The recent announcement of Room 101’s entrance into the spirits world with surprising choice of gin reminded me that I’m overdue to reread George Orwell’s 1984. But more relevant to the task at hand, it also reminded me I had picked up some Room 101 Hit & Run sticks for a review, and it was high time to roll up my sleeves and get to work on that. I decided to save time on the sleeve-rolling by sticking to short-sleeved t-shirts, and I’m passing those time savings on to you. Load your fax paper, a voucher is one the way.
On the off chance that you’ve forgotten, Hit & Run is Math Booth’s surprisingly sudden return to the cigar industry after a surprisingly brief departure earlier this year. (It was called a retirement at the time, but “sabbatical” seems like a more appropriate word for it now.) The cigar is a collaboration with Robert Caldwell, known for unique boutique blends often with a focus on rare tobaccos.
Size: 4 3/4 x 52
Source: Tabacalera William Ventura, Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuadoran Habano
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $11.50 MSRP
The Pre Light
Let’s get things started by saying the Hit & Run is a good looking cigar. The bands have an aged or vintage look to them, and seem color appropriate for a fall release or for a cigar produced by Robert Caldwell. Though it’s a little hard to make out on the shiny second band, the zero in ‘101’ looks to be the wheel from a penny farthing, like the one in the logo on Caldwell Cigar Company’s website.
Attention to detail in the packaging is always a good sign, but let’s look at the cigars. The cigars I lit up for this review appeared to be free of noticeable imperfections like tears, cracks, spots or holes. The veins tended toward finer sizes, and the cigars were pretty uniform in color and firmness.
The First Third
The Room 101 Hit & Run got off to a light, sweet and creamy start. In the first third light almond, cream, vanilla and even marshmallow notes were common. As the cigar burned, I began to pick up toast, light earth and light pepper. The burn and draw at this stage were virtually flawless.
The Second Third
The combustion properties of the cigar in the middle third continued be just fine, with issues of minor ash flaking and burn line waviness not even worth mentioning, except to say that they aren’t worth mentioning. The body of the profile deepened a little and seemed richer than before. Nutty and pepper flavors were more pronounced, though not very bold. The early sweetness had developed into caramel, and there was the occasional hit of cinnamon.
The Final Third
A continued lack of complaint about the burn line and draw in the final third as the cigar finally moved into heartier peppery terrain. The slightly more than medium body here seemed to balance the slightly less than medium body in the first third.
I enjoyed the Room 101 Hit & Run Almost Robusto, and would likely smoke it again on occasion. But it’s a cigar I have to do some thinking about before lighting. Have I been abusing myself with hops, high-proof corn whiskey and/or smoked meat? If so (and it often is), maybe I save the Hit & Run for another time- like when I have that coffee on a Sunday afternoon. And maybe if I want a drink while I’m puffing on it, I save the bourbon for the last half when the body picks up a little. And you can’t go wrong with a cup of coffee. This is a cigar that has a lot more to offer if you smoke it before your palate has been worn down by too many ingested excitements.