Aging Room Maduro

Rafael Nodal’s Boutique Blends had a very busy IPCPR in 2013.  The Aging Room Maduro was one of five new releases launched by the company.  It actually was one of two maduro blends launched (the other being the Swag S Maduro). Aging Room Cigars was a new line formed two years ago.  The brand was launched to focus on small batch releases with hard to find tobaccos. The Aging Room Maduro is actually going to be a regular production offering (become the brand’s second regular production offering joining the Aging Room Haváo).  However the name “Aging Room” fits with the Maduro as this features a five year old Nicaraguan wrapper.  I recently have had an opportunity to sample Aging Room Maduro.  This cigar has all of the potential to be a flagship offering in the line as it is one terrific cigar.

We were given the honor of providing the initial details of the blend and sizes for this launch.  At the 2013 IPCPR Show, Nodal addressed members of the cigar media and discussed more about this cigar.  Nodal emphasized that they wanted to make sure the cigar was ready as he said, “We have been working on this maduro for a while… listen guys, this cigar would have been good last year, it would have been very good in January, but now it is what we wanted.”

Blend Profile

When the announcement of the Aging Room Maduro was made, Boutique Blends described the blend as using “all Dominican grown Habano as filler and binder with a beautiful, oily and powerful Nicaraguan maduro wrapper; aged for over five years using our unique proprietary curing and aging process that has made the Aging Room one of the highest rated cigar brands.”

Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Dominican Habano
Filler: Dominican Habano
Vitolas Available
The Aging Room Maduro will be launched in five sizes.  In the tradition of the line, the vitolas will feature musical names.  The names are analogous to similar vitolas offered by Aging Room in other blends.  The cigars are packaged 20 per box.
Presto: 4 1/2 x 48 (SRP $165 per box)
Rondo: 5 x 50 (SRP $173.12)
Mezzo: 6 x 54 (SRP $181.28)
Major: 6 1/2 x 60 (SRP $190.00)
Alto: 7 x 47 (SRP $184.00)
Appearance
For this cigar experience, I smoked the Aging Room Maduro Rondo – which is a traditional 5 x 50 sized robusto. The best way to describe the wrapper on the Aging Room Maduro is that is a classic maduro wrapper.  This cigar’s Nicaraguan wrapper has rich chocolate color.  While there is some oil on the surface, the wrapper has a little bit of a rough feel when touched.  There was not a lot of veins on this wrapper.  The wrapper seams are somewhat visible.
The band features the Aging Room Cigars logo on it with a red colored background.  The logo is in white font and accompanied with gold adornments.  There is white and gold trim on the band.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up my Aging Room Maduro, I placed a straight cut to remove the cap of the cigar. I then proceeded with the pre-light draw ritual.  The dry draw was outstanding and provided some nice complexity before even lighting the cigar.  It provided me notes of espresso, chocolate, sweetness, leather, and pepper.  With an excellent pre-light draw completed, it was now time to light up the Aging Room Maduro and see what the overall cigar experience would deliver.
Flavor Profile
The start to the Aging Room Maduro started with a nice mix of flavors.  I detected notes of espresso, pepper, and natural maduro sweetness right from the start.  There was also a secondary citrus note in the background.  The pepper tended to be a spice that lingered on the tongue and was also present on the retro-hale.  The espresso notes moved into the forefront early. By about the ten percent mark, the pepper took more of a form of a red pepper on the tongue. The natural maduro sweetness seemed to morph into a hazelnut flavor that was present in the forefront. 
The pepper notes slowly ramped up.  By the end of the first third, the pepper closed in as being a primary flavor.  By the start of the final third, the pepper was now the primary flavor with the espresso and hazelnut flavors being secondary.  This is the way the flavor profile held as the cigar experience closed.  The end of the cigar was spicy, but not rough and not harsh.  The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The burn to the Aging Room Maduro performed extremely well.  While there was a little jaggedness on the burn line, it remained relatively straight and at no point did the burn canoe or tunnel.  The ash was mostly white in color.  There was a slight flower in the ash early on, but there was no issues with flaking.  The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
Burn of the Aging Room Maduro
The draw was stellar.  There was a little resistance on the draw – and I consider this to be ideal in my book.  This was a very enjoyable cigar to puff on from start to finish.
Strength and Body
The one area where this cigar surprised me on was in the category of strength.  The Aging Room Maduro starts out medium to full strength.  The strength slowly ramps up throughout the cigar experience.  By the second half it is full strength, and it continues to get stronger.  This cigar is going to pack a nice punch at the end.  On the flip-side, the flavors counter the strength very nicely.  They also start out in the medium to full range and move to full-bodied by the second half. Overall the balance between strength and flavor is very good with this cigar.
Final Thoughts
When Nodal talked to the media at the 2013 IPCPR, you can see him beaming with pride when it came to the Aging Room Maduro.  He knew he had a winner, and from smoking this cigar – it totally lives up to the expectations.  Aging Room Cigars has been a consistent line that has done very well on this web-site, but the Aging Room Maduro is a special cigar.  As far as the cigar being “ready”, Nodal could not have been more right.  If you like an “amp’d up maduro”, this is the cigar for you.  This is not a cigar I’d give to a novice cigar enthusiast, but to someone who can handle a fuller cigar.  As for myself, this is not only a cigar I would smoke again, but it is one completely worthy of a box-purchase of.
Summary
Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium to Full (1st Half), Full (2nd Half)
Body:  Medium to Full (1st Half), Full (2nd Half)
Finish: Excellent
Assessment: Memorable
Score: 93
Source: This assessment used a combination of cigars that were purchased and provided by Boutique Blends.  The purchased cigars were from Outland Cigars in Charlotte, North Carolina. The samples received were initiated by Boutique Blends in order to provide feedback.  Cigar Coop is appreciative for the sample, but in no way does this influence this write-up.