweet tobacco scent with hints of cedar and even a bit of bready dough scent coming from the foot of the cigar. The cap clipped very easily using my double bladed Palio cutter. The cold draw released by the CroMagnon Knuckle Dragger starts off with just a wisp of pepper backed by a ton of sweet tobacco, and some mixed in earthy flavors.

Cromagnon Knuckle Dragger

First Smoke: The CroMagnon kicks out a ton of thick smoke, be ready for it! The first couple of draws surprised me with a nice little pepper punch that was nothing more than a memory after about 5 minutes of smoking. After the pepper faded out I was welcomed to a very sweet tobacco flavor with some very woodsy undertones. I can’t really place it, but it’s not cedar. Something more rich and deep with accents of dark chocolate. As I stated before the draw is very thick, and very easy, you may not want to hit this too many times each draw. The smoke produced is very thick, and very pungent. Although the CroMagnon doesn’t give off a lot of stationary smoke, the draw is enough to annoy the hell out of any non-smoker that may be sitting around you. The ash left behind from the perfectly even burline is a very tightly compacted white with light grey and held on for about an inch before giving way.

Cromagnon Knuckle Dragger

Halfway There: Probably due to the Cameroon, there is this very nice floral flavor being added to the flavor mix into the second third of the CroMagnon Knuckle Dragger. Outside of the floral addition the flavors are still rocking hard with the woodsy and chocolate flavors. There is also a little bit of slight fruit mixed in. This cigar really packs the flavor. The burnline is still dead-on and I’m really not feeling too much strength off this cigar. Sure there is some there, but after so many people made such a big deal about the power this cigar pushes through, I have yet to see it. This also goes along with something I have touched on before. Not all cigars effect everyone the same when it comes to the body of the blend. There has been some more medium cigars that I thought were ass-kicking and just as well there has been some stronger cigars that I thought were less than impressive in the strength category. Cigar smoking is purely subjective from any angle you look at it. I’m just simply stating my personal opinions.

Cromagnon Knuckle Dragger

Finish: The CroMagnon Knuckle Dragger, and every vitola I have smoked, has really taken a long time to get through. These things burn incredibly slow, which usually leads to harshness into the final third. Surprisingly enough the cigar has actually mellowed out a bit into the final third. The flavors are still holding true, but the cigar has gotten much easier to smoke. The dominant flavors are the woodsy and tobacco flavors backed up by soft hints of chocolate, some coffee hints, and even notes of the pepper making a brief re-appearance. The body is still there as well, but it really isn’t anything concerning. All in all the small stature of the Knuckle Dragger took a little over an hour to smoke.

Cromagnon Knuckle Dragger

Overview: One thing I liked about this cigar was the marketing. It was a nice little “CroMagnon” theme and each of the names for the vitolas matched up. Along with the theme Skip and Adrian’s took a very social media heavy approach to getting the word out focusing strongly as Twitter. But, they didn’t hype this cigar up at all. Instead, they let the community know it was out there, gave them the first peeks, and then let Twitter speak for the cigar itself. From what I have gathered, the outcome has been very positive. It’s not about how much you can hype up your blend, its how well the cigar community views it. They will tell you if it’s worth your hard work, and in this case they have. I for one, really enjoyed this cigar. I would have been one of the first people to tell you otherwise too. I know Skip well, and he’s the type that wouldn’t let anything less than stellar hit the market and it shows. The CroMagnon is a perfect full-body, full-flavor cigar that won’t knock you on your ass. At least it didn’t for me. Would I purchase it again, oh I will. Is it box worthy? For sure.

Cromagnon Knuckle Dragger

Pairing: I decided to pair this CroMagnon with an all time favorite, and my all time go-to beer New Belgium’s 1554. 1554 is a traditional Brussel’s style black ale brewed by the New Belgium brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado with an ABV% of 5.6. I smoked a bunch of these CroMagnon’s and each time I kept thinking to myself how awesome they would go with some 1554. The tart fruity flavors, with the chocolate malt and caramel undertones really married up to the similar flavors I pulled out of this CroMagnon. This cigar would also pair great with just about any stout, some black coffee, sweet tea, and even your favorite port.

