What do Matt Booth, Robert Caldwell, and A.J. Fernandez have in common?
Alright, well apparently the latest news is Matt Booth is returning back to the cigar industry after a mere 6 months of his retirement earlier this year. Although he parted ways with Davidoff Distributing towards the beginning of this year it appears he has not left the cigar industry permanently, and we couldn't be more thrilled! Based on a an article written by Cigar Aficionado last week, Matt Booth secretly collaborates with Robert Caldwell (Caldwell Cigar Co.) and A.J. Fernandez, a world renowned Nicaraguan cigar manufacturer for two new blends. Booth started out, and still continues to be, a jewelry designer from L.A. who took his articstic talents and used them in the design and packaging of cigar branding and labeling; such as Room 101. Among them they develop two new blends called "Hit and Run" and "The Truth". No Idea if these cigars are anyway related to Matt's return from early retirement, but it's no surprise givin the eccentric nature of both Caldwell and Booth.
When C.A. Asked Matt about his opinion on these blends he said, "I think the boutique segment has changed. Caldwell is the next step in alternatively stylized product, as well as market disruption." The Hit and Run blend is produced at the Williams Ventura factory in the Dominican Republic blended by Booth and Caldwell. It uses an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Indonesian binder and Dominican filler. The vitolas for this cigar range between 46x6 up to a 60-5 1/8 Perfecto. It appears Booth and Caldwell are using the market demand of larger ring guage cigars to their advantage.
The Truth is blended at A.J.'s Factory in Nicaragua and uses only Nicaraguan tobacco, I would presume a little stronger than Hit and Run cigars. It utilizes the talents from all three artisans; Booth, A.J., and Caldwell and is available in 5 box pressed sizes ranging in sizes from a 5 1/2x48 Short Churchill up to a 6 1/2x44 Lonsdale. So far it looks like there will only be 100k of each produced, but Booth has not decided if it will be a running production or a limited production, we hope for the latter.
Due to contractural agreements of non-comptete, these two blends will not have Room 101 Co. written on them, although you can clearly see "101" on the gold band underneath the normal band as well at the Room 101 Tiki Flower motif on the box and cigar bands. The Hit and Run became a success at this year's IPCPR Event and is already on a few retailers shelves in the western U.S. While The Truth is scheduled to release in September of this year.
All in all, it looks like we're getting our old pal back and with Caldwell and A.J. In the same room, one need not wonder any longer on the quality of smokes that lie ahead.
Give us here at Cigar Tipsters your opinion on how you feel about this collaborative trio and the return of Matt Booth.
*photo compliments of Cigar Aficionado.com