IPCPR 2018: Boutique Blends

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If you walked into the Altadis U.S.A. booth and didn’t know better, you’d assume that Boutique Blends and its now signature Aging Room line was simply part of the rest of the tobacco giant’s portfolio. However, it’s not, at least not entirely.

In May 2017 it was announced that Altadis U.S.A. would be handling distribution for the Boutique Blends portfolio, and then Rafael Nodal joined Tabacalera USA, the parent entity of Altadis U.S.A., in October 2017 as the head of product capability. While Boutique Blends has remained an independent company since that time, the two companies have become more intertwined since, including sharing a booth at the trade show, having Altadis U.S.A. staff handle media relations for Boutique Blends and so on.

This year, Boutique Blends is giving its portfolio a revamp both in terms of products offered and how they are presented. As was announced at the start of July, the company is reorganizing its lines into four key segments while adding five new cigars, and that’s not including Pura Cepa, which debuted in May. Additionally, the company is shifting its focus away from a handful of existing lines to better promote its core products.

Aging Room by Rafael Nodal Connecticut

The new core of the Aging Room brand is the Aging Room by Rafael Nodal, which includes a Connecticut, Habano and Maduro offering, each using a Dominican binder and filler blend.

  • Wrapper: Ecuador (Connecticut)
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Aging Room by Rafael Nodal Connecticut Adante (7 x 50) — $9.95 (Boxes of 20, $199)
  • Aging Room by Rafael Nodal Connecticut Rapido (5 x 48) — $8.90 (Boxes of 20, $178)
  • Aging Room by Rafael Nodal Connecticut Vivase (6 x 50) — $9.20 (Boxes of 20, $184)

Production: Regular Production

Launch Date: July 2018

Aging Room by Rafael Nodal Habano

  • Wrapper: Dominican Republic
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Aging Room by Rafael Nodal Habano Major (6 1/2 x 60) — $10.80 (Boxes of 20, $216)
  • Aging Room by Rafael Nodal Habano Mezzo (6 x 54) — $9.95 (Boxes of 20, $199)
  • Aging Room by Rafael Nodal Habano Rondo (5 x 50) — $9.20 (Boxes of 20, $184)

Production: Regular Production

Launch Date: July 2018

Aging Room by Rafael Nodal Maduro

  • Wrapper: Mexico (San Andrés Maduro)
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Aging Room by Rafael Nodal Maduro Major (6 1/2 x 60) — $11 (Boxes of 20, $220)
  • Aging Room by Rafael Nodal Maduro Mezzo (6 x 54) — $10.50 (Boxes of 20, $210)
  • Aging Room by Rafael Nodal Maduro Rondo (5 x 50) — $10 (Boxes of 20, $200)

Production: Regular Production

Launch Date: July 2018

Aging Room by Rafael Nodal Quattro Connecticut

The Aging Room Quattro gets two new versions, one in an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper and the other in a Mexican San Andrés maduro leaf. The Connecticut version comes from Tabacalera Palma, while the Maduro comes from A.J. Fernández. Also among the changes, the F55 has been renamed the Quattro Original, while the F55M is now the Quattro Maduro.

  • Wrapper: Ecuador (Connecticut)
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Aging Room by Rafael Nodal Quattro Connecticut Concerto (7 x 50) — $10.95 (Boxes of 20, $219)
  • Aging Room by Rafael Nodal Quattro Connecticut Espressivo (5 x 50) — $10.75 (Boxes of 20, $215)
  • Aging Room by Rafael Nodal Quattro Connecticut Maestro Belicoso (6 x 52) — $11.15 (Boxes of 20, $223)
  • Aging Room by Rafael Nodal Quattro Connecticut Vibrato (6 x 54) — $11.25 (Boxes of 20, $225)

Production: Regular Production

Launch Date: July 2018

Aging Room by Rafael Nodal Quattro Nicaragua

As noted above, this Nicaraguan puro comes from A.J. Fernández’s factory, which has increasingly become a collaborator on numerous projects for other cigar brands due to its tobacco selection and production capacity.

  • Wrapper: Nicaragua
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Aging Room by Rafael Nodal Quattro Nicaragua Concerto (7 x 50) — $10.75 (Boxes of 20, $215)
  • Aging Room by Rafael Nodal Quattro Nicaragua Espressivo (5 x 50) — $10.65 (Boxes of 20, $213)
  • Aging Room by Rafael Nodal Quattro Nicaragua Maestro Belicoso (6 x 52) — $10.95 (Boxes of 20, $219)
  • Aging Room by Rafael Nodal Quattro Nicaragua Vibrato (6 x 54) — $11(Boxes of 20, $220)

Production: Regular Production

Launch Date: July 2018

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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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