RoMa Craft Baka Jengi
The weather is just rocking’ here as fall is my favorite time of the year. Taking advantage of that I took some time to venture out back today with a RoMa Craft Baka Jengi and a bottle of Firestone Walker’s Imperial Walker Reserve porter.
The Good Stuff:
By now, you should all be acquainted with RoMa Craft’s Baka series. The blend was released at last year’s IPCPR Show. At the time only two vitolas were released, the Pygmy and the Bantu. The plan is to release a new format every year, all in limited quantities. This year the Baka features the Jengi, a 5 3/4 x 46 corona. The blend is quite secretive with the only detail released being that it features a Cameroon wrapper. As of now, the following formats have been released: The Pygmy (4 x 46), The Bantu (4 x 52) and the Jengi (5 3/4 x 46). The Pygmy comes packaged in boxes of 30 while the Bantu and Jengi come packaged in boxes of 24 ranging between $9.25 and $11.40 a stick. I got mine over from our good friends at Cigars International who still have some in stock while I am writing this, but I would imagine will sell out any day now.
- Size: 5 3/4 x 46
- Wrapper: Cameroon
- Binder: Undisclosed
- Filler: Undisclosed
- Body: Full
- Strength: Medium
- Price: $11.40
- Pairing: Firestone Walker Imperial Walker Reserver (Imperial Porter 12.5% ABV)
The RoMa Craft Baka Jengi starts out with a very dark brown wrapper with scattered spots of lighter brown throughout and a nice orange sheen. The wrapper’s texture is very firm and dense with a ton of gritty tooth and natural oils. The wrapper is laid seamlessly over itself showcasing some smaller veins and lots of natural tobacco leaf webbing. The slender body of the cigar leads up to a round, double-wrapped cap before being polished off by the standard maroon and white band which features the “BAKA” crest embossed across the front.
The wrapper on the Baka Jengi gives off a very nice cocoa aroma while the foot of the cigar is much more natural with earthy and spice notes. The cap cut clean and easily using my Xikar XO double bladed cutter. The cold draw produces notes of almond, cocoa and natural tobacco flavors.
The RoMa Craft Baka Jengi starts out running with a light blast of black pepper which fades almost immediately after the first draw allowing the cigar to showcase bold notes of oak, almond, and musk over dark chocolate and honey. There is a nice little floral touch that peeks it’s head in every now and again. The draw is absolutely perfect as each puff kicks out a thick cloud of white smoke which hangs around for quite some time before dissipating while the cigar itself releases a standard amount of stationary smoke as it rests in my ashtray. The burnline is razor sharp and dead even leaving behind a trail of tightly compacted light gray ash which held on for an inch before falling into my ashtray.
Into the second third of the RoMa Craft Baka Jengi and the dark chocolate flavor has began to lead the charge backed by almond, oak and musk with light floral and honey. There is also a nice herb flavor in there, almost tea-ish. The retrohale is really nice and clean while it brings out a nice spice thats not really present in the standard experience. The burn line is still dead even and I close out the second third with a nothing in terms of a nicotine kick.
Into the final third of the RoMa Craft Baka Jengi and man, the oak and dark chocolate have really taken over the flavor profile. Underneath it are soft mixtures of musk, almond, and honey at this point. The cigar started in the medium/full bodied arena and finished full bodied. It took me an hour and a half to smoke this cigar down to the nub and I loved every second of it. I experienced no harshness, nor extended heat and close out with only a very minor nicotine kick.
I am a big fan of RoMa Craft’s cigars and there is no hiding that. While I smoked quite a few Baka last year, I never got around to reviewing them. I just kept smoking them thinking “It’s ok, you can just grab more when you’re ready to review them”, and then suddenly they were gone. Not making the same mistake with the Jengi I am glad to finally give my thoughts on this cigar. Plain and simple, I absolutely loved it. The whole Full-Body, Medium-Strength combination is my preference and this flavor profile is incredible. Its complex, yet easy to pick apart. The chocolate and oak flavors really appease my personal profile. All while delivering a flawless smoking experience. The only gripe I have is the availability, but that just means I need to buy more up front and make them last right? Box-worthy for sure.
This week I decided to pair this cigar with a special beer, Firestone Walker’s Imperial Walker Reserve. Brewed at the Firestone Walker brewery in California, this barrel aged porter comes in at a comfortable 12.5% ABV. This beer leads with tons of oak, caramel, coconut, and malt with a very heavy mouthfeel before finishing with more caramel, oak, vanilla, and a an interesting cola aftertaste. The oak, malt, and caramel really married up well with the existing flavors in the Baka while the sweetness from the beer added the cherry on top of the pairing.