Room 101 San Andres 305

The cold shiver that just ran down Matt Booth’s spine means I’m back with another Room 101 cigar review. (Don’t worry, I’ll be on my best behavior.) This time I’m taking a look at the recently released Room 101 San Andres, or “Serie SA” as noted on the band. And has been my custom lately, I turn you over to the official press release for all the juicy details.

As a follow-up to the highly rated OSOK limited edition, Room101 & Camacho are proud to announce the newest member of the 101 core line, Room101 San Andres. This latest installment is wrapped in a natural San Andres wrapper, which is grown by the Turrent family in Mexico. Medium in strength, this new blend is a departure from the taste profile normally associated with the existing Room101 lines. Moving away from the use of Dominican fillers, we focused on using some of the best raw material that the El Corojo farms had to offer. Ultimately, our choices narrowed and we decided on using Corojo and Criollo for the guts of the blend. The end result was more than we bargained for and as a result, an incredibly complex and diverse new addition was born.

The San Andres is available in 25 or 50-count boxes in the following vitolas, all but one named for area codes of major cities: Papi Chulo (4 x 42), 213 (5 1/2 x 44), 305 (5 x 50), 615 (7 x 48) and 808 (6 x 60). It’s interesting that there’s no San Andres 404, which is an Atlanta area code and the first three digits you’d punch call me if I used a land line. I sense a conspiracy.

Mr. Booth (if that is his real name) has been on a winning streak lately and a blend featuring San Andres, corojo and criollo tobaccos bodes well. Let’s see if the San Andres keeps the streak alive.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Binder: Honduran Corojo
Filler: Honduran and Dominican Criollo and Corojo
Smoking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Beverage: Water
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Price: MSRP $6.00

The Pre-Smoke
The Room 101 San Andres 305 is a good looking smoke, with generally fine veins, a consistent darker brown color that falls somewhere between milk and dark chocolate and a slick golden “Fu” band. My experience wasn’t without its flaws though. One of the review sticks had a sizeable crack in the middle. Less importantly, I noted small water spots on another.

The tactile inspection revealed no soft spots, only a firm consistency in each stick. The wrapper had a pungent and slightly musty cheese aroma, and the cold taste reminded me of raisinets (or chocolate covered raisins for those unfamiliar with American movie theater candy).

The Burn
I’m not going to dip it in chocolate, the San Andres 305 had ugly looking burn. Though the lighter-colored ash made a nice contrast against the dark wrapper, the burn line was often very uneven (or “rocking the tidal wave” as I described it in my notes), the ash cracked and flaked and several lighter interventions were required per smoke. But the most important aspect, but draw, was flawless, even when the one cigar was cracked so badly I thought it would unravel. (It didn’t, and I was still able to smoke it.)

The Flavor
The San Andres 305 started off a little earthy, with some wood notes but quickly developed the rich, and often dusty chocolate sauce flavor that would carry through until the end of the smoke. At times I picked up the raisinet-like flavor I noted in the cold draw.

Pleasant salt caramel joined the mix around the the beginning of the second third, and at times I picked up a little pepper and mocha. There was a mild heat to the smoke, and when combined with chocolate and growing savoriness of the profile, it reminded me a little of a mole sauce.

In the final act, the cigar made a small transition toward leather, though the rich chocolate sauce and some of the caramel remained. There was some strength to the San Andres 305, but I suspect it may have been amplified somewhat by the added heat of frequent torch work.

The Price
The price is great. At six bucks it’s almost be a crime not to try it out.

The Verdict
Mr. Booth conspired to make a good San Andres cigar and great price and he succeeded. The words “rich” and “decadent” kept coming to mind as I smoked it and my enjoyment effectively negated any ill will generated by the burn problems. I have no doubt I’ll be smoking more of them in the future, and I would imagine this cigar will go over well with anyone who enjoys Mexican San Andres tobacco. And at six bucks, it’s worth finding out if you aren’t sure. My recommendation is skip dessert and smoke a Room 101 San Andres 305 instead. It’s just as good, and has none of the calories.

Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes

Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.