Back in March of 2021, Protocol Cigars announced one of their latest collaborations – the Protocol J-Train – a cigar that pays tribute to John Remer and his Johnny Smokes Uncut Cigar Group. John has been an avid cigar smoker for over 20 years. He loves cigars and his passion continues to grow with every passing year. Johnny Smokes Uncut started May of 2020, during the high of the Covid 19 Pandemic. The Facebook Group is Johnny Smokes Uncut and the Instagram page is @Johnnysmokesuncut. In a very short time the group has grown into over 4,300 members, spanning over 78 countries. John goes on live from the Facebook Group several times a day and the engagement is very high.
This is not the first connection to cigar groups for Protocol Cigars. The first was the Fat Ash. The company has released 3 renditions for the Fat Ash Cigar Group and more recently the 5 Families. The 5 Families was a collaboration with 5 popular cigar groups including Distinguished Ruffians, Fat Ash, Smokehouse Gorillas, Sheep Dog, and BOTL PA Chapter. The J Train is the newest addition to that philosophy.
In the press release, John Remer noted:
“I was home like everyone else and wanted to create a cigar group that was a bit different. I wanted to create something bigger than just me. I wanted to create a place where our members can become close and grow into a family through engagement. The J Train was a dream that has become a reality. I couldn’t be happier about this cigar!”
Kevin Keithan co-owner of Protocol Cigars stated:
“John has created something extraordinary here and we wanted to help him celebrate his accomplishments with a commemorative cigar. That is how the Protocol J Train was created.”
Juan Cancel Co-owner and founder of Protocol Cigars said the following:
“Just like with any collaboration, we want to make the project feel special to those involved. We used the J Train theme because it John Remer’s nickname. To keep it with the law enforcement theme, we went with a Police Transit Patch for the packaging. We worked hand in hand with John so he felt like this was his baby! We love the way the cigar came out from the packaging to the cigar itself. We feel confident that the members of Johnny Smokes Uncut will be very please with how it all turned out.”
The (5 x 50) robusto is made at the La Zona Cigar Factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. with a blend described as:
- Wrapper – Corojo, Nicaragua
- Binder – Nicaragua
- Filler – Nicaragua/Honduran
The cigars come in 10-count paper bundles with an MSRP of $95.00 per bundle.
The J Train’s initial release was limited to 200 bundles but more are being produced and I was fortunate to get a couple gifted to me by John himself with the promise that I would review it on Stogie Press, so today I hop on the J-Train and take a long awaited journey.
Did you know that the J-Train (the train itself) dates back over 129 years to 1893 and was then known as the Broadway Elevated – one of the original elevated lines in Brooklyn, NY. After a number of extensions over the years, it now runs from Jamaica Station in Queens to Broad Street in downtown Manhattan with stops in Queens and Brooklyn.
The Protocol J-Train is a well constructed, dark tan cigar that has mild oily sheen and is light on veins. The wrapper is smooth to the touch and the cigar feels solidly packed and has tight seams. A well applied double cap finishes the construction.
A single band adorns the cigar that uses an image of a train car in the background and the name J Train printed in the center with the J inside a circle like that on the NYC subway. On the left and right are shields that are designed like the NY Transit Authority and include the name Protocol with the bold image of J-Train logo in the center with Johnny Smokes Uncut on one side and Transit Division on the other.
As I ran the train along the nasals I noted a mild natural sweetness along the barre, but the foot was what really intrigued me with notes of cocoa and nut notes. These are aroma notes I truly enjoy in the pre-light.
Using my double blade cutter, I sliced the cap straight across the shoulder and gave it some cold draw puffs that built on the pre-light aroma notes with hints of cocoa and nut with an added pepper zing especially n the tip of the tongue.
I decided to use my double flame torch to warm the foot to an even orange glow as I drew in the first puffs puffs of white peppery smoke. Follow along as I jump on the J-Train and take ride with me as I burn this one to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- White peppery notes start the journey
- Underlying natural sweetness jumps on the train early
- Medium grey ash forms on top of a medium thick slightly wavy char line
- Spice notes round out the early profile
- Ash fell in a nice chunk revealing a flat but centered burn cone
- Cocoa nuances join the mix along with a hint of nut
- Slight wave in burn
- Sweetness continues to rest in background
- Noticeable fruit notes join the journey midway
- Leather nuances
- Medium in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 20 minutes
The Protocol J-Train was a pleasant medium body smoke that offered a smooth array of pleasurable flavor notes from foot to nub. A solid core of natural sweetness kept the palate pleased while the fruit notes midway kept it salivated. Though not overly complex it hit the mark for balanced transitions through the burn which for the most part was error free except for a mild wave here and there. The draw was excellent and the performance was consistent across the two samples I smoked. This is one I suggest buying a pack of when the next drop happens and I rate this a 93.
Point Deductions: (-1) Mild Wave; (-1) Flat burn cone; (-1) Medium Grey ash
Bonus Points: (+1) Buy a Pack; (+1) Consistent across Multiple Samples