In 2019, Room101 commemorated its decennial anniversary as a cigar brand with a brand new blend bearing the appropriate name of 10th Anniversary. Sold in a singular 6 x 52 toro vitola, the cigar incorporated a Nicaraguan rosado wrapper along with an undisclosed binder and filler, with only 500 boxes of 20 released.
The next July, the company teased a follow-up in the series named 11th Anniversary, although it took until December for the cigars to start shipping to retailers. Once again, there was only one vitola—albeit a slightly larger 6 x 54 torpedo—but this time, the blend was announced as a Nicaraguan puro. In addition, there were twice as many made compared to the 11th anniversary, specifically 1,000 boxes of 20 cigars.
With the aforementioned cigars released the prior two years, it was no surprise when Room101 announced the 12th Anniversary, which includes aspects from both of the previous creations in the series. Like the 10th Anniversary, the newest version is a 6 x 52 toro vitola, and like the 11th Anniversary it is a Nicaraguan puro. Production was handled at Abdel Fernández’s Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A. factory located in Estelí, Nicaragua, with Fernández growing all of the tobacco as well.
Each cigar carries an MSRP of $11, but instead of a set number of boxes, Room101 only produced as many cigars as were needed to fulfill the orders that they received.
- Cigar Reviewed: Room101 12th Anniversary
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaragua
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Toro
- MSRP: $11 (Box of 20, $220)
- Release Date: 2021
- Number of Cigars Released: Undisclosed
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
A rustic dark espresso brown wrapper covers the Room101 12th Anniversary, one that has plenty of tooth as well as quite a few veins running up and down its length. There is also a touch of oil present and after an inspection, I find that one of the samples has a small soft spot located about halfway down the cigar. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of earth, raisins, black pepper and leather, while the foot brings notes of barnyard, wood, hay and dark chocolate. Finally, the cold draw features flavors of cedar, black pepper, sourdough bread, espresso beans and slight raisin sweetness as well as a copious amount of spice.
The 12th Anniversary lights up easily enough and immediately brings a flavor of leather tack that quickly transitions into a main combination of mesquite and earth. Secondary notes of salted peanuts, yeast, leather, creamy hay and cocoa nibs flit in and out on the palate, while a slight espresso bitterness is present on the finish. In addition, the retrohale features both black pepper and marshmallow sweetness, although the former is easily more obvious than the latter so far. Construction-wise, the draw is excellent after a simple straight cut, but the burn has minor issues early on and the smoke production is about average. Flavor is medium but rising, while both the body and strength end the first third just under medium.
While earth and mesquite remain the top flavor combination during the second third of the Room101 12th Anniversary, the marshmallow sweetness on the retrohale increases noticeably, easily becoming a major factor in the profile. Additional flavors of peanuts, hay, sourdough bread, hay and bitter espresso beans are present in various amounts, while the black pepper on the retrohale has stayed at about the same level. Thankfully, the burn has evened up nicely and the draw continues along its excellent path, but the smoke production remains about average. Flavor increases slightly to a point just over medium, body is still at a solid medium and strength is also at medium by the end of the second third.
Unfortunately, the rich marshmallow sweetness that was so prominent in the second third sees a major reduction in distinctness during the final third of the Room101, while the profile continues to be topped by the familiar combination of mesquite and gritty earth. Flavors of freshly roasted coffee beans, hay, cocoa nibs, generic nuts and bread are also present, and the black pepper on the retrohale decreases noticeably from its high point in the second third. In terms of construction, the draw is as excellent as ever and the burn continues to give me no major issues, while the smoke production has increased just a bit. Flavor ends at medium-full, body ends at medium and the strength increases enough to just barely cross over the medium mark by the time I put the nub down with about an inch remaining.
- At the same time Room101 announced the 12th Anniversary, the company also introduced The Big Payback Sumatra featuring an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, a Honduran binder and Nicaraguan fillers.
- Matt Booth, Room101’s owner, is no stranger to pushing the envelope, so it was no great surprise when he announced he would be entering the hemp-derived cannabinoid market by announcing a line of Delta 8 THC cartridges under its new Room101 Cana brand.
- As was the case with the 11th Anniversary, the words no good deeds are printed on the inside of the main band. This is not exactly unusual, since Room101 has a long history of placing messages inside its bands.
- Although the Room101 originally started as a jewelry brand in 2003, the three anniversary creations so far are referring to the year when the company released its first cigars in 2009.
- The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 28 minutes.
- If you would like to purchase any of the Room101 12th Anniversary cigars, site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co. and STOGIES World Class Cigars have them in stock now.
For me, Room101 releases have run the gamut when it comes to enjoyment: from an amazing cigar like the Daruma Mutante to a not as amazing Chief Cool Arrow Chingonomo. The blend of the Room101 12th Anniversary lands squarely in the middle of the pack for me, with a blend that features distinct flavors of mesquite and earth, albeit as part of a profile that does not change much between thirds. In addition, while there is a very nice marshmallow sweetness present on the retrohale, it loses its distinctness after the second third and never regains it. In the end, the 12th Anniversary is a worthy addition to Room101’s line of commemorative releases, but I prefer the 11th Anniversary blend a bit more.