Cigar Review: Stogies 20th Anniversary Cigar by Room 101 (Stogies Exclusive)

Cigar Review: Stogies 20th Anniversary Cigar by Room 101 (Stogies Exclusive)

Room 101 Brand / Stogies World Class Cigars
Country: Honduras
Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua & Honduras
Size: 7” x 48
Strength: medium to medium-full
Price: $10.00

Overall Rating: 9.3

Twenty years ago, Houston’s biggest and best brick and mortar tobacconist began life as a small little cigar shop next to The Palm Restaurant on Westheimer. (Sixteen years ago, I bought my first cigar there.) In the intervening years, Stogies has expanded to become one of the largest single location cigar retailers in the country. Owners, Jorge Ahued and Jordan Finn are both great people who truly care about their customers. The Stogies staff (Jenny, Chris “Chief”, Lara, Andrew) all have a wealth of knowledge, and take their customer service cues from Jorge. So when a shop as special as Stogies celebrates its 20th year in business, it calls for a very special cigar. The Stogies 20th Anniversary from Room 101 is just such a cigar. It is bound to be one of those shop exclusives that people call from around the country to get their hands on.

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Pre-Light: Like many of Matt Booth’s recent releases, the 20th is wrapped in tissues paper surrounded by a larger black paper with a special 20th logo on it. The logo on the outer paper looks like the number 20 inside a fancy oval frame design. The frame and front of the 20th logo somehow calls to mind images of Disney World’s Haunted Mansion.

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Once the paper is removed, most familiar with Stogies, will be surprised to find that the cigar is succio (Churchill) sized rather than a lancero like so many other Stogies exclusives. The black and silver band has a 20 inside, what appears similar in shape and appearance to the Daruma band. A silver secondary band states, “Anniversary Edition” “Stogies” “Republic of Texas” on three different lines, and is much like the Ichiban secondary band.

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The Ecuadorian wrapper is a dark chocolate brown color with a fair amount of toothiness to it. A strong clove note along with a bit of cedar can be detected from the 20th’s wrapper. From the unlit foot comes a mix of clove, cedar, sugar cane and sweet spice aromas. The cold draw allows through hints of cedar, grass, mushrooms, clove and subtle mint flavors.

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Burn: The draw on the Stogies 20th from Room 101 is great, and allows through a good amount of smoke. Even burning from start to finish, the 20th holds its ash quite well.

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Flavor: Out of the gate the Stogies 20th from Room 101 starts strong, with a full bodied character. There’s a wasabi pepper both on the palate and on through the nose. The retrohale is a bit strong at first, as my buddy “Chief” said, “It’s strong, like snorting a line of wasabi through you nose.” I have no clue how he knows what snorting a line of wasabi is like, but I do know that the retrohale starts off strong. After the first  half inch the flavors on the palate mellow out, and the strength tones down to a medium bodied. Cedar, cocoa and baking spices joining a much milder wasabi are the main flavors during the first third of the cigar. At the transition to the second third the 20th develops a pleasing sweetness, with cocoa, cedar, earth, mild spice and pepper being the main components of the flavor profile. There’s an interesting pine note that occurs at the halfway point of the Stogies 20th Anniversary. On the retrohale, wasabi is still quite prevelant, and has been joined by herbal spice. During the second third there is a mingling of cocoa, cedar, oak, hay, herbal spice and mild wasabi. While the Stogies 20th burns into the final third there is developing nuttiness that blends well with primary notes of earth and cocoa. Spice, pine, wasabi, cedar and hay are all also present during the last third of the Stogies 20th. The last portion of the cigar sees the cedar, pine, earth and wasabi to really shine. This is an extremely flavorful cigar.

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Overall: Stogies is a shop with a special place in my heart, since it is where I purchased my very first cigar (a Dunhill Aged Cabreras Tubo) on my eighteen birthday. Along with Smoke Inn, Stogies is one of my favorite retailers in the country. I was really looking forward to the 20th Anniversary cigar, but was a bit apprehensive that I may be disappointed. I should have known better. When I was given the opportunity to be the first to smoke the cigar, I found that it was better than anything I could have expected. The Stogies 20th is a full flavored medium bodied cigar with a lot to offer. The cigar looks great, has top notch construction and is full of flavor. Personally, I will be picking up two or three boxes when the cigar is released at Stogies’ annual Christmas party with Matt Booth. This is one of my favorite cigars Matt Booth’s Room 101 Brand has ever done. Fans of Room 101 cigars will definitely want to give Stogies a call or check out the online store to order a box. (Use the discount code “TF10” for a discount provided to Toasted Foot readers.)

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Pairing: A good sipping rum such as the Kirk and Sweeney 12 or Zafra 21 will pair with the Stogies 20th Anniversary cigars nicely. The Camus XO Cognac will pair quite well. The scotch drinker will find the Macallan 12, Macallan 18, Glenfarclas 12 or Balvenie 12 DoubleWood will all compliment the Stogies 20th cigar.

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On a side note: Stogie World Class Cigars is known for their H-Town Lancero Collection with cigars such as the La Palina H-Town, Tatuaje H-Town, Crowned Heads Four Kicks H-Town and Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador H-Town. Most people would assume that for their 20th Anniversary cigar Stogies would choose to go with a lancero. When asked Toasted Foot why the 20th Anniversary was not a lancero Jorge responded, “We wanted something special for our twentieth anniversary, something that could stand on its own without the rest of the collection behind it.” The Stogies 20th Anniversary from Room 101 does just that, standing on its own as a great cigar while being different from the typical Stogies exclusive.

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Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)

Cigars for this review were provided by our friend Jorge Ahued of Stogies World Class Cigars. Although the generosity is greatly appreciated, it does not effect the rating of this cigar. At Toasted Foot we remain committed to bring our readers unbiased cigar and product reviews.