Back in January 2019, Cubariqueño Cigar Company released its third limited edition cigar known as the Protocol John Doe. John Doe is a name that fits in with Cubariqueño’s theme of law enforcement. It is the name given to an unidentified male body until identification can be made by next of kin. In a way, this was a fitting name because the story behind Protocol John Doe is that Cubariqueño has said they came into these unidentified and unknown blends. At the time the cigars were announced, with only the size (Robusto) and packaging disclosed of this unknown blend, Cubariqueño sold through 300 ten-count bundles in less than a day. That was one of the most remarkable small batch runs to date. The John Doe was followed up late in 2019 by a Protocol Jane Doe cigar, and now in 2020, there is a Protocol John Doe 2.0. Today, we turn our attention to the Protocol John Doe 2.0 cigar.
Protocol John Doe 2.0 is the seventh limited edition cigar by Cubariqueño. It is unique because the other limited edition cigars were released as shop exclusives to stores in New Jersey or Pennsylvania. This time the release is going to Omerta Cigar Company, which is based in Oklahoma City. This reflects how Cubariqueño has grown as a company over the past five years. Last year, Cubariqueño released four limited editions, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, things have slowed down all around and this is Cubariqueño’s first 2020 release.
Cubariqueño has truly kept its limited editions as “one and done.” Below is the list of Cubariqueño Cigar Company’s limited edition shop exclusives:
- Guadalupe (Berkeley Humidor)
- Protocol K9 (Famous Smoke Shop)
- Protocol John Doe (Berkeley Humidor)
- Protocol Night Stick (Famous Smoke Shop)
- Protocol Jane Doe (Berkeley Humidor)
- Protocol Confidential Informant (Cigars International)
- Protocol John Doe 2.0 (Omerta Cigar Company)
Without further ado, let’s break down the Protocol John Doe 2.0 and see what this cigar brings to the table:
Blend and Origin
As mentioned, the blend details have not been disclosed for the Protocol John Doe 2.0. The cigar originates from Erik Espinosa’s La Zona factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.
Wrapper: Not Disclosed
Binder: Not Disclosed
Filler: Not Disclosed
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: La Zona
Protocol John Doe 2.0 was released in one size – a 5 x 52 Robusto. It is packaged in ten-count bundles. The number of bundles offered to Omerta is 225.
The wrapper of the Protocol John Doe 2.0 had a medium brown color with a rosado tint to it. Upon close examination, there was some darker mottling on the surface of the wrapper. There wasn’t much in the way of oil on the wrapper. There were some thin visible veins and thin visible wrapper seams. Overall this was a wrapper that was on the smoother side.
The band on the Protocol John Doe 2.0 is a blank white paper band. I’ll infer this represents the “unidentified” person of Jane Doe.
A straight cut was used to remove the cap of the Protocol John Doe 2.0. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw experience. The cold draw delivered notes of dusty earth, fruit sweetness, and black pepper. Overall this was a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this time I moved on to toast the foot of the Protocol John Doe 2.0 and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The Protocol John Doe 2.0 started off with more notes of dusty earth, fruit sweetness, and black pepper. There also were some notes of natural tobacco. Early on the fruit and pepper notes took center stage as both notes alternated in intensity. The earth and natural tobacco notes settled in the background. The pepper was powerful on the retro-hale, with a mix of black and red pepper.
The fruit and pepper notes remained in the forefront going into the second third. Both the fruit and pepper continued to alternate at various points during the early stages of the second third. During this stage, the earth notes increased and displaced the fruit notes by the midway point. The natural tobacco notes were more distant.
As the cigar moved into the final third, the pepper notes took control as the primary note. The earth notes were a close secondary note. There still were notes of fruit sweetness and natural tobacco present. This is the way the Protocol John Doe 2.0 came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The burn of the Protocol John Doe 2.0 started out relatively well keeping on a straight track. As the cigar progressed maintaining a straight burn line became more difficult. By the second half, there were more touch-ups necessary. These touch-ups were on the cosmetic side, but the cigar was never in danger of coming off the burn path. The resulting ash was firm early on and became slightly less firm in the second half. This was an ash that was light gray in color. Meanwhile, the burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
The draw of the Protocol John Doe 2.0 followed a similar pattern to the burn. The early part of the cigar saw the cigar have a touch of resistance – which is something that I like. In the second half, I found the resistance to get tighter past the sweet spot. The cigar never went out, but there were a few points where it became more work to derive the flavor.
Strength and Body
Simply put, this cigar is a power-bomb. It’s the boldest cigar to come out from Cubariqueño since the company’s inception. This cigar is full-strength and full-bodied right out of the gate – and it doesn’t let up. It actually gets bolder along the way.
The strength and the body do a good job of balancing each other. Neither had a significant edge of the other.
As mentioned upfront, Protocol John Doe 2.0 is by far the boldest cigar to come out from Cubariqueño Cigar Company to date. When the original Protocol (Blue) cigar came out, it was billed as a very strong cigar. The Protocol John Doe 2.0 is significantly bolder than that cigar. Protocol John Doe 2.0 isn’t the most complex of blends, and it does have a straight-forward flavor profile. The fact the flavor is not sacrificed on this cigar is a positive.
When it has come to the regular production cigars of Cubariqueño versus the limiteds, I’ve seen a significant gap – the regular production cigars are better. While I’d put Protocol John Doe 2.0 as one of the better limiteds Cubariqueño has released, it still isn’t up there with the company’s regular production stuff. Still, if you like a full-throttle, full strength and body cigar with flavor, this is going to be the cigar for you. It’s a cigar that I’d recommend to the experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again – and it’s one I’d recommend one to buy.
Key Flavors: Dusty Earth, Pepper, Fruit Sweetness, Natural Tobacco
Burn: Very Good
Draw: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Minus
Value: Buy One
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop