In addition to his role as Director of Product Capability for Tabacalera USA, Rafael Nodal remains a co-owner of Boutique Blends Cigars. Both Tabacalera USA and Boutique Blends have been in a strategic partnership for the past four years where Tabacalera USA handles distribution for Boutique Blends. While Nodal has been doing great things on the Tabacalera USA end, great things have happened on the Boutique Blends side of the house as well – including capturing #1 Cigar of the Year by Cigar Aficionado in 2019 with the Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua. Since then the momentum has continued. Last year saw a new size come to the Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua and a re-launch of the Oliveros brand. As Tabacalera USA did not attend the 2021 Premium Cigar Association (PCA) Trade Show, Boutique Blends (being a strategic partner) did not attend either. This didn’t stop any of the momentum for Boutique Blends. For 2021, Boutique Blends went back to its roots with a project known as the Aging Room Rare Collection.
When Nodal launched Boutique Blends in 2013, one goal was to have a focus on creating complex blends in small batches using rare tobaccos. Over the years Boutique Blends has kept to that topic with various projects. The Aging Room Rare Collection is a project that speaks to the motif. The Aging Room Rare Collection is intended to offer small runs based on the availability of rare and superbly well-aged tobaccos. The first cigar is being done in conjunction with Boutique Blends’ long-time collaboration partner AJ Fernandez. The cigar is a Nicaraguan puro that will be released in three sizes – each featuring a pig-tail cap.