Cromagnon Knuckle Dragger




Tony Casas is a 32 year old Creative Managing/Webdesigning/Craft Beer Drinking Cigar smoker from El Paso, Texas. When he isn't loving his wife he is either sleepy, hungry, or suffering from a headache.

11 Comments

  1. Dan

    March 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    nice review. I liked the one I smoked also.

    but… I think they should have called the sticks the frazier, the Astin, and the Shore.

    shooosh!

    Dan

  2. Tony Casas

    March 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Bwahaha nice! aww… the Shore 🙁

  3. TriMarkC

    March 7, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    We can really see the oils on this cigar, as you noted. Thanks!

  4. Tony Casas

    March 7, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    TRIMARK!!!!!! EMAIL ME ASAP! [email protected]

  5. Lou Bozzelli

    March 7, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    they look fantastic!!!! i’d love to test them out. let me know if there is a way to get them up to the frozen north. Canadians are always looking for good smokes. isn’t everyone happy to pay $89.00 for a Cohiba Beheke? and that’s the sale price for a single stick.

  6. Skip Martin

    March 7, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Tony

    Great job. I’m glad you enjoyed them.

    As to your question about the cap. This first batch of cigars were intended to be the final samples before we gave the green light for production. As such, a few small differences showed up in the cigars in the sampler. The caps are one such difference. Another is that a few of the cigars had patches and/or blemishes. While these did not affect the performance of the cigar, they wouldn’t have met our criteria for the production run.

    As to the question about purchasing, unfortunately we sold out of our first batch in six days. Our next batch is due mid-March, but may run a little later due to the fact that they are all being rolled by only one pair/two people in the factory. Both are very seasoned Master Torcedores using top notch tobacco so the results will be well worth the wait.

    Interesting factoid, the cigars in the samplers were all rolled by one individual…our factory manager Esteban. He had to get a partner to meet our new production requirements, but they are still working at a deliberate pace of only 125-150 cigars/day to ensure the quality is maintained. The entire run for the first year is limited to 50,000 cigars and the plan is set to receive these in small batches of 3500-5000 cigars per month. Each batch will spend 3-6 months in the escaparate. The cigars we are expecting in March were rolled Dec-Jan.

    Based on the feedback from the samplers, and from our own observations we decided to make only one significant change. The Mandible will be a 4.5 x 60 and will contain a little higer volume of ligero in the blend vs. the original plan of 5 x 60 with the standard blend proportions.

    Once they arrive, the final production cigars will be available for purchase at http://www.havacigarshop.com. We will let you know when this goes live.

    Cheers

    The Chief

  7. Tony Casas

    March 7, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    @Lou – not too sure if they will be shipping to the great white north, but if they don’t, rest assured Ill find a way to get a few up there for ya!

    @Skip – you know, I didn’t run into any patches or evident blemishes on any of the sticks in my sampler. Thanks for clearing up the whole triple cap question. I thought it was interesting. Very cool info. I’m sure I can speak for everyone else when I say that we look forward to what’s to come!

  8. Tadd

    March 9, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Man I hav ebeen lusting after these. Have seen a few comments and reviews and really love the broadleaf…. Great review. You are a lucky S.O.B. N ice to see Mr. Martin personally responding too. He’s got to be good shit.

  9. Tony Casas

    March 9, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Tadd! Shoot me your addy. Casasfumando(at)gmail(dot)com

    I’ll send a few your way 😉

  10. dalamscius

    March 12, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    I need to try and grab some of these at the next release as well, I was too late to the party. Skip’s definitely a great guy so everyone visit his site and throw some support his way.
    Another awesome review Tony, I’ve heard nothing but good things from these cigars so I look forward to trying them out.

  11. jjo

    June 5, 2011 at 2:06 am

    Sounds (and looks) like a winner. The Gran Corona really looks tempting. Guess I’ll have to scrape some cash together for a 5-pack.

    BTW, have you tried any of Adrian’s Costa Rican cigars?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *