Aging Room M21 Fortissimo

Aging Room M21

Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Perfecto
Size : 5 3/4 x 47
Wrapper : Habano (Dominican grown)
Filler : Dominican
Binder : Dominican
Hand-Made
Price : ~$13 each
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The Aging Room M21 was first announced in May 2013 by Rafael Nodal, president of Boutique Blend Cigars. If you were able to attend IPCPR this year, you might’ve also gotten a chance to have a closer look at the cigar. Nodal told Cigar Advisor, “This cigar is something I have been working on for a long, long time … Probably the strongest cigar ever to come out of a Dominican factory.” This is why the Aging Room M21 is called fortissimo, which means “strong” in musical terminology.

Appearance : ★★★★★
This is a very nice-looking cigar with a medium brown wrapper and the distinctive Perfecto shape. There are some prominent veins running through the wrapper. The band adds a nice touch to the appearance; the brown in the label is only a shade darker than the color of the wrapper.

Aging Room M21 Fortissimo

Construction : ★★★★☆
Burn is nice and even (one of the most even I think I’ve seen on any cigar), but draw is quite tight starting out. Fortunately this is a temporary issue that soon passes. Once the draw opens up, it’s very nice.

Flavor : ★★★★☆
At first I wasn’t sure if I liked this cigar. I thought it was a bit bitter. Whatever that bitter note was, it didn’t last once the draw opened up, and otherwise it’s a very pleasant experience. Lots of woody notes in here, some leather, and nuttiness. There is also a hint of hay or grass now and again, and a creamy undercurrent weaving it all together. As the smoke progresses, there is a hint of spiciness, possibly pepper or cinnamon or both. More new flavors come out of the woodwork in the final third, including coffee and chocolate—almost like dessert. This cigar produces a lot of smoke, and it is very aromatic. As I expected given the fortissimo classification, this is a strong stogie.

Value : ★★★☆☆
There were things I really loved about the M21, but there were also some noticeable drawbacks (that bitterness and the tight draw at the beginning). I think I would be more partial to it if the price was lower. Even just a few dollars off, and I would probably have given a 4/5 on value. But it is pretty expensive, which makes the flaws more significant to me.

Overall Rating : ★★★★☆
The flavors (after that bitterness) are excellent. Then again, I have only smoked one Aging Room M21 so far, and maybe that bitterness wouldn’t come up again with another cigar. The tight draw was a pain point as well though, as is the high price. The sharp, even burn deserves some kudos, though, and the progression of flavors, especially in the second half, is really amazing.

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4 Comments on “Aging Room M21 Fortissimo”

  1. Rafael Nodal says:

    Thank you for trying and writing about my Aging Room M21 FFortissimo. The tight draw at the beginning is by design. It is due to the shape and the small foot. The idea is that once the cigar opens up ( which is as soon as the foot tip is light up) you have and explosion of flavors. The initial bitterness maybe do to the all Ligero blend and although the tobacco has been aged for over 13 year the lack of airflow at the beginning May accentuate the string flavor of the Ligero, but only at the beginning

  2. Hi Rafael, many thanks for stopping by and giving us these explanations. It’s highly appreciated.

  3. Michael Joseph says:

    I am a fan of Aging Room cigars and will have to try this one. I am very impressed that Rafael read the review and took the time to reply. I appreciate when cigar makers interact with cigar smokers through blogs and forums.

  4. Sounds like an interesting stogie to me. I’ll be on the lookout. Thanks for the review!

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