Room 101 San Andres Short Cigar Review

September 28, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review, Short Cigar Review · Comment 

The cigar for this review was provided by Cigars Direct; As always, all reviews are my own.

Wrapper: San Andres Natural    |   Binder: Honduras Corojo Seco   |   Filler: Honduras & Dominican Republic Criollo, Ligero & Corojo Seco   |   Box of 25: $169.00; Single: $7.50   |   Gordo   |   6″ x 60

Room 101 San Andres cigar

Room 101 San Andres (Click to go to Matt Booth’s Twitter)

0/3: Big, pretty much gigantic, cigar, with a matte brown cigar. There are a decent amount of oils on the wrapper with no noticeable imperfections. In fact, this cigar’s looks are about as uniform as I have ever seen. I am worried about the size of it though, I am not particularly partial to larger vitolas.

The wrapper is Mexican and, not too long ago, that wouldn’t have been something that cigar companies would have trumpeted. I don’t know about the quality of Mexican tobacco from years ago but they seem to be pretty good nowadays. And I’ve heard rumors about a major, well respected cigar line having used Mexican San Andres wrappers for years but that’s for another time.

1/3: Wow, a ton of flavors are jumping around right off the bat. Spice, dry earth and some fruity sweetness. I’m liking it very much.

2/3: Sweetness takes over as the leading flavor but the backup flavors of smokiness, earth and some soft spice are strong and provide a strong counterbalance to the sweetness. It’s an interesting mix for what it is.

3/3: The flavors become a bit deeper and warmer during the final third. Fine cigar but without much of a zing at this point. The flavors are about the same as they were in the second third.

4/3: Medium-full bodied with a good draw and a decent burn; the Room 101 San Andres is a pretty good cigar. The flavor profile is straightforward and is tasty enough. I liked the cigar but I’m pretty sure that I would have liked it more in a smaller vitola.

3.5 out of 5 points – Solid cigar with some good flavors but probably better in a smaller vitola

Room 101 Ltd Conjura Edition Cigar Review

September 25, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

Whenever I do a review I do a little search into the background of the cigar. Normally, this stuff can be pretty interesting. For example, knowing the genesis of a particular blend can be informative if not entertaining. This is all the information that I found for this cigar:

 

Saying I found nothing is a bit of an overstatement but I didn’t find much. I couldn’t find a central location for information on Room 101 Cigars, which I find odd since Matt Booth (Boofy), the creator of Room 101, is a genius at marketing and promotion and Camacho, who make the cigars, isn’t bad either. It’s not too important, I guess, as the more recent stuff from Room 101 is pretty popular even without a ton of info on the web.

Take myself as an example. I find the brand interesting and I did like the original Namakubi and Daruma. Now onto this cigar.

It’s a box pressed cigar with a medium-light brown wrapper and good construction. There are a decent amount of oils on the wrapper and the look, beyond the “medium-light brown” descriptor, has a mottled look to it. Alright, enough of this, let’s smoke the cigar.

Room 101 Ltd Conjura Size Chart (click on image for Boofy's Twitter handle)

Room 101 Ltd Conjura Size Chart (click on image for Boofy’s Twitter handle)

Cigar Stats
Vitola: robusto
Length: 4 ¾”
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Rosado (from where?)
Binder: Honduran
Filler: Nicaraguan & Dominican
Price: $79.99/Box of 20 | $30.60/Pack of 5

Taper no more? Fire!

After an initial burst of peppery spice comes some dry, barnyard flavors that are performing decently. There’s also some oak and that peppery spice gradually morphs into a dry spice. It’s a unique mixture of flavors and I’m not quite sure what to think about it yet.

Some sweetness comes on during the second third but the main flavors are barnyard and oak. Spice is pretty much gone at this point. There isn’t a lot of strength to these flavors at this point, which is troubling.

Sweetness becomes a stronger flavor during the final third. I did have to perform one sizable touch up during this third but it didn’t seem to affect the performance of the cigar. The sweetness started to take on a floral character during the second third but it really comes on during the final third.

Medium bodied with a good draw and a decent burn; the Room 101 Ltd Conjura isn’t a bad cigar but just one that I don’t particularly care for. The spice that was present was decent for a while but then it just falls off of the map. What is present is a lot of pleasant sweetness that, while I’m sure some of you will like it, I just didn’t particularly care for it.

87 points

Room 101 Big Delicious Cigar Review

April 8, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

I received a couple of these cigars from Smoke Inn for this review; as always, all reviews are my own.

