On April 2, Room101 released a retailer exclusive blend for Pennsylvania-based Famous Smoke Shop, a new line named El Mas Chingon, which roughly translates to the most epic in Spanish slang. The new line is made up of four different violas composed of 60 ring gauge cigars, a first for the Room101 brand.

“Building the Room101 El Mas Chingon really pushed me out of my comfort zone,” said Matt Booth, founder of Room101. “For those that know me, I’m more partial to smaller ring gauge cigars… When Famous came to me with this concept, I went to work on building something with larger rings, that had the same impact and stimulation as what I’m usually looking for with smaller ring gauges.”

Blend-wise, the Room101 El Mas Chingon is covered in an Ecuadorian Habana 2000 wrapper while incorporating a Honduran corojo binder as well as filler tobaccos from the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Mexico. The cigars are made at Agroindustria LAEPE S.A. in Danlí, Honduras.

Room101 El Mas Chingon

  • Room101 El Mas Chingon EMC #1 (4 1/2 x 60) — $6.50 (Boxes of 10, $65)
  • Room101 El Mas Chingon EMC #2 (5 1/2 x 60) — $7.00 (Boxes of 10, $70)
  • Room101 El Mas Chingon EMC #3 (6 1/2 x 60) — $7.50 (Boxes of 10, $75)
  • Room101 El Mas Chingon EMC #4 (7 1/2 x 60) — $8.00 (Boxes of 10, $80)

Room101 El Mas Chingon EMC  1 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Room101 El Mas Chingon EMC #1
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory: Agroindustria LAEPE S.A.
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habana 2000
  • Binder: Honduran Corojo
  • Filler: Dominican Republic, Honduras and Mexico
  • Size: 4 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 60
  • Vitola: Petit Gordo
  • MSRP: $6.50 (Boxes of 10, $65)
  • Date Released: April 2, 2015
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3

Covered in a mocha brown wrapper that is smooth to the touch, the Room101 El Mas Chingon EMC #1 features a multitude of veins and virtually no oil at all. It is just a tad bit spongy when squeezed and the cap seems a bit sloppily applied. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of baker’s spices, cinnamon, manure and earth, while the cold draw brings flavors of oak, leather, milk chocolate, coffee and just a little spice on the tongue.

The El Mas Chingon EMC #1 takes a while to get lit, but once it is, it brings flavors of roasted coffee and cinnamon dominate, while other notes of mesquite, leather and earth bring up the rear. There is a slight floral sweetness that I am picking up on the retrohale, along with a touch of black pepper, but neither are very strong at this point. The smoke production is massive off of the foot, close to overwhelming and only seems to be getting more dense as the first third burns down. Construction-wise, the draw is more open than I would like, albeit still within smokable ranges and the burn needs a couple of touchups to keep from staying off path. The strength hits a point close to medium by the end of the first third, but does not seem to be going anywhere else very fast.

Room101 El Mas Chingon EMC  1 2

The roasted coffee note continues to dominate the profile in the second third of the Room101 El Mas Chingon EMC #1, but the floral sweetness on the retrohale from the first third only gets stronger, as does the black pepper note. Other flavors of dark and powdery cocoa, creamy leather, peanuts, cedar and hay flit in and out, while the smoke production remains high. The draw is still fairly open, but the burn has evened up nicely, and while the strength does hit a solid medium by the end of the second third, it seems to stall out there.

Room101 El Mas Chingon EMC  1 3

There is not much change in the profile of the Room101 El Mas Chingon EMC #1 during the final third, with roasted coffee still taking the dominant spot, although there is a return of the cinnamon note from the first third and the mesquite flavor seems to be increasing as well. Other flavors in the background include dark chocolate, oak, grains, bread, leather and gritty earth, and the floral sweetness has decreased in strength from its high at the mid point of the cigar, but is still still present in smaller amounts. The burn and draw remain unchanged, with a draw that is a touch too open and a burn that is decent but far from perfect. The strength stays in the solid medium range until the end of the cigar and while the smoke production continues to billow off of the foot, it seems to have decreased compared to the first and second thirds.

Room101 El Mas Chingon EMC  1 4

Final Notes

  • The smoke production is immense off of the foot and can be overwhelming at times, especially when smoking inside.
  • The floral sweetness on the retrohale was quite distinct around the halfway point, but really fell off after that, so it is no surprise that the middle third of the cigar was the most enjoyable to me on each of the samples.
  • Sadly, there are no cute or inappropriate messages on the inside of the bands for this release, unlike with the Daruma release, amongst others.
  • This blend is billed as a medium strength release and I think that is exactly right, at least in the EMC #1 vitola, as it never threatened to go above that point.
  • The Room101 El Mas Chingon burns very quickly for the size, and the final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 10 minutes.
  • Room101 cigars are distributed by Davidoff of Geneva USA, who is a site sponsor.
  • The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • If you would like to purchase any of the Room101 El Mas Chingon cigars, Famous Smoke Shop is the only place you can get them.
84 Overall Score

One of the biggest complaints I have about most cigars in the 60 ring gauge range is that despite the amount of tobacco that is usually encased within the wrapper, the cigars typically lack distinct flavors, almost like the blenders did not use the plethora of choices at their disposal to its fullest potential. Thankfully, that is definitely not the case with the Room101. Yes, the 60 ring gauge is a bit overwhelming, especially in the smallest size I smoked for review and it is not the most complex of profiles, but the construction overall is quite good, and the flavors that the cigar does have more than make up for it. The cigar world is littered with retailer exclusive releases that don't live up to expectations, but fans of 60 ring gauge cigars should give the Room101 El Mas Chingon EMC #1 a shot.

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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.