Cigar Review: Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador Ranfla

Let us begin with defining the word ranfla because I can guarantee that most people who read this review have no idea what a ranfla is. Hell I had no idea when I first smoked the cigar so I had to Google ranfla. Speaking of Google, imagine what I would have had to do to find out what ranfla meant if I did not Google ranfla on my iPhone. I mean seriously, what did we do before Google? I think it is safe to say that I would have been fucked. And no, not proper fucked. Anyways, a ranfla is a vehicle, preferable a Chevy, that is low riding and has been majorly fixed up. Quoting the band War, “All my friends know the low rider. The low rider is a little higher” Enough with this ramble though, let us begin talking about some Namakubi Ecuador action.
As I mentioned in my earlier review of the Namakubi Ecuador Filero, the Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador is the newest creation from Matt Booth, and is a cigar that brings together a core line and a previous limited edition line. The cigar is a limited edition project with production limited to a total of 100,000 cigars, and is divided in a way with the Papi Chulo version getting the most. The cigar is packed in Namakubi boxes with the Namakubi band, but comes with an additional Ecuador band and Samurai packaging on the cigar. There are four vitolas in the lines; two identical to the original O.S.O.K. release, one new figurado, and the infamous Papi Chulo. Three of the four sizes come in boxes of ten while the Papi Chulo comes in boxes of 50.
The Ranfla is one of the two larger vitolas in the line, and is one of the three figurados it offers as well.  The cigar measures 5.5″ in length and has a ring gauge that begins at 19, works its way to a 50 in the middle, and closes at a 30 ring gauge. Three of the four vitolas come finished with a wrapping that presents a Samurai style, and has red font over a black background. The cigar has that gorgeous dark wrapper that you saw on the O.S.O.K., and it looks great with the Namakubi band. It has a coloring which is almost Maduro in coloring and it is showing some veins throughout while remaining firm overall. There is an aroma of coffee, earth and leather to the wrapper and at the foot I am picking up aromas of spices, pepper, earth and coffee.

The cigar is smoother than the Filero offering from the get go and it is showing some great coffee, earth and oak notes. There are some cocoa powder flavors present with that, along with some spices, but it is very smooth. I would say the flavor profile is similar to the Filero but much lighter in body. With that smoothness there is a great draw to the cigar which is cool and it is producing a nice bit of smoke. I would say the strength level on the cigar is at a medium body level overall and it is softer than the Filero on all accounts. I am getting some great construction profiles with this smoke and it is producing a nice burn line with a beautiful ash that is showing some predominant charcoal colors. To me the cigar is almost a maduro version of the Namakubi, and not a more powerful version like the Filero.

In the second third of the cigar the flavors really mellow out and it is producing a soft and flavorful experience. The spices are faint on the background and they are afterthoughts to some definite cocoa, coffee and hay notes. There are bits of grass showing up as well with some toasty notes and it is now that I am really picking up those Namakubi fillers in the cigar. The wrapper is playing a nice role and showing some coffee and cocoa notes, but overall I am now picking up more filler tobacco. It is very smooth in terms of body and the strength level at this point is still at that medium body level and not changing much. The construction is terrific and it is great to see that tapered ash grow as a cigar. It is keeping that charcoal coloring and the draw is perfect and cool as well.

When I get into the final third of the cigar the flavors continue to deliver some similarities to the second third but with the diminishing ring gauge I begin to get more of the wrapper flavor profile showing up. There is a rise in the coffee and cocoa notes with diminishing flavors of hay and grass, and there is this core flavor profile of oak, leather and spice with the cigar. I am sticking with my thoughts that this is a maduro version of the Namakubi line with this vitola in the line and it is very smooth. The strength level is finishing at that medium body level, and it is the level that the cigar has been at throughout. The construction is great all the way to the end and it has been keeping that solid charcoal ash with a cool draw and even burn line. The last draw on the tapered head is cool and producing those solid flavors from throughout.

This was a nice offering to the Namakubi Ecuador line and very different I thought to the Filero. I felt this particular size was softer overall and showed more Namakubi traits to it than the Filero. The vitola itself I love and would love to see a lot more cigars in this offering, but I was not a major fan of this smoke in the size. The construction was great from beginning to end and the flavor profile was fairly enjoyable but I personally wanted more out of it. It was not as complex as I would hope for in this cigar, but it was not bad by any accounts. I personally would not pick this size up with this blend again but would love to see this vitola in the Namakubi line. As a cigar it did not speak to me, but that happens from time to time. I think of this smoke as a maduro offering to the Namakubi line and think that it would do well with smokers who want a little bit more out of the Namakubi, but can not handle the O.S.O.K. I give this cigar a solid 89 and it is another example of me breaking my own rules on the review. Once again, I love this vitola offering.
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