|Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador H-Town
The Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador H-Town is a retail-exclusive cigar to Stogies World Class Cigars located in Houston, Texas. The H-Town introduces a lancero frontmark into the Namakubi Ecuador series. It was earlier in 2013 where the Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador became the eighth line to be released in Matt Booth‘s Room 101 cigar brand. The H-Town becomes the fifth frontmark in this line adding the longest and thinnest cigar in the line measuring 7 1/2 x 38. The cigar will be formally launched at an event at Stogies World Class Cigars on December 19th. Recently, I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the H-Town line extension. When I first smoked the Namakubi Ecuador, I found it to be a solid release in Booth’s portfolio. I found the lancero format to be perfect for this particular blend as I believe this frontmark stands at the top of the Namakubi Ecuador line.
Retail exclusives are not new for Room 101. The H-Town is actually the third retail exclusive to be released by the brand. Last October, Cigar Inn in New York City received the Room 101 OSOK 212 NYC line featuring two original OSOK vitolas and two additional OSOK vitolas. In 2013, the Room 101 Big Delicious, a new blend was released to Smoke Inn in South Florida.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador H-Town and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador H-Town shares the same blend components as the core Namakubi Ecuador blend. While it shares the name Namakubi, the Namakubi Ecuador is a very different blend than that original Namakubi.
Binder: Authentic Corojo
Filler: Honduras, Dominican
The Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador H-Town will be packaged in boxes of 20 (the first Namakubi Ecuador to have packaging in this box size). There will be 500 boxes of this cigar made. For completeness we list the other four vitolas. Three of the four original
H-Town (Lancero): 7 1/2 x 38 (Retail Exclusive to Stogies World Class Cigars – 20 per box)
Papi Chulo: 42 x 4 (50 per box)
Filero: 52 x 42 x 4 1/2 x 42 (10 per box)
Ranfla: 30 x 50 x 19 x 6 1/2 (10 per box)
Chingon: 60 x 44 x 8 (10 per box)
The H-Town’s Habano wrapper is a rich chocolate color with a colorado red tint to it. There is a light amount of oil and there is some darker marbling. There are a few visible veins and a few visible wrapper seams. The cap has a small spiral pig-tail. The surface of the wrapper is somewhat bumpy, but it is not what I would term a toothy surface.
There are two bands on the Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador. The first band is the same one as the original Room 101 Namakubi. This band features a black background with red font. Front and center on that band is the text “Namakubi” in a near-cursive style. Under that text it says “Room 101 LTD” in smaller red printed font.
Directly below the Namakubi band is a secondary red, white, and silver band. There is a large white stripe in the middle with the text “ECUADOR” in silver font. There are some silver stripes that surround the text as well as silver stripes bordering the large white stripe. On the outer side of those silver stripes are two large red stripes.
There is a third foot band that slopes like a bel curvel. It is black with red trim. On the black background is the text “H-Town” in a modern red font with white teim. To the left it says “STOGIES” (in a small white font) and under that is the text “WORLD CLASS CIGARS (in smaller white font).
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As opposed to pulling off the spiral cap, I opted to go with my usual selection of a straight cut. Once the cap was removed, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The dry draw provided me notes of leather, cocoa, and pepper. Overall, I considered the pre-light draw to the Namakubi Ecuador H-Town to be excellent. At this point, I was ready to remove to footer band, light up the H-Town, and await what the overall cigar experience would bring to the table.
One general statement I can make is that the lancero format of the H-Town really changed things up in this blend – delivering its own story for the flavor profile from start to finish.
The Namakubi Ecuador H-Town starts out with a mix of cocoa, citrus, and black pepper. I found that the citrus notes almost had a grapefruit taste to it. The cocoa notes moved into the forefront early on while the citrus and pepper notes moved into the background.
Later in the first third, the chocolate notes became more of a dark chocolate note. The dark chocolate remained in the forefront. The citrus and pepper were a close secondary note.
In the second half, I noticed an increase in the pepper as it migrated into the forefront. As the H-Town entered the last third, the chocolate notes transitioned to more of an earthy note. The last stages of the H-Town had a peppery and earthy flavor combination. There was some spice at the end, but it was not harsh at all. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and soft to the touch.
Burn and Draw
Overall I found the Namakubi Ecuador H-town to perform very well when it came to burn and draw. The burn line remained relatively straight from start to finish requiring occasional touch-ups along the way. The resulting ash was a salt and pepper color. This wasn’t an overly firm ash, but it was not an ash that was prone to flaking or flowering. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw was pretty consistent on the H-Town. It was not too loose and not too tight. For a lancero, I found this to be an excellent cigar to puff on from start to finish.
Strength and Body
Earlier this year, the Camacho brand, for which Room 101 still has ties to announced its “Bold Standard”
campaign. Booth maintains his ties to the Camacho brand by being a part of the “Board of the Bold” joining Camacho brand ambassadors Mike Ditka and screenwriter Rob Weiss. The Board of the Bold embodies the Camacho way for delivering “bold smokes”. I mention this because the H-Town is definitely what I would categorize as a bold smoke. Overall I found the Namakubi Ecuador to be a cigar that was full in strength, and one that develops into a full-bodied smoke. The H-Town follows suit here. I found it to be both full strength and full-bodied. It definitely ranks as one of the more powerful cigars in the Room 101 portfolio. The strength and body counter each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
Lanceros are cigars that might not sell the most, but they have the most passionate and loyal cigar following of any cigar frontmark. Sometimes I think lanceros can be overhyped when they are added as a line extension. In the case of the Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador H-Town, this cigar delivers. The lancero format provides what I term the “perfect storm” in terms of the right size for the right blend. I love the firepower and deep flavors that this cigar brings to the table. The flavors also seemed a lot more mature with the H-Town than when I originally smoked the other vitolas in the Namakubi Ecuador blend. Given this is full strength and full-bodied, I’d probably recommend this to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast. This is a cigar I’d also recommend to a cigar enthusiast who might not normally gravitate toward a lancero. As for myself, this is a lancero I certainly would pick up – and one that is box worthy in the process.
Assessment: 4.0 – Box Worthy
Source: Samples provided by Manufacturer and Retailer (*)
Stogie Geeks Podcast: n/a
Stogie Feed: n/a
* Cigars for this assessment was provided by Room 101 Cigars and Stogies World Class Cigars in Houston, Texas. The samples were received in order to provide feedback. Cigar Coop is appreciative for the samples, but in no way does this influence this write-up.