Distinguished Ruffians

Room 101 Farce Maduro

Room 101 Farce Maduro

The Room 101 Farce Maduro has been on my radar (and in my humidor) for a minute or two now so I decided to slip on some open toed sandals (you’re welcome Matt) and get to writing. We all know in 2017 Booth said he was taking “a break” from the cigar industry, or maybe you didn’t know, but it feels like it was kind of a big deal at the time. That “break” lasted for all of about 10 minutes. During 2017’s IPCPR he was there giving the brand a fresh start and working on some projects with others. In 2018 he began laughing his own ideas under the Room 101 name including the brands own premium line, Room 101 Farce. In 2019 he released Farce Maduro which is what we have here today to review.

So, just for kicks, let’s start with how Boofy describes this cigar. “Look at me. The visual of my decadent and oily wrapper triggers a salivary response within your mouth hole. A brilliant spring of neurotransmitters rushes from your midbrain and dives head first into your bloodstream at the nanosecond your eyes make contact with my succulent and inviting exterior. Can you only imagine what may happen once you taste me? Don’t think about it – be about it. FARCE Maduro is the taste grenade you have only dreamt could be real. zzz” Now how do you top that description? Not sure that’s possible but here’s what I thought.

I found the over all look of the wrapper to be dark chestnut in color with a bit of tooth to it. It has tight seams, some slight veining and more of a flat finish. While it might not pair up exactly with the afore mentioned description I found it to be very visual pleasing. The cigar is very pliable between the fingers but feels full with no apparent dead spots. It has a very pleasant odor of cedar, leather and spices. It reminds me of the way an antique book smells when you open it. From the foot I pick up sweat dried fruit and tobacco. The cold draw is easy to the point of feeling too open (which caused an uh-oh moment of concern) and gives flavors of apricot with some sneaky pepper.

The cigar ignites with no issues and as soon as torch hits tobacco that loose draw tightens up and provides the proper amount of resistance canceling out any fears of the cigar being too loose on the draw. The first third brings in flavors of dark chocolate, coffee and pepper. I found more pepper on the retrohale. The cigar burns well and even, the smoke production is plenty to fill “your mouth hole” as Booth puts it.

Reaching the second third the favor settles into a more mellow feel with the cedar remaining but becoming more earthy in taste and a nice bit of pepper on the finish. The retrohale moves to a nice spice flavor. Construction is impeccable with a sharp burn and smoke that doesn’t quit.

For the final third I found it to be nice and mellow with dark chocolate, coffee and nut flavors along with good spice on the end. Now, by mellow I do not mean that it doesn’t have much flavor, it has plenty of that. By mellow I mean the flavors are not fighting with each other and marry nicely so the cigar never tastes harsh while smoking it. The burn line stared even for the duration of the smoke and smoke never fails to satisfy.

The Room 101 Farce Maduro was a lot of fun to smoke. It has a lot of great flavor and the construction is tip top. While the flavors are plentiful I think this is a great cigar for either the novice or the veteran smoker. Take a look in your local B&M and if you see these don’t pass by them you won’t be disappointed to have them in your collection. Along with the Room 1010 Cigars Matt Booth also has Room 101 Brand jewelry line. If you’re looking for some new accessories hit up his site for that too!

Wrapper –  Mexican San Andres

Binder – Ecuador 

Filler – Connecticut, Nicaragua, Pennsylvania

Price: Around $10.00 – $11.00

Website: www.Room101cigars.com

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 pints.

Protocol Themis

Protocol Themis

“Themis (/ˈθiːmɪs/; Ancient Greek: Θέμις) is an ancient Greek Titaness. She is described as “[the Lady] of good counsel,” and is the personification of divine order, fairness, law, natural law, and custom. Her symbols are the Scales of Justice, tools used to remain balanced and pragmatic.” Now when Protocol Cigars named the Themis after this a female version of Thanos, wait that’s the wrong type of Titan… Originally released at the then named ICPCR in 2017 the Themis is an addition to their line blended in part by one of Cubariqueño’s partners William Agathis who worked closely with Hector Alfonso Sr., Director of Operations at Espinosa Premium Cigars. Naming this cigar Themis is a pretty bold statement given what she stands for, balance, equality, order. This cigar has a lot to live up to for this name, lets see how it does.

The look of the cigar is a muted light brown color, like tea with a bit of cream added to it. The wrapper is mostly smooth with some visible veining and a soft powdery finish. The seams are snug, the body is firm to the touch and there are no apparent dead spots. The smell from the body is faint and there’s nothing much that can be described there, from the foot I notice a some floral notes and light spices. The cold draw gives flavors of bread and butter with a hint of pepper.

For the first third there I notice some creaminess to the cigar, a bit of toasted wood and a light pepper flavor on the back. The cigar burns evenly with no issues and the smoke is light and plentiful.

