For 2015, Room101 and brand runner Matt Booth returned to the center stage of the boutique cigar scene with yet another attractive and appropriately “funky” release.
For the past couple years, the brand has focused much of its attention on an ambitious trilogy entitled Master Collection. But with the closing of the 3-part series in early 2015, the brand was quick to introduce yet another unconventional limited edition, using sizes reminiscent of their earlier projects that gained their cult following years ago.
While the theme of space has been explored in cigar releases before, Room101 takes a different, more playful approach. Johnny Tobacconaut focuses on a sort of “Intergalactic Johnny Tobaccoseed” (Matt Booth was quoted by Cigar Aficionado). Other colorful descriptions include, “One small puff for man, one giant cascade of flavor for mankind,” “Smoke wagon of funkadelic flavor,” and “Mined and procured from the depths of the seventh planet from the sun.” You get the idea…
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Johnny Tobacconaut Breakdown
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Factory: Agroindustrias Laepe S.A. (Honduras)
- Production: Limited Edition (3,500 boxes of 20 cigars between all sizes)
- Vitola: 8″ x 60 x 44 “Chingonova” salomon
- Price: $14.00
The cigars, like many Room101 releases, are instantly eye-catching and attractive. Though they differ from the common look of oriental design found throughout many of their releases; opting instead for a clean look, more in tune with the recent Master Collection offerings. It’s nice to see the familiar set of vitolas from Booth’s original hits, such as the classic OSOK, return for Johnny T. These skillfully crafted Salomon shapes range from the small Fileroid (a play on the original Filero), to the massive Chingonova (Chingon).
The cigars are wrapped up in tissue paper and further bound in black paper with the Johnny Tobacconaut character largely displayed. Fans will recognize this look from old-school releases such as OSOK, Namakubi Ecuador, and more. When unwrapped, the Chingonova is large and quite impressive—having a skillfully constructed shape with little-to-no imperfections. This is a lighter shade wrapper than you’ll find on many Room101 cigars, looking just a shade lighter than your standard natural. Surprisingly, it is a very light-weight stick for its size, with a medium-to-soft pack.
The wrapper has very subtle aromas, which are of mineral and rain—there is no aroma on the foot, due to the size.
The size also affects the ignition—which is quick, showing a nice, medium draw. My first impressions are of a rich smoke—there’s definitely a lot offered here, now it’ll just be a matter of finding it! There is an impressive amount of smoke on each puff, especially considering I’m not past the bulb shape of the cigar’s foot. The flavors shift quickly at this point, as the ring gauge expands on every puff—showing notes of chili spice, leather, mineral (wet rocks), citrus, and caramel—these are dispersed throughout the entire first inch.
After the roller coaster ride that is the first inch, the cigar understandably requires a touchup—after this, it’s smooth sailing, burning at a steady rate to the band. The general vibe of the cigar has started to settle in, having a medium body, light strength, and quite the unique flavor profile. Now, the heavy mineral overtones I’ve found throughout are picking up a nice saltiness on the finish. The overall flavor intensity is starting to amp up, having a very clean profile, with no unwanted attributes, and a jalapeño spice returning in the retrohale.
Throughout the smoke, there had been a certain note I couldn’t quite put my finger on. It’s a very different profile, but I finally pinned this one aspect down as fresh mountain pine—very refreshing! Around the halfway point the strength has built to a medium, you can feel it in the back of the nostrils on each retrohale. Now the pine is very noticeable, with accompanying flavors of mineral (this never really leaves), creamy caramel, and an interesting vinegar-like tanginess. And just before I put the smoke down, I found a few additional notes of toffee and Frangelico liqueur, pine, and anise licorice.
Would I smoke this cigar again?
I would! I’ll tell you straight out—this is not an everyday smoke. But, not every cigar should be. We need those oddball selections in our humidors and Matt Booth is just the guy to give us that selection! It’s nice to know there are still new ideas out there, with added flavors you may not have been looking for… I would certainly love to try the smaller Fileroid vitola, I feel its shorter size would suit these wacky flavors a bit better.
- Clean & refreshing profile
- Steady progression throughout
- Great draw for its elaborate size
- Some samples required many touchups
- Couldn't retain the FULL flavors found at 2" mark