Last night my daughter and I were relaxing in the living room, watching Phineas and Ferb, when I turned to her and asked what she wanted for dinner. After some back and forth we settled on grilled hot dogs and mixed vegetables. We made a quick run to the grocery store then I began the process of getting the grill ready.
With the charcoal chimney smoking away, I sat down on the deck with a cigar, a beer, and my Kindle (Thanks to a comment from Sam C. I’m reading Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence). The cigar I selected was a Room 101 Payback Robusto. They are a well made cigar at a solid price of about $4.80 at my local cigar shop.
I’ve smoked dozens of Room 101 Payback Robustos and I have yet to have a single problem with any of them. Despite that, I want to let you in on a little secret. I don’t particularly care for this cigar but I continue to buy them anyway. I realize that sounds crazy, why would I buy a cigar that doesn’t do anything for me?
I think part of the reason is peer pressure (yep, I just took the high-school route). Everyone, and I mean everyone, I talk to about this cigar loves it. Well made, good taste, and a great price point. What isn’t to like? I keep telling myself that maybe the Payback is an acquired taste. If I smoke enough of them maybe they’ll grow on me?
What I can tell you after smoking so many of them is that I like it no more or no less than the first one I smoked. Even though I find the flavors to be nothing special, I keep coming back for the value. At under $5 per stick I can get a cigar that fits in virtually any situation. It’s medium body and excellent construction make it a good choice any time – day or night.
Up until my local shop began carrying the AJ Fernandez New World, the Payback was the stick I picked up anytime I wanted a cigar but didn’t necessarily have the time to enjoy it. These days I pick them up for those situations when I know my time may be cut short of if I’ll be busy and see relights in my future.
I sat down to write this post with a direction in mind, however, it has turned into more of a confessional. Perhaps it is time to just get it off my chest and move on. My name is Walt White and I do not particularly care for the Room 101 Payback.
Believe it or not, I feel a little better…
18 thoughts on “I want to let you in on a little secret…”
You are not alone. I gave the Big Payback a few shots, but it just isn’t my cup o’ tea. That’s not a knock on Room101 – that blend just does nothing for me. The value alone isn’t sustainable as a drive to keep buying a cigar….there are other similarly priced sticks that suit me well (including the AJF New World you mentioned; the NW Robusto comes in under $5 in my neck of the woods).
I haven’t had the Big Payback. The robusto didn’t do enough for me to warrant buying the larger size.
The New World Robusto runs about $5.60 in my local shop with the larger ring format (I don’t think it is quite a 60) coming in a little over $6. I buy a lot of New Worlds – they are my current go-to cigar
While you know as good as anybody Walt I like to keep the cash in my wallet, I have trouble buying a cigar over and over if I don’t like it, no matter what the price. I feel the 5-7$ range is a sweet spot for me I will buy cigars over that range but I try and stay within it. That being said if I don’t care for anything in the shop in that range I will move up or down. Maybe one of the reasons everybody seems to like this stick is because of the price.
I have found that price is very important also. My go to everyday wallet friendly sticks are the New World, Intemperance BA XXI Intrigue Petito, 7-20-4 Londres, Oliva Serie V #4 Corona, E.P. Carrillo Core Line No. 4 Corona, E.P. Carrillo Cardinal 52 Robusto Maduro, Casa Magna Colorado Pikito, Joya De Nicaragua Antano 1970 Machito and Padron Delicias Maduro. None will break the bank and are imo consistant with good construction.
My no-worries stick tends to be the Joya Red, though I’m sure it’s less powerful than the Payback, and I don’t smoke often enough to have to worry too much about it. Also, a no-thought, always great one for me is the Undercrown Corona Viva. Probably my go-to when I’m not sure what to pick up. Can be found for less than retail online.
And what do you think so far about Prince of Thorns?
I would smoke the Undercrown Corona Viva every day if I could. Local prices are astronomical for a cigar that was touted as an alternative to the Liga. Online prices are great on them though (I got a 5 Pack of the Robusto Undercrown and a 5 Pack of EP Carrillo – combined 10 cigar sampler price – for $30 and have struggled to by the Undercrown local ever since).
I’m not a fan of the Joya Red. It sells like crazy in my local shop though.
I almost didn’t order Prince of Thorns. I saw that it was only 333 pages and hesitated. I mean, what I usually read is just getting warmed up at 300 pages. I bought it anyway and have been pleasantly surprised. The pacing is a little fast (though I expected that with only 300 pages to work with) but other than that, I’m enjoying it.
I don’t mind the dark nature of the story / character either. I’m fond of a good anti-hero and gray / gritty characters.
And I will be picking up those Joe Abercrombies you recommended. Got a couple to finish first, but looking forward them.
I was poking around on Amazon and saw Book 1 of the First Law Trilogy listed at $1.99 for Kindle. You can’t beat that price to give a new author a try.
Walt if you want another couple options for a go to cigar at a great price, I love love love both the Ramon Bueso Genesis Project and the Illusione Rothchild. Both are like chocolate candy bars
Ditto on the Illusione Rothchildes!!!!!! Damn good smoke for the price. Been through close to 2 boxes already and will probably snag another box when the money tree bears fruit.
Does you local place cary the Rothschild? If so, I may ask you to pick me up some the next time you head over.
Love love the New world haven’t tried any room 101 yet want just have yet pull the trigger what do you think of Tatuaje tattoo it’s on my list and it’s a tat I can afford to get more then one of
There aren’t any Tatuaje Shops in my area (aside from CI but they are a little ways away). I’ll have to put an online order in and check the out. I’ve heard good things.
Just saw the reply. Consider it bought. Thanks for the heads up!
I believe the second book is a little longer. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. It got. Little confusing, but that was part of the narrative.
I wrapped up Prince of Thorns over the weekend. I enjoyed it and plan on continuing with the series but am going to take a quick break first. I started Half the World yesterday and plan on finishing that (also a short novel) before bouncing back to King of Thorns.
By the way, Cigarmonster often has fivers of the Corona Viva for 24.95., shipping included. Not anywhere near as good a deal as the 10 for 30, but better than local prices.
I’ve recently smoked a 6×60 and thought it was one of the better cigars I’ve smoked lately and plan on buying more. The taste, burn, smoke, and construction were all on point.