|Room 101 Master Collection One|
The Room 101 Master Collection One is the eleventh cigar to be released by Matt Booth‘s Room 101 brand. The Master Collection is intended to be a limited edition, premium offering in the Room 101 line. Back in February, we broke news of the release of this line. At press time, we know that there are plans for at least two offerings in this line of cigars as there are plans for a Master Collection Two. While details and a timetable for release of Master Collection Two are still pending, the Master Collection One has recently made its way to retailers. We have recently had an opportunity to smoke the Master Collection One. There is that the Room 101 line has matured over the past four years, and Master Collecton One provides a solid smoking experience.
Master Collection One becomes the fourth line released by Room 101 Cigars in 2013. This marks the busiest year since Booth launched Room 101 Cigars in 2009. These releases include the Room 101 Namakubi Ecuador, the Room 101 Serie HN (Honduras), and the Smoke Inn retail-exclusive cigar Room 101 Big Delicious.
With our further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Room 101 Master Collection One and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Room 101 Master Collection One is being produced at the AgroIndustrias Laepe, S.A. factory in Honduras. This becomes the second cigar in the Room 101 portfolio to use a San Andres wrapper – joining the Room 101 San Andres.
Note: The blend has undergone some iterations since we broke news of this line back in February.
Wrapper: San Andres Rosado
Binder: Honduran Corojo Corte #5
Filler: Corojo, Habano Ligero, and San Andres Ligero (Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico)
The Room 101 Master Collection is being launched in five vitolas. There will be a total of 100,000 cigars produced – with 20,000 cigars per format. All of the sizes will be packaged in boxes of 20 except for Papi Chulo which will be packaged in boxes of 50. Since there is an even allocation of cigars per size, the Papi Chulo will have 400 boxes produced while the other vitolas will have 1,000 boxes produced.
Papi Chulo: 4 x 42 (Boxes of 50)
Roxxo: 4 x 48 (Boxes of 20)
Mutante: 7 x 38 (Boxes of 20)
Sucio: 7 x 48 (Boxes of 20)
Monstro: 5 x 60 (Boxes of 20)
For this cigar experience, we smoked the Mutante (Lancero) vitola. The Room 101 Master Collection One Mutante’s San Andres wrapper has a milk chocolate color. Upon closer examination some darker marbling can be seen. The wrapper’s surface is slightly oily. There are a few visible veins, but there are no significant visible wrapper seams. There is a slight coiled pig-tail at the cap.
The band is has a black background. There is a silver cherry blossom on the front of the band on a black circular field. There is a silver border around the field along with some additional black trim. There is also silver striping going horizontally across the band. On the left side of the band is the text “ROOM 101” in landscape mode. On the right side of the band is the text “ONE” in landscape mode. All of the text is in silver font.
There is some background on the significance of the Cherry Blossom that was provided by Room 101:
This Cherry Blossom represents the ever-changing seasons that are experienced throughout one’s lifetime as well as the concept of a short, yet beautiful life. The tattered leaves this blossom bears signify the storms we have weathered together as a family and those we have yet to weather. Finally, the intact and unblemished core of this blossom represents the unfaltering and un-moveale nucleus of our family unit.
The mon (or kamon) is the format in which the japanese present their family crest. Each is simply beautiful yet complex enought to encapsulate the DNA of each particular family unit from inception to present day.te the DNA of each particular family unit from inception to present day.
The Room 101 Brand implements the Sakura Mon to represent our family unit. The products that bear this mark will be nothing short of our finest works to date. Within them we hope that you can experience a small taste of the journey we have endured to bring these pieces of handcrafted art to you. It is our most humble honor to have the opportunity to have our voice heard and our message received.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As opposed to removing the pig-tail cap from the Room 101 Master Collection One Mutante, I opted to use my usual choice of a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was clipped, I commenced with the pre-light draw. The pre-light draw provided some subtle flavors of cocoa, earth, and citrus-spice. Overall, I didn’t consider this to be a dry draw that wow’d me, but since the pre-light draw is not scored, there is no loss of points here. At this point, I was ready to light up the Master Collection One and see what the overall cigar experience would deliver.
The start to the Room 101 Master Collection One provided a mix of red pepper, cocoa, earth, and some citrus/orange peel. I found the citrus/orange peel to provide more of a sweetness than a sour or acidic quality. Shortly after the five percent mark, the cocoa and earth flavors moved primary while the pepper and citrus/orange peel notes were background flavors. Meanwhile, I could also detect the pepper on the retro-hale.
In the middle of the first third some shifting of the flavor notes occurred. The citrus/orange peel joined the earth notes in the forefront. Meanwhile the cocoa notes joined the pepper as secondary notes. This flavor profile held throughout the second third with the flavor notes varying in degrees of intensity.
As the Master Collection One moved into the last third, the profile definitely became more earthy and peppery. The cocoa and citrus/orange peel notes pretty much dissipated. This is the way the cigar experience came to a close. There were no harsh notes at the end. The resulting nub was soft to the touch, but cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Construction-wise, the Room 101 Master Collection lived up to everything I would expect in a brand’s premium line – and this was reflected in the burn and draw. Little to no maintenance was needed to keep the burn line straight. Except for a little looseness at the beginning, the resulting ash was tight with a bright white color. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
The draw was outstanding to. This lancero did not exhibit any tightness. It provided what I term a “touch of resistance” – something that adds to the cigar experience. This made the Master Collection One a very enjoyable cigar from start to finish.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, the Room 101 Master Collection is not going to be a nicotine bomb. I assessed this cigar to be on the upper-end of medium, just falling a notch below medium to full strength. As for the depth of flavors, I pretty much categorized them the same way – namely medium-bodied just below medium to full. With the Mutante, I actually found this had a touch more strength and body than the Churchill-sized Sucio (which I assessed medium strength / medium-bodied, but further from the medium to full level).
Both the strength and body of the Master Collection One balance each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
Overall Master Collection One has continued what has been a most impressive track record by Room 101 Cigars since 2011. This blend definitely shows the brand continues to attract different pallets. While this is not a Nicaraguan blend by any means, I found this cigar to be the most Nicaraguan-like offering by Matt Booth to date. I talk a lot about the “perfect storm” – meaning when a blend clicks with the right vitola. In the case of Master Collection One, this one works perfect with the lancero. I found this the perfect cigar to recommend to a novice or seasoned cigar enthusiast. As for myself, I won’t say this is my favorite Room 101 cigar, but it’s still one I enjoyed and smoked again. It’s something worthy of a five pack to keep in the humidor.