Room 101 Uncle Lee Cigar Review

Last year we did a detailed review of the Room 101 Big Payback. This time we revisit Room 101 and Matt Booths latest creation, the Uncle Lee. Matt describes the Uncle Lee as:

“This project is a tribute to my uncle Leroy Knouse, the man who introduced me to cigar smoking, Bob Marley’s music and all dimensions of the funk.”

The Uncle Lee is a quite the cigar experience. To start with, the packaging is special. Each cigar is wrapped in parchment paper and then further sleeved with a full outer sheath that clearly denotes this cigar as the Uncle Lee. I like how Matt included the dollar symbol on the outer sheath. Truly he has paid tribute to his uncle for not only getting him started in cigars but by following this passion he has made a few shekels along the way.

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Once you remove the outer wrappings you expose a pristine cigar that is not like anything vitola you have had. in fact the size on  the box defines it as a 30 x 50 x 19 x 6.5.  It has been described as a mesh between salamone, preferido and belicoso shapes.


The wrapper is a dark brown Ecuadorian Habano leaf that is, for all intensive purposes, void  of veins and is silky smooth to the touch.  Under that wrapper is a blend of quality leaves:

  • Binder – Corojo Nicaraguan
  • Filler –  Corojo Honduran and Dominican Piloto Ligero

What is important to note is that ligero as we will get to that in this review.

I bought the Uncle Lee at Goodfella’s Cigars Inc. in Rochester MI on the advice of the shop manger Ian. I liked it so much i picked up a few more before I left to share with my fellow Stogie Heads in the Stogie Press Lounge.

Tonight my friend Alton and I give the Uncle Lee a drive around the lounge.

To start with, the pre-light aroma of the Uncle Lee is that of a spice we can not quite put our finger on. Rather exotic to say the least. The dry draw offers a touch of pepper on the tongue and a slight fruit flavor.`

Once fired up, the Uncle Lee shows his form early on. It hits you with a pepper shot on nose and throat and then quickly settles down into a lemony citrus and coffee flavor. Very nice taste and mouthfuls of tasty smoke.  The ash is not one that will win an ash contest, as it fell quickly and consistently throughout the burn, but I am not going to hold that against the cigar. So long as you know to ash it often you wont end up with ashes all over your clothes and the shop floor.
Burning down through the first third, there is a delightful fruit note that develops and we both agreed that  so far this is a solid, medium body, flavorful smoke.  A spicy undertone develops that is bringing me back to the pre-light aroma and the foot is wafting floral scents.
As it moves into the second third,  there is some earth coming in which I would describe more as mineral rather than dirt and the strength is beginning to increase.  I also picked up some grassy notes at this stage.
At the half way point is where things get interesting, the strength is really moving up the scale and we have to slow the puff period down as it is like smoking a whole new cigar.  The second half of the Uncle Lee is uniquely different from the first. It is trying to make me cry Uncle, but I resist and power my way through this wonderful cigar. I knew what was coming as I smoked this up in Michigan and Ian from Goodfella’s Cigars Inc., cautioned me about the second half to last third of this gem. I experienced that part of the Uncle Lee on my way to the Airport one Friday Evening and I am glad I brought some water in the car with me.
A touch of tangy fruit develops as it finishes the second third which is rather lip smacking in flavor though my head is a bit woozy at this point. I look over at Alton and he is having the same experience.
The Final third  brings forth a dose of sea salt that follows through to the finish with a touch of nut.
We took our time on this one, but smoked it to the nub as it was that good. This is surely going to make the Stogie Press Top 25 for this year.
Room 101 Uncle Lee

Room 101 Uncle Lee

Overall, the Uncle Lee is a grand creation from Matt Booth and Room 101 that should be enjoyed in a relaxed setting with a glass of water, or possibly Islay Scotch. It is a bold cigar that I suggest you smoke after having a meal. The strength is full at the end and is a creeper when it come to strength. remember that Ligero.  I purchased these at Goodfella’s Cigars Inc., in Rochester MI,  and have saved one to let age in my humidor as I am curious about how it matures in the next 6 months to a year.  I recommend the Uncle lee to experienced cigar smokers that are looking for some flavor complexity and high strength in their cigar.

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