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Presmoke thoughts:
Cinco de Mayo. I’m pairing the Mexican wrapper on this Room 101 San Andres with some lovely horchata and tacos.

Tacos de Carne Enchilada!

Tacos de Carne Enchilada!

 

Horchata!

Horchata!

This might be a terrible mistake but there’s only one way to find out. I have two tacos al pastor and two tacos de carne enchilada. One of the carne enchiladas is already gone by the time I get the cigar out.

Construction:

Kind of an ugly and sloppy cap. The leaves aren’t the prettiest and got can easily see where the edges of the wrapper leaf are. That said, there’s nothing wrong with it. If you’ve read my other reviews you’ve probably seen my Sakura Xikar cutter, so obviously I’m a fan of Matt Booth’s work.

PalateJack_Room101SA305_003

 

Prelight:
Granted I just stuffed my face with spicy goodness, but I’m picking up strong barnyard smells before lighting this up. The cold draw is sweet and fruity with a slight coffee tint. The draw is tight but I’m hoping that’ll loosen up once lit.

Stats:
Cigar BrandRoom 101
Cigar NameSan Andres
FactoryCamacho’s Honduran factory
Country of OriginHonduras
WrapperMexican San Andres
BinderHonduran Corojo
FillerHonduran and Dominican Criollo and Corojo
Vitola305
Length5″
Ring Gauge50
CostI bought this as part of a Room 101 sampler, but it retails for ~$6
Where purchasedCigarBid
StrengthMedium
Smoked2014-05-05
WhereCar
When6pm
OccasionCinco de Mayo!
MealBeautiful tacos, as you’ll see below
WhereBenitos Mexican Restaurant
Drink PairingA tub of Horchata
LinkHere’s a link to these cigars on Famous

 

First Third:

Holy crap this is good. In the first five pulls I’m amazed at the flavors I’m getting here, and not just because the tacos haven’t destroyed my taste buds. A very nice cocoa and coffee taste sits on my taste buds. I had this really great espresso and hot cocoa drink at an Ethiopian restaurant in Philly yesterday and I’m getting that same great taste here.

The smell is a very pleasant hay-like smell. I had a chinchilla until recently (ex girlfriend has her now, thankfully “recently” doesn’t imply her bring turned into a pair of socks) and this smell is a lot like the Timothy Hay we would buy her. Important note: that’s the smell of NEW hay, not USED hay. Trust me, they’re different.

PalateJack_Room101SA305_004

The coffee and cocoa tastes are moving towards a really lovely earthiness. I’ve resorted to rolling my windows mostly up do I can get a better idea of the smell on this — which is now moving sweeter and is picking up that cocoa note I tasted earlier. This is working unbelievably well with the sweet horchata and spicy tacos, especially the tacos al pastor with their pineapple pork.

The burn isn’t perfect, but it’s far from terrible with waves around it. It’s starting to canoe but we’re not to a bad place yet. I honestly haven’t been paying too much attention to the orientation of the cigar to help it burn straight as I’ve been totally distracted by the taste and smell of the cigar, the tacos, and the horchata.  I’ll try to give it a hand but this combo is just so freaking good right now.

PalateJack_Room101SA305_005

Second Third:

Tacos Al pastor!

Tacos Al Pastor!

It’s bordering on obscene how much I’m enjoying this. I’m happy I’m alone right now because I’d be embarrassed for someone to see what must be a ridiculously goofy face I’m making. Then I turn around and see three of the restaurant employees standing in the window watching me.

Oh.

To top it off, two minutes later I see my chinchilla-napping ex-girlfriend pull up and I decide it’s time to roll out before she sees how weird I truly am. Of all the Mexican joints in all the…

No seriously, we have a good 5 or 6 really good Mexican joints in this area. It’s awesome. No matter where I am around the general Cherry Hill area it’s a safe bet there’s a good place for tacos within a 5-10 minute drive.

PalateJack_Room101SA305_007

More of the same delicious flavors throughout the second third. I’m starting to get a great subtle nuttiness creeping in now too.

PalateJack_Room101SA305_008

Final Third:

I think in the heat of the moment during my great escape I started pulling on this too frequently. I’m starting to get some bitterness but it’s subtle for now.

The hay smell is definitely back, and it’s brought along a barnyard smell to it. By which I mean something like wet cow. Moo. It’s not bad, but I definitely preferred the earlier smells.

PalateJack_Room101SA305_009

The bitterness was brief so I just not have done any real damage with my adrenalin fueled speed smoking. The rest of this last third is fantastic, and I decide to let it go when I get to the liquor store so I can get some crappy Mexican beer to further get my Fiesta on. Man, does my car smell great right now though.

Burn:

Not great, and some consistent canoe action throughout the smoke. It was never really problematic, but I would have liked it to be a bit more consistent in its burn.

Final Thoughts:

I had smoked a Room 101 once a few months ago and didn’t like it. It was not one of the San Andres though, and clearly these are cigars I will be buying more of. I love brand-specific samplers for exactly this reason. If I had picked up the one from a few months ago at a B&M I likely wouldn’t have given much more thought to the brand because I didn’t like that specific one. The branding of the Room 101 cigars has always caught my eye, starting with the Namakubi’s scroll-like designs. When I first saw the Sakura Xikars I bought one almost immediately from LightersDirect.com. For the last few months I was under the impression that these Room 101 cigars were all just branding hype and didn’t live up to it. That very clearly is not the case and I’m looking forward to picking up more these the first chance I get.

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