Today we take a look at the Room 101 Master Collection Two.
As usual, I’m late and a dollar short on this one. It was released at the start of 2014. So a year ain’t too bad to get around to it. By now, everyone has smoked it and you are yawning right now.
The sizes are: 5 x 60 Monstro, 7 x 48 Sucio, 7 x 38 Mutante, 4 x 48 Roxxo, and 4 x 42 Papi Chulo. Prices are all in the same range as the Sucio. Maybe less on the itty bitty ones.
This is a rough looking character. Giant veins, visible seams, soft spots abound, the filler is not uniform, the wrapper has a mottled russet brown color with a bit of oily sheen, and the triple cap is the nicest thing about the construction.
The cigar is completely lopsided. It has that “Wham Bam, Thank You Ma’am” look to it. No number #9 rollers were even in the same zip code when this stick was rolled.
I’ve had this stick in my humidor for a while. And each time I pick it up; I had no idea what it was. This was a shift in the cigar band for Room 101. It doesn’t say anything on the band but the word: “TWO.” You can’t get any more minimalist than that. I had to look on the bills of lading I keep when I get a bunch of singles to help remind me what I bought.
I clip the cap and find aromas of fresh sweet elements, spice, very dark cocoa, graham cracker, leather, and wood. A lovely smelling stick.
Time to light up.
The draw is good. Sweetness is the main flavor as it starts out. Followed by pie crust. And then a building of spiciness. A slight bitterness moves in. Right away, the char line goes awry needing an immediate touch up. I’m not surprised as this is as slap dash construction as they come.
The black pepper hits me square in the face. Does the 40 in 4.5 seconds. My sinuses drain, my eyes are watering, and my nose is a faucet. That’s right. Take that photo to bed with you tonight.
This is a major honker of a cigar. I either misread what I bought or Cigar.com sent me the wrong size. I would have much preferred the Lancero. And as I look at the sizes, they seem kind of weird to me. Where is the robusto? Where is the Corona Gorda? You either go big or go tiny or go home. So, the schmuck I am, I get the Churchill. I should be here all morning. Good thing I have nowhere to go.
The char line is going to give me trouble throughout the burn. An $11.00 cigar, first of all, shouldn’t look like some homeless guy rolled it; and second, it shouldn’t have major burn issues. I gotta be honest. I run hot or cold on Room 101 blends. I love the two San Andres blends. Probably my favorites. And I’ve written 12 reviews of the different blends. Not all glowing. I’m mainly disappointed in their consistency.
The Room 101 Master Collection Two is turning out to be a nice cigar but after 1-1/2” burned; no surprises.
One of the things I’ve found about Room 101 cigar blends is that several need a lot of humidor time. Old school style. But even after a lengthy rest, they seem no better than they did at a month or two months rest. Back when I had some dough in my wallet, I bought up everything Room 101. Noted by the 12 reviews. And for the most part, Room 101 ain’t cheap. They all tend to run in the $9 category except for my two beloved San Andres blends. They are only in the $6-$7 range and great cigars.
The second third begins.
The construction is just abominable.
A nice surprise: The black pepper is now kicking ass. I love it.
All those listed flavors are nuanced and subtle. Nothing close to being flavor bomb material.
I can actually feel hollow areas in the shaft. Total lack of stuffing the Room 101 Master Collection Two with tobacco. It is light in the hand when it should feel heavy for a cigar this size. Just way too light. This invites problems.
Meanwhile, the flavor profile keeps on chooglin’. Not extraordinary, but very pleasant. It is beginning to take on a dessert cigar quality with all this sweetness.
I reach the halfway point. I’ve invested about 35 minutes in smoke time.
I’ve had this cigar for 6 weeks. This is a re-play of what I went through with some of the other Room 101 blends. 6 weeks? Probably needs more time. 3 months? Guess it isn’t ready yet. And so on.
So let’s discuss price point. One of the most overpriced cigars on the market. $11.00 for this train wreck? I don’t care how good a cigar tastes; lousy cigar construction is a deal breaker. If I weren’t reviewing it, I’d have tossed it long ago and licked my wounds for spending so much on a disappointing cigar.
Maybe, I just got a shit cigar. It happens.
Now I’ve reviewed a lot of cigars lately whose construction was right on the money and who came from the same humidor. It is not me. It is not my fault. Yes, I’ve had a few that failed the construction test. Now if all of the cigars I reviewed had construction issues, I’d look to my maintenance of my humidor. But it has been inconsistent. 80% of the cigars I’ve reviewed have been just fine. The other 20% were disasters. We are dealing with a natural and organic product. Shit happens. Who knows how this happened? It could have started with the manufacturer or the online store, or the postal service. Any number of things could have affected my cigars on their way to me. I have no idea how well they were looked after by the people that had the product before it got to me. I ain’t taking the fall for these problems.
I’m a chain smoker. And I haven’t had this much trouble on one particular cigar in a while. I smoke all day long and haven’t had any problems with those cigars.
I am ranting this because there are some readers who just figure I don’t know how to properly humidify my cigars.
I had no issues with the Illusione Pactum, Militia, Cabal, the Alibi, Ashton Symmetry, and the Guerra Habano. The only problem cigar was the La Colmena in a week’s worth of reviews.
Back to the Room 101 Master Collection Two.
I notice perkiness in the cigar now. Flavors come out from their hiding places.
The heavy doses of sweetness tamp down. It becomes a meatier cigar. Flavors that are bolder are the earthiness, leather, wood, espresso, black pepper, and herbal.
Creaminess shows up for the first time.
I like this flavor profile more than the first half’s.
And just enough sweetness left to make it interesting. The fruitiness is now defined as black cherry with a touch of raisins.
Nuttiness emerges. Along with some toastiness.
These are more stereotypical flavors than earlier but their character is bolder and more interesting.
You probably noticed that Booth has chosen not to tell us what country the wrapper is from. Nothing in my research addresses that. Why hide it? State secret? Don’t let the Russians know?
The Room 101 Master Collection Two finally tastes the way I had hoped. And the bulk of the tobacco seems to be in the upper half of the cigar and is now smoking normally. No rush. I’m just a scoche past the halfway point.
One thing you learn in a situation like this. In real life, I would have tossed the cigar long ago. But by sticking to it, it is now rewarding me with some lovely flavors and character. The balance is nice. But the finish is short.
If the construction doesn’t scuttle the experience, I will tough it out to the end.
The last third begins.
Definitely hit the sweet spot: Black cherry, graham cracker, espresso, earthy, leather, tea, wood, nutty, toasty, and spice.
I fixed the char line for what I hope is the last time. But the 1” above the foot is super soft while the 1-1/4” above the cigar band is hard as a rock.
Good news. The company Charlotte is going to work for is rushing through all the medical tests, criminal background check, etc. to get her on the job for Monday. We are so elated. Plus, C is looking forward to this gig. My poor wife has a master’s degree in psychology from two German universities. And she is going to be head of housekeeping at a nursing home. All that education. But her friends love her because she is a natural therapist. Her father was a psychiatrist with his own clinic for children back in Fulda, Germany.
The friends call for advice 5 times a day. And even scarier is she can analyze someone I describe to her like a pro. I’ve told her everything about my dear VIP Sponsors and she has told me things about you guys. I just sit there and nod my head.
She has also used those skills to allow her to keep her sanity during this period since mid-October when she left her gig at the deli.
Back to the Room 101 Master Collection Two.
The problem with only having one stick to review is demonstrated in this review. This construction problem could be a fluke. But when you have financial constraints, buying twosies of an $11 stick is out of the question.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS