In 2012, Room101 released a new limited edition blend called Daruma at the IPCPR trade show. It used an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, a Brazilian Mata Fina binder and fillers from the Dominican Republic and Honduras. Only 20,000 of each of five different vitolas were released: Papi Chulo (4 x42), Roxxo (4 x 48), Monstro (5 x 60), Sucio (7 x 48) and Mutante (7 x 38).

The Daruma was the first Room101 Limited Edition to use a Brazilian binder, and the blend also included some pelo de oro from the Dominican Republic in the filler. At the time of release, the Daruma Mutante was also the first lancero vitola in any of the Room101 limited editions, although quite a few have been released since.

Here is what I said in my original review back in October of 2012:

I have enjoyed most of the limited Room101 releases, including the OSOK and the Namakubi to varying degrees, but there always seemed to be something missing in the blends, something that would put it over the top in terms of complexity and flavor. Well, I am happy to report that whatever was missing, the Daruma blend found it. While I usually gravitate to the Papi Chulo vitola in the recent Room101 releases, I actually enjoyed the Lancero the most in the Daruma blend, by quite a large margin. The grapefruit note that is strongest in the second third is refreshing and quite unique as well, but the lack of any significant strength might turn some people off. This is easily the best Room101 I have smoked, and I am quite glad I bought a box, and I suggest that anyone who enjoys complex, flavorful and medium strength lanceros try them.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Room101 LTD Daruma Edition Mutante
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory: Tabacos Rancho Jamastran*
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
  • Binder: Brazil Mata Fina
  • Filler: Dominican Republic & Honduras
  • Size: 7 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 38
  • Vitola: Lancero
  • MSRP: $8.25 (Boxes of 20, $165.00)
  • Date Released: September 2012
  • Number of Cigars Released: 1,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Redux: 1

*The factory is now known as Agroindustria LAEPE S.A.

A dark espresso brown wrapper that is extremely rough to the touch covers the Room101 LTD Daruma Edition Mutante and there are more than a few obvious veins running up and down its length. I can see a small amount of oil present and the cigar itself has a great resistance when squeezed. Aroma from the wrapper is a wonderful combination of orange peel, cinnamon, sweet leather, manure and cedar with a little black pepper thrown in the mix while the cold draw brings flavors of aged oak, leather, bakers spices and dark chocolate. 

The Daruma Mutante starts out with a very distinct cinnamon note on the retrohale, along with just a tad bit of black pepper that does not seem strong enough to stick around very long. Other flavors of creamy oak, dank earth, leather, tea leaves and dark cocoa flit in and out, with the oak and tea leaves dominate for most of the first third. There is some generic sweetness on the finish, but it is not strong enough to identify as of yet.  The second third starts out the same as the first, but the profile quickly changes, adding an interesting spicy floral note, along with a tiny amount of the grapefruit tartness I remember from my first review. Other flavors include leather, cinnamon, creamy oak, espresso, earth and nuttiness, along with a significant increase of black pepper on the retrohale, especially in the final third. Also noticeable was a slight spice on my tongue which came and went throughout the second half.

Room101 Daruma Mutante

Construction-wise, but the burn and the draw are phenomenal throughout the entire length of the smoke with the razor sharp burn being the standout. The finish is quite dry, tasting of dry wood and slight cinnamon, while the smoke production is a bit below what I could consider average for a lancero vitola. The overall strength is a non-factor, and barely reaches the medium point before stalling out by the time I nub the cigar. 

Room101 is distributed and produced by Davidoff, who advertises with halfwheel.

90 Overall Score

I was very interested to see how this blend aged, as the tart grapefruit note that was at the forefront of the profile when they were fresh was one of the main reasons I enjoyed it as much as I did. As with the first time I smoked it, the second half is considerably better than the first, almost shockingly so. While I did pick up a little bit of that grapefruit I was looking for, it is much reduced and has been replaced with a combination of cinnamon, tea leaves and a bit of a floral note. This is still a very complex, extremely balanced blend, but it is a cigar that is better smoked fresh.

Original Score (October 2012)
Redux Score (July 2014)
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Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.