Hit and Run by Matt Booth & Robert Caldwell
So, you guys should all be familiar with Jeff by now. He’s our honorary Casas Fumando writer, and he kicked out tons of great reviews. If he keeps this up we are going to force him to join us full time. Until then, enjoy his newest “Guest” review.
When Matt Booth of Room 101 fame announced his departure from the cigar business earlier this year, I didn’t think that he would reappear so quickly, but that he has, with not just one, but two new cigars. The first to be released is the Hit and Run, in collaboration with Robert Caldwell, whose Caldwell brand has become a hit with serious cigar smokers. The second line, called The Truth, is due out this month, and is a creation of Booth, Caldwell, and AJ Fernandez. According to Cigar Aficionado,:
Booth plans on producing only 100,00 cigars from each brand (200,000 total) and is uncertain as to whether they will be produced in limited quantities afterward or if these are true one-and-done, limited-edition cigars.
‘We’ll see what the future brings,’ he said. ‘For now, this is what it is.’
Produced at Tabacalera William Ventura in the Dominican Republic, Hit and Run comes in five sizes: Almost Robusto 4¾ x 52, Corona 6 x 46, Super Toro 6 x 54, Piramide 6 x 50, and Perfecto 5⅛ x 60. Coming in boxes of 10, prices run from $10.50 to $13.25.
I obtained a handful of the Hit and Run from our friends at Cuenca Cigars.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Filler: Dominican Republic
Size: Perfecto 5⅛ x 60
Smoking time: One hour, fifteen minutes
Pairing: Boneyard Notorious IPA3 (ABV 11.5%)
The Hit and Run Perfecto is nicely presented in a dark tan wrapper that is mostly uniform in color, save for very slightly darker portions at the foot and cap. While most of the wrapper carries a very slight sheen, the darker areas appear to be a little glossier. A few fine veins are apparent on the fine-toothed surface, and the pack of the Perfecto is solid. There is a little “glitch” where one of the small veins hits the edge of the seam, which you may see in the photos, but I don’t anticipate that to be more than a superficial problem. The main band has a Japanese-style floral mon (emblem) motif, with muted earth tones and gold on a cream-white background, a gold border, and “LTD” and “2017” also in gold. The secondary band sports a stylized “101” in white on a gold backdrop, and together, they coordinate well with the wrapper color. Taking a sniff of the wrapper, I pick up a vegetal earthiness, while I have a difficult time getting much more than natural tobacco from the small open area of the foot. After clipping the cap, the Hit and Run gives up a draw that is a little snug, most likely due to the narrow opening of the foot, and gives up a nice sweet floral spice flavor.
The Hit and Run Perfecto gets off to a rather surprisingly mild start, with earth and oak on top of a natural tobacco base. Pepper is pretty much nonexistent, even in the incredibly smooth retrohale that features a light citrusy sweetness. The burn line is, for the most part, sharp and even, leaving a trail of solid light gray ash. As the cigar progresses into the wider portion of the perfecto shape, the flavors deepen, turning more savory with a bit of saltiness, as leather and toast appear on the retrohale.
As the Hit and Run reaches its widest point, it is still maxing out at a very smooth high-mild to low-medium body, but with enjoyably rich flavor. A floral element, along with the slightest bit of char, has joined in to contribute a nice accent t the experience. The ash has lasted for nearly half the length of the cigar before falling into my ashtray, and a hint of musk has also come into play, while the saltiness has exited.
The Hit and Run enters its final narrowing section with a bump up in sweetness, while maintaining its enjoyable smoothness. Although the info available on the tobaccos used in this cigar sound rather generic, it’s no secret that Robert Caldwell typically incorporates a number of well-aged and rare tobaccos in his blends, and I wouldn’t be surprised if those used in this cigar fall into that category. Either the Hit and Run has suddenly ramped up in strength, or the high ABV of the beer has finally gotten to me, but I’m definitely feeling some effect – probably a little of both. The char has become a little more pronounced, but mixes well with all of the other flavors. With a little over an inch to go, a subtle bite finally shows up in the retrohale. The Hit and Run smokes cool and firm, and with absolutely no harshness down to the nub, winding up at medium in both body and strength.
I smoked four of the five vitolas of the Hit and Run and enjoyed them all (still have the Piramide to go) and would love to have any of them on hand for a relaxing smoke, although this was probably the mildest of the ones I had. The construction and burn on all of them was exemplary, and the flavors and smoothness of the smoke were definitely satisfying. Lovers of big peppery smokes would most likely be a little disappointed by the lack of bombast, but the elegance of the Hit and Run is something that I found gratifying. The price may be a little bit more than I’m usually comfortable with, but I can’t argue that it is worth it, especially when you take into consideration that it is – at least for now – a limited run stick. If you’re a fan of rich and smooth mild to medium bodied cigars, I highly recommend picking up a few to try out while you can.
I now eagerly anticipate getting my hands on the Booth/Caldwell/Fernandez creation, “The Truth”.
I thought that I would take a chance on this pairing. The triple (!) IPA Notorious from Bend, Oregon brewer Boneyard is an extremely rich and hoppy brew with a whopping 11.5% ABV, but I felt that the Hit and Run had enough stuffing to stand up to it. Plus, I had this half-growler for a couple of weeks and needed to drink it up. J Displaying big ripe orange and tropical fruit and resiny dank hop on a fairly heavy nectar-like body that easily counters the bitterness of the huge hop presence, the Notorious is a lush mouthful of beer goodness that will surprisingly go very well with a number of cigars and not just full-bodied sticks. The only downer with the Boneyard Notorious is that it is a limited seasonal offering available only on tap. It matched up beautifully with the Hit and Run, despite what might seem to be an overload of hops and big flavors, but the cigar held its own against the voluptuousness of the beer. As with the beer’s versatility, the Hit and Run will also pair up well with a variety of beers such as a DIPA or Belgian Tripel, fruity bourbon, a Scotch that is low in smoky peat, or Irish whisky.