Boutique cigars are one of the hottest trends going in the world of cigars today. If you need more proof, check the 2013 Top 25 Cigars of the Year List – if you eliminate cigars you can’t score legally in the USA, you’ll find the Aging Room Quattro at the top of the list. What company makes the Aging Room you ask? Rafael Nodal’s cigar company, the aptly named Boutique Blends. But what makes a boutique cigar a boutique cigar? Simple. It’s…um, yeah.
Well, if you consult a dictionary, you’ll get this: “…of, designating, or characteristic of a small, exclusive producer or business: one of California’s best boutique wineries.”
Obviously, for our purposes, we’re replacing the word “wineries” with “cigars” (or should it be manufacturers? More on that in a minute) – but when we define “boutique” – should we be doing it in terms of numbers, such as output of bottles (or cigars)? Or is it in availability of supplies, as in “small batch?” Is it the size of the manufacturer that matters?
Yes. And no. Continue reading
Why are Cuban cigars illegal? If I had a dollar for every time I’ve fielded this question, I’d quit my day job and spend the rest of my years smoking Padron and drinking Louis XIII. Unfortunately for me, no one is passing out singles for answers to the question “Why are Cuban cigars illegal?”, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth answering.
The short answer is the United States’ embargo against Cuba forbids the import of any Cuban-made products into the United States. Furthermore, U.S. law forbids American citizens from buying, selling, trading, or otherwise engaging in transactions involving illegally-imported Cuban cigars. These prohibitions apply to all goods of Cuban origin, and scofflaws face fines of up to $55,000 per violation not to mention criminal prosecution, which can result in higher fines and even imprisonment. Continue reading
The Aging Room Quattro F55 series is an attractive, award-winning selection that gets its name from its four-sided shape. Created by Boutique Blends founder, Rafael Nodal, and Jochi Blanco at Tabacalera La Palma, the cigars are box-pressed in an extremely rare and flavorful Indonesian-grown Sumatra wrapper aged since 2003 with a buttery-smooth texture that caps a Dominican Habano seed core. Each cigar sports two bands, at the head and foot respectively. Exquisitely handmade in a small batch production of 400,000 cigars, the Aging Room Quattro F55 Concerto (7″ x 50) was awarded a “Classic” 95 score, and landed the #2 slot among the world’s “Top-25″ cigars for 2013. I was very happy to be selected to give my Aging Room Quattro f55 cigar review, so let’s light it up and get to it! Continue reading