Released in June 2013, this must be one of the Room 101 sticks prior to Matt Booth retiring from the business. I gather he is back now, but will not be re-releasing old blends. So this is one of those rare deals (the only kind I can afford these days). Famous Smoke dumping odds and ends for steeply discounted prices. This 50 count box came out to $3/stick including shipping! The cigar is a cousin of the Namakubi and Daruma also released in limited numbers with a Papi Chulo vitola. I think this is a less “dry chocolate” (Namakubi) and “vegetal wood” (Daruma) and more light brown sugar sweetness. In any case all three are delicious and I am happy to have this deal. Let’s get to the cigar.
Wrapper: Honduran Criollo 98
Binder: Brazillian Mata Fina
Filler: Honduran Criollo Ligero and Dominican Navarette
Vitola: 4″ x 42 “Papi Chulo”
Open the box and what hits you is strongly aromatic black tea along with barnyard, manure, and leather. Wrapper color is medium brown, the pack is even all the way around and medium. The stick is not as firmly packed and dense as the Namakubi. The wrapper has a few fine veins, but everything looks very well made. I did a straight cut, draw is superb for me (I like it on the light side) and stays that way throughout the smoke.
Burn line stays pretty straight. I made minor corrections on one of three sticks I’ve smoked so far. The other two required none. Smoke output is very good, and stays steady throughout the smoke. Smoke time for me about 50 minutes. These smoke a bit faster than the Namakubi or Daruma which are more densely packed.
Flavors: Light on pepper until the final inch when it comes up considerably. Much of it is a charred sweet woodiness or toast and nuttiness combined with leather, brown sugar, and warm baking spices. I didn’t notice a lot of transition. Various flavors came up and dialed back, but all stayed present until the very end when pepper dominated. This is one hell of a great cigar! Buy them if you see them! Another review linked HERE is from Halfwheel.
Strength: A solid medium all the way along
I’ve paired this smoke with coffee (great) and two rums, both having an effect on the cigar. A sweet rum brought out some coffee flavor, and the less sweet rum emphasized the brown sugar notes of the cigar.
Namakubi Ecuador in the small petit corona is at this time my single favorite cigar. I’ve smoked three vitolas of the same blend. The one smoked here is the largest “toro sized” perfecto at 6.5″x52 in the middle. The one I’m smoking today is the last of a box of 10 now about 18 months old. It’s taken me that long to go through 10 as these things smoke slowly for 2.5 hours! I like the little petit corona (4″x42) much better. The flavors in the corona are sweeter and smoking for 45-55 minutes I can get all the way to the nub without washing out my palate. The little one is called the “Papi Chulo” which, I am told, in Spanish is a kind of slang for a “daddy’s girl” if you know what I mean! The picture has images of both.
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
Binder: Honduran Corojo (the binder on the papi chulo is said to be a proprietary “Generoso”)
Filler: Honduran and Dominican Vuelta Abajo
The wrapper and binder in particular come from the OSOK. There is supposed to be a “regular” Namakubi blend, same filler but with a different binder perhaps. A quick google search doesn’t turn up anything definitively different about it.
The wrapper on the perfecto (there are 3 perfecto sizes. I’m smoking the largest one today, but I’ve had both of the smaller as well) is a dark brown color. The corona is a little less dark but this is probably only box variation.
Construction of the parejo is superb. The cigar is heavy and well packed, but the draw, is good. A little tigher than I like, but only a little. The draw on the little corona is always perfect but the wrapper and cap can be a little rough as you can see in the second picture. Both cigars produce lots of smoke, very creamy, earth, hay, barnyard, leather. Occasionally roasted cashew and other sweet burning wood flavors come in and out. As I mentioned earlier, the parejo was a 2.5 hour cigar and by the time hour two rolled around my palate was somewhat dulled to it. But it never completely lost its nuttiness on the retrohale. I didn’t find a lot of pepper here. A little, but subdued all the way along the stick. These do keep flavors down to the end they just weren’t as strong to my palate at that point. That’s one of the reasons I like the papi chulo better. Maybe the bigger wrapper/filler ratio makes it even sweeter and the flavors stick around to the last 1/4 inch while you can still taste it.
But I have to say the perfecto smoked evenly all the way down. These are a pleasure to smoke. The perfectos go for $7 to about $9 depending on the size while the papi chulo go for $6 each. That is a stretch for me in a petit corona, but how can I be without my favorite cigar?