|Aging Room Bin No. 1 B Minor by Boutique Blends|
The Aging Room Bin No. 1 is one of four new 2014 releases by Boutique Blends Cigars. It was 2 1/2 years ago when owners Rafael Nodal and Hank Bischoff rebranded Oliveros Cigars as Boutique Blends Cigars and decided to focus more on small batch production. One of the brands which became a centerpiece of the Boutique Blends portfolio was Aging Room Cigars. This past December, Nodal and Bischoff achieved their highest honor to date as they were awarded Cigar Aficionado’s #2 Cigar of the Year (and #1 non Cuban) for the Aging Room Quattro F55. Following that award, Boutique Blends knew they to answer the question “what’s next?” and thus, the company made a decision to release four products. The Aging Room Bin No. 1 is a cigar that is definitely going to help Boutique Blends make that encore successful. This is an outstanding cigar and one the shows the company is not resting on its laurels.
One thing why Boutique Blends and the Aging Room brand become successful is because of the partnership established with Jochi Blanco – who owns the Tabacalera La Palma factory and farms in the Dominican Republic. The name Bin No. 1 refers to an area of Tabacalera La Palma that contained aged tobaccos dating back to 1999 and 2011. Recently this tobacco was made available to build a blend for Boutique Blends, thus the Aging Room Bin No. 1 was born.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Aging Room Bin No. 1 and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Aging Room Bin No. 1 wraps the aged Dominican tobaccos with an Ecuadorian Habano leaf. This is the first Aging Room line to use an Ecuadorian wrapper.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Aged Cuban Seed Dominican
Filler: Aged Cuban Seed Dominican
The Aging Room Bin No. 1 is available in three sizes. Each of the sizes have a musical name. This stems from Nodal being a passionate musical enthusiast (he plays the piano). Each size is packaged in boxes of 20. The company has not disclosed what the production numbers for this release are, but one can assume given the limited supply of the aged tobacco that production will be limited.
B Minor: 6 1/8 x 52
C Major: 6 1/4 x 54
G Major: 6 1/4 x 63
|Packaging of the Aging Room Bin No. 1|
For this cigar experience, I smoked the B Minor size of the Aging Room Bin No. 1 – which is a Toro sized vitola. The Aging Room Bin No. 1 has a caramel colored wrapper with an oily completion. There are some visible wrapper seams and visible veins.
The Aging Room Bin No. 1 features an outer and inner band. The outer band is situated toward the middle of the cigar and covers almost half of the surface of the cigar. It is a off-white parchment paper styled band. The background of the band has the appearance of watermarks on it. The band is arranged in a landscape mode. Prominently on the band is the text “Aging Room” in metallic red cursive font. Below that text is the text “Bin No. 1” in a smaller metallic red cursive font. Above the “Aging Room” text is the text “Made with select aged tobaccos” in a duller red cursive styled font. To the left is the yellow Boutique Blends logo arranged sideways from the rest of the band. The remainder of the band has gold trim.
Removing the outer band reveals and inner band. This is a smaller band and designed to remain on the cigar for the duration of the smoking experience. It features the same parchment styled band with the same color scheme as the larger outer band The inner band also features the same cursive “Aging Room Bin No. 1” but arranged upright. To the left, the yellow Boutique Blends logo is also present and arranged sideways from the rest of the band. To the far right is the text “DOMINICAN REPUBLIC” in a small dull red font arranged sideways. This band is also adorned with gold trim. Finally, the background on this band has a watermark-like design with the “Aging Room” text in cursive.
|Inner band of the
Aging Room Bin No. 1
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up by Aging Room Bin No. 1 B Minor, I went with my usual selection of a straight cut. Once the cap was removed, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw provided a mix of natural tobacco sweetness, wood, and a light spice. Overall I considered the pre-light draw to be excellent on the Aging Room Bin No. 1. It was now on to lighting up this cigar and await what the smoking phase would have in store.
The start to the Aging Room Bin No. 1 delivered a mix of natural tobacco and assorted spices. As the cigar moved through the early phases, there was a raw sugar cane quality to the natural tobacco sweetness that emerged. This natural tobacco sweetness moved into the forefront early on. The spices were secondary and a vanilla note surfaced in the background. Meanwhile the retro-hale also delivered some spice – producing a mix of white and red pepper.
In the second third the spices took on more of a red pepper note. The red pepper and natural tobacco sweetness alternated in intensity throughout the first half . The vanilla notes remained secondary. In the later part of the second third, the vanilla notes joined the pepper up front. The natural tobacco sweetness dialed back into the background.
As the Aging Room Bin No. 1 moved into the final third, the spices changed up into more of a classic black pepper. The pepper along with the vanilla notes were primary. Much of the sweetness had now dissipated. The end of the cigar had plenty of spice, but was not harsh. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
In terms of the burn, I did find the Aging Room Bin No. 1 to be a cigar that did require more touch-ups than I prefer. Overall I didn’t find this to be a problem-some burn, but one that required more attention. The resulting ash was white in color and was somewhat loose. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
|Burn of the Aging Room Bin No. 1|
I found the draw to the Aging Room Bin No. 1 to perform very well. This was not a loose draw, but it was not a tight one either. There was plenty of smoke produced from this cigar. Overall this was a fun cigar to puff on.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, the aged tobaccos of this blend are going to deliver a lot of fire-power. The Aging Room Bin No. 1 started out with medium to full strength. By the last third, the strength really crept up on this cigar and had progressed to full strength. In terms of the body, I found the flavors robust. I assessed the Bin No. 1 to be medium to full-bodied from start to finish. When comparing strength versus body, the two stayed on par until the last third where I thought the strength of this cigar had the edge.
There were two things I was not expecting from the Aging Room Bin No. 1. First I was surprised at the kick in the strength toward the end of the cigar. Secondly, I was really surprised from the flavors. This was not something I was expecting from a combination of Ecuadorian Habano with Dominican tobaccos. I found the flavors to be unique when compared to other cigars with similar profiles. Both of these were not bad surprises, but good ones. I would have liked to have seen a burn that required less maintenance, but the pluses of this cigar far outweigh the minus with the Bin No. 1. This is a cigar I’d probably steer to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I’d certainly smoke again. It’s definitely worth a box split.
Strength: Medium to Full (Full last third)
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: 3.5 – Box Split