Archive for the ‘beer pairing’ Tag

Camacho Room 101 702 Cigar Review

I finally got my hands on another very anticipated cigar for review. Camacho’s Room 101 702.

Camacho Room 101

Camacho Room 101

A big thank you again to @cigarsthomas for shooting a few of these over to me. There are six local B&M shops here in El Paso, Texas. But out of the six, only two carry Camacho cigars. The Room 101 has been on order with them for quite a bit, but I’m too impatient, and I wanted to get my grubby little paws on one ASAP. The cigar community has been buzzing applause directed towards the Room 101 even way before it’s release date. The anticipation has been killing me.

The Good Stuff: Room 101 is a joint operation between Camacho Cigars and famous jewelry designer Matt Booth. “Room 101” isn’t just a blend of cigar but a “Global Conspiracy”.  Everything related to Room 101 boasts strong symbolism, and deep meaning. I won’t go into it too much, but if you feel inclined there are plenty of resources out there, but a lot of the symbolism behind the Conspiracy are kept secret. This only adds to the character. From my understanding Matt Booth met up with Camacho Cigar’s Director of Marketing Dylan Austin as well as a few others from the Camacho Family, words were exchanged, and before anyone knew it there was a proposition on the table of Camacho and Matt Booth teaming up to create a cigar that supports The Conspiracy. I can’t think of another cigar manufacturer that could pull something as interesting as this off.

After all was said and done, The Room 101 cigar was amongst a handful on anticipated new release cigars announced at this year’s ICPCR in New Orleans. The Room 101 wasn’t released to the public until a few months later in early October. The Room 101 is a medium bodied cigar manufactured with tobaccos produced in Honduras and the Dominican Republic. The wrapper itself was labeled as “Semilla 101” and was grown especially for the Room 101. The Room 101 comes in 6 sizes (I think), each one named after different US cities area codes. This particular shape is labeled the “702”, after Las Vegas, Nevada.

Size: 48×54×48×6  –  Wrapper: Semilla 101 from Honduras  –  Binder/Filler: Honduras/Dominican  –  Strength: Medium – Full

Camacho Room 101

Camacho Room 101

Prelight: The Room 101 702 has many unique characteristics that you won’t see from a lot of other cigar manufactures. We’ll start with the band. The band represents the Jewelry very well with is all black ink, supported by all silver prominence. It’s clear from the secondary band that this wasn’t produced by Room 101 for Camacho, but the other way around. Camacho is supporting Room 101 and the conspiracy with this special blended cigar. The band is covered in symbols. If you want to discovery on what these symbols actually mean feel free to browse over to www.room101cigars.com to find out more. The shape of the 702 is very unique as well. It starts off quite bulky on the head, with a nice rounded cap. And just after the band booms from a 48 ring gauge into a boasting 54 gauge through a little more than half the body before returning to a 48. Hopefully this meaty area produces a complex, powerhouse smoke. The wrapper is a dark, chocolately color, very leatheresque with lots of lighter brown areas. There were really no large veins, and absolutely no signs of misconstruction. the foot of the cigar carries lots of loosely wrapper filler tobacco. I honestly think this, from the prelight, is one of the finest constructed cigars I have seen. The wrapper didn’t really carry a lot of strong aromas, but what a did pick out were A graham crackery, cocoa smell with what I could only describe as a tart grape.The cold draw was very similar to the scents I pulled off of the Room 101.

Camacho Room 101

Camacho Room 101

First Smoke: The Room 101 702 releases a nice, smooth draw, with lots and lots of thick tobacco/cocoa scented smoke. The smoke itself wasn’t too pungent, it won’t be as annoying to non-smokers as most other cigars will be. There was a lot let of a pepper taste pulled off the Room 101 than I expected. I think most of the newer Dominican cigars have boasted large pepper tastes and the Room 101 doesn’t follow that guideline making for a much smoother experience. Outside of an incredibly smooth smoke the Room 101 sports a chocolate, cocoa taste with hints of almond and black current. The room 101 is burning very evenly leaving behind a very nice white ash.

Camacho Room 101

Camacho Room 101

There is some flaking from the ash, but nothing that will cause the ash to fall off quickly. The burn itself is a bit faster than I expected, but I have a feeling that will change once I make it into the sweet spot of the cigar. I made it almost 2 inches in before the Room 101 finally ashed off for the first time.

Camacho Room 101

Camacho Room 101

Halfway There: Ahh, the sweet-spot. Almost immediately after hitting the 54 ring gauged portion of the cigar the experience switched up on me. The flavors remained constant, very Ovaltineish with hints of raw coffee. Where as the draw increased significantly. The Room 101’s draw became much looser, and increased in flavor as well as density of smoke. The burn didn’t actually burn slower, but I didn’t need to hit the cigar as hard or as often as I did to produce the draw I was looking for. The burn line got a bit wavy at this point, but no touch ups are needed. The ashed increased in flakiness a bit, but that was mainly due, and expected from opening up the ring gauge of the cigar.

Camacho Room 101

Camcho Room 101

Finish: Towards the end of the smoke the head itself cracked, and unwrapped a bit. I think a lot of that was due to me babysitting this cigar. I didn’t want it to end and actually smoked it quite a bit slower than I would normally. The flavors throughout the entire smoked remained very consistent and the finish was no exception. The chocolate undertones carried through to the finish, and the favors became a bit more tobacco/earthy based. The burn line never got out of hand, and I never felt the need to touch up this cigar, nor did it require any relighting. Considering the size of this cigar I was surprised to see that I had almost no light-headedness or any signs of nicotine for that matter.

