Johnny O Sublime

Posted: 18th December 2010 by Shawn in Cuban Cigars, Johnny O

Johnny O sublime 6 1/2 x 54

The Johnny O’s were a brand of cigar – if you can call it a brand – that had eluded me until recently. It wasn’t until receiving receiving an asshanding of a bomb from a friend that I was finally given the chance to enjoy one of these smokes, but to me they remain shrouded in mystery. In months passed, I’d only heard blurbs about the Johnny O here and there, some sources said they were simply farm rolled Cuban Cigars, others pointed to a Cuban rolling school or academy as their origin. What ever the case, I know this much, they are Cuban and they are sought after.

Taking a closer look at the cigar, it appears to be a typical sublime. The wrapper sports a golden brown hue with an apparent lack of an oil sheen, the mid rib veining is moderate but I can’t spot any other imperfections and construction appears to be on the solid side with little give to the body.

Pre light: The body offers little when I bring my nose to the wrapper, some cedar notes are apparent but nothing that stands out, bringing my nose to the foot offers little improvement here adding only a hint of spice. A quick slice from my cutter opens up an easy draw that shares notes of the barnyard in addition to cedar with a peppery finish.

Light: The foot toasts and lights very quickly for a sublime but despite my expectations the light has little to no power behind it. The initial characteristics of the draw limit the flavors to a touch of spice at the onset, some muddied floral notes in the background in addition to hints of earth, nuts and cedar. The bouquet of the aroma is superb at the light, rich aromas of vanilla and cinnamon curl deeply into the nose paring superbly with the draw.

First Third: 15 minutes in and the smoke output is absolutely amazing, with every slight tug rich creamy swathes laden with vanilla, cinnamon, nuts, earth and just a hint of black pepper hit the palate. The expelled smoke is surprisingly floral, as I exhale and take the smoke back in through the nose vanilla, cinnamon and nuts take over my sense of smell – wonderfully complex considering it is only the first third. Disappointingly the burn has begun to waver some before transitioning to the second third, until this point it had held a crisp edge by the standards of most Cuban cigars, despite construction issues the ash appears to hold for a good inch to an inch and a half before dropping.

Second Third: About and inch into the second third vanilla and cinnamon are both incredibly abundant. Toasted nuts have begun to make a push to head the flavor profile though earth is still present in the background along with the black pepper kick on the finish – the complexity and strength are really starting to come together here. Taking the expelled smoke through the nose again reveals quite the plethora of floral notes, vanilla, cinnamon and nuts still make up the brunt of the fragrances, although a hint of leather chimes in on the finish. Construction over all has been good up to this point, a slight touch up was needed after the ash dropped at the onset of the second third but nothing overly troublesome and the ash is holding for a solid two inches before heading into the finale.

Final Third: Coming to a close, the strength and complexity are beginning to come to full fruition as I had figured. Vanilla and cinnamon have become virtually absent from the draw, in their place, toasted nuts, black pepper and leather have now taken the reigns. The retro-hale is a little deeper here with an inch left to go, toasted nuts and leather make up what is left of the perceptible fragrances with the vanilla and cinnamon having dropped. As for the construction, the only thing I have to say is to look at the following pictures.

Nubby Goodness

Final Thoughts: A very well blended stick, light but complex, medium in strength but never hot and full flavored until the end. In short I would definitely buy more of these and for the price tag they are very difficult to beat in terms of quality. Get your hands on some of these wonderful Habanos if you can!

Total smoking time was about an hour and 27 minutes.

Thank you for reading.