Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Sumatra (2003)
Filler / Binder: Dominican Republic
Background: This particular cigar was released by Botique Blends Cigars, under the Aging Room name, all of which is a subsidiary of Oliveros Cigars. It’s a limited batch to only 400k cigars per year (20k boxes released worldwide), which of course by the virtues of supply and demand make this one a bit harder to get your hands on. The 7” variety of this cigar snagged the honor of being the #2 cigar of the year in 2013 on Cigar Aficionado’s list. Of note is that the #1 overall cigar of 2013 is a Cuban cigar, which at the time was not legally available in the US… thus making the Aging Room F55 Concerto the #1 cigar available in the US in 2013. So was that warranted?
Appearance (0-20): The initial appearance is simple, but effective. A brown band is flanked in a matte gold, with Aging room showing prominently in what would look like an aged coloration. See what they did there? On the lower portion of the band is the variety, the F55. The stick also has a foot band, with the Quattro name on it, again matching the top band. Now for the more important portion – the exterior wrapper looks fantastic in its box press gives it a nice overall feel. The wrapper is extremely silky and clean. It’s the type of cigar that upon seeing, you’re pulled toward it.
Construction (0-20): Really, I don’t have a ton to say about the overall construction. The box press is well done, the wrapper is clear of any impurities, and the double cap is the icing on the cake. It’s packed nearly perfectly from a feel standpoint, and after cutting (and showing no real residuals) it’s got what feels like the perfect draw. It didn’t disappoint throughout the smoke either, keeping a nearly razor sharp line and an ash that held for two inches at a time.
Strength (0-20): Medium to full in range and it hits pretty close to that. I found it to sit more in the straight up medium kind of smoke, with the occasional foray into the high end of the medium spectrum.
Flavor (0-20): One of the most interesting parts of the Aging Room Quattro F55 is the flavor profile. Upon lighting up, there is a nice earthy base that serves as a vehicle to bring through some of the other flavors during the first third. It also helps to tone down the intense pepper that is blasted out on the first few puffs. The pepper continues but is expertly melded with a sweet creamy taste. It almost resembles a spiced caramel, with a bitter espresso flavor beginning to come through in the second third of the smoke. The earthy nature seems to fade off a bit, and instead nutty and leathery undertones become more prevalent. Its smooth in every sense of the word, while having just the right kind of flavor bite.
Value (0-20): It’s hard to argue that this isn’t worth the money. Could it be a hair less, simply due to the fact that it’s robusto,
Additional Notes: Paired with Guinness on my deck.
Overall (0-100): Let me first apologize for not taking any more pictures. I was a bit preoccupied with smoking it and totally glossed over taking some more shots. But let’s be honest here – you should be going out to buy one of these. Its well-constructed, superbly flavored, complex, and right in the correct price point. Despite the strength not being quite what I had hoped, it still has enough power that it’s close to what its billed at. This one is worth the money… and worthy of being one of the best cigars of 2013.