The Room101 Namakubi Ecuador is an extension of the Namakubi franchise. I’m sure many of you have seen this cigar on the Dojo social media app (shameless plug) and I’m pretty sure it may have been Dojo brother Smokey who may have dubbed it the “Chinese Tampon,” due to its presentation (the cigar comes wrapped in white tissue paper that is twisted at the ends). But that may not be totally factual, so forgive me if I got that wrong. Over that is a sheet of black paper that runs the length of the cigar and has red Japanese (not Chinese) writing.
Now that you have an idea of the cigar I just referenced (hygienic puns aside); here comes the Namakubi H-Town Lancero (7 x 38). The H-Town was a special edition production for Stogies World Class Cigars in Houston, Texas that was released in December, 2013. This was a very limited release, at 500 boxes of 20, priced at around $9.50 per stick. The H-Town was packaged in the same format as the original Namakubi Ecuador franchise, with the addition of a foot band that says “H-Town” (Duh!) and Stogies World Class Cigars on the back end of the foot band – so no giant tampon look here. ￼ ￼
As for the cigar itself, this is not the prettiest looking cigar. There are some pronounced veins and it looks a bit lumpy. However, there are no hard spots and that is golden when it comes to a lanceros, signaling that the draw should (hopefully) be fine. A quick whiff of the foot and I smell rich, sweet teriyaki, or possibly a molasses aroma. I straight cut the pig tail cap and take a dry pull and it delivers nice notes of sweet tobacco and wood chips. Now, past experience has taught me to use a soft flame when toasting/lighting a lancero, as to not singe the small ring gauge tobacco.
Once lit, I noticed there is some firmness to the draw, but it is not restrictive in any way. From the start I picked up a real nice, sweet, woody note and some mild pepper. A few more minutes in and I picked up a deep note that was reminiscent of tea. As the first third progresses, a nice balance of leather and floral notes come forward, adding to the complexity of the H-Town. An ample amount of deliciously flavored smoke is being produced; and the mouth feel is somewhat slick on my palate. The smoke feels somewhat meaty and chewy, and the retrohale delivers cedar and sweet floral qualities. ￼
For me, one of the joys of smoking a cigar is picking up transitions and complexity… especially in the first third of a cigar. Towards the end of the 1st third, pepper has really stepped forward, but it’s never overbearing. A sweet, roasted, nutty note enters and it’s tethered to an ever so slight creaminess. The ash is brownish gray in color and fell just before the end of the first third. ￼
The 2nd third takes off with a spicy floral note that offsets with flavors of anise, wood, trace amounts of dark chocolate and a deep, sweet tanginess. The retro picked up a little zing with spice, floral and a sweet, nutty marzipan notes (down right delicious!). The woody note then transitioned into a really nice smoked wood flavor. The burn line on the cigar acted up a bit but did not require a touch up or a relighting. Again, the ash falls close to the end of the 2nd third and is somewhat flaky now. ￼
In my past experiences with lanceros, the last third of the cigar gets a bit hot and the flavors get somewhat muddy. The H-Town never really got hot on the last third and the flavors remained distinctive and enjoyable. The floral notes vary in sweetness with each puff and compliment a nutty note. The smoky wood note has turned into a pleasant charred oak. I will say though, the strength and nicotine has increased considerably in the last third. The retro hits my nostrils with a restrained zing of black pepper and sweet floral notes. ￼
Will I smoke this cigar again?
Absolutely! This was an amazing cigar with depth and complexity.
- Intricate flavors
- Good changes/progression
- Spectacular look/feel
- Somewhat tight draw
- Limited/shop exclusive (hard to find)