|Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador – Filero vitola|
At the end of January 2013, Room 101 Cigars began putting out information on a new cigar called the Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador. This would represent the eighth line of cigars released by Matt Booth’s Room 101 cigar brand. During the weeks that followed, information started trickling out about what this cigar would be all about. This cigar would represent an intersection between two popular brands in the Room 101 series – the Room 101 Namakubi and from what we can infer, the Room 101 OSOK (One Shot One Kill). Now that the Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador has hit retailers’ shelves, I’ve had an opportunity to sample this cigar. This represents a very good cigar for Booth and his line – and one that might be his fullest cigar to date. This is also a very different cigar than the original Namakubi.
The original Room 101 Namakubi blend was launched in 2011. That particular cigar was one of Room 101’s most successful cigars – and it finished as our #7 Cigar for 2011. When the original Namakubi was launched, the following information was provided as background for the name:
Although in many ways long gone, Samurai culture is believed to live on in spirit within certain groups. In ancient times when two Samurai clans would gather for competition there was a great deal at stake. Normally, the losing party would die as a result of wounds sustained in battle or be executed upon defeat. The Namakubi, or freshly severed head of the losing party would be prepared on a wooden tray then tagged in a regimented manner and presented to the leader of the winning clan as a gift.
Without further adieu, let’s break down the Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador and see what this cigar is all about:
The Namakubi Ecuador has a commonality with the original Namakubi in that it uses the same filler components. While it was not explicitly said in the announcement, the wrapper and binder parallel the Room 101 OSOK.
Binder: Authentic Corojo
Filler: Honduras, Dominican
The frontmarks to the Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador also represent a cross between the Room 101 Namakubi and the Room 101 OSOK. The Papi Chulo vitola is one that was made available with the original Room 101 Namakubi. The Filero and Chingron sizes were introduced with the Room 101 OSOK. The Ranfla is a new size. The Filero, Chingon, and Ranfla all reflect are some unique diadema shapes.
Papi Chulo: 42 x 4
Filero: 52 x 42 x 4 1/2 x 42
Ranfla: 30 x 50 x 19 x 6 1/2
Chingon: 60 x 44 x 8
The Papi Chulo is packaged in boxes of 50. The three other diadema shapes are packaged ten to a box.
For this cigar experience, I went with the Filero vitola of the Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador Vitola. The Habano wrapper is a rich coffee bean color that has a colorado red tint to it. The wrapper was very oily. There are a few veins and a few wrapper seams. The diadema features a thick “fuse” at the footer of the cigar.
There are two bands on the Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador. The first band is the same one as the original Room 101 Namakubi. This band features a black background with red font. Front and center on that band is the text “Namakubi” in a near-cursive style. Under that text it says “Room 101 LTD” in smaller red printed font.
Directly below the Namakubi band is a secondary red, white, and silver band. There is a large white stripe in the middle with the text “ECUADOR” in silver font. There are some silver stripes that surround the text as well as silver stripes bordering the large white stripe. On the outer side of those silver stripes are two large red stripes.
The three diadema vitolas are also wrapped in tissue paper with a Samurai design paper wrapper covering the whole cigar.
|Tissue paper protects the Room 101
Namakubi Ecuador (Filero vitola)
|Samurai paper wrapper of the Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador
Filero vitola- this covers the tissue paper
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
I opted to go with my usual choice of a straight cut to remove the cap of the Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador. I then commenced with the pre-light draw. The dry draw notes provided a mix of coffee, baker’s spice, and leather. Overall I considered this a solid pre-light draw.
When I went to light up my Namakubi Ecuador, I opted to light the entire “fuse” on the footer. This approach is similar to what is recommended for the Berger and Argenti Entubar. The Entubar also has a fuse that protrudes from the foot of that particular cigar and it has been recommended for the Entubar that the entire foot be toasted. By doing the same on the Namakubi Ecuador, I was hoping to mitigate potential burn issues. This would turn out to be the right approach.
Overall, I found the flavor profile very different on the Namakubi Ecuador when compared to the original Namakubi.
The initial draws to the Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador yielded notes of pepper, oak, and must. The must notes should not be looked upon as a negative as in this case, I think it made for an interesting balance in the early part of the flavor profile. Some coffee notes soon entered the equation. The coffee notes along with the pepper and oak became primary flavors. The must notes became background flavors and were joined by some citrus notes.
In the middle of the first third, the pepper became the main flavor and the coffee notes were a close second. The pepper notes also had a long, lingering finish on the tongue. The must and citrus notes were more distant, but still an important part of the flavor profile.
The spice remained in the forefront during the second third. In addition to having pepper characteristics, the spice now also had cedar and floral qualities to it. The coffee notes were still a close second. The citrus notes were joined by some nut flavors while the must flavors had dissipated. This flavor profile pretty much held for the most of the cigar experience.
The spice kicked up at the very end of the cigar. The end of the Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador was spicy, but hot harsh. The resulting ash was on the firmer side and was cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
When I smoked the Room 101 OSOK, I commented that this was one of the better diadema cigars when it came to construction. The same holds true for the Namakubi Ecuador as the burn and draw reflected this excellent construction.
The burn was low maintenance from start to finish. Lighting the fuse entirely seemed to really help here. The burn line was straight with few touch-ups needed along the way. The resulting ash was firm with a white color. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
|Burn of the Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador|
The draw was outstanding as well. Unorthodox vitolas don’t tend to wow me when it comes to draw, but the Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador was excellent. There was no tightness and no looseness to this draw – making for a very enjoyable smoking experience.
Strength and Body
At the start of this assessment, I mentioned this might be the fullest Room 101 cigar to date. This was especially true with the strength of the Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador. This cigar will definitely have a kick to it. I assessed this to be a full strength cigar from start to finish.
The Namakubi Ecuador starts out Medium to Full-bodied in the first half. The depth of the flavors increase in the second half to full-bodied. This cigar will emphasize strength over body – especially in the first half. The gap closes a bit in the second half. While the balance still leans toward strength, I don’t view this as a negative as there still is plenty of flavor with this cigar.
Room 101 was launched in 2010, and now in 2013 they currently have eight blends in their portfolio. They have a retail-exclusive cigar coming to Smoke Inn with the Room 101 Big Delicious – and they are launching two new blends with the Room 101 Master Collection. Each release of the Room 101 line seems to be finding a different niche – and with the Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador, this brings a powerhouse smoke to the line. I particularly like how the artisian qualities of the vitolas are also not just eye candy, but deliver a great smoke. Because this is a strong cigar, I’d recommend this to a more experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is another quality release by Room 101 and one that I look forward to smoking again.
Body: Medium to Full (1st Half), Full (2nd Half)
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: The cigars for this assessment were gifted by a friend. Thank you SG.