The Room 101 The Big Payback Cigar is touted as a way of repaying the loyal Room 101 customers. This cigar has a nice looking wrapper leaf with a sweet smell. The draw was a bit loose on 2 of the 3 review sticks. Once lit up, we were met with a sweet creamy and cedar flavor. That faded shortly and the cigar was dominated by a coffee flavor with some spice that remained for the rest of the smoke. There was a bitterness that hurt the second third, but it did fade away. This one had a weak ash, so knock it off often. Overall, we thought this cigar was mostly enjoyable but really lacked complexity and left us a bit bored. There’s others we would recommend before this one.
Flavor and Taste: 16/20
Price Point: 9/10
Would I buy a Box: 3/5
Flavor and Taste: 15/20
Price Point: 9/10
Would I buy a Box: 3/5
Flavor and Taste: 15/20
Price Point: 9/10
Would I buy a Box: 2/5
StraightUpCigars: This cigar has a real floral smelling wrapper with a nice leaf and loose but acceptable draw after cutting.
IamDarren: Construction looks good. Nice tight wrap. Like the silver and black band.
IamDarren: Not much flavor on the cold draw. Maybe a hint of cedar. Draw is loose but not too loose.
Terry1: My wrapper has a sweet smell to it as well. Draw is good on mine. I’m liking the silver and black bands too. Ready to light up and see what this cigar has to offer.
StraightUpCigars: Me too, lighting.
IamDarren: ok, lets bring the heat
IamDarren: Huh, very creamy and sweet to start. Nice and mellow.
IamDarren: getting a hint of cedar and some char on the finish
StraightUpCigars: Creamy with a pungent earthy flavor. A hint of cedar. Hitting the spot at the moment.
Terry1: Creamy start here. A little cedar, a little sweetness and a mild tannin of some sort on the finish. Plenty of smoke and an easy draw. It works for me.
IamDarren: cedar is getting a bit stronger and mixing with something that is slightly acidic giving it a tangy finish. Slight pepper in the sinus only.
IamDarren: Terry, you might have to explain Tannin to me. I looked it up once and i thought it was acidic. Maybe something to do with wine?
StraightUpCigars: I always thought it referred to a fruit like tanginess. I guess that’s purely a guess though.
Terry1: Yeah it’s a wine term. I use it to describe a bitterness that’s not always bad. It reminds me of the bitterness from eating the skin off of a grape. I think we are all tasting the same thing on this cigar and using different terms.
StraightUpCigars: I think you’re right, that’s the flavor I was calling a pungent earthiness. A little ripe if you will.
StraightUpCigars: Hit refresh… kinda looks like a bunch of hot dogs… I’ll work on that.
IamDarren: lol, well its a step in the right direction.
IamDarren: i have something i might send you Matt, I took a bunch off cigar foot pics and lined them up. That might look cool along the side.
Terry1: Getting some of the pepper you mentioned with a slight sweetness. The finish is becoming, however, a concern. That acidic, chary, tangy and yes, tannic flavor is heavily coating my mouth. It’s making me cleanse the palate after every puff. Hopefully things get better.
StraightUpCigars: That could be something Darren. I agree Terry the bitterness is increasing. It’s coming through as a real bitter coffee flavor for now, so it’s still palatable for me.
IamDarren: agreed, that sweet, creamy flavor that was dominating the first half of each puff has mellowed out and is being taken over by the other flavors. Finish is not as pleasant.
Terry1: I’ve got a major run up one side now. It’s about an inch long now and grows with each puff.
IamDarren: might be affecting your flavor Terry, try correcting it and see what happens. I have a feeling that most of the sweetness is coming from the wrapper.
IamDarren: burn on my stick is near perfect
StraightUpCigars: My burn is perfect too, the ash does drop very quickly on mine though – watch out
Terry1: That helped. The run finally stopped. Although I lost about a half inch of cigar to fix it. The flavors are at least better. That bitterness is dialed back. I think you’re right the sweetness is coming from the wrapper.
Terry1: I’ve noticed the loose ash on mine. I’m wearing it.
IamDarren: lol, yeah i tapped my first one off in the tray and am about ready to do it again
IamDarren: i was reading an article awhile back that made a lot of sense to me. It said something to the effect that when you first light up a cigar most of the flavor you get is from the wrapper since the core has not heated up and started to burn much yet. So it made sense to me that the first several puffs were very sweet and mellow.
StraightUpCigars: That makes perfect sense. Where’d you read that?
IamDarren: lol, i have no idea. One evening after a review i was just scouring through the sites.
Terry1: I like how oily the wrapper is. I’m amazed at how the flavors have changed on mine since I corrected the burn. It’s more like how it started with the creamy sweetness. The bitterness is almost gone. Not sure why. Maybe the bitter leaf was closer to the foot than the head? I’m liking the second half now.
StraightUpCigars: So I’ve been wiping my sweat (it’s a million degrees here) on the sleeve of my white shirt, there is a ton of oil or dye left behind on my shirt. It’s all yellow on that side.