Moving into the second third more of the creamy goodness from the first is there, this cigar is almost like smoking butter. The pepper does start to stand out a bit more on the back of the pallet. It’s not over powering just enough to let you know it’s there. The burn stays true and the smoke production is plentiful.

In the final third the spice picks up a bit, and the buttery toast flavor with cream remains consistent. The burn is sharp throughout the entire cigar (only one out of 4 did I have an issue with and it was a particularly windy day so I will name that as the culprit) and the amount of smoke is more than satisfying.

For me I found this cigar to be around a medium in intensity and is a great morning cigar or if you’re looking for something a bit on the lighter side to smoke in the evening. It has a flavor profile that can be easily appreciated by both the novice and seasoned smoker and would pair well with just about anything you put it up against. While I did not find much flavor change from start to finish this is not a bad thing. Perhaps that’s why it was named Themis, it’s a well balanced cigar that carries its flavor and texture from start to finish. Or maybe I’m like Mr. Fantastic and that’s a stretch. (Sorry everybody, we’ve been re-watching all the Marvel movies again recently.) Either way when you see these make sure to pick some up because you won’t regret having these on hand.

Wrapper –  Ecuadorian Connecticut

Binder – Nicaraguan

Filler – Nicaraguan

Price: Around $10.00

Website: https://www.cubariqueno.com

Rating: 4.3 out of 5 pints

Undercrown 10

Undercrown 10

What better way to celebrate an anniversary than with making a new and better blend. Drew Estate has done just that with the Undercrown 10. I’m sure most of us remember when he original Undercrown came out offering a less expensive alternative to the Liga Privada No. 9 and T-52. Created, almost out of necessity, by the blending team when told they could no longer smoke Ligas, as an effort to keep enough product to fill orders. Because of it being such a grassroots creation the Undecrown was labeled as being “Born On The Factory Floor” and since then there has been the addition of the Undercrown Shade and Undercrown Sungrown and now a fourth has been added to the regular production line with the Undercrown 10. “Like all other Undercrown cigars, Undercrown 10 is born on the factory floor and celebrates Nicaraguan tobacco heritage and the people who work at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, but Undercrown 10 is just a little bit more special than the other cigars in the line. Anticipate a cigar with tobaccos that are aged a little longer than other Undercrown cigar tobaccos. Expect a cigar that’s spicier and bolder than other Undercrown offerings too.” The Undercrown 10 is different than the original with its use of a more premium selection of the San Andrés maduro wrapper seen on the original Undercrown Maduro blend, harvested from the highest tobacco priming available. They then use Connecticut Broadleaf binder and rare Nicaraguan leaves throughout the filler.

I like the “All Dekk’d Out” look of the cigar, with the foot band, ribbon and double band across the top third, but of course most of that needs to be removed to really see it. Once the foot is uncovered and the ribbon is removed I get a good look at the dark brown wrapper. It is slightly oily with some visible veining and a few bumps along the body giving it some character. Now I don’t know if this was intentional or a happy accident but when looking at the cigar under lighting the ribbon has appeared to have left some small specks of gold color on the wrapper above the main band that shine if the light hits them right, giving it an even more regal look. The smell from the body is sweet and floral and from the foot I pick up earth and dried fruit. The cold draw is easy and the flavor is all aged sweet tobacco to me.

The first third starts off quite spicy and a bit chocolatey. I don’t make these sort of wild flavor comparisons but for a moment I thought it tasted like an horchata margarita from Cava de Tequila in Epcot. (That quickly went away as soon as I thought about how pretentious that sounded.) The rest of the first third keep a good spice and pepper flavor. The burn was even and like pretty much all DE cigars there was plenty of smoke to fill the room.

In the second third the pepper begins to fade toward the back and earth and cream notes move forward followed by a bit of bitter dark chocolate. The burn stays consistent, as the construction is solid and of course there’s all that smoke.

At the final third the cigar becomes very creamy to an almost buttery smooth constancy along with a bit of woodiness. The pepper and spice are faint on the retrohale and can be noticed on the finish. Pedro Gomez had commented that there is the flavor of sun dried cherries which I did not notice until I put the cigar down and discovered that the lingering flavor I had was indeed cherries. The burn stayed sharp for the entire production and the medium weighted smoke always satisfied.

I’ve always been partial to the Undercrown line as it came out shortly after I began smoking and wasn’t comfortable spending Liga prices while developing my palate. It gave a solid stick at a fair price and introduces you to quality tobacco. With the Undercrown 10 they step it up a notch with even better tobacco and a new blend that is a real pleasure to smoke. The Undercrown 10 is something I will be keeping in my humidor and part of my regular rotation. With its style it could be smoked by pretty much anyone and pairs well with either tea, coffee, a nice bourbon or peaty scotch. Look for these cigars in your B&M stores and don’t be affraid to buy a box you won’t regret it.

Wrapper – Mexican San Andrés

Binder – Connecticut Broadleaf

Filler – Rare Nicaraguan

Price: Around $12.00

Website: https://drewestate.com

Rating: 4.9 out of 5 pints