As with many Room101 releases, details regarding the Master Collection One have been trickling out for a while—since February in this case. The line is scheduled to be released in late November, part of Davidoff’s frenzy of limited editions to close out 2013. It’s the tenth full release from Matt Booth in three years and Master Collection Two is said to be coming shortly.

We covered the details shortly before the 2013 IPCPR trade show and convention:

The final blend of the Room101 Master Collection One consists of a Mexican San Andrés Ligero Rosado wrapper, Honduran Corojo Corte #3 binder and filler blend of Honduran Corojo, Nicaraguan Habano Ligero and Mexican San Andrés Ligero. The cigars are being produced at Agroindustrias Laepe, S.A. in Honduras.

A total of 4,400 boxes will be produced, with the Roxxo, Mutante, Sucio and Monstro versions all getting 1,000 boxes. There will be 400 boxes of the Papi Chulo vitola produced. Because of the varying box counts, each size will have 20,000 cigars made for a total run of 100,000 cigars.

Room101 Master Collection Cigars
From left to right:

  • Room101 Master Collection One Monstro (5 x 60) – $12.00 (Boxes of 20, $240.00)
  • Room101 Master Collection One Sucio (7 x 48) – $11.00 (Boxes of 20, $220.00)
  • Room101 Master Collection One Mutante (7 x 38) – $10.00 (Boxes of 20, $200.00)
  • Room101 Master Collection One Roxxo (4 x 48) – $9.00 (Boxes of 20, $180.00)
  • Room101 Master Collection One Papi Chulo (4 x 42) – $8.00 (Boxes of 50, $400.00)

The cigars was shown off shortly thereafter at the annual trade show in Las Vegas, Nev. The boxes look like this:

Room101 Master Collection One

As you can see above, the Master Collection boxes can be put together to form the cherry blossom that is the new logo for Room101 cigars.

Room101 Master Collection One Papi Chulo 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Room101 Master Collection One Papi Chulo
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory: Agroindustrias Laepe, S.A.
  • Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Rosado
  • Binder: Honduran Corojo Corte #3
  • Filler: Honduran Corojo, Mexican San Andrés Ligero & Nicaraguan Habano Ligero
  • Size: 4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 42
  • Vitola: Petite
  • MSRP: $8.00 (Box of 50, $400.00)
  • Release Date: October 2013
  • Number of to be Cigars Released: 400 Boxes of 50 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 4

While the wrapper is lighter than a lot of the Mexican San Andrés we see, it’s definitely not a typical rosado. There’s some reds, but relatively little, and definitely not enough to make me first think rosado. It also looks rougher than it is, there’s still some grit on the vein-lacking cigar. Aroma from the Master Collection One is relatively sweet with chocolate and leather, but there’s a bit of barnyard. Like the dry aroma, the cold draw is direct and full with sweet leather, a big floral note and touches of lemon.

The Room101 starts with sweet milk cocoa, touches of syrup, a familiar floral note and roasted cedar through the nose. On a clean palate, there’s a precision to the flavors that I haven’t found in many of Booth’s previous releases. When you slow down, the smoke pours out bringing a cedar core with notes of sweet leather, white pepper on the back of the throat and peanut note in both the mouth and nose. Fortunately, the floral note remains in the nose combining with an acidic coffee finish. Construction isn’t a problem, although the draw could be a bit tighter as it’s somewhat loose at this point.

Room101 Master Collection One Papi Chulo 2

While there’s some increase in complex flavors, the profile loses a lot of its sweetness in the second third. In addition, the pepper becomes a lot milder, which doesn’t help the contrast. The shining light continues to be the floral note through the nose, which is now joined by a butterscotch. On three of the cigars I got some touches of vanilla at some point in the middle portion of the cigar, it was never consistent or very strong, but there. The draw tightens right to my liking, while the rest of the construction points remain fine.

Room101 Master Collection One Papi Chulo 3

The acidic coffee note returns for the final third of the Master Collection, and that’s a good thing. It’s largely a continuation of the profile of the middle point, although towards the three-quarters of an inch mark the rich peanut note makes a return to the front of the profile, which makes the last few puffs worth it. With a cigar this small I have two ways of deciding when it’s done heat or when the cigar fails to stay lit, in this case it was the latter.

Room101 Master Collection One Papi Chulo 4

Final Notes:

  • The Camacho Liberty 2013 just started arriving in stores yesterday, but that’s just the beginning of Davidoff and its associated brands’ scheduled limited editions between October and the end of 2013. Among the projects still outstanding are: Davidoff of Geneva 25 AnniversaryDavidoff 25 Years Madison Ave., Davidoff Limited Edition 2014 Year of the Horse, the Davidoff Nicaragua Belicoso in the Davidoff Nicaragua humidor, AVO TAA, Camacho BlackoutDitka 89, Room101 Master Collection One, Room101 Master Collection Two and potentially the Zino Platinum Make of L.A.. That’s 11 limited edition releases in 92 days in case you were counting.
  • There are few names misspelled more consistently than Room101. There is no space between the words and the number. Davidoff’s marketing material oftentimes doesn’t make this delineation clear.
  • For most Room101 releases, 20,000 cigars per vitola seems to be the norm as far as the initial release. Dylan Austin told us at IPCPR 2013 that many of the Room101 limited editions were continuing to be released in small quantities.
  • It’s going to be interesting to see the reaction to the price, particularly for the Papi Chulo size. At $8.00, it’s double the price of the similarly-sized and packaged Illusione *R* Rothchildes. In 2011, Viaje released the Exclusivo Short (4 1/4 x 42) in cabinets of 50 with a price point of $6.50 and most thought it was too much. Davidoff, particularly with white label, can get away with higher prices than most, but it’s unclear how long of a leash people will give Room101 without smoking the cigar.
  • Room101 hasn’t delivered nicotine bombs and the Master Collection One doesn’t appear to be any different. The cigar is medium plus in strength.
  • For those with a watchful eye, you might notice the factory listed is no longer Tabacos Rancho Jamastran, the long-time name of the Camacho factory. While it’s now called Agroindustrias Laepe, S.A., it is in fact still the Camacho factory. The company renamed it as part of its larger efforts with the Camacho brand.
  • This is the most difficult band to photograph I’ve dealt with in a while. The small size, dark print and metallic features made it nearly impossible to detail in the lighting I was in.
  • Cigars for this review were provided by site sponsor Davidoff/Room101 at the 2013 IPCPR trade show and convention.
  • I know this sounds crazy, but if you nurse the cigar you can get almost an hour out of it. On average, I was good for about 40 minutes.
  • Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar, Best Cigar Prices and Famous Smoke Shop all carry Room101.
90 Overall Score

This cigar was described in a way that raised the bar, a lot. I think this is a good release and it would not shock me if one of the other sizes ends up being my favorite Room101 to date, but the bar might have been too high. Ultimately, I think there's going to be one big problem with this release, the price. Explaining why the Papi Chulo (4 x 42) is only two dollars less than the Lancero of the line is going to be an uphill battle, largely because it makes little sense. The good news is, that doesn't factor into our scoring of what is ultimately a good cigar.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.