Aging Room Quatro Nicragua Maestro


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Cigar:             Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua

Size:               52 x 6 ("Maestro") w/ soft box press

Wrapper:       Nicaraguan Sumatra

Binder:           Nicaragua

Filler:/ :          Nicaragua

Origin:            Nicaragua

Factory:         Tabacalera AJ Fernandez (unconfirmed)

Mfr:                Altadis/Boutique Blends?

Blender:        Rafael Nodal/AJ Fernandez (unconfirmed)

Synopsis:  A most triumphant beginning with excellent balance and complexity leads to a muted profile in the 2nd and 3rd portions of the cigar.  The soft-ish box press has some burn inconsistencies that seem to require more frequent puffs than I would prefer, but overall the burn is sufficient and straight.  

1st Third: the first couple Puffs start deep, smooth, and rich with cocoa and leather flavors along with a slight figgy sweetness.  Puffs 4-6 evince some smacks of black pepper which subside as the cigar returns to a very rich but smooth profile. It has a nice creamy mouth feel and I can taste some leather and natural tobacco flavors developing over touches of wood. The figgy sweetness is completely gone, which is unfortunate. Retrohales seem to emphasize the wood and leather. Moving through towards the middle of the cigar, the cocoa seems to have subsided somewhat into the flavor of delicious coffee with some cream, but not bitter.  The end of the beginning ushers in some light woodiness and light pepper while coffee, cocoa, and mild leather serve as a foundation.  Some earthiness may be developing.  Very nicely balanced and very impressive. The draw is good but is sometimes riddled with an airiness, perhaps a result of the soft box press. 

2nd Third: There is an unexpected turn as it seems this cigar has gotten lighter and less rich in the 2nd third.  The wood has come to dominate over the leather, earth, and cocoa flavors. The pepper seems more pronounced, probably because it is not juxtaposed with the other rich flavors. There seems to be some bitterness looming on the horizon and it is not going away.  I fear that the marvelous beginning was simply a setup for disappointment.

The burn continues to be sporadically airy and causes me to puff faster than I would prefer, but it is still going strong. Ashes are nice and Sherman Clumpy.  This cigar seems to be inverted from what I typically find in a cigar as the 2nd third seems to be de-evolving into a more undefined and non-descript profile.  I would associate these flavors more with the beginning of a mediocre cigar.

 

 

3rd Third: Luckily, the bitterness that had developed has dissipated, and the cigar has returned to a profile similar to the first third. However, the balance and richness is now severely muted.  Like butter spread over too much bread.  Gone are the glorious cocoa, coffee, and leather that showed such promise at the beginning.  Pepper and wood continue to dominate the profile, but there are hints of earthiness and loam as I reach the nub. The draw still leaves a little to be desired, but it is acceptable. Unfortunately, the cigar did not retain the marvelous flavor and balance of the first third.  It was truly a stupendous beginning.   

As I remove the band and examine the design, I find the highly stylized font and numerous text elements to be a little distracting.  The primary font reminds me of someone’s last name written in Old English font and sprawled across the entire length of the upper portion of a windshield of an old truck.  In the States, such trucks usually feature lots of plastic chrome accessories.  Smoke time was approximately 1hr 25min.

Completely Subjective Score: B/B- .  7.7/8 out of 10.  The first bit was GREAT!  The rest was just a let down accompanied by an odd draw.  The cigar developed oddly, as if the cigar didn’t know where it was in the smoke. 

Personal Note: Upon reviewing the Altadis website I was intrigued by the classification of wrapper leaf as “Nicaraguan Sumatran”.  Obviously, I dove down a rabbit hole of Sumatra research and found an interesting article from 1902 entitled Growing Sumatra Tobacco Under Shade in the Connecticut Valley ( https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/129544#page/55/mode/1up ). Of note is the article’s description of tobacco leaf production and wrapper leaf preferences which were inapposite to some of the major trends in today’s market.  For example, it discusses the historic preference for wrapper leaf with mild and unobtrusive but balanced flavors as opposed to some of the Connecticut Habano or darker leaves which were apparently less favored back in the old days.  It also discusses the development of Florida and Connecticut tobacco production and the efforts to cultivate wrapper leaf in the States.  While some tobacco leaf preferences may have changed, the industry seems to be working on many of the same things… growing better wrapper leaf in the various regions of the US.   The more things change, the more they stay the same. 

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