Room101Uncle Lee | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo
Filler: Dominican Piloto Ligero, Honduran Corojo
Size: 6.5 x 30 x 50 x 19 “Perfecto”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $10.00 MSRP
Number of Cigars Smoked Prior to Review: 4
Accompanying Libation: Water
(At the very end, I whipped up a smoothie to put something in my stomach)

NOTE:
THIS IS A DO OVER. THE FIRST THREE CIGARS I SMOKED PRIOR TO REVIEW WERE JUST TOO GREEN. I GAMBLED AND DID SO INCORRECTLY WITH THE CIGAR IN THE FIRST REVIEW. MY BAD.
TWO DAYS LATER AND I LIT UP ANOTHER. IT WAS GREAT.
COULD I HAVE JUST GOTTEN A BAD STICK?
I DON’T THINK SO. JUST STILL TOO GREEN.
I HAVE SMOKED SEVERAL SINCE THE REVIEW AND THIS IS AN EXCELLENT CIGAR. SO ONCE AGAIN WITH FEELING….
MY APOLOGIES.

The Katman

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Today we take a look at the new Room101Uncle Lee from Matt Booth.

BACKGROUND:
As you probably already know, this is another Matt Booth blend. Room 101 has put out a lot of cigars since its inception in 2010. My favorite is still the Room 101 Serie SA (San Andrés)
Uncle Lee saw 5000 boxes of 10 released.
They were produced at the Agroindustria LAEPE S.A. factory in Honduras. Same factory that Camacho and Baccarat are produced. Although, Davidoff is building a much larger facility that will take care of the overflow from the original factory.

DESCRIPTION:

The cigars are very rustic. Sloppy seams. Loads of big veins. But a uniform perfecto shape. The wrapper is a semi oily medium brown with a touch of tooth that is not visible but can be felt with my finger. I like the cigar band. While a bit cartoonish, it is small and doesn’t take up half the cigar. The triple cap is clean but the foot is a bit of a mish mosh.

SIZES AND PRICING:
The Room101Uncle Lee comes in one size only. Most retailers are selling them for $10 a stick but if you look around you might find some for $9.

AROMA AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
Anytime I think I got a hold of something special, I let Charlotte smell the cigars hoping she will someday smell something other than “Horseshit.” Her words, not mine.
She literally had to help me off the floor when she said these cigars smelled like flowers!!!
I, too, smell floral notes along the shaft. There is a nice array of cooking spices at the foot. I can also smell some cedar and leather. On the cold draw, there is sweetness, spice, leather, and strong black licorice.

FIRST THIRD:
Nice draw. Lots of smoke. And a Big Blast of red pepper!
Wow. Immediately, water runs from my eyes, my sinuses clear, and the tip of my tongue burns.

Cedar is very potent from the start. It’s also very creamy at the start of the pepper blast. And that wonderful aroma of flowers transitions nicely to a flavor of floral notes.

Next is a nice sweetness that is a combination of fruit and a proper English treacle tart with clotted cream.
treacle
The fruitiness is berries. More towards blackberries.

A very woody element. plus a big dose of leather. bound into the flavor profile.
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One consistent thing I’ve noticed in the 4 prior cigars I’ve smoked is that there has been trouble in the burn department. Not one single cigar has gotten by without several major tune ups. And no matter how quickly I fix them, moments later the char line dissipates again.

At the 1” mark, the whole flavor profile blossoms. The complexity sinks in with all of its teeth. Here they are: Pepper, creaminess, sweetness, berries, cedar, graham cracker, herbal notes, and a very nice earthiness.

In my earlier review, the spice took a break during this portion of the smoke. But on this stick, the spiciness does not relent. It is a real pepper bomb.
Some smokiness arrives next. And a little touch of pine.

SECOND THIRD:
The first third burns the quickest due to the perfecto shape.
Here we are and I find that there is an excellent complexity at work. Nice balance but a short finish. Gorgeous flavor profile with a long finish. And it is turning into a kitchen sink full of flavor components.

New flavors climb on board: Roasted nuts, espresso, whole wheat bread, and the fruitiness morphs to tart cherry.

