Bite Size Review: Room 101 Farce Robusto
Farce (ˈfärs): an empty or patently ridiculous act, proceeding, or situation. [Merriam-Webster]
In the Spring of 2018, I had the opportunity to try the first of Matt Booth’s non-Caldwell collaboration cigars after his return from an abbreviated retirement that lasted about as long as a pro football season. After hits and misses with Caldwell collaboration projects like Hit & Run it was refreshing to see a bona fide offering from Room 101 again. The cigar is Farce, a curious brand name the backstory of which we’re not privy to, but I bet is entertaining.
When I purchased my first Farce, they were not yet adorned with their permanent bands featuring Booth’s trademark Sakura logo. Instead they were outfitted with black and white “Pre-Release” bands for the first couple of months they sat on store shelves. My initial experience was solid and I made sure Farce made it into our Review Bullpen. Well, in case you hadn’t noticed, the cigar we reviewed wears the same pre-release band – from almost 2 years ago. “What gives,” you ask? Actually, the cigar was purchased in January 2019 and the B&M still had some pre-release sticks remaining. Simple.
I’ll be honest, I’m always a little concerned when blends contain tobaccos from over 4 countries and the Farce features leaves from 5. Why the trepidation? That’s a lot going on in a cigar and to be able to zero in on a particular flavor palette, texture, character, etc requires the skills of a seasoned blender with a laser focus. Booth couldn’t go wrong with an Ecuadorian wrapper, but many typically shy away from using Indonesian tobacco – used as the binder in the Farce – in any form as it has been widely reported that it is difficult to work with. Rounding out the filler are tobaccos from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Pennsylvania.
Our Farce has about a year of humidor age, but it’s rich caramel-colored wrapper still glistens with oil. The roll is seamless, but the cap application is a tad sloppy. The cigar is lined with veins, is toothy and slick to the touch. The Farce feels solid overall but does possess some soft spots in places. Chocolate aromas from the wrapper aren’t particularly strong and the foot provides a hint of musty cacao. The draw is mostly open and there’s a round, chewy quality of dark fruit left on the palate.
I vaguely recalled my last meeting with Farce, but the opening profile brought the memories flooding back. The toasty draw, nutty core and notes of toasted almonds and leather welcomed me back. The silky retro gave hints of some nougat and the rich finish of coffee rounds out first impressions. A light spice emerges as does some oakyness at the tail end of the retro and as the character becomes more smoky, Farce is hitting its stride. Transitions offer a more woody foundation and the spice gradually increases. The warm, medium-bodied profiles dazzle with a mélange of baked bread, toasted oats, dark coffee and even some graham cracker. Lip smackin’ good.
Combustion of the Farce is near flawless, it produces copious amounts of smoke and holds a generous ash. Complexity does fade, but the flavor palettes still make it interesting and satisfying. I’m sure the age hasn’t hurt, but I seem to recall being just as impressed during my first outing. When a robusto approaches $11, I struggle to justify “go to status” so I’ll let you decide. I think this little blurb from Room 101 on the Farce sums it up nicely: “…glorious flavors cascade over your pallet – diddling your receptors in a fashion you cannot deny.” A farce, this cigar is not so let the diddling commence. – In Fumo Pax!
Did you Know: The Farce represents Room 101’s first in-house brand since Booth’s hiatus and is also the first Room 101 cigar to be produced in the Dominican Republic.
- Profile: Medium
- Vitola: Robusto
- Length / Ring Gauge: 5.0″ x 52
- Purchased: B&M
- Origin: Dominican Republic
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian
- Binder: Indonesian
- Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan, U.S. [Pennsylvania]
- Blade: Xikar Xi1
- Fire: Colibri Firebird
- Price: $10.90 [Box $218]
- Humidor Age: 12 mo.
- Box: 20
- Other Vitolas: Toro [6.25″x54], Magnum [6.5″x60], Lonsdale [6″x42], and Papi Chulo [4″x42] (event only)
N O T E S
Smoke Time: 1:16
Draw: Mostly open
Construction: Solid but spongy in places; oily; seamless; veiny; sloppy cap; toothy; slick feel; rich caramel coloring; excellent smoke producer; holds 1″ ash.
- Wrapper – Muted chocolate
- Foot – Musty, cacao
- Cold Draw – Dark fruit
- Initial: Nutty core with a toasty draw; notes of toasted almonds, nougat and leather on retro; creamy texture; rich, coffee finish; wood notes added to finish late; slight spice on tongue and palate; back end of retro smoky and woody; finish takes on toasty character.
- Transition: Woody foundation with savory draw of sweet oats and Worcestershire; not as complex or as well defined; baked bread notes, hints of baked bread, toasted oats and whiff of graham cracker on retro; bold finish of cafe latte; more spice in nose; hints of toasted almonds return.
- Transition: Oak core and fuller bodied; ratcheting up of spice on tongue; dark chocolate and leather hints on retro but overpowered by bold, woody nucleus; still a warm finish of toast and dark coffee;
Balance: Very good
Touch ups: N/A
Weaknesses: Second transition loses some identity.
- 5 packer
- Yard ‘gar
- NR [No Recommendation]