About one year ago, Matt Booth’s Room 101 Cigars—which is affiliated with Camacho and manufactured and distributed by Davidoff—launched a new line called Serie HN.
The line derives its name from its Honduran Criollo ’98 wrapper (the “H”) and the use of Dominican Navarette tobaccos (the “N”). Room 101 describes the unique HN recipe as follows: “Honduran Criollo is widely-known for its signature taste—rich, rugged, and filled with intense spice. By itself, Criollo can be slightly one-dimensional. However, when expertly combined with tobaccos such as Mata Fina from Brazil and a creamy Dominican Navarette, the richness and spice of Criollo comes to life in an unimaginable way.”
HN comes in five formats: 213 (5.5 x 44), 305 (5 x 50), 615 (7 x 48), 808 (6 x 60), and Papi Chulo (4 x 42). (The numbered sizes are named for the area codes of Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, and Hawaii, respectively.) Each vitola is made at the Agroindustrias Laepe factory in Honduras with a production run of 20,000 cigars.
I smoked three 615s for this review. This Churchill-sized smoke costs $7 and comes complete with a milk chocolate-colored, moderately oily wrapper that has tight seams, few veins, and a well-applied cap. Firm to the touch, the 615 shows a solid cross-section of tobaccos at the foot, yet it has an easy cold draw. The pre-light notes remind me of baking spices.
Room 101 describes the HN as “multi-dimensional and full-flavored” with “medium intensity” and “a level of balance unmatched by most.” While such advertising copy is usually an exercise in hyperbole, my experience with the 615 is pretty much in line with that description. I would agree the skinny Churchill has moderate strength with full flavors, and the balance is quite harmonious—especially for a cigar that often retails below $8.
The flavors themselves range from roasted nut and woody spice to sweet cream and white pepper. I’ve grown to really enjoy smokes that have a creamy nut characteristic, and the HN 615 has that in spades. The quicker you smoke, the more a cayenne pepper spice reveals itself. In the final third, the sweetness loses ground to earthy, leathery tones.
Throughout the lengthy seven-inch smoke, the 615 performs admirably in the department of construction. I found a straight burn, solid ash, smooth draw, and good smoke production across all of my samples.
I have two more Room 101 Serie HN 615s left from the five-pack I bought, and I plan to try to set them aside to see how age might impact the cigar. More realistically, I’ll likely fire both up before the summer is over. Because right now, in my book, this smoke is worthy of a commendable raring of four stogies out of five.
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photo credit: Stogie Guys