What a difference a week made in this blend. Night and day. Sometimes I just get blind sided. I smoke a couple cigars prior to the review and I make the determination that another week should do it. This time, I fucked up.
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The creaminess and spice are Fred and Ginger. Add the sweetness and you’ve got three of the Marx Brothers on a good night.
In the last review, I found the leather element to be too much. This time around it is on the money. Just right. Now where the hell is Goldilocks?
There was also some bitterness in the last cigar. That should have been the big giveaway that the cigar was not ready. No bitterness now.
The ash is hanging tough.

While I am coming to a close on my reviewing days, I have an ace in the hole: Johnny Piette of Prime Cigar Co. here in Milwaukee. He has already sent me some Isabela Serpentine perfectos for review but will need some humidor time. He also will be sending me cigars for review from time to time.
The Room 101Uncle Lee is one of Matt Booth’s finest efforts. And the good news is that I still have a bunch left.

Ever notice that Matt Booth spells Room101 without a break between Room and 101? Hmmmm…The other reviewers choose to spell it Room 101 with the break so if I want my review on the first page of all the search engines, I have to spell it like they do.

The Room 101Uncle Lee is right on track to becoming one of my faves. I have reviewed twelve Room101 blends. Some I liked, others not so much. If you’re interested, just type in the words Room 101 in my search window.

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HALFWAY POINT:
A couple new elements are added to the flavor profile making this ridiculously good.
Here they are: Creaminess, spice, sweetness, oak, leather, espresso, roasted nuts, tart cherry, lemon citrus, floral notes, wood, whole wheat bread, smokiness, and cedar.
Impressive.

The strength started out at medium body. But now it has transitioned to medium/full with accompanying nicotine and 3” to go.

I think Booth made a quantum leap with the Room101Uncle Lee blend. Booth is a young man with plenty of time to develop his talent. Not all of his blends were top drawer. I call it a learning curve. Very few were inexpensive. Although, he did put out some sticks in the $5-$6 range that were excellent. I find that the Serie SA to be one of my all time favorite Room 101 cigar blends.
I never seem to find the Serie SA on sale anywhere.
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The Room 101Uncle Lee is smooth as silk now. Very complex. Great balance. Nice finish.

And just like that, the cigar moves to full bodied. The nicotine is causing me to make oodles of typos I must go back and correct.

I learned how to type in high school. My mother made me take the class in which I was the only boy in it. How humiliating. She told me I would need that skill for college. She was right. So now, I can type around 70wpm. Nicotine brings it down to 15wpm.
In my junior year of high school, my folks bought me a brand spanking new Smith Corona electric typewriter. I loved to write and kept journals. Once I had the typewriter, I was a writin’ fool. If you are old enough to have used one, you remember what a pain in the ass it was when you make a typo. Thankfully, Liquid Paper was invented and I went through bottles and bottles of the stuff.
The char line is on point and hasn’t needed a touch up since the early first third.

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LAST THIRD:
The Room 101 Uncle Lee is uber strong now. This is not a cigar for newbies. The experienced palate will love it. Make sure you have a full stomach.
The nicotine is one of the strongest I’ve seen in many a review. I need a few minutes to walk it off.

This just might make my Top 25 Cigars of 2015. We shall see. It is only April.
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Even though the MSRP is $10, I intend on placing it in “The Katman’s Best 164 Boutique Brands/Blends in the $6-$9.50+ Range.”

The cigar is nicely packed. Allowing for a nice long smoke. With one third to go, I’ve invested 75 minutes.
The flavor profile has not relented. If possible, it is even stronger than earlier.

I make myself a morning smoothie to get something in my belly. Even though it is flavorful, it has no impact on the powerful flavors in the Room 101 Uncle Lee.
The Room 101 Uncle Lee, by far, is the best blend Matt Booth has developed.

My only advice is to make sure you let it humidor rest for a month. And definitely dry box for 24-48 hours prior to the ones you choose to smoke that day.
Based on my earlier review, this is not the same cigar. What a difference!
The Room 101 Uncle Lee finishes without harshness or heat.

