There are a lot of ways to release a cigar, particularly in the wake of regulations by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), but one procedure we don’t see as often as you would think is a limited period of exclusivity. There have been a few occasions, but for the most part if a single store receive a product far in advance of others it’s a matter of days and at most weeks.
That’s not the case with the Aging Room Quattro F55M Maduro. It arrived at Thompson Cigar Co. in January and will be an exclusive for the Tampa-based retailer until it gets its national debut at the 2017 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show in July, at which point other retailers will be able to purchase and sell the cigar.
It uses a Mexican San Andrés wrapper over a Dominican binder and fillers from the Dominican Republic.
Interestingly, each of the three sizes are offered in both 10- and 20-count boxes.
- Aging Room Quattro F55M Maduro Espressivo (5 x 50) — $9.98
- Aging Room Quattro F55M Maduro Vibrato (6 x 54) — $10.46
- Aging Room Quattro F55M Maduro Concerto (7 x 50) — $10.42
- Cigar Reviewed: Aging Room Quattro F55M Maduro Concerto
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera Palma
- Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Republic
- Length: 7 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Churchill
- MSRP: $10.42 (Box of 10, $104.20)1
- Release Date: January 2017
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
It’s a dark, box-pressed Churchill. For better or worse, my samples of the Aging Room Quattro F55M Maduro were stored for well over a month without cellophane and as such there is not much coming on the aroma from the wrapper. As for the foot, it’s extremely sweet with floral and blueberries being the stand out flavors. The cold draw is similar, very sweet with blueberry, a surprising amount of twang and some honey. It’s medium in intensity, but detailed and smooth.
Despite all the sweetness before lighting up the Aging Room, it starts with a salty cedar flavor and just the faintest hints of spice towards the end. As the Quattro F55M Maduro gets going, there’s a return to some sweetness in the form of a lemon cream, but cedar and a pistachio shell remain upfront. Elsewhere, there’s some damp earth, but that’s about it. In order of intensity, the cedar is the strongest, followed by the creaminess, the pistachio and then the damp earth. It’s not much beyond medium-plus in intensity, though very enjoyable. Through the first two inches, construction is impeccable with some of the prettiest ash I’ve seen in a while.
The second third of the Aging Room Quattro F55M Maduro Concerto is very similar to the first—and that’s a good thing. Burnt toast replaces the secondary nutty flavor and an herbal parsley flavor has been added, but other than that the flavors are the same. The lemon creaminess has evened with the cedar and then things are the same. While the burn gets a bit uneven right before the halfway mark, thee cigar corrects itself without any assistance. Strength is medium-plus, body is medium and flavor remains medium-plus.
Much like the middle portion, there’s not much change in terms of the palette of flavors present in the final third.2 The cedar has turned woody and is once again the dominant flavor. Right behind it is the toastiness with the creaminess now very much a secondary flavor and without the lemon note that previously defined the cigar. The only real change is an added white pepper, but it’s mild and really only present in the last 10 minutes of the cigar.
- This is a very easy redux candidate. Not necessarily to see how the cigar ages, but rather how the full release cigars taste. I would not expect them to taste identical as no matter what steps are taken either the components or the final product will be different. There are a few logical options that could occur:
- A. The tobacco will be from the same batch as the Thompson versions, meaning the tobacco for the full release versions will have a bit more age. This seems like the likeliest of options.
- B. The cigars were all rolled at the same time, meaning the ones released at the trade show will have more age. These cigars also won’t taste identical to a Thompson release with similar age as the aging process in an aging room is different than that of both a retail and consumer humidor.
- C. The tobacco will be from a different batch, but the same varietals. This happens with every single regular production cigar on the market. Eventually you run out of a specific leaf from a specific farm from a specific harvest. You are then forced to make adjustments.
- It’s a bit curious that the 6 x 54 toro size is slightly more expensive than the 7 x 50 Churchill vitola.
- There is no company that has more of a contrasting reputation between that of what the industry thinks of them, particularly manufacturers, than Thompson. For consumers, Thompson is accused of being anywhere from annoying to predatory; for manufacturers, they are a large account that does a lot of business.
- Thompson has also been the most aggressive retailer of late when it comes to securing exclusives.
- I was super impressed by the construction of the Aging Room Quattro F55M Maduro. At times the burn got a bit uneven, but each time the cigar corrected the unevenness without any assistance from my lighter. None of the three cigars required any touch-ups, something that isn’t normally the case sadly.
- That being said, all three cigars seemed to want to go out right at the one-inch mark.
- I visited Tabacalera Palma during the 2017 Procigar Festival; Patrick Lagreid visited it in 2015.
- Cigars for this review were sent to halfwheel by Thompson Cigar Co.
- Smoking time was just over two hours.
- You can purchase the Aging Room Quattro F55M Maduro Concerto from Thompson Cigar Co. here.
I have remarked numerous times in the past that I have struggled to find many cigars out of Tabacalera Palma that I enjoy. Today is at the very least an exception to that rule. The Aging Room Quattro F55M Maduro was fantastic. I am a bit surprised to read, or be reminded, that the cigar has a San Andrés wrapper, as it’s really not the classic San Andrés flavors that I expect, but that doesn’t change how good this cigar is. It’s a nuanced flavor, albeit not one that changes much, paired with incredible construction—i.e., a winner.