Matt Booth, while seemingly wild and crazy, may be one of the nicest guys you can meet in the industry. His Room 101 brand has made a great name for itself with cigars that were not only unique but very satisfying to the smoker. When I saw that The Big Payback was coming in, I was very much anticipating its arrival. Opening the hefty boxes, your met with a beautiful cigar, with a dark brown wrapper carrying a sweet oily sheen to it. The veins are not at all obtrusive and the cigar feels wonderful in the hand. The bands are striking and I was glad to see it on the foot as I think more need it.
I brought a few home over a long week end to enjoy and one Saturday night I had the opportunity to break one out. Once I clipped the tip of the 60x6 version the cold draw gave me hints of citrus and clay earth with a touch of pecan shell. By the way, if you ever sat cracking pecans for any length of time, you now the aroma I speak of.
I walked out to my back deck and because it was a cloudless night, I could see stars as far as the eye could see. I sat and used my trusty torch and it lit perfectly. The first few draws brought ample pepper spice with hints of chicory, but something else wanting to show. Past about three quarters of an inch and I began to pick up the luscious flavor of roasted black walnuts in the mix. The spice calmed a tad as the chicory and roasted black walnut began to dance in a provocative tango across the palate. These flavors danced through the first third and hints of earth showed on and off making it a tantalizing smoke.
As I sat there looking at the sky, it made you wonder about those distant stars and with time as it is, how many of what we see still exists and what is now gone? As I sat the cigar progressed into the second third which continued to thrill the oral factors. The roasted black walnut very much continued with the addition of a nice hard wood in the background. The spice is ever present adding a superb cover of the flavors being produced.
Leaning back in my chair, watching the smoke drift in the still night air, it amazes me how peaceful the night can be. Drawing deep on this fantastic cigar, it moves into the final third. The power of the cigar begins to ramp up somewhat, with hints of raw hide leather like you find on new saddles showing up, with the roasted walnut, spice and chicory working in a symphonic and harmonious way. The cigar concludes with ample leather and spice with a mild brittle sweetness that tops the mixture perfectly.
The Room 101 Big Payback is a true win for Matt Booth and at the price point cant be beat. If you haven’t tried it yet, look for them soon!