Just by looking at it you can tell that at least half of the name is true as this is a fairly large cigar. At a little over six inches with a variable ring gauge from 42 to 52, this torpedo has a slight box press to it and a lot of oils on the dark brown wrapper. Oh, and the foot is closed (the wrapper overhangs the end and covers up the opening in the foot that is normally there). It’s an interesting cigar to look at due to these aforementioned attributes but the band, something I detest talking about, is unique.

With demented, Alice in Wonderland-esque artistic renderings of Abe Dababneh (retailer), Matt Booth (cigar maker) and Matt’s beloved dog the band is very different from all the other cigar bands that I can think of. Add to that the font used for “Big Delicious”, which reminds me of some of the fonts that Quentin Tarantino has used, and I have a cigar band that I won’t soon forget. It’s not elegant like an Opus X band but it is definitely eye catching.

The Big Delicious is part of a line of Smoke Inn exlusive that includes: Tatuaje Apocalypse, Tatuaje Anarchy, Arturo Fuente Solaris, Padron 1964 Anniversary SI-15 Maduro, Padron 1964 Anniversary SI-15 Natural and the My Father El Hijo. All of these releases have been enjoyable smokes and if there are still any around you should give them a shot.

Now it’s time for the cigar.

Big Delicious

Cigar Stats
Vitola: torpedo
Length: 6 ¼”
Ring Gauge: 42-52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano 2000
Binder: Honduran Corojo Seco
Filler: Brazil, Dominican Republic Piloto Ligero, Honduran Corojo & Nicaragua
Price: $134.25/Box of 15 | $44.75/5 Pack

Big Delicious Special Site Flame!

Supposedly, the blend for the Big Delicious is based off of another blend from the Room 101 stable. What blend? Is this even an important bit of information? That last question teeters over to the “bullshit” spectrum of question asking as, even though it is a legitimate question to ask, it’s too philosophical. The former question, “What blend?” has more import to it as it makes us (at least me) think about the cigar’s flavor profile a bit more.

As luck would have it (or maybe not), I smoked one of the new Namakubi Ecuadors earlier today (I absolutely love that cigar) and the first few puffs of the Big Delicious remind me of it. I reviewed the original Namakubi earlier this year and thought it was a good cigar and my first couple impressions of the Namakubi Ecuador have me thinking that the Ecuador is a better version. So to with the Big Delicious.

Soft spice, floral notes, some oak and some other flavors in the light flavor spectrum. Clean, crisp flavors throughout this first third.

During the second third the spice/floral nexus becomes more acute and enjoyable. There are also wheat and nut flavors during the middle third as well. It’s an interesting flavor profile that has so far kept me interested.

It ends with a lot of wheat and nuts with some spice mixed in but, alas, it gets overwhelmed by the other flavors. This doesn’t mean the end wasn’t enjoyable, it just means that it wasn’t as good as the second or first thirds (in that order).

Medium bodied with an excellent draw and burn; this cigar started out well, got better and then it sort of lagged at the end. Is this cigar worth smoking? Yes, it is, but it isn’t as good as the other Smoke Inn exclusives that have come out over the last year-and-a-half. It is on preorder right now and they will ship at the end of April and, if you purchase a box, the whole order will ship for free.

Perhaps, my negativity stems from the fact that this is a larger cigar. The maximum 52 ring gauge isn’t that big in today’s cigar world but there was something about it that made it perform like a bigger cigar. And I usually don’t like bigger cigars as my enjoyment tends to flag after a while. Too much of a good thing and all that.

89 points

PS: I stated earlier in this review that the beginning of this cigar reminded me of the Namakubi Ecuador but, after finishing it, I don’t think I was right. At least completely. Parts of this cigar’s flavor profile reminded me of the Daruma but, then again….

Room 101 Namakubi Cigar Review

January 7, 2013 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

For whatever reason I had assumed that I had reviewed this cigar for some time now. I went on reviewing other cigars and then, one day, while smoking another Namakubi, I decided to see what my review said. To my surprise there was no review. I mentioned this at the end of my Top 10 Cigars 2012 post and now I am rectifying that oversight.

This one is the very short vitola, called the Roxxo, and it is easily my favorite in the line. It doesn’t look perfect, perhaps a little rustic. There’s some bumps and veins and the color of the wrapper is a lighter than medium brown color. It has a little bit of oils on the wrapper and looks well made (well made at the Camacho factories by the way).

Here’s a little something from their website:

Although in many ways long gone, Samurai culture is believed to live on in spirit within certain groups. In ancient times when two Samurai clans would gather for competition there was a great deal at stake. Normally, the losing party would die as a result of wounds sustained in battle or be executed upon defeat. The Namakubi, or freshly severed head of the losing party would be prepared on a wooden tray then tagged in a regimented manner and presented to the leader of the winning clan as a gift. We, as modern day samurai, present to you our own Namakubi.

