|Room 101 mask/logo|
When it comes to the common Mexican wrapper San Andres, I am a huge fan. You are seeing more and more manufacturers use the wrapper on their cigars for Maduros, and I think it is a wise choice. I feel that the wrapper really offers great flavors, and as a Maduro it is very balanced and is a tobacco leaf you can blend very well with. I am not a huge fan of a lot Maduro wrapper cigars to begin with, but when it comes to wrappers that are San Andres seed I am a huge fan. Now, more often than not you are going to see it being used as a Maduro, such as the Illusione Maduro, Undercrown, and the Triple Play by the Turrent Family in Mexico. Even the Padron Maduros are San Andres seed grown in Nicaragua! However, it is not that common to see it be used in its Natural format. Well, the new Room 101 Cigar has and Matt Booth is not your everyday guy. He is on the cutting edge of the industry along with Dion Giolito, Pete Johnson, and a few others, and I can already say that I am a big fan of his work and this cigar. (smoked one already at Havana Phil’s)
This cigar represents the companies sixth blend, and this cigar will be one of three in the standard Room 101 line. Matt Booth really has done an incredible job lately with the Room 101 brand, and I have been a big fan of their newest line O.S.O.K. and the Namakubi line; so when these came in at Havana Phil’s I was the first one to grab one. The cigar begins with a San Andres Natural wrapper, that was grown by the Turrent Family in Mexico, prominent grower of tobacco in Mexico, and then features a Honduran binder, Corojo Seco. Underneath that there is the filler tobacco which consists of tobacco from Honduras and the Dominican Republic, and is Criollo Ligero and Corojo Seco. (respectively I believe.) For this review I chose the robusto vitola, also known as the Room 101 San Andres 305, and it measures 5″ with a 50 ring gauge, you standard robusto. The cigar has a lovely Natural coloring to it, and it can be best described as woodsy in appearance. It is a firm cigar with a lovely cap, and its slightly oily to touch with few veins present throughout.
|San Andres Natural|
I should mention that I love the band on this cigar. It has that image/logo of Room 101 Cigars, and it shows those Far Eastern influences that Matt Booth uses in his lines. Holding the cigar to my nose I get powerful and rich aromas that are earthy and spicy. As I light up the cigar I am immediately greeted with lots of spice notes, and it is that of cayenne, black pepper and Asian spices. Those spices remains throughout the first half an inch, and then I begin to get more flavors added on of wood, rich earth and some sweet notes. There are still some spice levels present, but I find they are much more softer now, very subtle. The first third burns very nice, slightly wavy, but leaves a wonderful light gray ash on the foot that is solid in coloring. The strength started out around full, but it has died down to medium full and is producing a wonderful amount of smoke. When I get into the second third of the cigar the flavors are still quite similar, but they are pairing with their respective parts. The rich earth characteristics has become very damp and sweet, and it is giving off this subtle cocoa flavor profile, and the wood notes are pairing with all those spices from before with hints of leather present as well. It’s really a balanced cigar, and while it is not overly complex, the flavor profile it does possess is very enjoyable. The strength level is remaining at that medium full level, and you can tell the Corojo tobacco is playing its part. The burn line corrected itself accordingly in the second third of the cigar, and it kept that nice solid gray ash as well. As of right now this cigar is fantastic, especially for the price, and I think it is a blend many will enjoy. In the final third of the cigar it is finishing much more stronger than it has been, and there is a nice return of those strong spice flavors from when I first lit the cigar. The sweet and damp rich earth flavors are pairing wonderfully with those Asian spice notes, and cayenne, leaving this hot chocolate flavor profile; and the pepper notes are really playing off the leather and wood notes wonderfully. As I mentioned earlier, the strength level has increased and I would say in the final third that it is remaining at the full body level, and as the cigar is coming to a close I want to light up another one. The cigar began to burn a little wavy again in the final third, but it still kept that solid gray ash all the way to the end, and had a nice cool and flavorful finish.
I really enjoyed the flavor profile with this cigar, and looking at the price point it is a great everyday cigar as well. I never assess the price into the cigar, that is unjust, but for the price it is a heck of a value. It is very different from the O.S.O.K. and Namakubi line in the sense that it is not as complex or “special,” but for what it is, it is fantastic. He really doesn’t offer a standard 5 by 50 size in a lot of his newer lines, and for smokers gravitating towards those standard vitolas, this cigar will be perfect for them. I loved that he showed us cigar smokers how great a San Andres seed wrapper can be in the Natural version, and I am interested to see if other manufacturers begin to show more cigars like this down the road. Job well done Matt, I give this smoke a solid 91.
|Room 101 San Andres 305|