The Aging Room brand from Boutique Blends (Oliveros) saw two new introductions this year at the IPCPR in Orlando, Florida. The original Aging Room was known as the M-356 (which saw two new sizes this year), received some very high praise. When I heard that two new blends were to be released in the brand I was excited to try them out. One of the new blends was the Aging Room Quattro which features a Sumatra wrapper and Dominican binders and fillers, the other (which I am reviewing today) was the Aging Room Haváo Connecticut. The new Aging Room Haváo Connecticut features an Ecuadorian Connecticut shade wrapper, with Havana Criollo binders and fillers. Make sure to follow Boutique Blends (@BoutiqueBlends) on twitter as well as their Aging Room (@AgingRoomCigars) twitter account.
Size: 5 1/4 x 42 (Brio)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade
Binder: Dominican Havana Criollo
Filler: Dominican Havana Criollo
Strength: Mild to Medium
Cigars Smoked For Review: 1
Construction and Appearance: The Aging Room Haváo Connecticut has two bands on it, the top one has Aging Room written on it with brass knuckles patterned behind it. The bottom band on the Aging Room Haváo Connecticut is a foot band with Haváo Connecticut written on it. The wrapper is a nice golden brown with some light veins and a bit of oil. The cigar is topped off with a very tight, neat, beautiful triple cap.
Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the Aging Room Haváo Connecticut has notes of very sweet rich grass and some nuts. The foot has a scent which is a blend of earth, nuts, and hay. I use a straight cut to prepare smoking the Aging Room Haváo Connecticut, and on the cold draw there is a flavor of grass, cream, earth, with a little tea-like herbal flavor, and a floral note.
Smoking Characteristics: The Aging Room Haváo Connecticut fires up with a bit of a pepper and spice which fades out quickly. Once the spice fades out the flavor profile is a blend of cream, sweet tea, grass, nuts, and a very light floral tone with a bit of wood. Each draw also leaves a very light coffee bean flavor lingering on the palate, providing a short, yet intense finish. The draw is excellent, easily providing a nice full body of rich, cool, smooth, sweet smoke.
Into the second third, the Aging Room Haváo Connecticut still performs well, pumping out plenty of flavor. The cream notes start to become a bit more dominant and a nice light vanilla tone joins the blend as a primary note as well. The notes of sweet tea, grass, nuts, and wood all remain in the background and the floral tones begin to fade. Now lingering on the palate between draws along with the coffee bean flavor is the new vanilla note, which pairs wonderfully. The ash holds very firm, well past the inch point, which is sometimes difficult in my experience with cigars that have this small of a ring gauge. The burn has required some small touch ups, but nothing too significant.
During the final third of the Aging Room Haváo Connecticut, the flavors remain fairly consistent to the previous third. The vanilla tone and cream keep dominating the flavor profile with the notes of sweet tea, grass, nuts, and wood all remaining in the background. The blend has an excellent balance to it, with a bit of complexity (and any complexity tends to be surprising for an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade). The Aging Room Haváo Connecticut performs well to the nub without and sour or bitter flavors joining the profile or smoking too hot.
Conclusion: With so many Connecticut cigars on the market, it is sometimes hard to make one that stands out. So does the Aging Room Haváo Connecticut tower above the competition? Well it certainly isn’t “your dad’s” Connecticut shade. The strength is stepped up to mild to medium, rather than the typical mild. The flavors are much more intense, complex, and balanced. Plus it offers a bit of an evolution during the smoking profile. Overall, when I want to smoke a Connecticut, this would certainly be one I could see choosing. If you are a mild smoker, check this one out for sure!