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While the Aging Room name should be fairly familiar, the DeSocio name probably isn’t as much, though many cigar smokers have benefited from it.

DeSocio comes from the last name of Tom Sullivan’s maternal grandmother, who was the last person in his family to bear it. Sullivan is the president of Alliance Cigar, a distributor based in Hauppauge, N.Y. that serves tobacco stores all across the country. The name is not only a nod to her, but to his cigar-smoking grandfather.

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“The stories I’d hear all the time from my aunt and uncle, particularly when I started in the cigar business, ‘oh, he’d be proud of you,'” said Sullivan.

In recent years, Alliance has been working with several manufacturers to create exclusive sizes in existing lines, a list that currently includes cigars from Alec Bradley, My Father, Oliva and Boutique Blends, the latter in the form of this box-pressed 5 3/4 x 47 vitola.

“We are honored to add the Aging Room Quattro to our DeSocio collection. Rafael Nodal and I have been friends and working partners for many years,” said Sullivan via a press release at the time of the cigar’s announcement. “This was a great opportunity for us to collectively create something unique and at the same time have some fun together.”

While the DeSocio vitola won’t show up in every cigar store, it’s a regular production size, joining the Concerto (7 x 50), Vibrato (6 x 54), Maestro (6 x 52, Torpedo), Espressivo (5 x 50), Concerto S (6 x 50) and Stretto (4 1/2 x 46). Given that Boutique Blends has picked musical terms for the vitolas in the Aging Room Quattro F55 line, the term DeSocio fits right in, even though it isn’t such a word.

Here’s what I said about the Aging Room Quattro F55 DeSociowhen I reviewed it in January 2016:

While I would have preferred a bit more vibrance in the flavors from the Aging Room Quattro F55 DeSocio, there was never a point where I was unhappy with what it had to offer. I was impressed by the cigar’s consistency and overall balance, while construction was solid. Combustion issues cost the cigar a point or two, but not enough to say you should avoid it. A respectable expression of the blend in a distinctive shape.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Aging Room Quattro F55 DeSocio
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Tabacalera Palma
  • Wrapper: Indonesian Sumata
  • Binder: Dominican Republic Habano
  • Filler: Dominican Republic Habano
  • Length: 5 3/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 47
  • Vitola: Figurado
  • MSRP: $8.75 (Boxes of 20, $175)
  • Release Date: Dec. 21, 2015
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 3

The Aging Room Quattro F55 DeSocio has lots going on before being lit—three bands, a nipple foot, a generous cap that leads up to a slender, tightly coiled pigtail cap and a box press to top it all off. The wrapper is a mottled shade of toffee, with incredibly small veins that just barely noticeable by the hand. There’s a bit of give to the box press; a very familiar amount should you smoke the style often and be familiar with it. The lower foot band needs to be removed prior to lighting, and when it comes off it’s possible to see how the foot was created as there is another seam of tobacco visible, not due to poor rolling but simply the shades of tobacco are slightly different. The small opening on the foot doesn’t let the aroma of the filler come through, but I get touches of caramel or kettle corn, while the cold draw offers more of a caramel apple flavor, though without much vibrance from the apple part of that description. The every so slightly tight air flow also carries with a very faint touch of pepper for the lips.

There is still a good amount of pepper present to open up the Aging Room Quattro F55 DeSocio, and it’s equally as present on the palate as it is in the nose, though a bit of peppermint comes through the nostrils as well on early retrohales. The first inch doesn’t contain many transitions or much in the way of complexity, but the pepper that carries the flavor is quite enjoyable; neither too overpowering or overbearing, and clears the way for some straight tobacco flavors in the background. The first clump of ash holds on for a good inch or so and when it breaks off, more pepper comes along, this time a potent black and chili pepper flake mix that really lights up the nose but stays very clean and manageable. It retreats after a few puffs to its original levels, and while there are some dry wood and peanut notes in the background, it’s not launching a flavor full frontal on the palate. Subtle touches of vanilla come into to the retrohale to begin the transition to the second half.

aging-room-quattro-f55-desocio

The cigar has performed flawlessly so far, producing plenty of smoke while maintaining a sharp and even burn line. Flavor wise, it continues to be pepper-forward while leaving the background to a somewhat generic tobacco flavor that takes on notes of dry wood and peanuts at times, with both easily overlooked. The pepper changes a few more times in terms of its makeup, picking up and shedding the black and red chili pepper flakes a few times and only fleetingly getting harsh or slightly charred before the cigar comes to a conclusion after just over 90 very enjoyable minutes.

91 Overall Score

Time hasn’t brought out any new flavors in the Aging Room Quattro F55 DeSocio, but rather allowed the pepper to refine itself a bit while keeping nearly all of its brightness. While I wish there were more flavors and transitions to write about, my lack of words should be excused by the fact that what the cigar offers is quite good—a well balanced, pepper-forward cigar that would be welcomed in almost any situation or pairing for when a very good cigar is called for.

Original Score (January 2016)
86
Redux Score (November 2016)
91

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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