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In December 2012, halfwheel broke the news of the cigar that would become the sixth installment in Smoke Inn’s Microblend Series, the Room101 Big Delicious.

The “bastard child” of a cigar came with a dedicated website that featured a 16–episode comic strip as part of the lead up to the cigar’s debut at a VIP dinner during the 2013 Great Smoke and its public launch on April 26. The name comes from Matt Booth’s, owner of Room101, nickname for Abe Dababneh, the owner of Smoke Inn. Big Delicious was limited to just 750 boxes of 15 cigars for a total of 11,250 cigars. The blend, which features an impressive number of fillers, is based off the Room101 OSOK, the cigar that introduced the cigar world to noted photographer Edgar Hoill.

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Here’s what I said about the Room101 Big Delicious when I reviewed it in April 2013:

I’m quick to pick on the names that cigars are given, especially ones so upfront as Big Delicious. The big part is pretty easy to agree on – this cigar is sizable and will engage you for nearly three hours if you let it. The delicious part is more subjective, but for my palate hit on a lot of the right notes. It’s big and bold to start before beginning an extended dance of moving from creamy and near mild to almost full-bodied and robust, thanks to notes spice, pepper and earth that sneak up and hit you square in the face with eye-watering smoke. Separate the two extremes and you could create two winning cigars; bring them together the way the Room101 Big Delicious does and you have a complex cigar that lives up to its name.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Room101 Big Delicious
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory: Tabacos Rancho Jamastran
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano 2000
  • Binder: Honduran Corojo Seco
  • Filler: Brazil, Dominican Republic Piloto Ligero, Honduran Corojo & Nicaragua
  • Size: 6 1/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 42/54
  • Vitola: Torpedo
  • MSRP: $8.95 (Boxes of 15, $134.25)
  • Date Released: April 26, 2013
  • Number of Cigars Released: 750 Boxes of 15 Cigars (11,250 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Redux: 1

The Room101 Big Delicious has held onto a good bit of the sheen that it had when I smoked it in April 2013, and the wrapper is still very smooth to the touch despite a good number of veins. The fairly dark and rich brown cover leaf is both attractive and a great canvas for the band to pop out from.  I’m impressed by the complexity of the pre-light aroma, as my comparisons seem to shift with each sniff. At first it makes me think of beef jerky due to the meatiness, but there is also a banana bread sweetness that has me rethinking things, before a pastry note comes in and steers me toward pizelles, the thin waffle cookies common during the winter holidays. The cold draw isn’t quite as complex, but offers a note of cold coffee that isn’t the greatest thing I’ve ever tasted, though it’s not terrible if you’re a fan of cold-brew or iced coffee and the slight acidic note that can come with it. Neither pre-light inspection showed much in the way of pepper, something that was prevalent in the original review.

While there wasn’t much pepper present before being lit, the Room101 Big Delicious offers a good amount as soon as the flame hits the foot: a hearty helping of table pepper jumps off the cigar and into the nostrils, stopping just short of eliciting a negative physical response. It’s not quite as pepper-forward on the palate, offering a bit less but enough to provide for a big start to the cigar. That pepper note tails off fairly rapidly, leaving a dry tanginess behind that packs a good bit of kick and tingle. There are accents of rich saucy sweetness that play off a cedar base note, while the pepper returns ahead of the midpoint, toying with the idea of moderation. The retrohale seems to have dialed itself into a good level of punchiness, offering a balance of pepper tingle with smooth undertones that allow it to be handled well.

Room101 Big Delicious

The start of the second half reminds me what a slow-burning cigar the Room101 Big Delicious turns into; recall that it took an average of two hours and 45 minutes to get through the samples for the original review, and could easily push to three hours. The cigar picks up a good bit of body as well that offers a good pounding from the uptick in strength, something it did as well when it was a brand new release, but even with all the rest it has had, it seems to pack even more of a punch. The strength of the tobacco overtakes the flavor at several points, kicking any sweetness to the sidelines and replacing it with intense notes of earth, dark roasted coffee and pepper. It’s a big finish from the Big Delicious, one that has me almost reeling a bit.

Disclosure: Davidoff of Geneva USA, who distributes Room101, advertises on halfwheel.

87 Overall Score

In my original review of the Room101 Big Delicious, I praised the cigar's complexity and how it went from two extremes with ease to create a cigar that lived up to both words in its name. After nearly 18 months in the humidor, it seems that the heavier, more robust and full-bodied parts have taken over, especially in the final third as it feels like an even stronger cigar now than it did when it was brand new. While that might sound like a good thing to many, in this case it's at the expense of just what made the Big Delicious live up to its name.

Original Score (April 2013)
91
Redux Score (September 2014)
87

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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