Room101 Daruma (2023) Cigar Review – Final Third was Great….
Factory: Tabacalera Oliva de Nicaragua S.A. (Nicaragua)
Production: Limited Edition (2,000 boxes of 10 cigars)
Vitola: 6″ × 50 (Toro)
Daruma is a Japanese term for a small, egg-shaped papier-mâché figure that is used to set goals for the year. It starts with drawing an eye on the doll when an initial goal is set, and when achieved, the second eye is placed. The Daruma will then be lit on fire to celebrate the goal being met. This is very similar to cultures that light up a cigar after sports victories, weddings, graduations, or a baby’s birth.
“The return of Daruma is symbolic of the relationship with STG and Room101 moving forward. It represents the opportunity for Room101 to spread its wings which has always been our goal. And just as goals change and times change, Daruma has evolved. The Daruma of 2011 would not be the Daruma of today. The blend is correct and appropriate for now and begins a new chapter for both Daruma and Room101.”
The Daruma (2023), although it has the same name, is very different from the Daruma of 2012. First, it will only be offered in one size—unlike its prior 2012 release, which had five different sizes. Next, only a very limited amount of the 2023 is being produced, making this a more limited cigar than in 2012. Finally, the make-up of the cigar differs greatly, with the 2023 being a Nicaraguan puro; compare this to the original recipe, which had an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Brazilian Mata Fina binder, with Dominican and Honduran fillers. Daruma also had some other remixes through the years. One came in 2014 (Daruma Gold), where the wrapper was changed to Mexican San Andrés. There was also a single-store exclusive—Daruma Nappy B—which had a Mexican San Andrés wrapper and a binder change to a Honduran leaf.
The Daruma (2023) has elaborate packaging, and is wrapped like previous Room101 cigars. Before getting to examine the cigar itself, you will encounter a black and gold sleeve bearing the classic Daruma logo with the Room101 cherry blossom flower. Once the sleeve is removed, the cigar is tightly wrapped in white tissue paper. Remove this final layer, and you have reached the cigar, bearing two bands. The primary band is the classic black and gold Daruma band with “ROOM101” beneath, and the second band (gold and black rather than black and gold) has the letters “LTD/ASF.” The Daruma has a closed foot and a dark finish, with a mineral sparkle to it. It has very faint seams and veins. Overall, it has a fairly smooth finish to the touch, and is pretty dry.