Room101 Daruma 2023 - Blind Cigar Review

Room101 Daruma 2023 – Blind Cigar Review

Cigar Info

Earlier this year, Room101’s re-launched their Daruma line. Originally introduced in 2012 as a follow-up to the Namakubi, the Daruma disappeared following Booth’s departure from Davidoff, leaving aficionados longing for its unique blend. Now, it’s back, drawing inspiration from the Japanese Daruma doll, a symbol of perseverance and goal achievement.

This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.

Crafted in partnership with the Oliva Cigar Company, the revived Daruma is a Nicaraguan puro, a single-origin cigar that speaks to the brand’s commitment to quality and the evolving tastes of cigar enthusiasts. Available exclusively in a 6” x 50 Toro size and priced at $12.99 per cigar, it promises a unique experience that aligns with Room101’s philosophy of constant evolution.

Matt Booth, the creative force behind Room101, sees the return of Daruma as more than just a new product launch. It’s a symbol of the brand’s growth and adaptability, an embodiment of their goal to continually spread their wings in the cigar industry. The new Daruma blend is a chapter in Room101’s story, inviting smokers to light up and celebrate their journeys while setting their sights on future adventures. This latest iteration is distributed by Forged Cigar Company. Production is limited to 2,000 boxes of 10 cigars.

Vital Stats:

Vitola: Toro
Length: 6″
Ring Gauge: 50
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacalera Oliva de Nicaragua S.A.
Blender: Matt Booth
Number of reviewers: 5 Angel M. (Angel) Kevin J. (maninblack77) Diana (ArmyRN) Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi) Noah S. (Noah)
Price: $12.99
Age: 8 Months
Release Date: April 2023
Contributed by: General Cigar

Initial Impressions – Room101 Daruma 2023

Appearance: 94

“Nice brown with reddish hues and a little golden brown in the undercoat. This is a very nice-looking cigar with the seams of the wrapper being well incorporated into the body. The cap is nicely rounded and very few veins are evident, but nothing is protruding. The filler is hidden behind a closed foot. The closed foot is nicely done and very smooth across the foot. This is a nice size cigar that looks to be a 6 x 50 or 52, which is a size I personally enjoy.” –Diana (ArmyRN)

Aroma: 92

“Subtleties of suede leather and a soft sweetness are the only aromas I am able to coax from the wrapper and enclosed foot on this stick.” –Noah S. (Noah)

First Third
Room101 Daruma 2023 – Blind Cigar Review

First Third

Flavor: 94
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“Deep-roasted coffee beans were noted as the cigar burned through the closed foot. The finish had a mineral, almost iron-type flavor, and the cigar is on the verge of being salty. This was not at all what I expected from the aroma. At some points in the first third, I was reminded of dark leafy green with some beef mixed with light Italian dressing. Definitely getting a savory vibe from this cigar. By the end of the third there was a combination of mild hickory, iron, and roasted coffee beans.” –Diana (ArmyRN)

“Toasted the closed foot and away we go! Right out the gate there were copious amounts of leather, dark chocolate, oak, and a blast of black pepper. The black pepper subsided but the other flavors stuck around. Wow, what an impressive first third. Not only flavorwise but it also performed like a champ. Razor sharp burn and lots of smoke output. Very impressed so far.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)

Second Third
Room101 Daruma 2023 – Blind Cigar Review

Second Third

Flavor: 94
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“Leather, mineral-rich dirt, and black pepper continue to shine as this smoke segues into the second third. Thankfully the strange vegetal flavor I noticed early on is now long gone. The finish is much longer now, mouthwatering, and almost a little tangy. Hints of cherrywood smoked meats and subtleties of dark chocolate join the finish offering up more complexity and dimension to the smoke. The crack in the wrapper has lengthened and has caused some unraveling. Luckily I am able to use the band to keep this thing together for the time being but I know things could get hairy and a touchup is almost inevitable. Cayenne pepper continues to dominate the retro that leaves a tingle in my nostrils long after each puff.” –Noah S. (Noah)

“Moving into the next third the profile keeps getting sweeter. The main note is maraschino cherries with light vegetal undertones. The retrohale has plenty of fresh anise while it the finish is a little doughy. The mouthfeel is a little fuller becoming slightly chewy. The finish has stayed the same but the notes have shifted to be grassy.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)

