Cigar Review: Room 101 Daruma Roxxo

Cigar Review: Room 101 Daruma Roxxo

Room 101 Daruma Roxxo

Size:  Roxxo (4″ x 48)

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano

Binder:  Brazilian

Filler:  Honduran & Dominican

Strength: Medium

Price: $7.25 MSRP

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Room 101 has been on quite a roll for the last year with the release of the Namakubi and the OSOK lines which have been incredibly good, popular, and successful lines for Matt Booth, the brands founder.  For those of you that haven’t met Matt Booth at a store event or promotion, if you get the opportunity to do so, he’s a must meet and is part of the new generation of cigar manufacturers that bring a strong element of their own persona to their branding.

At IPCPR2012 one of the more intriguing releases was the Room 101 Daruma, the follow up to the successful Namakubi and OSOK releases.  The Daruma brings back  one of the successful elements of the OSOK and Namakubi in the Ecuadorian Habano wrapper but incorporates a new Brazilian binder instead of the Honduran binder and incorporates a blend of both Dominican and Honduran fillers.

For this review I chose the Roxxo, a 4″ x 48 as I continue my quest to find great cigars that I can smoke when I cant free up the time to smoke a larger Vitola.

But enough about that, let’s toast the foot!

Grade: 8.6

Pre-Light:  (1.8)  The Room 101 Daruma features a gorgeous dark Habano wrapper from Ecuador that has a bit of mottling, toothiness, and some veins.  The wrapper is fairly dry to the touch without any real oiliness to it.  The band is classic Matt Booth Room 101 in style with a tattoo style cursive font featuring the name “Daruma” on the band.

The scent off the foot is a complex combination of salty and sweet with a cinnamon over a fairly Davidoff-like aged Dominican core.  The pre-light draw offers a combinations of gentle sweet cedar and that Davidoff mustiness.

Burn:  (1.9)  The Daruma Roxxo was hands down one of the best constructed cigars I have smoked this year.  The burn was even with a fairly sharp burn line.  The draw was perfect, with just the right resistance.  The white ash was incredibly firm and even withstood this reviewer clumsily fumbling the cigar into his lap without making a mess! (Yes, I really am that freaking clumsy!)

Flavor:  (2.4)  The Daruma starts off with a pronounced overtly strong floral and earth core with a really nice mild peppery spice that encircles the core flavors.  At about an inch in the musty earthy element begins to smooth out and leaves behind a bit more of a classic mild cedar.  The smoke is rich and textured with strength hovering near the medium point.

Progressing into the second third and the gentle cedar core is the dominant flavor, along with a mildly peppery finish and the occasional citrusy zing that I pick out from time to time in Honduran tobaccos.  The flavors are well defined and crisp,  the strength is medium.  The pepper leaves a really nice gentle tingle on the tongue and through  the sinuses.

Smoking into the last third and the Daruma brings an additional layer of complexity as there is an increase in the sweetness in that cedar core.  The pepper and citrus zing remain as visiting elements.  The Daruma burns cool to the nub.  Strength picked up to the lower ranges of full.

Overall:  (2.5)  Sometimes it’s hard to leave personal taste at the door when doing a review, and for me that was the case in reviewing the Daruma.  Let me start off with focusing on the positives, and they were mostly positives.  The Daruma was absolutely one of the best made cigars I’ve had this year, not quite as impressive as the Goldie from La Palina, but damn good in it’s own right.  Burn and construction were simply fantastic.

For me the flavor was a tale of three thirds and the first third was really not for me.  There was a distinct musty earthiness to the first third that I associate with certain Dominican tobaccos and it just isn’t a taste I care for.  As that flavor subsided in the second third and was exhausted in the last third I found the Daruma to be far more enjoyable.

I do think the Daruma will be a big hit amongst Room 101 fans, and fans of complex smokes.  Honestly, I could see a real niche with Davidoff smoker who are interested in taking a step on the wild side, I could see them loving the Daruma!

Total: 8.6