The Aging Room M19 ffortissimo is third installment of Boutique Blends’ Aging Room ffortissimo line to be released. The ffortissimo line has been an annual limited edition cigar. While Boutique Blends focuses around small batch production, the ffortissimo line has been one of the more limited releases in the company’s portfolio. It also has been positioned as one of the stronger cigars in the Boutique Blends’ cigar portfolio. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the Aging Room M19 ffortissimo. Since the ffortissimo line had its first release in 2013, I have found this to be one of the best lines by Boutique Blends Cigars. The Aging Room M19 ffortissimo does not miss a beat as provides an outstanding cigar experience.
The Aging Room ffortissimo M19 can be considered a cross between its predecessors, the Aging Room ffortissimo M20 (2014 release) and Aging Room fortissimo M21 (2013 release). The M19 incorporates the same box-pressed perfecto format that was used on the M20 release. At the same time, like the M21 (which was a rounded release), it uses a (similar, but not identical) Habano wrapper.
The name ffortissimo comes from the world of music. Musical terms have been used on many Aging Room Cigars. This connection stems from company President Rafael Nodal‘s passion on the world of music. The term fortissimo means “loud” and this is appropriate because the M19 ffortissimo is considered a bolder cigar. Like many of the small batch Aging Rooms, the name M19 has ties to the calendar. It stands for when the blend was created: “M” stands for Monday and “19” stands for the day of the year.
Rafael Nodal commented on his Facebook page on the blend. He mentioned that the M19 uses the same type of wrapper of the M21 but from a higher priming. The filler incorporates tobaccos from both the M20 and M21. The blend incorporates tobaccos that are over 14 years old.
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (Tabacalera Palma)
The Aging Room ffortissimo M19 comes in one size, a 5 3/4 x 47 box-pressed perfecto. The cigar is packaged in ten count boxes. Total production is 2,000 boxes or 20,000 cigars.
The Habano wrapper of the Aging Room ffortissimo M19 is a medium brown in color. The wrapper has some oil on the surface. There are some visible wrapper seams and any visible veins were on the thin side. The box-press of the cigar is firm. It features a thick pig-tail on the cap. The footer of he cigar has a small nozzle shape with an open footer.
The band is the brown, gold, and white one that is found on the Aging Room small batch releases. It features the Aging Room logo text in beige font on a brown background. To the left and right of the logo is the text “Aging Room” in small brown font. There is gold and white pin-striping at the top, bottom and center of the band. Below the center pinstripes is a white musical stanza-like background. The left side of the stanza is the text “Small Batch” in brown font while the right side has the text “Aging Room” in brown font. On the center of the stanza is the text “M19” in blue font. There are also gold adornments around the rest of the band.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As opposed to pulling the pig-tail off the cap of the Aging Room ffortissimo M19, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was clipped, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw started out with natural tobacco sweetness, but as I continued the pre-light draw, I noticed more pepper spice enter the equation. Overall I considered this to be a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point, I was ready to light up the M19. As I typically do with a cigar with a nozzle tip, I toasted entire nozzle of on the footer to help ensure the burn started out right. I then moved on to the smoking phase and awaited what the smoking phase had in store.
The Aging Room ffortissimo M19 initially kicked off with some notes of black pepper. The pepper quickly subsided into the background and notes of natural tobacco and cedar moved into the forefront. The black pepper notes were also prominent on the retro-hale.
While there was a spicy start, once the M19 reached the main base of the cigar, the flavors smoothed out with the emergence of some cream and nut notes. The natural tobacco notes and cedar notes became the primary flavors (with a slight edge to the natural tobacco notes). Meanwhile, the pepper, cream, and nut flavors were in the background.
Toward the later part of the first third, the nut flavors moved into the forefront. The natural tobacco and cedar notes were now close secondary notes. The cream and pepper notes remained in the background, but a slight nutmeg flavor emerged. As the M19 moved through the second third, I found the pepper notes increased.
By the time the M19 was in the second third, the pepper notes joined the nut flavors in the forefront. The cedar and natural tobacco remained secondary notes. The cream and nutmeg were more distant and had some subtle impacts on the flavor profile.
The flavor profile pretty much remained the same throughout the last third and right until the end. The only difference was the cream notes had pretty much dissipated. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and firm to the touch.
Burn and Draw
The burn of the M19 performed well. The cigar maintained a straight burn path from start to finish. There was some jaggedness on the burn line early on, but this seemed to correct itself once the cigar started burning through the base. The resulting ash had a charcoal gray color. I didn’t find this to be the tightest ash, but it wasn’t a loose one either. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw perfumed quite well. It was not a loose draw, nor was it a tight daw. This made for an enjoyable cigar experience from start to finish.
Strength and Body
As mentioned the Aging Room ffortissimo line as some of the stronger cigars in the Boutique Blends portfolio. What I have also noticed is that the cigars in this line have mellowed over time. With the M19, this seemed a little more mellow when compared to the M20 and M21 with about the same amount of age on it. I found the M19 started out with medium strength and by the second half had progressed to medium to full strength. The strength did continue to increase in the second half, but didn’t quite reach full.
As for the flavors, they started out medium-bodied, but increased at a more rapid rate. By the second half the M19 was in the medium to full-bodied range and by the last third, this was a full-bodied smoke. When it came to strength versus body, I gave the body an edge.
Since the Aging Room ffortissimo M21 was introduced, I have found this to be an enjoyable line. With the introduction of the M19, this might be the best release of the line. I liked how the box-pressed format worked with this blend. There was a lot going on in terms of flavor nuances and flavor transitions with this cigar.
The one thing that did surprise me is I didn’t get the big power punch like I got when the M21 came out. This was especially surprising considering the M19 has a higher priming wrapper than the M21. While still a bit dialed back compared to its predecessors, it’s strong enough where I’m still inclined to recommend this cigar to a more experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this was an excellent release by Boutique Blends. It’s a cigar I’d certainly smoke again – and one I’d recommend a box purchase for.
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half), Full (Last Third)
Assessment: 4.0-Box Worthy
News: Aging Room ffortissimo M19 by Boutique Blends Cigars
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 169
Stogie Feed: Aging Room M19 ffortissimo by Boutique Blends Cigars