Announced earlier this year with only a bold image of Room101’s new logo, the Master Collection One quickly peaked the interest of the cigar world. A teaser for the brand’s claimed “best creation to date”, could this be Room101’s next big hit? Of course, it’s clearly evident that the company is perfectly capable of creating fantastic cigars (OSOK anyone?), so forgive me if I admit I was a little excited.
Shortly after Room101’s big announcement, we were given a closer look as Room101 touted the Master Collection as their main attraction during the 2013 IPCPR convention in Las Vegas. Okay, so the cigars weren’t actually on display, simply more of the peculiar packaging chosen for this release. It’s a cherry blossom, in case you’re wondering, which symbolizes “the ever-changing seasons that are experienced throughout one’s lifetime”, according to Room101. I’m not sure if this occurred to Matt Booth (Room101 brand owner), but to the average Joe cigar smoker, the new logo looks awfully similar to a beadle-ridden tobacco leaf… Something we cigar smokers don’t typically want in our humidors, but for you, Mr. Booth, I’ll make an exception.
And now here we are, roughly nine months after the initial tease, with a cigar that, I must admit, looks quite nice in its full form. I chose the Mutante vitola, a 7×38 lancero, because when you are presented with the option of a lancero, you take it. Holding the Master Collection One in your hands, the cigar looks near perfect. The veins are light and the wrapper is seamless, with a small pigtail at the cap. Running your fingers along the cigar, you’ll find no soft areas, it is firm and springy. The San Andres Ligero Rosado wrapper is medium brown, with aromas of light cedar. As far as I’m concerned, this has the look and feel of a great cigar.
The pre-light draw follows suit, it is slightly more firm than the medium mark, giving more hints of cedar wood. Right away, an impressive amount of smoke billows out from the first few puffs. Freshly cracked pepper flavors abound, with a spicy retrohale through the nose. Soon, the cigar’s complexity begins to make itself apparent, as creamy chocolate and woodsy, campfire-like flavors appear. It is sweet and oily on the tongue, with a finish that seems to just keep going.
At one inch in, the delicately stacked ash fell, exposing the oily burn line that wavered just slightly. As expected, the construction was absolutely top-notch, with just the right resistance in the draw, and enough smoke output to drown those tastebuds in flavor! Woodsy zest transitioned to savory meat, then turned to vanilla and light anise on the finish. I love a cigar that evolves, and this smoke seemed to take you for full transition of flavors with each puff.
Nearing the halfway mark, the cigar maintained its steady burn, with the ash continuing to fall every inch and a half. Sure, I like when a cigar’s ash holds solid, providing visual proof of the path it has taken; but when the flavor is there – I’m happy, and that was exactly the case.
The profile of this smoke continued to evolve, and an organic, vegetable-like flavor had caught my attention. The flavor was pepper, but not in the usual sense, this was like a raw, red bell pepper! Combined with the lingering savory quality of the cigar, this new, organic vegetable quality made for quite the experience. At first, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, then it hit me – a brewing stew! Imagine taking the lid off your mom’s boiling stew pot, the steam rushing into your face as you breath in the amalgamation of fresh ingredients… Well, that’s where I was at this point.
Lots of smoke and lots of flavor, isn’t that what we’re in this whole cigar game for? Well this stick has it, oily, white smoke with flavors and complexities to ponder. The woodsy essence had now been replaced with sweeter flavors – chocolate, cinnamon, and oily tobacco. The strength took a back seat on this cigar as the flavors shined, I’d put it at medium strength, full flavor. At about the hour and a half mark, I finally let this cigar rest as the ash neared the band. I like to quit while I’m ahead, every cigar has a point where the flavors turn “tarry”, and I’d prefer not to see that in this cigar.
Would I smoke this cigar again?
Most definitely! As this is another limited release from Room101, I’d say you may even want to get your hands on a box of these babies. I’m glad to see a cigar of this caliber with a fair price tag, with this particular size coming in at about $9, or $180 for the box of 20. It’s also worth noting that Room101 included a 50-count box of the 4×42 Papi Chulo vitola, just incase you want to stock up for a potential zombie invansion…
- Complex, fulfilling flavor
- Great construction
- Multi dimensional
- A bit pricey