Length: 5½" Ring Gauge: 52
Cigar Aficionado's 2019 Cigar of the Year
The story of Aging Room revolves around a central character who had no idea he was headed for the cigar business: Rafael Nodal. It's a timeline of transitions, partnerships and collaborations that ultimately lead to the creation of the Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Maestro, Cigar Aficionado's 2019 Cigar of the Year.
But first we rewind back almost 40 years ago to 1980, when Nodal came to the U.S. from Cuba as a refugee on the infamous Mariel boatlift. With no background in cigars, Nodal sought a career in music that brought him to New York City, then to Miami where he embarked on a more practical career in healthcare. There, he met his future business partners Hank Bischoff and Dr. Alina Cordoves (now his wife).
Nodal's foray into the cigar world was slow. In 1998, he and his partners began selling cigars online, and in 2002 they took over the Habana Cuba Cigar Co., a struggling company with a mediocre portfolio of forgettable cigars. For a while, the business situation was looking quite grim.
Not one to be easily discouraged, Nodal explored the concept of producing cigars in small batches. In 2011 he came out with a new brand called Aging Room Small Batch M356. He also changed the name of his company from Habana Cuba Cigar Co. to Boutique Blends.
Owner: A.J. Fernandez Cigars
Factory: Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A.
Strength: 9 (of 10)
Size: 5½ (140mm) x 52 ring gauge