--> Cigar Coop: Cigar Pre-Review: Room 101 Namakubi Pre-Release Sample (Part 41 of the 2011 IPCPR Series)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Cigar Pre-Review: Room 101 Namakubi Pre-Release Sample (Part 41 of the 2011 IPCPR Series)

Room 101 Namakubi - Packaging
2011 has proven to be a big year for Matt Booth and his Room 101 line.   This year, two new blends joined the Room 101 portfolio.   At the 2011 IPCPR, I admit, I really got hooked on the new Room 101 Connecticut. In some ways this release caught me off-guard as much of the attention prior to the trade show was around the other release - Room 101 Namakubi.   Booth was kind enough to offer me a sample of the Namakubi blend, and I've had a chance to smoke it.   The end result is that Room 101 has delivered a 1-2 punch with two great releases as the Namakubi proved to be a great smoke.

The Room 101 web site has an explanation on how the name came about:

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. 

Time to break down the blend and smoking experience of the Room 101 Namakubi.  Since this was a pre-release, I will default to a Pre-Review and provide an assessment once it hits retailer shelves.

Blend Profile

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Honduran Generoso seed
Filler: Dominican and Honduran “Vuelta Abajo"

When I previewed the Room 101 Namakubi back in June, I mentioned the binder is a proprietary tobacco of Honduran "Generoso" seed.   The Generoso leaf is also used as the wrapper on the Camacho Super Limitado.  This was named after Christian Eiroa's (Camacho Cigars) grandfather.  It was Eiroa's father that worked on this tobacco through an experimental seed.  The experiment was not successful from a yield standpoint, but Eiroa feels this is a tobacco that developed great flavor.

Vitolas Available

Papi Chulo: 4x42
Roxxo:  4 x 48 
Tiburon: 6 x44 
Sucio:  7 x 48
Monstro: 5 x 60 

The total production will be 100,000 cigars.  All of the vitolas will have 1000 boxes of 20 except for the Papi Chulo which will have 400 boxes of 50.

Preparation for Cigar Experience

For this cigar experience, I sampled the 4 x 48 Roxxo.  I placed a straight cut into the cap and immediately started the pre-light draw.   The dry draw provided notes of citrus, wood, and a mild spice.   The spice wasn't quite pepper, but something a little more unique (and I'm not able to come up with a good metaphor).  I was pleased with the flavors from the pre-light draw, therefore I fired up the Namakubi with my butane lighter and started the smoke.

Room 101 Namakubi Roxxo (Unbanded Sample)
Flavor Profile

The start of the smoke gave an interesting mix of floral notes and lemon citrus layered over a natural tobacco taste.   The lemon and floral notes have some real depth to it providing some outstanding flavors early on.   Around 10 percent into the cigar experience, I noticed some of those unique spices that I detected on the pre-light draw re-emerge.   Again, no metaphor for these spices - all I can say is that they are unique.

As the Namakubi smoke moved into the second third, the lemon, floral, and spice flavors really meshed well together.  I also noticed the sweetness of the cigar increase - almost as if some raw sugar cane was added into the equation.  The best thing about these flavors is how they are layered over the natural taste of a cigar - making for something very unique.

As the cigar experience moved into the second half, the spice begins to pick up.  It was also in the second half where I noticed the spice was much stronger through the nose.   In the background, I also picked up some notes similar to the "buttered popcorn" I detected on the Room 101 Connecticut.  These notes just helped build on the flavor story that Namakubi was telling.

Toward the end of the cigar experience, the lemon and spice notes were the ones in the forefront.   The finish was extremely flavorful and not harsh.   The lemon citrus notes had some real body at the end.  The nub was cool and firm - the way a cigar should finish.

Room 101 Namakubi - the finish
Burn and Draw

The burn was outstanding. The cigar burned evenly and at a perfect rate.   The draw of the Namakubi was a little loose.   I found the Namakubi needed to be smoked slowly in order to prevent it from burning too hot.  I'm not viewing this as a negative as a lot of times we all should "slow down" and savor the cigar experience.

Strength and Body

The Namakubi definitely had some pop from a nicotine profile than I originally thought.  I wouldn't categorize it as overly strong, but would assess it a "medium to full" from a strength attribute.  From my perspective, the Namakubi is loaded with flavor and epitomizes the definition of a full-bodied smoke.  The best part of all is the strength doesn't take away from the flavor experience - yet, there is enough strength to satisfy.

Summary

I figured since I gave Matt Booth my "dances with flavor" slogan for the Room 101 Connecticut, I should come up with one for the Namakubi.  In this case, it's safe to say that the Namakubi "explodes with flavor".  This is one of the more unique smokes I've had.   No question, the hard work that went into this blend paid off and I see this being Booth's most successful cigar to date.   This is definite recommend for seasoned cigar enthusiast.  As for novices, I think its more on a case by case basis on how full-bodied a smoke the cigar enthusiast can handle.   As for myself, this is box purchase worthy.

Summary

Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Full

Source: This sample was received at the 2011 IPCPR Trade Show.  The sample was initiated by Matt Booth of Room 101 Cigars in order to provide feedback.   I am appreciative for the sample, but in no way does this influence this review.

Note: All samples received from the 2011 IPCPR Trade Show will be included in my "2011 IPCPR Series".

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