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PRICE POINT:
One must come to the realization that the days of boutique brands being in the $7-$8 range are long gone. There are a few exceptions of course. So with that knowledge, $10 is not bad for the Room 101 Uncle Lee. $10.00 seems to be the new $7.00 cigar.

Based on the facts that the cigar is a huge flavor bomb, construction is excellent, and the long duration of the smoking experience, the cigar is worth every nickel.

The only place I can find it online is Cigar Hustler. $10 for a single stick and $9 for a box of 10. But they are sold out. The usual discount stores are not carrying it. Possibly due to the limited edition factor. This cigar might have been meant to be strictly a B & M stick. I don’t know.

SUMMATION:
What I’ve never understood, that as long as I can remember, the Room 101 web site has a Cigars tab but if you click on it, nothing happens. What you will see is a bevy of jewelry, clothing and accessories.
I get the feeling that the artistic side of Matt Booth’s brain is his love for design and the cigar blending is just a sideline.

For my tastes, this is a perfect cigar. I have zero criticisms. I love that it maintains its spiciness at a high level throughout the smoke. But it never shadows all the wonderful flavors. How does he do that?
The strength is a bit much for me. Not a criticism. Just an observation. If nicotine hadn’t played such a big part in the last third, I probably wouldn’t have minded the strength.

The Room 101 Uncle Lee is a smooth blend. It would have been just as good without a kitchen sink full of flavor elements. The earthiness of the tobacco carries a lot of the load.
I highly recommend the Uncle Lee. Now the trick is to find some.
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More Rock n Roll:

I made contact again with The Police drummer Stewart Copeland a couple years after the Santa Barbara experience (Read it in the Crux Bull & Bear review)
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It was the Hollywood party to celebrate the album “Zenyatta Mondata” going platinum.
I tried to get a hold of Stew, and his brother Miles, but they didn’t take my calls. This was the tip off but I ignored it.
I had a couple good buddies that were big time L.A. radio disk jockeys. To be honest, they were more my friends because I had to use coke to grease the wheels to get my Eddie Munster single played. But they did their best to appear sincere.

Anyway, Bill the DJ asked if I wanted to go the party that I couldn’t get in to. He had a pair of tickets and I gladly went. He would rather take a source for drugs than take a woman.
There must have been 700 people at this party right on the Sunset Strip. I finally found Stew and asked him to come with me and let’s kibitz. He looked like a wild man and said he would be right back. His eyes were dilated to the size of dinner plates.

What I didn’t know at that particular moment was that he was nearly overdosing on cocaine. He had those weird sensations of you must keep moving. One cannot even carry on a conversation whey you are that high. He ran through the party, continuously, like a video game. He kept blowing me off. I got pissed. Bill told me to calm down.

I found Sting who was wandering around the party. He had some force field around him because no one dared to approach him. I did.
I re-introduced myself and he remembered me. He was kind and generous and we spoke for a few minutes.
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Then I found Andy Summers and he remembered me too. Curved Air was a big deal. These guys grew up with the band. He and I talked for a good 20 minutes and found ourselves laughing our asses off. Andy was the most down to earth fella of the band. I gave him a single of “Hound Dog” and he took it. A couple months later, I got a letter from Andy telling me how much he enjoyed talking with me and saying how much he enjoyed the song.
CC

After a couple hours of feeding our faces and drinking for free, I sought out Stew to say good-bye.
He stood still long enough for me to tell him that my record of “Hound Dog” had hit the Top 40.
“Well let me be the first to congratulate you!”
I told him thanks but he was just about the last person to congratulate me. “See ya chump.”

On the way out, I ran into Miles Copeland. I stopped and he was all smiles. I let him have it and the whole time me poking my index finger in his chest.
DD

Bill had to pull me off of him.
I left that party fuming.
Hollywood types. All a bunch of phonies. I shared a cheap, tiny flat with Stew in Curved Air and we ate together almost every night. Just him and me. I was the bassist and he was the drummer. We were best friends for over two years.
I was mortified that he outgrew me. How can you treat someone that was at one time so close?
When “Hound Dog” hit the Top 10, I called Stew after he was back in London to tell him. It was the middle of the night for him and I woke him. He mumbled congrats and some other unintelligible things and I said good-bye.
He changed his phone number after that.

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