Room 101 The Big Payback


Room 101 The Big Payback Hueso (6 x 60)

Wrapper: Nicaraguan

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Blender: Matt Booth

Camacho’s reputation as being a Honduran Puro machine has been shaken up a bit since the re-branding of the company. Room 101 has not visibly been touched by the Camacho makeover, however, there is evidence that a wider range of tobacco is being used in their blends. The Big Payback is the 14th cigar released by Room 101 cigars, but the first Nicaraguan puro. Previously the brand leaned heavy on the Honduran tobacco, with only a few leaves of a blend being from other countries.

The Big Payback is a cigar designed not to seek revenge on someone, something, or some other brand, but to payback the loyal smokers of Room 101 cigars and say “thank you” for all the support. This is one of the reasons why the cigars is more value driven with the largest cigar in the lineup (7 x 70 (also the first 7×70 for the marca)) retailing for only $6.95, well below what they “should” sell for. The name of the cigar, the large ring gauges, and the MSRP were all developed and designed with what the marketplace wants in mind. When asked specifically about the large rings of Booth hinted that the cigar business is about balance between art and business. This is an attempt to achieve that balance. The Market has been trending to large rings and Nicaraguan Puros. Room 101 had yet to fill that niche. Now they have.

This will not be a limited edition cigar. This will be a regular production cigar with rumors that there is enough tobacco to indefinitely produce according to the market demand.

The cigar is large by classic standards but it seems to fit in with current standards. A 6 x 60 is hardly the largest cigar on the market. The cigar has two bands; both of them are black and silver. The main band states the name of the cigar and the brand. The secondary band around the foot is very wide and sports the Room 101 Fu. It is a basic presentation but it works well out of simplicity.


Once the bands are off, a clear view of the medium brown wrapper is seen. There is a bit of a rustic look to it. The wrapper is bumpy and has some heavy vein structure. The seams are easy to see, and the wrapper appears thick. In the hand, the cigar feels smooth and oily. As with any large format cigar, it is heavy, but not for its size. It has a classic barnyard smell  with a bit of a cedar note. The lick on the cap is oily and a bit sour with a hint at bitter. A clip with an Xi1 cutter is barely possible given the ring, but once accomplished, there is a wonderful draw with the right amount of resistance. This draw is full of flavors anise, licorice and sarsaparilla. In short it leans to a good craft root beer.

Light with a soft flame.

The initial flavors are smooth, cedar and sweet. Through the nose there is a sweet mushroom flavor and a hint at the classic Nicaraguan flavor of wood and spice. As the cigar settles in, the sweeter notes stick around. The cedar note picks up a touch of musk. There is hint at spice but it never quite reaches the level of spice, even when the smoke is held an extended period of time. The retrohale brings flavors of mushroom and musty cedar. The finish is fairly short and seems to invite another puff quickly. The flavors of the first third are smooth and enjoyable. There is no hint at harsh in any way. There are complexities and nuances within the flavors that make them mesh together well with very good balance.

The middle third has a bit more pepper to it. What makes the pepper interesting is that it is a very light note of it on the initial draw while drawing. There is still little to no pepper in the rest of the puff. The musk and wood notes have picked up and the sweetness has died down. Through the nose is where it is more of a typical Nicaraguan, though it still is missing the heavy spice. The woody retrohale is very nice and the musk mingles well with it. Though the finish is lengthening, it is not very long. The cigar makes the mouth water.

This middle third does bring in a bit of a burn issue, with one side burning slower than the other. A quick touch up light corrected the issue. No flavor changes post correction.

The final third has increased in intensity. The spice in the initial puff has picked up again while remaining smooth. It can best be described as a subtle cinnamon. The wood notes have a thickness to them that was not previously noticed. The retrohale is about the same as the middle third but the finish is now longer. It has become dusty wood in nature and seems to linger for several minutes. These smooth and subtle transitions keep the cigar interesting despite the large format and slow burn.

The cigar ends mostly this way, warming up near the end, accentuating the cinnamon.

Burn to the Burn

time 2 hours 50 minutes.

Burn: 9

Draw: 10

Taste: 9

Aftertaste: 10

Construction: 9

Balance: 10

Feel: 9

overall: 9.4


~ by kuzi16 on September 12, 2014.

One Response to “Room 101 The Big Payback”

  1. Christ! I just hit something on my iPad Mini and lost about 250 words, so I’ll make it short this time.

    I just got a fiver of the La Barba Purple Lanceros, and as usual, I went mining for reviews. I found yours on, and it led me to your blog. For which I’m very grateful, because there’s a type of reviewer I’ve been looking for, but never ran across until this afternoon.

    So this shorter reply is better, something I’ve noticed often. I’ll be back often, be assured.

    It’s fiftyish and drizzling, and trying to decide if the Blessed Leaf Kairos is too big for the outside weather. I think probably so.

    I moved in with my daughter and can’t smoke inside anymore. I really question my wisdom sometimes.

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