Published on August 26th, 2014 | by Siz0
Room101 Master Collection 1
Room101 is definitely a very recognizable brand in the world of boutique cigars. The same can be said of the owner of the brand, Matt Booth. The artistry he displays in his artwork and jewelry is also demonstrated in his cigar lines. While the artwork on this band is subtler then on other releases, it is still stylish and meaningful.
While Room101 has had some notable releases to date, the Master Collection One is touted by the brand as their most premium release. One hundred thousand of them were produced in 5 sizes: Monstro, Sucio, Mutante, Roxxo, and Papi Chulo. The cigar was released in late November 2013.
This particular sample was provided to me by Siz. He picked it up at UPtown’s his local shop there in Nashville.
For being the “most premium cigar to date”, the Master Collection One looks pretty rugged. It sports a dark chocolate colored wrapper that is very rough. It has raised seams, several veins, and looks loosely rolled near the foot. The filler also looks a bit loose. The cap is raised as well. I know that looks are not everything and that I might have just gotten one of the less flattering ones, but it isn’t making the best impression so far.
The band, on the other hand, is very classy. It is black with silver print and trim. There is a Sakura blossom in the middle that has some holes in the leaves, representing the weathering of storms. It looks great against the dark color of the wrapper. The band does slide pretty easily, making it a cinch to remove.
The feel of the Master Collection One matches the look. It is bumpy and powdery with a few hard spots. Surprisingly, it felt pretty well packed in spite of looking to be loose near the foot. I detect aromas of cocoa and earth on the foot. The barrel is the same.
I clip the cap (as usual) and take a few puffs. The airflow is very good. I get some earth and a faint taste of hay on the pre-light draw. No surprise there!
Time to light this Master Collection One up and see how it handles. Using my single flame torch, the cigar lights up easily and evenly. The draw continues to be great, giving off a nice amount of smoke per puff. The burn gets a little wavy but never requires any touch ups or relights.
The ash is mostly white with some gray. It looks really flaky but holds on for 1”. It does fall pretty easily then and for the rest of the smoke. I had to be careful to make a mess with it.
Time for the meat and potatoes: the flavor. The Room101 Master Collection One is billed as a full-bodied cigar and as their most premium release to date. With statements like that, it better perform. Let’s see if it does.
The first third begins with some light black pepper that is spicier on the retrohale. There is also some earth and a faint cocoa and coffee as well. As it progresses, wood notes develop and increase in presence. I will say that the flavor is pretty light overall, but has moments where it becomes stronger. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stay that way.
In the next third, the same flavors are there with wood starting to take over as the dominant note. Just like the last section, the flavor is pretty light. It does flare up at times, giving me the hope that it is about to deliver the goods. But, alas, it always fades away.
The final third is the same as the last two sections. When it goes out with an inch left, I choose not relight it. There just wasn’t enough going on flavor-wise to spend another 20 minutes smoking it.
The Room101 Master Collection One Sucio is billed as full-bodied, but I don’t see it. Though the strength was close to medium, the flavor was mild-medium at best. Smoking time was right at 1 hour 20 minutes.
Would I Buy It Again?
Only in a smaller size.
Is It An Everyday Smoke?
Not for me.
Would I Buy a Box?
No. I would need to try another size or two before buying any of these in bulk.
My experiences with Room101 have been very mixed. Overall, I am not a big fan of their cigars because I always feel like they do not have enough flavor. Of course, the cigars I can think of that I felt that way about were all larger cigars like the Sucio or Mutante vitola. The few smaller ones I’ve had, like the Papi Chulo vitola have always been better. I don’t know if that will be the case with the Master Collection One but my guess is that it’s worth a try.
And before people chime in with the “you probably think it didn’t have flavor because you like stronger cigars” comments, let me clarify. I am not saying it is a weak cigar. I can tell the difference between strength and flavor. A cigar can have lots of flavor but be mild in strength. In fact, I enjoy a cigar like that every so often, especially in the summer. This one just didn’t have enough flavor to be interesting. The finish was short and with the amount of smoke it gave off, I should have been getting something more than I was. Especially at that price! I hope that makes sense