J. London was launched in 2014 by Jonathan Fiant at a private club, The Marquee in Houston, TX. The Golden Series was offered lin two vitolas, the Robusto and the Lonsdale. The company added a new size to their Gold Series at the PCA trade show in 2021, Fat Robusto.
This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.
J. London is making a few small production runs of new vitolas before a full launch and just putting them in bundles wrapped with some hand drawn artwork, which is how the ones we are reviewing were presented. When this new size does launch, it will be limited to 750 individually numbered boxes.
The blend for the J. London Gold Series is a double Connecticut using an Ecuadorian Connecticut shade wrapper, Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, and Dominican fillers that were age 3-4 years. They cigars are rolled at Tabacalera William Ventura in the Dominican Republic, the same factory that makes Caldwell cigars. The J. London Gold Series now will have 9 sizes: Robusto (5 x 50), Toro (6 x 54), Lancero (7.5 x 40), Lonsdale (6.5 x 42), Box Press Robusto (5.5 x 52), Belicoso Finos (5 x 52), Fat Robusto (5 x 56), Queen’s Guard (4 1/8 x 38), and the “A” (9 x 45).
Vitola: Double Robusto
Ring Gauge: 56
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Filler: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera William Ventura
Blender: Jonathan Fiant
Number of reviewers: 5 – Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi) Jason H. (Jokey Smurf) Isaac M. (The Nothing) John I. (John I.) Kevin J. (maninblack77)
Age: 2 Months
Release Date: July 2021
Contributed by: J. London Cigars
“This stout robusto is presented wearing a sandy light Connecticut shade wrapper that is impeccably smooth and silky to the touch. The seams are invisible and the cap is perfectly applied.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“The wrapper and foot give off a lot of dry grass/hay notes and really not much else. Was looking for some citrus aromas but no such luck. Let’s put fire to it and see what we have waiting for us!” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“After toasting the foot of this cigar, the initial puffs give off some light sweetness and oaky undertones. Sadly the sweetness falls away a few minutes in and we are left with a wood bomb on the palate. Pushing some smoke through my sinuses I find a nutty characteristic that is very hard to pinpoint. The body and finish of this third are light and dissipates quickly. I am left wanting more…” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“This cigar starts off quite mild, to the point that I have to look at the foot more than once to make sure that it is, in fact, burning. The first flavor I can pick up is a light coffee. Most of the taste of the start can be found in the retrohale, consisting mostly of oak. The flavor slowly builds and brings on a rice cereal before introducing sweet grasses, mild woods like alder and oak, and even a touch of honey. “-Isaac M. (The Nothing)
“There are mostly creamy flavors and background of nuttiness here at the best of times. Those times are fairly limited though. This is taking a lot of effort to keep up smoke production, and the frequent draw is creating a lot of harsh bitterness. It seems to be burning pretty hot without the excessive drawing. Ash is pretty flaky. “-John I. (John I.)
“The profile takes a distinct turn at the start of this third. Bitter tannins and a dry cedar finish dominate the palate. The retrohale has stayed constant, nutty characteristics dusted with cinnamon. This helps the finish get a little longer but ultimately this cigar is turning into a one-trick pony.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“The final third shows again an increased intensity of flavors. The kitchen spice cabinet opens up with complex spice profiles. There are touches of coffee mixed with some green peppercorns. Wood is prominent now on the retrohale.” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)
“Into the final portion I’m seeing the first flavor shift and it is very welcomed! The smoke has suddenly cooled and all of the bitterness has gone completely. In its place is a pleasant peppery spice. Besides the pepper, I’m getting a solid charred wood…not sure if this is because my palate is fried or if these flavors are for real.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“The initial pre-light draws were like drinking a thick milkshake through a straw. During the first third, it got a whole lot tighter. This made me concerned. Luckily that concern was misguided. From the second third to the end of the cigar it performed as it should have.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“The burn was very nice, with a sharp burn line and strong ash that tapped off in solid chunks. No issues here.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“While it was a gorgeous cigar to look at, looks were deceiving. The draw was a tad tight and the tobaccos used didn’t work very well in my opinion.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
Overall Strength: Mild-Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Light-Medium
Experience Overall: 85
“I have to say that this cigar was not my cup of tea. With that being said, the burn and construction made it a winner. If you are a fan of a wood-centric profile with light to no strength, this might be the cigar for you. It can easily be the first cigar of the day with a cup of coffee. I may not reach for it, but many would. Enjoy.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“Based on how this cigar ended I think there is a strong possibility it would have been enjoyable. Unfortunately, the first two-thirds were not good at all for me and turned me off completely.” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“From start to finish this was an amazing cigar, an impeccable cigar. The initial light was a bit mild for my preference, it really grew from start to finish and I found myself having a hard time putting it down. The construction was perfect, The draw was perfect. If my fellow panelists have the same experience that I do then this is going to be one of the highest-rated cigars here on BMP. And I really hope that is the case. This cigar must be enjoyed by everyone.” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)
“Not very enjoyable. I’m not a big fan of milder cigars, and any superlatives in this one were hidden by bitterness and acrid green notes due primarily to a super compromised draw. There seemed to be some creaminess and nutty flavors here characteristic of a milder cigar, but all of the potential goodness was pretty heavily masked by a really hot burn made worse by the need to draw on it pretty much non-stop to keep it going. Unfortunate.” –John I. (John I.)
“I try not to write off Connecticut shade wrappers even though I prefer maduros. I’ve had several great mild cigars, this definitely was not one of them. A one-trick pony so to speak. It was hard to keep my interest when each puff seemed to be the same. To be honest I probably wouldn’t try this cigar again. Just not in my wheelhouse.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 66
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.