Aging Room Cigars M356

There is no doubt the limited edition cigars have created excitement in the cigar industry.   Recently I had a discussion with a manufacturer about taking a limited edition cigar and moving it into the core line (similar to what E.P. Carrillo did with the Limitada 2010 moving it to Elencos).  When I got the response, I soon realized there is a lot to still learn in this industry.  The answer was that the tobaccos that went into that blend did not yield enough to produce a core line. What is great is that these smaller yields of tobaccos can still put be into limited edition and small batch cigars.   This is exactly the concept that Rafael Nodal and his team at Oliveros have done with their new line Aging Room Cigars. The first release in this new line is called the M356.   This blend is simply an outstanding smoke and is a great launch for this new line.

As mentioned when I previewed this blend a couple of days ago, the 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 release, the M356 takes it name from the date the blend was created. – “Monday December 22 2008” (356 is the day of the year of 2008).

A little on the origins of the tobacco.  The tobacco came from Jose Blanco of La Aurora when Oliveros was looking at tobaccos for their Swag line.  The problem was there were not enough to make the production levels desired.  It was these tobaccos that went into the M356.

Blend Profile

The Aging Room Cigars M356 is an all-Dominican puro:

Wrapper: Habano
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican

Vitolas Available

There will be four vitolas available for the M356:

Major: 6.5 x 60
Mezzo: 6 x 54
Rondo: 5 x 50
Presto 4.5 x 48

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

For this cigar experience, I sampled the Rondo(Robusto) size of the M356.  I placed a straight cut into the cap and began the pre-light draw.  Immediately the name “Aging Room” popped into my head.  This cigar had a nice old school feel to it.   There was a nice dose of oak notes and pepper.   The dry draw had some nice robust flavors to it.   It was on to fire up the M356 and see what else would surface.

Flavor Profile

One thing that was consistent on the M356 is how it carried on the old school feel that I had gotten on the pre-light draw.    The initial draws of the M356 gave me a healthy dose of pepper spice while having a nice combination of oak and cedar in the background.  The pepper notes did subside and the oak and cedar notes moved toward the forefront.  The pepper never totally vanished and it is really nice how the spice complements these notes.

Around the midway point, I was surprised to notice the emergence of some sweet notes.  The sweet notes are best described a raw sugar cane – namely not overly sweet, but adding the spice and body of the flavors.   The sugar cane did move to the forefront for a little bit.  As the M356 moves into the last third, there is an increase in the pepper spice.  That pepper spice will move back to the forefront.    The cigar provided a terrific nub – firm and cool with no harsh notes.   This is exactly the way every cigar should finish.

Burn and Draw

The burn on the M356 was razor sharp.  I needed very little touch-ups through the cigar experience.  The burn rate and burn temperature were perfect.   The cigar never burned hot.   The draw was outstanding as well.   No doubt there was great construction to complement great tobacco.

Great Burn by the Aging Room Cigars M356

Strength and Body

This cigar provides great balance in both areas.  The M356 has a little more strength than I originally thought.  I categorize this as medium to full.   The flavors are robust and have depth.   This is definitely on the high end of the medium to full side (I’d say the beginning and the end of the cigar are more full).

Final Thoughts

I really like what Oliveros has been doing with their new lines over the past four years – namely the King Havano and Swag.   The M356 launches the Aging Room Cigars blend very well.   I mention the term “old school” a few times in this assessment.  The packaging of the M356 reflects this as well.   One thing I love about the cigar business in 2011 is how it is a part traditional and part contemporary.  With Swag being more contemporary in the Oliveros line in terms of packaging, the Aging Room Cigar line balances this perfectly.  Overall, I loved this cigar and would definitely recommend it to others.

Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: Memorable

Source: This cigar was an unsolicited sample provided by an authorized Oliveros Representative to Outland Cigars for evaluation.