The story of Johnny Tobacconaut and Room 101 is full of false starts and premature finishes.
Room 101 was born in 2003 by Matt Booth as a jewelry company. In 2009 Matt Booth would hook up with Davidoff in their attempt to get younger and cater to the growing boutique cigar market. In 2017, he would not renew his contract with Davidoff and announced he was leaving the cigar industry. That decision was short lived as he quickly announced less than 7 months later he was returning. Fast forward to June 2022 and Room 101 was acquired by STG where Matt Booth would stay on as Creative Director. Today, the cigar is part of the Forged portfolio.
Today’s cigar was first created in 2015 as part of the portfolio when Room 101 was a part of Davidoff. When Matt Booth left Davidoff the cigar was lost in space. It would return as a limited edition for Luxury Cigar Club in 2022. In 2023, the cigar was launched yet again this time with them being made at AJ Fernandez.
Cigar Review: Room 101 Johnny Tobacconaut
Size: 6 x 52 Toro
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut
Debut: August 2023
Box Count: 20
The Cigar: This is definitely a cigar that doesn’t market itself to the old guard cigar smokers of the world. Every time I see the band for Johnny Tobacconaut I can’t help but think of the MTV Moonman. Utilizing colors of black & gold, the Tobacconaut is carrying a shovel with tobacco leaves out of his backpack. The golden looking Ecuador wrapper has some thin veins with subtle oils. In the hand the cigar is firm, perfectly rolled and hefty in the hand.
The Taste: The cold draw serves up notes of Melba toast, un-popped popcorn kernels and a subtle honey sweetness. The aroma from the foot is buttered toast and cedar. Once the cigar is toasted and lit there is a subtle pepper before giving way to a delicious buttered popcorn taste.
Smoking the first third of Johnny Tobacconaut there are notes of corn, sugar and honey. It’s like breakfast in a cigar. This isn’t to say the cigar is mild, there is some black pepper in the background that is intensified on the retrohale making this cigar medium plus. As the first third comes to a close some vanilla begins to develop and the black pepper on the retrohale becomes more manageable.
The second third sees more notes of corn, sugar and honey with some buttered toast in the mix as well. None of the flavors are dominant but the cigar is incredibly balanced and enjoyable to smoke. It’s one of the smoothest cigars I’ve smoke in some time and as we approach the final third there is some developing earth and nutmeg. The retrohale sees the pepper become more of a white pepper that is smooth on the nasal passages.
The final third sees the sweetness of the cigar dissipate as it becomes more earthy with some elements of nutmeg and smoked cedar. As the cigar reduces in size the pepper fills the nasal passages from the aroma and hefty smoke output. Despite none of the flavor notes being especially dominant and not many changes I find myself not wanting to put down the cigar
Conclusion: This might be the best Connecticut cigar on the market under $20. It’s incredibly smooth and balanced and is everything a cigar should be. While I have smoked cigars that are more flavorful, few deliver the experience of the Johnny Tobacconaut. It’s the third rendition of the cigar, but this one might stick around for a very long time. It’s definitely box worthy and something I picture enjoying fairly regularly on my deck in the summer months. I also have to give credit to the other reviewers in the blogosphere. This cigar was on a few Top 20 lists and it was completely off my radar as it wasn’t memorable enough in its original release from when Matt Booth was at Davidoff. The cigar has definitely changed for the better.
Price: $10.00 (Before any local or state taxes)