Blind Review: Aging Room Rare Collection
Although Aging Room was established a decade after the cigar boom in the 90s, I associate the company with older brands like Oliva, Plasencia, Ashton, etc which have become staples in the cigar world. With Maestro Rafael Nodal at the helm, Aging Room has become a brand recognized for its boldness and creating classic profiles like Quattro and Quattro Nicaragua.
This past year, Nodal embarked on another adventure with A.J Fernandez and laid the foundation for a new line of cigars under the Aging Room umbrella called Rare Collection. Per Nodal, this new project “intends to offer small runs based on the availability of rare and superbly well-aged tobacco.”
This release will be the first of several blends under the Rare Collection project. Just how rare or aged is the tobacco contained in this first blend? The wrapper leaf is a Cuban seed hybrid from La Lilia, A.J Fernandez’s flagship farm in Nicaragua. The filler tobacco consists of Pelo d’Oro, translating to “hair of gold,” also from a type of Cuban seed which is prized for its flavors but very difficult to grow and low yielding.
- Cigar Reviewed: Aging Room Rare Collection
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Cuban seed Hybrid
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaraguan Cuban seed, including Pelo d’Oro
- Size: 5.5″ x 55
Cigar Review: Aging Room Rare Collection
Appearance & Construction
Before picking up the cigar, I immediately notice the construction. The cigar is very sturdy both visually and with physical touch. The pigtail at the end of the cap has a twirl like a cinnamon bun from Auntie Anne’s. Upon closer inspection, I notice two visible veins that come across in a lighter tone than the milk chocolate wrapper. Additionally, I see several random miniature cracks in between the wrapper. However, after running my fingers across the surface, I’m guessing the light marks will not be an issue.
Flavor & Smoke Characteristics
The wrapper has a tart and sweet fruit scent. The fruity scent is more prominent by the foot with white pepper spice aroma. Since I’ve never attempted to twist and pull off the pigtail from the cap before, I decide now isn’t a good time to start, and opt for a straight cut. I take a few puffs of cold draw, getting stone fruits, cedarwood, attic funk, and red pepper spice.
I proceed to toast the foot and take my first puff. The flavors are very refreshing, with creamy oats, cedarwood, citrus, and mild white pepper spice that remains on the flat and side of my tongue indefinitely. On the retrohale, the white pepper spice is more noticeable along with roasted nuts, sweet fruity notes, and a smokiness that reminds me of burnt pizza crust. So far, the finish on this cigar is pretty long, with a mild sugary sweetness.
The construction of this cigar is flawless. The burn line is razor-sharp, the dark gray ash seems to be reinforced by cement, and the burn goes right over the minuscule cracks I noted earlier. The only negative experience I have had so far is that smoke production seems a bit lacking.
I make it to the second third before the ash detaches itself from the cigar. The refreshing finish of this cigar remains on the palate. The smoke is less creamy compared to the initial light, and flavors concentrate on earthy tones such as dry hay, tan leather, cedarwood, roasted nut, and white pepper spice. I take another puff to retrohale, and the flavors reflect what I get on my palate alongside a very satisfying amount of white pepper spice.
As I engage with the final third, the overall profile becomes buttery, but there aren’t many changes to the flavors. The retrohale is still satisfying and keeps me coming back for more until the cigar is too nubbed to smoke.
I enjoyed the Aging Room Rare Collection. The profile teeters from medium to medium-plus. The flavors were very balanced on the palate, and the retrohale compliments it even further. My biggest fear was the construction, which ended up being impeccable throughout. So far, everything I’ve experienced is positive. Nonetheless, it felt like a certain oomph was missing. It needed another element or profile to elevate the experience from an exceptional cigar a truly amazing one.