NamakubiCigar Stats
Vitola: short robusto
Length: 4”
Ring Gauge: 48
Wrapper: Criollo
Binder: Honduras
Filler: Dominican and Honduran
Price: $126.00/Box of 20 | $35.00/5 Pack

Animal Farm Blast Furnace!

I don’t get to say this much about cigars but this one has a refreshing flavor profile. Bright flavors but also very strong. Visceral spice, which could be too strong and unruly on its own, is retarded by what I can only describe as minty effervescence (I spelled “effervescence” correctly on my first try! Now if I can only learn how to spell “occassion” [sic]). With the larger vitolas I think the flavor profile skews too far towards the minty pole but with the smaller ones the balance is just right.

During the second third the spice gets notched up a peg or two and vice a versa for mint, which is fine by me. There’s also some oak that comes on during this third. Basically, this is still a bright and refreshing cigar. Very enjoyable.

The final third isn’t refreshing but it’s still enjoyable (to a lesser degree than the first two thirds however). The spice has fallen into this milieu of mint, bread and perhaps a little meat and earth as well. Unfortunately, more flavors doesn’t always mean that the flavor profile has improved; this is one of those times. Still good, I just preferred the refreshing profile from the first two thirds.

Full bodied (just barely) with a good draw and burn; this cigar was a definite joy to smoke during the first two thirds and finished unspectacularly. In no way is that a condemnation of this cigar because even if the cigar had only had the flavor profile of the final third it would have been a very good cigar. Add in the first two thirds, which were excellent, and we have a great cigar.

91 points

Room 101 Daruma Cigar Review

December 14, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

Looking through my past reviews I was a little surprised to see that I have not posted a review of the Namakubi yet. I’m surprised because I really do like that cigar. Maybe I have another in a humidor and, if I’m lucky enough for that to be the case, I will get a review of that cigar up sooner or later.

I was, however, able to find a review I did on the original Room 101 line, which I didn’t love. They are good, quality cigars but it just didn’t fit into my preferred flavor profile. So, what about the Daruma?

First, there’s the name. I know that the word “namakubi” has something to do with beheading so, if Daruma follows in the same vein then its meaning is probably similarly unpleasant. On the other hand, Daruma could mean “puppy dogs” in Japanese (these words are Japanese, right?). [Go to the end of this review for some clarification.]

According to the Camacho website (Camacho makes Room 101 brand cigars and Camacho is owned by Davidoff – just fulfilling all possible fiduciary responsibilities and such) there are five different sizes. The cigar I am smoking for this review is the Roxxo, which measures in at 4″ x 48. The band is stylish and the cigar looks well made. Not very oily to the touch and this cigar is tightly packed.

Daruma

Cigar Stats
Vitola: short robusto
Length: 4”
Ring Gauge: 48
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Cuban Seed Brazilian
Filler: Dominican and Honduran
Price: $130.00/Box of 20 | $33.00/5 Pack

Umami Torch!

Very flavorful beginning to this cigar. There’s a rich sweetness that is buttressed by chocolate and some nice savory flavors. So far (first third = far), the flavor profile is complex and very enjoyable.

The second third’s flavor profile is pretty similar to the first third’s. The good thing about this cigar is that the flavor profile has taken on a granular feel to it. It’s going along at medium bodied.

Chocolate is gone during the final third but the savory and sweet flavors are still kicking around. The savory flavor is close to tasting like an aged steak and the sweetness is close to floral. Very good mixture of flavors and even though there isn’t a lot a change in the flavor profile from beginning to end there is a good amount of flavors going on throughout that I never got bored with this cigar.

Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; this cigar will probably have a certain amount of appeal to just about everyone. This isn’t a cigar that beats you over the head with very strong individual flavors but, taken in totality, it’s very pleasant and interesting.

91 points

PS: Here’s the explanation from the site as to what the name “Daruma” is all about. (And since it’s near the end of the year it’s actually pretty fitting.)

The single eye I have penciled in on my Daruma doll is my silent reminder that I have set a goal that is pending completion. My Daruma will become a bi-oculared character once my task is complete. I have one year in which to complete my task – and if one of my attempts should fall short of victory I will not quit, but rather try again. Because, I know that if I do not give up and my will does not falter it is never a question of “if,” but only a question of “when.” We have named our latest series after the Daruma as he symbolizes resilience – a key ingredient to our success. Use your Daruma to set a goal of your own.

Fill his left eye when you have decided what you will be committing yourself to, his right when your task is complete. As the tradition is to burn the Daruma at the end of the year, take a brief moment to ignite a fine cigar in celebration of your accomplishment.

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