StraightUpCigars: I’ve been studying the cigar, probably just oils, this one doesn’t look dyed or anything.
IamDarren: quit lathering yourself in cheap sun screen and you will be fine…
Terry1: I’m loving it here. A cold front moved through. It’s been in the mid 70s for a couple of days. Wont last long thou. It’ll be 95 by the weekend.
StraightUpCigars: Hit refresh again, I think that’s as good as it’s gonna get for now.
IamDarren: Cold front is supposed to get here in the night, might get some rain
IamDarren: Dang that was fast, NICE!
StraightUpCigars: So not fair, I’m jealous of you guys. Air is not moving at all here, literally like a sauna.
Terry1: Looks good! The bands make them look more like cigars instead of hot dogs.
StraightUpCigars: Lol! agreed.
Terry1: I like the logo mixed in too.
IamDarren: you should design websites
StraightUpCigars: This was your idea… maybe you should!
IamDarren: naw… im a hardware kinda guy
StraightUpCigars: I’ve done a couple friends and family type-of deals. It’s really not an enviable job, people have these crazy ideas in their heads and can’t articulate them. Hard to make them happy and bring them back down to earth.
Terry1: Getting into the final third. Sweetness is building and there is a hint of the floral note that I got from the wrapper. Burn is near perfect again.
IamDarren: same here, didn’t even have to pop the band it just slid off
IamDarren: sweetness is there but not as strong as the first third. Getting a little more heat which is bringing a little spice into the mix.
StraightUpCigars: I’m nearing the final third here too. I had to do a major burn correction, but all seems well now. I’m getting some serious spice with each puff, leaving my lips tingling. The bitter dark coffee flavor hasn’t increased or decreased, still dominating though.
IamDarren: im getting that coffee note now but its not overpowering. I would say its medium/dark with a bit of sugar
IamDarren: speaking of coffee, im nearing the end of my last bag. Do you guys have a favorite that is pre-ground?
StraightUpCigars: You’re going to laugh at the name… my favorite is Chock Full O Nuts. I think it’s a Northeatern brand. Hazelnut flavors. Pretty good for a major can brand.
Terry1: I’m super boring. Folgers for me. Sorry.
StraightUpCigars: I get folgers sometimes too, nothing like a good go-to coffee.
IamDarren: lol, ok. I can’t afford the starbucks type stuff. The last bag i got i ordered from Costco. Its their premium dark roast. I think its called Pleasant Hill Farms or something.
Terry1: My cigar is heating up too. Burning my tongue. I’m slowing down the puffing to see if it will cool off.
StraightUpCigars: My father hasn’t retired yet and travels 3 times a week. He keeps the coffee packs from his hotels for me, and I did the same when I was surveying. Get to try a bunch of different kinds that way.
IamDarren: yeah mine is really heating up, draw has become really loose and its burning faster.
IamDarren: I tried the Keurig and didn’t like it. It was too bland if i wanted a large cup so i got a regular coffee maker and gave that one to my wife to take to school.
IamDarren: maybe an inch left to go on mine if i take it to the nub but its heating up so much that i may end it soon.
StraightUpCigars: I didn’t like the Keurigs I tried either. I got Susie a Nespresso maker a couple years ago and we both like that. Mix it with some frothed milk and have a latte.
IamDarren: I got a Bonavita. Makes great coffee and is super simple to use
Terry1: Slowing down helped. Not as hot. I think I can finish this cigar. A little nicotine buzz coming on but nothing as bad as some other cigars we’ve tried. Flavors are about the same.
StraightUpCigars: Going to look that up Darren. I agree Terry, low nic kick on this one. I feel like the flavor is really the exact same as it was for the second third though, no change.
IamDarren: agreed, got a little bored in the last half. Not a complex cigar.
StraightUpCigars: I just set mine down, getting hot to the touch at this point.
IamDarren: yep, set mine down too
Terry1: I’m done. Price is around $5 which is okay. The problem is they come in 50 count boxes!
IamDarren: Whoa, did you find a fiver somewhere or were these just samples?
Terry1: I bought three singles.
StraightUpCigars: Wow, that’s a huge box! Ratings coming.
IamDarren: Well thanks Terry, i would never have been able to try this one if you hadn’t found some singles
StraightUpCigars: I didn’t NOT enjoy this cigar, but expect more from a Room 101. I’ve had a couple good ones from them. Lackluster complexity and minor construction issues added up to a cigar that’s overshadowed by its competitors.
IamDarren: Maybe it wasn’t our payback but theirs
IamDarren: Thanks for grabbing a few though Terry, its fun to try sticks that are harder to get ahold of.
Terry1: Not the best, not the worst, just average. Room 101 makes does make better blends. The bitterness in the middle third was a killer for me. These cigars have almost a year of age. Try one and decide for yourself.
IamDarren: Yeah, if you are a maduro fan these might be one to try for something new and different.