Before we dive right in today, let’s talk back story.
Soldier spends time in Japan, falls in love with Japanese culture, comes back to America, decides to make jewelry, does well for himself, he likes cigars too so he makes some, they taste good, we buy and smoke them, I review one today. That’s the short version of the start to Matt Booth’s Room 101. Due to his affinity for Japanese culture, much of his jewelery collections as well as the bands/boxes for his cigars feature elements of it. If you’re interested in his jewelry check out www.room101brand.com.
One thing I particularly like about some of the Room 101 cigars, is that their names and artistic parts describe some interesting elements of Japanese spirituality and culture. In this case, the Daruma is a doll sold at temples through out Japan as a “good luck charm”. The eyes are often blank when sold, the purchaser fills in one eye upon setting a goal and another upon completion of said goal. In each box of Daruma cigars the following is included in a little pamphlet:
Fall down seven times, stand up eight.
The single eye I have penciled in on my Daruma doll is my silent reminder that I have set a goal that is pending completion. My Daruma will become a bi-oculared character once my task is complete. I have one year in which to complete my task – and if one of my attempts should fall short of victory I will not quit, but rather try again. Because, I know that if I do not give up and my will does not falter it is never a question of “if,” but only a question of “when.” We have named our latest series after the Daruma as he symbolizes resilience – a key ingredient to our success. Use your Daruma to set a goal of your own.
Fill his left eye when you have decided what you will be committing yourself to, his right when your task is complete. As the tradition is to burn the Daruma at the end of the year, take a brief moment to ignite a fine cigar in celebration of your accomplishment.
Now get back to work.
I digress, we’re here to talk about cigars. Rolled in the Camacho Facotry, these Daruma come in five sizes, ranging from the smaller Papi Chulo (4 x42) to larger sizes; my personal favorite for this one was the Sucio (7 x 48). It uses an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Brazilian Mata Fina binder, and fillers from the Dominican as well as Honduras.
Every one of these cigars I have smoked, has had the same construction, they draw beautifully but don’t like to burn evenly, so be prepared to enjoy each puff while needing to touch up every so often.
It starts off flavor-wise with a quick blast of some cedar, but it doesn’t linger. Instead it smooths right out and develops this nice complex spice with hints of leather and what I would call a mild walnut like taste as an after note. With each pull the spice held in and melded with the other flavors to create a wonderfully smooth experience. Almost spontaneously it spits out hints of coffee here and there but none that last for a long time. Never overly peppery, never lacking in spice for those that like it, it stays well balanced from start to finish. The complexity in this cigar is definitely up there with some of the best, it is never a one note wonder at any point. One interesting thing about this cigar, about halfway through it amps up the intensity of flavor significantly and keeps it up there right until the end. I’d call it a full-bodied, medium strength cigar, good for most non-mild smokers.