Last July, for the first time in over a year, Aging Room released a new cigar. The Aging Room Rare Collection is a collaboration between original Aging Room creator Rafael Nodal and long time Altadis Collaborator, AJ Fernandez. The cigars are rolled at AJ’s factory in Nicaragua and uses specially selected rare tobaccos. Nodal noted in a press release that this is the first blend in a planned series of Rare Collection projects. The Rare Collection will be created in small runs based on availability of rare and aged tobaccos.
This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.
The blend for Aging Room Rare Collection is a Nicaraguan puro including a hybrid Cuban-seed wrapper grown on the La Lilia farm and some pelo de oro. It also features a pig-tail cap. The cigars come in 10-count boxes and three different vitolas: Festivo (52 x 4 1/2) MSRP: $15.00, Scherzo (55 x 5 1/2) MSRP: $15.50, and Vivase (60 x 6) MSRP: $15.95.
Length: 5 1/2″
Ring Gauge: 55
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A.
Blender: Rafael Nodal and AJ Fernandez
Number of reviewers: 4 – Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi) James H. (Keikan Jim) Isaac M. (The Nothing) Kevin J. (maninblack77)
Age: 6 Months
Release Date: August 2021
Contributed by: Altadis U.S.A.
Initial Impressions – Aging Room Rare Collection Scherzo
“This is an exquisitely constructed cigar that is sporting an impeccable chocolate brown wrapper leaf with a perfect little pigtail cap. I really can’t find anything to fault in terms of appearance.” –James H. (Keikan Jim)
“When smelling the body of the wrapper I find a mixture of light barnyard notes and brown sugar. Turning to the foot there is a sweet and dark note that makes me think of a mocha dusted with white pepper. After cutting the cap, I find a vegetal note with rice Chex and sugar in the background.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“Quite an amazing start to this flavor powerhouse. Tons of pepper upfront with a woodsy backbone…through the nose there is a medium pepper spice. A wonderful start to this smoke!” –James H. (Keikan Jim)
“This cigar fired up with a decent amount of spice that seemed to really hit the nose. There were some wood flavors under the spice, but it was really overwhelmed. As the burn progressed, the pepper spice maintained dominance, though if searching there were some notes of wood and leather hiding underneath.” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)
“The third opens with a bright vegetal note that quickly morphs into a strong evergreen mint. In the retro the cinnamon is joined by a heavy cream note that has smoothed out the burn. The smoke is still oily and the finish is still medium in length.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“Things ramped up quite a bit heading into the second third. The flavors really burst open. Lots of leather, baking spices, cocoa, and the salted cashew flavors that really meld well together. Strength also ramps up to medium. Very impressive second third. Burn is still spot on. This cigar is definitely hitting on all cylinders at this point. The retro is full of cocoa and slight black pepper.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“All good things must come to an end unfortunately and this cigar definitely ranks as a good thing. The final third was medium plus with bold flavors of chocolate, leather, baking spices, and salted nuts. I smoked it down to the nub because it was that enjoyable. An impressive ending to a cigar that fits in my wheelhouse.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“As the third gets going I get a dark and sweet note that has me thinking of fresh-made fig spread. The cinnamon in the retrohale and moved to the palate now. It tingles the tip of my tongue. As the third continues the flavor profile changes a few times. There are notes of mint, citrus, and even stewed carrots. There is a whole lot going on. This has lengthened the finish while the smoke has stayed oily.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
Overall Impressions – Aging Room Rare Collection Scherzo
“I have absolutely no criticism for the draw on this sample…plenty of smoke with the slightest hint of resistance. Basically perfect!” –James H. (Keikan Jim)
“The burn was also spot on, from beginning to end.” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)
“I have absolutely no complaints about the construction of this cigar. The appearance was stunning and the performance was remarkable. I’m very impressed!” –James H. (Keikan Jim)
Overall Strength: Medium-Strong
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
Experience Overall: 95
“This cigar had a lot going on. The sweetness early on than dark and savory profile in the middle and closing third makes it great for any cigar smoker. It seems to me that it would pair wonderfully with a well made old fashion. I think this cigar might find a home in my humidor as soon as I find out what it is.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“This was a full-bodied powerhouse from the first to the final puff. Plenty of pepper and wood flavor with a charred oak finish. This one was perfect for me but maybe a bit much for a beginner smoker or someone with a light nicotine tolerance. Personally, I loved it!” –James H. (Keikan Jim)
“This is an assertive cigar with plenty of pepper spice to satisfy the palates that desire. The cigar performed wonderfully, start to finish. For me, it’s quite a bit much but it is an outstanding cigar for those that would enjoy such a flavor profile.” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)
“From beginning to end this cigar performed like a rock star. The transitions in flavors from section to section kept my interest and the flavors were exactly what I look for in a cigar. Cocoa, baking spices, leather, and salted nuts all worked in unison to create a truly enjoyable experience. I would definitely recommend this cigar to anyone. Thanks for the chance to smoke it!” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 90
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.