Final Third
Room101 Daruma 2023 – Blind Cigar Review

Final Third

Flavor: 94
Strength: Medium-Strong
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“In the final third, some more small flavor transitions, the baking spice remains as well as the leather, but a roasted nut flavor has kicked in, and the smoke has smoothed out once more, although remaining very thick, it still remains on the cool side.” –Angel M. (Angel)

“A shake-up in the flavor profile occurs upon entering the home stretch where the sweeter notes of dark chocolate and cherrywood smoked meats step up to the center stage while the earthy tones drop back to a supporting role on the finish. As a result, the finish has become a bit more bitter now while the saltiness lingering on the lips and tongue is undeniable and almost a little stingy. The burn line has caught up with the end of the tear in the wrapper which thankfully never caused any major issues. The reign of the sweeter notes appears to have been short lived as they are quickly being taken over by an influx of cayenne pepper spice. Approaching the nub, this stick becomes a pepper bomb quickly drowning out any other flavors that were present before.” –Noah S. (Noah)

Overall Impressions – Room101 Daruma 2023

Draw: 98

“From start to finish the draw on this cigar was right down Broadway as each puff produced a ton of smoke without it ever getting too hot.” –Noah S. (Noah)

Burn: 96

“Overly impressed by how sharp the burn was. Razor sharp.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)

Construction: 94

“This cigar lived up to its good-looking appearance. There were no lifts or tears to the wrapper and no deterioration of the cap while smoking. The cigar is well-made and feels good in the hand. The smoothness of the wrapper, with a bit of an oily finish, helps it move nicely in the fingers.” –Diana (ArmyRN)

Overall Strength: Medium-Strong
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
Experience Overall: 96

“This was an extraordinary cigar, all the flavor transitions from third to third kept me interested all the way through. The texture of cigar was wonderful and the amount of smoke output was excellent. This cigar, however, does give you a bit of dry mouth and is on the heavier side with a definite nicotine punch. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a more robust cigar and has a tolerance for a bit of nicotine.” –Angel M. (Angel)

“This cigar was only a few flavors away from being epic. It was eye-catching and performed like a champ. The mix of flavors really hit my palate in the sweet spot. Loved the leather, chocolate, oak, and spice flavors that just came in droves. Highly recommended and I can’t wait to buy more of these.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)

“I was very surprised by this cigar. What I thought from the limited aroma I could get pre-light, was nothing like what I actually experienced during the smoke. Although I would have liked a bit looser draw and a smidge more smoke production, this savory, yet smooth cigar, made me hungry for some savory food. I would definitely keep this in my rotation for a steak dinner, a glass of bourbon, a Bloody Mary, or a cup of dark roast coffee. Sit back and enjoy the smooth, savory notes of yummy relaxation with this one.” –Diana (ArmyRN)

“This cigar was very complex with noticeable shifts in flavor profile. They all worked well together making a compelling smoking experience. This cigar would work well at any time of the day and pair well with just about any libation. It should find a home in any humidor, mine included.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)

“Despite a crack in the wrapper which led to a little unraveling but thankfully no major issues, I can’t really say anything bad about this cigar. Earth-driven flavor profiles aren’t typically my first choice when I reach into the humidor but they certainly have their place and I do thoroughly enjoy them from time to time. This stick was no exception. Although this cigar began and ended fairly one-dimensional albeit in different ways, the flavors present on the bookends were plenty tasty and balanced just well enough. The middle however is where this smoke truly shined, showcasing complexity, smoothness, balance, and a handful of different flavors that played very nicely together. The minor wrapper issue which only needed a single touchup didn’t detract too much from an otherwise enjoyable smoking experience. All in all, this stick offered up just a little bit of everything and touched on all five of the tastes. Bitter, salty, savory, spicy, and sweet were all represented. I can’t say that I would smoke this one regularly but I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to pair this cigar with a good scotch, rich dark roast coffee, or a fat juicy steak on occasion.” –Noah S. (Noah)

Smoking Time (in minutes): 97

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Kevin J.979797979710010010097
Estevan Z.939090909093939393
Noah S.9392959595100939595

To view the complete scores and notes, click here

Room101 Daruma 2023 – Blind Cigar Review

Room101 Daruma 2023
"This cigar was only a few flavors away from being epic. It was eye catching and performed like a champ. The mix of flavors really hit my palate in the sweet spot. Loved the leather, chocolate, oak,and spice flavors that just came in droves. Highly recommended and I can't wait to buy more of these." -Kevin J. (maninblack77)
First Third
Second Third
Final Third
Overall Experience