Camacho Room 101

Camacho Room 101

Overview: This cigar was well worth the wait in every way imaginable. From the remarkable construction, to the flavors, I feel Camacho knocked this one out of the park. The Room 101 is a direct representation of the hard work, and research that goes into each one of Camacho’s cigar blends. The Room 101 will be in my regular rotation for a long time, and I would recommend everyone else to add it as well. This cigar will be a huge consideration in not only mine, but everyone elses list of top cigars for 2009.

Camacho Room 101

Camacho Room 101

The Room 101 by Camacho was paired with a Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock. One of my favorite Belgium beers. The dark, coffee based double bock beer accompanied the Room 101 every step of the way and even helped distinguish some of the fruity notes of the cigar.

Camacho Room 101 with an Ayinger Celebrator

Camacho Room 101 with an Ayinger Celebrator

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Ambrosia Vann Reef by Drew Estate Cigar Review

Finally getting around to finishing up the review for the Ambrosia – Vann Reef cigar from Drew Estate I had recently.

Drew Estate Ambrosia Vann Reef

Drew Estate Ambrosia Vann Reef

These were part of a gift sent over to me. Prior to receiving them I had yet to hear of the Ambrosia line which struck me odd as I am such a huge Drew Estate follower.

The Good Stuff: Jonathan Drew, founder and  Production Director of Drew Estate is always looking for new blends, spices, oils, and aromas to concoct his next infused cigar. The Ambrosia line is nothing short of his best. Ambrosia is very similar to the ACID line in construction but is infused with only the best spices and botanicals found throughout Europe and Asia giving it a very unique taste. From Clove to Star Anise, Ambrosia cigars are nothing short of masterpiece.  Each Ambrosia Vann Reef Cameroon Cigar is carefully blended with sweet, mild tobaccos from Drew Estates’ own hand – tended fields in the mountains near Esteli, Nicaragua and wrapped with rich Cameroon tobacco. It is said that these infused cigars are in fact the toughest blends produced by Drew Estate to date.

Size: 5×50  –  Wrapper: Cameroon  –  Flavor: Medium  –  Country: Nicaragua

Prelight: Upon unwrapping the cellophane you are hammered with a smell of fresh cloves, hints of pine, and sweet ginger. The wrapper is a creamy medium brown with very small veins. The construction is as close to perfect as it gets. There are no soft spots. The Ambrosia Vann Reef cigar sports a very rounded cap and its wrapped very tight, maybe even a bit to tight for my liking. The construction reminds me very much of the ACID liquid.

Drew Estate Ambrosia Vann Reef

Drew Estate Ambrosia Vann Reef

First Smoke: One noticeable difference between the ACID Liquid and the Ambrosia Vann Reef is lighting. The Liquid took quite a bit outta my little colibri butane torch to get started where as the Vann Reef lit up right away. The first tastes are a little hard to nail. The clove by far is the most overpowering flavor, followed closely by notes of ginger, pine, toasted nuts, and even green tea. The draw is really tight, which I am not a fan of. I’d rather burn the heck out of my hands than deal with a tight draw, but for sake of the review I’ll deal with it. The draw itself is pretty large and incredibly thick, this part I do like. The Vann Reef isn’t very strong at the beginning, hopefully that adjusts a bit further in the smoke as well. The cigar begins burning very evenly. I got over an inch and a half before the ash first gave way which was pretty far considering it was a windy day out on my patio. This cigar was paired up with a Lindeman’s Peche Peach Lambic beer. An almost perfect combination. One note is the Ambrosia line banding is very un-like all the other Drew Estate cigar lines. Most of the others are very detailed, and embossed with hints of metallic silver and gold ink. A lot of time goes into their banding. The Ambrosia line, not so much. I can totally see where he was going with it (tiki – india, asia, Eurpoe spices) but it caught me a bit off guard.

Drew Estate Ambrosia Vann Reef

Drew Estate Ambrosia Vann Reef

Halfway There: There are still absolutely no signs of any flaws. Drew Estate is known for the perfection in construction and this cigar represents that to its fullest. The strength has increased a bit, but not too much. The draw is still very creamy but much too tight. At this point I ended up giving the cigar another quick cut, increasing the draw drastically. Now that’s what I am talking about. The flavor doubled. More clove, Pine, and tea but what taste almost paired up with floral and leather-ish notes. It’s incredibly tasty. The draw has increased as well. I have yet to have to touch up this cigar and it is still burning perfectly. No unwrapping or cigar flaws whatsoever.

Finish: I took this cigar relatively close to the nub. My head began to hurt so I gave in a bit earlier than usual. The only taste that still remains is the clove, and it is strong. I’m not a huge clove fan, but I did enjoy this cigar. A big brownie point was the fact that I didn’t have to touch this cigar up once. Perfect burn. The Vann Reef finished off creamy, and didn’t increase in strength a whole lot throughout the cigar. All in all it was a great aromatic.

Drew Estate Ambrosia Vann Reef

Drew Estate Ambrosia Vann Reef

Overview: The ambrosia line is definitely an acquired taste. I really enjoyed this cigar, however I wouldn’t recommend it if you weren’t a fan of infused cigars, or strong flavors period. The Ambrosia line is a great step-up alternative to clove smokers.