Aging Room Haváo Connecticut

The Aging Room Haváo Connecticut is the second blend to be released under Boutique Blend Cigars’ Aging Room Cigars line.   It is also the first cigar to be launched under the Boutique Blends Cigars’ umbrella. This cigar fills a niche as it adds a Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade cigar into the Boutique Blends’ portfolio.  I recently had an opportunity to sample the Aging Room Haváo Connecticut, and I found this to be a very solid cigar experience.

Last year, Oliveros Cigars launched a new line of cigars called Aging Room Cigars.  Aging Room Cigars line is based on a concept where often there are
some very good and rare tobaccos that are made available, but not enough
to make a cigar to satisfy production level targets.  Aging Room
Cigars seeks to do limited short batch releases of cigars with these
tobaccos.  The first cigar was the Aging Room M356 and has done very well for the company.  In 2012, Oliveros made a decision to spin-off the Aging Room Cigars line (along with the Swag Cigars line) into a new company called Boutique Blends cigars.  According to Oliveros president Rafael Nodal, this allows the company to focus on “the creation of more exciting and
complex blends
“.   As mentioned above, the Aging Room Haváo Connecticut is the first cigar to be released since the formation of Boutique Blends Cigars.  While the line is focused on small batch, Boutique Blends intends this to be a core line

Let’s break down the Aging Room Haváo Connecticut and see what this cigar brings to the table.

Blend Profile

Like the original M356, the Aging Room Haváo Connecticut is a Dominican puro.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Grown Connecticut Seed
Binder: Dominican Havano Criollo
Filler: Dominican Havano Criollo

Vitolas Available

The Aging Room Haváo Connecticut has been launched in six frontmarks.  A seventh frontmark, the Breve (a 5 x 38) is being targeted for the European market.  Like the M356, these names reflect the music industry – a passion of Nodal’s.

Impromptu: 5 x 48
Brio 5 1/4 x 42
Canon: 6 x 46
Treble: 6 x 50
Sharp: 6 1/4 x 52
Largo: 7 x 50
Breve: 5 x 38 (Targeted for European market)

Appearance

For this cigar experience, I went with the Brio vitola which is basically a petite corona. The wrapper of the Aging Room Haváo Connecticut Brio is a classic light brown silky Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper.  The wrapper itself is not oily.  For a cigar with a thin ring gauge, it had very few visible wrapper seams and few visible wrapper veins.

There are two bands on the Aging Room Haváo Connecticut.  The main band has a ivory background with the Aging Room logo in gold.  There is some additional gold colored design on the band.  The band also features thin red pinstripes near the top and bottom of the band.   The second band also has an ivory background with a similar red pinstriping pattern.   It features the text “Haváo” in a large gold font with the text “Connecticut” below it in a smaller font.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

Given that the Aging Room Haváo Connecticut Brio has a thin ring gauge, I also defaulted to a straight cut for this cigar.  I commenced with the pre-light draw and the flavor notes I detected were classic for an Ecuadorian Connecticut cigar – namely notes of cream and wood.  Overall, I considered this a satisfactory dry draw.   At this point, it was time to toast the foot of the Aging Room Haváo Connecticut and see what the cigar experience would deliver.

Flavor Profile

The start to the Aging Room Haváo Connecticut provided a decent shot of pepper to start.  This was a little surprising as this is not something I expected from an Ecuadorian Connecticut.  The pepper settled down and the Haváo took on more of a classic Ecuadorian Connecticut flavor profile of cream, wood, and pepper.   Around the five percent mark, the cream moved to the forefront with the wood and pepper very close behind.

As the cigar experience reached the one third point, some vanilla notes emerged joining the pepper and wood notes in the background.   As the cigar progressed through the second third, the pepper and vanilla notes began to increase and by the last third, these notes became primary.  The cream notes would join the wood flavors in the background.  This is the way the cigar came to a close.  The Haváo never got overly spicy or harsh on the finish.  The resulting nub was cool in temperature, but a little soft to the touch.

Burn and Draw

The Aging Room Haváo Connecticut scored very well for both burn and draw.  There were no issues with the burn from start to finish.   The burn line remained straight with very few touch-ups needed.  The burn rate and burn temperature were also ideal.  The Haváo continuously produced a white and gray ash that was tight.  The Haváo also produced quite a bit of smoke.   The draw was flawless – and it made this cigar a very enjoyable cigar experience.

Strength and Body

The Aging Room Haváo Connecticut isn’t going to set any records in terms of strength from a nicotine standpoint, but it did have a little more pop than I expected.  The Haváo definitely is on the upper end of mild to medium in terms of strength.  As for the flavor notes, these were more robust than I also expected.  I assessed the Aging Room Haváo Connecticut to be a medium-bodied smoke. The strength and body balance each other very nicely.  The flavor has a slight edge over the strength, but it still has a very good balance between the two attributes.

Final Thoughts

I’ve said many times the cigar market has way too many Ecuadorian Connecticut cigars coming out.  While I don’t think this one is a revolutionary cigar, I do think this one can qualify as evolutionary.  In other words, it produces a very good Ecuadorian Connecticut smoking experience without trying to redefine the Ecuadorian Connecticut smoking experience.  Like most cigars that are mild to medium in strength, but have good flavor and quality, I’d recommend this to a novice cigar enthusiast.  I’d also recommend this to a seasoned cigar enthusiast looking for something milder, yet flavorful.  As for myself, it is something I would smoke again – and look forward to sampling some of the other vitolas.

Summary

Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Mild to Medium
Body: Medium
Finish: Good
Assessment: Nice to Have
Score: 90

Source: This cigar was gifted to me by a friend.