Cigar Review: Room 101 (305)

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Size: 5×50, Robusto (305)

Wrapper: Honduran “Semilla 101”

Binder: Honduran

Filler: Honduran and Dominican

Strength: Medium-Full

Price: Box of 25, $168

Grade: 8.9

Room 101 was originally founded by musician Matt Booth in 2003. Fusing Asian and West Coast influences, Room 101 made a quick name for unique and relevant design. It was at an after party that Matt met Dylan Austin and others from Camacho; there, they discussed a potential line of cigar accessories that Matt was working on. Discussions from accessories turned to a cigar line, and Matt was quickly immersed in the blending process, visiting Danli, working on design, and ultimately creating what has become one of the most talked about cigars of the year. The best place to follow all of Room 101’s movement is on their blog.

So, as the buzz increased for this smoke, I had to toast one; while traveling in D.C., I found my size, a Robusto, or 305, at a shop in Union Station.

Pre-light, 1.9:
The double banded label on this stick is an eye catcher. Silver and black bands with Room 101 and Camacho Cigars prominently featured, it makes a sharp statement. The band also sports the phrase Born in the City of Angels, which is a nice homage to the designer of this stick. The Semilla 101 wrapper shows some veins and is rough to the touch, which makes it attractive. Dark brown in color, the 101 is well constructed but is a little spongy at the shoulder. I did not pick up a ton of notes on the pre-light aroma, except at the foot, which smelled of sweet but dark tobacco. The cold draw is intense on spice, especially through the nose.

Burn, 1.5:
The draw is good and the cigar toasted well, producing a mouthful of smoke. The ash held well but the cigar did start to burn a little crooked into the second third and required a minor touch up. This is where things went bad for this smoke. It went out about ten minutes into the second third. I re-lit, took a few hearty puffs, and thought all was well. Not true; the smoke went out again after another ten minutes and I had to re-light for a second time. The rest of the smoke burned fine, but these burn issues do result in a significant point deduction.

Flavor, 2.8:
The first full draw on this smoke produced a mouthful of good, dark tobacco and the smoke coated the palate well. The first third was very full flavored with cocoa, no spice, and a really unique peat finish, similar to a nice smooth scotch. The second third was more herbal and light and had a long finish; towards the end the spice started to pick up. I had some sour notes on the second third but I attribute this to the multiple re-lights referenced above. The final third was heavy on the spice, really heavy, and it was almost harsh, but in the end it provided a great compliment to the flavor profile. All portions of the cigar left a hint of sweetness on the lips with the exhale.

Overall, 2.7:
Seven bucks a stick is a nice price point for this very complex smoke. The presentation, draw, and flavor profile really make it a steal in my opinion. The burn issues on the cigar really hindered my overall enjoyment of the smoke, but besides that, I look forward to trying out the other area codes when I get back to a shop with stock. Pick one of these up if you get a chance, it is a unique smoke in regard to the wrapper and blend, and it is one for anybody with a pallet for full bodied and full flavored cigars.

(Total: 8.9)

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