With advertisement like "don't feed the animals, rated 12 points by Cigar Aficionado Magazine, because daddy needs new gold fronts" and many many more, you begin to wonder how serious Matt Booth is. He definitely breaks the norm that was present in the cigar industry for many years, and makes people like Jonathan Drew and Pete Johnson seem as conservative and old fashion as Carlos Fuente. While his advertisement is flashy and eye grabbing, I will say that he produces some damn fine cigars with that. There are some who spend a lot on advertisement and less on the cigar, but Matt Booth is not that guy. First he makes a great cigar, than he publicizes it in the most peculiar of ways. Some might say he has brought the cigar industry a needed breath of fresh air, but I find it more appropriate to say he has brought the industry a needed Red Bull and vodka, a.k.a. The Vod-Bomb.
Like other releases by Room 101, the Room 101 Master Collection One is a limited edition cigar and total production is set at 4,400 boxes. The Mutante vitola will be released in 1,000 boxes and will be a 7" by 38 ring gauge lancero. The bands show the cherry blossom mon that Matt Booth is beginning to use as the logo of Room 101, and the cigars feature a wrapper Mexican San Andres Rosado. The binder is Honduran Corojo Corte #5 and the filler is a blend of Honduran Corojo, Nicaraguan Habano Ligero and Mexican San Andres Ligero. The cigar has a lovely pigtail cap and it is a slightly shorter lancero than your traditional lanceros. It has a nice firmness to touch and and the wrapper shows some minor veins throughout. The coloring of the wrapper is that of milk chocolate and I would say it is a light maduro color. The texture on the wrapper is smooth and it is not oily or gritty. The wrapper has an aroma that is of leather, cocoa and dried wood, and on the filler I am getting some floral notes accompanied with that.
The first third begins by showing some great cocoa notes. It is really capturing the wrapper and the flavor profile that comes with that, and it is very enjoyable. There is a nice sweet dark chocolate that is not overly rich, but at a perfect level. It is accompanied by some leather and dry cedar notes, and then followed with this sweet lemon citrus and floral finish. It has some great Room 101 characteristics, but also something very new with that. I would say the strength of the cigar is at a medium level right now and the body is just between medium and medium full for me. I could smoke this cigar at anytime of day with ease. The construction on the cigar is top notch and I am getting a razor sharp burn line with a lovely charcoal ash. The draw is cool for the small ring gauge and producing a nice bit of smoke with that.
I am in the second third of the cigar now and it continues to produce those wonderful flavors from the first third. The floral and sweet citrus lemon flavors are more present than before, but they are not overpowering. They are pairing with the dry but sweet cocoa notes from the first third and making a complex and enjoyable smoking experience. There are touches of leather and wood on the finish and it is a lovely smoke. The body and strength level are remaining similar to what they were before, and this is a solid cigar that is between medium and medium full. I would find myself beginning the day with this cigar or ending the day with it. The construction on the lancero is top notch and it is producing a cool draw with a nice bit of smoke on top of that. Booth has got a great lancero with this cigar and it might be his finest yet.
When I get into the final third I find that the cigar continues to deliver those awesome flavors that it has throughout. I am getting some terrific cocoa and floral notes which are pairing wonderfully, and it is followed by this light coffee bean and citrus flavor. The wood and leather notes are nice finish, and it has some other tropical flavors present as well. I was almost expecting this cigar to be spicier and fuller, but it is a nice change of pace. The strength and body finish at a solid medium level and it is a nice demise that makes the finish very smooth. In terms of construction the burn line is razor sharp and it is holding on to a lovely charcoal ash with that. I smoke the lancero down to the nub and even on the last draw it is cool with a nice bit of smoke. This is really a cigar that focuses on flavors, and that is what it is all about.
I have not smoked other vitola offerings in the Master Collection One line but I can tell you that this is the best line Matt Booth has put on the market. The cigar is a true medium strength and body smoke that is packed full of flavors. It is a cigar that almost every smoker out there could enjoy with no problems at anytime of the day. While most will not reach for the Mutante vitola, it is a vitola that shows the wonderful qualities of the wrapper it utilizes. I thought the construction on the cigar was nothing but spectacular and in terms of flavors it was great as well. There are some lanceros that are not properly blended to be lanceros, but I can say that Booth spent a lot of time in blending this smoke so that it would be right. Booth has come a long way in the cigar industry and he has really impressed me as a manufacturer that shows progress over the years. I am giving this cigar a 94 and was glad to get it in before the end of the year.
Seth's Humidor Rating: 94