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Room 101 LTD Namakubi Edition Tiburon (6 x 44)

Today Punch and Draw talk about cake baking and DIY. Oh, and they review an LTD Namakubi that was gifted to them at the Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival by a lady who had “too much damn stuff” in her purse.

Room 101 Namakubi Tiburon cigar

Punch: It has been another fine week in Lake Carebegone… where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the cigars are above average.

Draw: I don’t know about that. For me it’s been another grueling week at work. The emergency projects are pouring in so fast as to displace the planned work completely. Now, the previously planned projects are emergent, too! There just doesn’t seem to be any respect by management of the people who work for them.

P: I’m sorry to hear that. You should just be grateful that the women find you handy.

D: Thanks, Red. *ahem* True, though: I should be more grateful. For the record, I want to thank the man who passed these Room 101 LTD Namakubi Tiburons to his wife to stuff in her purse. If he hadn’t done that, then she would never have passed them to us while trying to make more room in it.

P: Apparently these were given out to the RMCF registrants who got into the festival area earlier than we did, so we were happy to accommodate this poor, aggravated lady. When we received them they were sans cellophane and so have been exposed to “the elements” somewhat more than others.

D: Mine has the chemical sweet smell of latex paint. One might attribute that scent to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in paint, and it makes me wonder about VOCs in tobacco. Hmmm…. This is a well-constructed stick with nary a visible seam, but the matte finish of the natural wrapper shows off a rougher-looking shape. Mine has some flaking of the wrapper at the foot, possibly incurred during transport in the woman’s purse.

P: When I punched it something “popped” and the cap flexed, and may have pulled away on one side. We shall see. The pre-light draw showed some nice tobacco, grass, and a hint of molasses.

D: Nice assessment; I agree completely. Using the smaller diameter punch, mine plugged cleanly. Because of the flaking at the foot, and because it’s dark, I’m not going to try to toast the wrapper. Instead, I’ll set the whole foot aglow!

P: First impressions: meh.

D: Meh?

P: Yeah. And I’m only drinking water tonight. My taster may be on the fritz as I’m not getting much flavor: some wood and leather, and a slight pepper finish. The draw is medium, the burn is perfect, and I’m getting nice cool smoke, but not a lot of it.

D: First puff I got toasted marshmallow. A few puffs later, and the attack is fairly sweet, having a body of pears packed in syrup, with a little toasting. Caramelization.

P: Okay. Thanks for that. Now I’m tasting pears, too! (Actually, more of the metallic taste from the syrup in the can.)

D: The Namakubi LTD is not a new cigar, being released back in the Autumn of 2011. The cigar features an Ecudorian Habano wrapper, around a proprietary Honduran Generoso binder, and a blend of Dominican and Honduran Vuelta Abajo filler. Now, I don’t know what all of that means, except it’s supposed to be big on taste! There’s a great write-up on this at Zen and the Art of the Cigar.

P: At an inch and a half in my taster is starting to detect some indefinable flavor and more black pepper on the finish.

D: Apparently Ecuador is a volcanic region, and is frequently under a thin cloud cover. This produces shade varieties without the shade. More sun, more nutrients in the soil is supposed to yield more flavor, brother. I’m getting sweetness on the attack, still pears in the middle, and bittersweetness in the finish and aftertaste….and maybe just a touch of…. black pepper? My ash held on for almost two inches, which seems remarkable, considering I wasn’t being overly careful.

P: That’s impressive. But I’m still not too impressed with this cigar. I’m just getting plain ol’ cigar taste. I prefer the Gurkha Legend Vintage 2001 XO we had last night over this. What about you?

D: I think it’s too early to tell. We’re just entering the second third of this LTD Namakubi. The flavor so far, though, does remind me of an earlier Gurkha, something from last fall or this spring. I’m curious now to go back and see if it had Ecudorian components. Coming back to last night, that vitola was a 60-guage perfecto, whereas this Room 101 is a lonsdale (6″ x 44). That, too, may have an impact on perceived flavor.

P: Well, if I can’t comment on the taste, then I’ll comment on the other aspects. My draw remains middle-of-road, with a moderate amount of stringy smoke. It also seems to smoke alot from the foot between draws.

D: Speaking of that, here in the middle, there’s some green chile coming in on the attack, and staying through the finish. I’m getting more spice in the aftertaste – some chili powder, like Mexican chocolate.

P: Did I mention that my wife is doing some baking for an baby shower tomorrow? While I’m outside this evening sweltering in the 90+ heat, she’s inside filling our home with the wonderful aroma of cake. The kitchen island is covered in cupcakes and food coloring and fondant and frosting…yum!

On an unrelated (to the baking) topic, there is a great  “how to” on how to make economical humidifiers at www.stufficanmake.com using common items found around the house and propylene glycol.

D: I’m looking forward to hearing how that turns out. If they work, I’ll be able to save a lot on Bovida bags. It’s now 11:00 central, and right on schedule, my cigar went out. I blame this entirely on the condensing atmosphere. While I’m relighting it, I’m slipping a sip of Free State Oktoberfest. Nicely compatible flavors, going both ways.

P: My cigar still isn’t jazzing me with flavor, but I think it is evidencing that I’ve got my humidity control down pat. This LTD Namakubi is burning evenly, consistently; it’s idling well….not tunneling at all – for once! Yep, I’m real pleased with how this Room 101 is smoking. I just wish I could taste more of it.

D: A good friend is hauling farm crops about six hours from home. He called in a few days ago to report he had hopped out of the truck and sat down on the ground to look at something with the undercarriage, and crushed the glass on his iPhone, which was in his back pocket. He was lamenting about upgrading or mailing it off for Apple to repair, but I went looking online to see if a cheaper solution existed. I found ifixit.com, which actively promotes repair-and-reuse as an environmentally-friendly solution, and empowers users to try to make repairs through very clear repair guides. They sell a $15 kit that includes new glass and the integrated touch-processor, plus two different spudgers, adhesives… even a suction cup for removing the old glass. It arrived today. We’re now working on a rendezvous and we’ll see if I can fix it on the spot. If not, at least it was no great setback – and I’ll still have useful tools.

P: That sounds great. I’m a big “do it yourselfer” too; not just for the savings one can realize, but often just for the experience and the pride that comes from the accomplishment. I’m looking forward to hearing how the repair attempt goes. Here in the last third some cedar is coming on; go figure.

D: I’m reaching the end of smokability. A touch of unraveling with about an inch and a quarter to go. The flavor had maintained quite well until about now, where cedar and physical heat are overpowering the attack flavors, and the finishing flavors are being dominated by muted cream and cedar funk. Good place to stop, I think.

P: I concur with that finishing summary. I’m gonna let mine lie with three fingers of length remaining.

 Spurn it or Burn it?

P: I’m with Bono, I haven’t found what I’m looking for in this stick. Is it bad? No. It just doesn’t appeal to my interests in a cigar. Great construction, draw, and burn. The flavor built from mild-medium to medium, and the strength was medium. It didn’t go kamikaze with pepper. I just couldn’t manage to get my taste buds out of neutral. Even so, I’m still looking forward to lighting up one of my Room 101 Namakubi 8 x 60 Chingons in the near future and see if my assessment is similar.

D: Burn some! For me, this Room 101 had a sweet, flavorful character which I enjoyed. Sufficient complexity, or change, over the 90-minute-plus smoke to keep me interested. Good draw and even burning start to finish. It compared well to other brands with similar character, despite being a different vitola. I’m looking forward to enjoying more of the LTD Namakubi line.

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