Sippin' with Stogies

May 2021
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Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Impromptu  

 

Origin Country: Nicaragua

Wrapper: Nicaragua

Binder and Filler: Nicaragua

Vitola: Figurado, 6 ½ x 52

Price: $12.75 

What makes it special:

I would say that being a variation of the 2019 Cigar of the Year with a 96 rating makes it special, but I’m not easily impressed by such accolades. Every palate is different, and mine hunts for every little note of flavor. That said, I have had the Impromptu’s sibling, the award-winning Maestro, so I’m confident this limited-edition vitola will not disappoint. It was gifted to me by the son of one of its creators, Rafael Nodal, so the pressure’s on and my taste buds had better be on their best behavior! The Impromptu vitola was created because Rafael felt the double-tapered shape would allow the flavors to shine, so my expectations are high.

What strikes me: The Aging Room Quattro is a Nicaraguan puro. Those words don’t usually strike me as special, as I often hunt for exclusive tobaccos – Ometepe, Brazilian Mata Fina, perhaps an Arapiraca wrapper. How good could it be? I found myself eating those words as this Nicaraguan puro’s taste quickly reminded me that it was a collaboration between Rafael Nodal and A.J. Fernandez, a team that produces many of my favorites. The Aging Room Quattro leaves me curious as to how a cigar can be so good, and so unique, without flaunting anything other than pure Nicaraguan tobacco and serious blending skills.

Visual / Pre-light Draw

The Quattro’s wrapper looks like dark velvet; I can see the lines of the wrapper leaves, but they’re pressed so perfectly that I have to look closely and follow the lines to see where they begin and end. Oily and smooth to the touch, I can even feel some of the oils on my fingertips if I rub them together. I can’t stop sniffing it because it has a scent that reminds me of walking into the kitchen while my grandmother was baking something with chocolate while a fresh pot of coffee was brewing. I can literally picture the memory. The draw before lighting is the same; I think this is going to be a good cigar.

First Third

The Quattro comes out of the gate swinging… from the beginning I can taste cocoa and the sweet tanginess of a good espresso. It’s a full-body cigar, no question, but with far more flavor than I’d usually expect from a cigar so full. It’s not overpowering at all, but it is a cigar that says “I will not be ignored”. Who would? These are already flavor notes that very few wouldn’t love. 

Second Third

The burn is flawless – no touch-ups needed. I am beginning to taste some baking spices… a touch of cinnamon and clove? Definitely not black pepper. The Quattro isn’t overly sweet, but it’s not bitter or spicy at all. I often prefer sweeter cigars (I hate hay notes), but I feel like the Quattro doesn’t need any more sweetness for the flavors to stand out. The palate is pleasing just as it is, and I’m beginning to taste slivered almonds. It’s subtle – not enough yet for the cigar to be called “nutty”, but it again takes me back to that old kitchen memory. I’m also beginning to taste some caramel. It’s sweet enough for me to deem it “smooth”, but the palate is not to be confused with something like a barrel-aged or a Kentucky fire-cured sweetness. The blend speaks for itself; none of the “extraordinary” tobaccos I often seek out are needed to carry the Quattro for the sake of flavor. So far, I’m very impressed.

Final Third

I removed the band and I still haven’t had to manicure the cigar once. I can imagine the Quattro would be perfect after a heavy, rich, or oily meal because of its balance of strength and flavor. I can taste more of the caramel and almond, and maybe now a bit of cedar, while the cocoa remains throughout. The draw has been as perfect as the burn, and the final third is where that espresso comes back with a punch. I’ve also been tasting vanilla. The Quattro has reached its full strength, but the flavors still come through unmistakably. At the point where I’d usually put a cigar down because of bitterness at the end, I’m still smoking and tasting every flavor I’ve picked up along the way. I had high expectations to begin with, and the Quattro Impromptu far exceeded them.

The Pairing:

In honor of finally being able to return to my favorite New York cigar lounge, I wanted to try something new (at least for me) – Hudson Whiskey’s Bright Lights, Big Bourbon. It had some reviews that made me skeptical, but pairing it with the Aging Room Quattro was a good gamble. The nose had hints of vanilla and brown sugar that tied well into the notes of the Quattro. The vanilla notes remained throughout, which I liked. I tasted a bit of chocolate and caramel on the palate, but there was also a hint of cornbread that seemed a bit like a non sequitur. My palate kept reaching back to the cigar for sweeter flavors. The Bright Lights, Big Bourbon has an ABV of 46%, but tasted as though it were higher as the heat lingered after each sip. I enjoyed the caramel notes that coated my mouth and complemented the hints of vanilla, making it a good pairing for the Aging Room Quattro – in any size.

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