Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5 x 50
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $10.65

Today we take a look at the Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua.
I bought a fiver.
This was Cigar Aficionado’s top cigar of 2019 with a rating of 96.
Interestingly, I only found four written reviews of this cigar. And those reviews rated the cigar in the low 90’s. How odd that only a portion of the big reviewers chose to opt in. This arouses my suspicions…let’s get to the truth.
One other thing…this is basically an AJ Fernandez blend.

Factory: Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A.
From Cigar Aficionado:
“You’d be forgiven if the name Aging Room creates a bit of confusion. There are a lot of different Aging Rooms made in different factories. The crowning achievement, however, is the Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Maestro made by A.J. Fernandez in Nicaragua.

“The cigar is essentially Nodal’s vision, crafted by Fernandez with his distinct tobacco and signature factory style. Every last leaf in this blend is Nicaraguan and every puff is an overture of flavors that’s at times heavy and rich with notes of dark chocolate and wood, and other times, subtle and understated with hints of fine caramel and toasted almonds. In musical terms, the word for this box-pressed torpedo would be dynamic.

“Nodal is still an artist at heart and cigars continue to be his creative outlet. If the birth of Aging Room was his breakthrough, consider the Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua Maestro his masterpiece.”

Churchill 7 x 50 $10.75
Robusto 5 x 50 $10.65
Torpedo 6 x 52 $10.95
Toro 6 x 52 $11.00

A very nice-looking cigar…hidden seams, few veins, a crisp box press, a beautifully applied triple cap…and slightly toothy. The cigar is packed to the gills but still allows a nice resistance when squeezed. In room light, the wrapper is a mottled espresso hue. In the sun, there is also a slight reddish tint.

Big dark chocolate aroma highlighted by creaminess, malt, caramel, nutty, cedar, slight barnyard, black pepper, clove, and espresso.
The cold draw presents flavors of black pepper, dark chocolate, espresso, malt, cedar, caramel, creaminess, clove, and nuts.

The draw is spot on. Perfect resistance. So, I put away my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool for another time.

I must start by saying I don’t give much credence to Cigar Aficionado’s reviews. They feel tainted. Plus, there is corruption at play; but in which I choose not to elucidate as I prefer not to get sued for slander…even if my allegations are true. But the whole reviewing system is a gimmick. And players must pay up if they want to be included. I’ve generally found that the best cigar of the year never lives up to smokers’ expectations.

Unfortunately for the magazine, smokers have caught on to the nefarious dealings of the mag and less people read it. I canceled my subscription years ago.

OK. Let’s get to the matter at hand…the Aging Room Nicaragua by AJ and Nodal.
I light up and get a nice blast of flavor: black pepper, creaminess, chocolate, malt, caramel, and nuts. Complexity settles in immediately.
The finish is surprisingly intense…it lingers on my tongue, teeth, and lips. I want to savor it before my next puff.

I’ve had my fiver for a couple months lying naked in my humidor.
A significant outpouring of smokestack lightning.
Man, this baby gets complex to the max faster than I can strip my old man boxers off when Charlotte says she is in the mood.

Transitions kick in…moving in a parabolic curve that starts to look like a DNA strand. Flavors whiz by at the speed of me screaming “Mommy” when my 2 minutes of sex is over.
Strength hits medium/full toot suite.

I smoked one of my Casdagli Daughters of the Wind Pony Express last night. Now that’s a blend that could easily be cigar of the year. But Mr. Casdagli won’t play CA’s game.

The Quattro Nicaragua is an interesting cigar but I don’t see magnificence flailing in the wind. Solid cigar. But so far…number #1? Really?

I could list any number of blends on the market that are just as good. And because of AJ’s influence on this cigar, you can taste his fingerprints all over the thing.

The spiciness is strong. But not quite overwhelming.

The reason for lack of reviews can’t be the release date. There was plenty of time in 2019 for other reviewers to give the cigar plenty of humi rest.

At this point, the prevailing scores of 90-91 seem about right….not a 96.

I am having good luck with the burn…something I’m plagued by with most box presses.

Charlotte and I looking to move to an apartment and get out of this place. The problem is smoking policies. One upscale place I spoke to told me it’s OK to smoke in the unit but if a neighbor complains, we have to stop. WTF? I laughed at the young man. We need to spend thousands of dollars to move and then we are at the mercy of total strangers that might complain? This kid needs to get a job at a convenience store.

The flavors are on an even keel. But the complexity, so rotund at the start, is leveling off. Instead of increasing the peace, the blend becomes a little static.
As the stick started off strong, I betcha’ a buck that by the second half it is full tilt hallucinations.

The creaminess comes to the forefront. The chocolate is waning at the speed of sound. Nuttiness remains and the caramel moves forward. Malt is constant. But this is by no means a flavor bomb blend. Even the Cigar Aficionado review does not describe a multi-faceted blend.

The ash is sturdy. But now that I got my photo, I’m ditching it as I don’t want it to fall into my lap setting my genitals on fire. I hate the smell of roasting nuts in the morning.
And with a flick, it’s gone.

Time for a sip of water. I expect explosions and get meh…

I’m beginning to go into shock mode realizing this cigar was named the best cigar of the year. WTF2.0.
I’m not saying it’s not good…but there was some funny business going on in this decision.
And the cigar goes out. Drat.

The flavor profile decides not to spread its wings. A shame as I was expecting to see God per Cigar Aficionado’s nod.
If I were to blind taste test this cigar, I’d definitely recognize AJ’s touch; but that’s about it.

The stick is burning a little faster than expected.

Speaking of moving…we have Sammy the cat. The usual security for a cat runs around $250-$300. I found one property that wants $900. Short of disguising a mountain lion into a tabby, exactly how much damage can a cat without claws do? I guess he could wipe his ass along the carpet like a dog. Or vomit constantly into the spa.

“Watching The Wheels” by John Lennon is playing. Makes me sad. I remember distinctly the day he was murdered in 1980. What a tragedy. The man who preached peace was gunned down. What a fucked up world.

Halfway point.
The forward movement is stalled. This No.1 baby should be causing me to kvell big time. Instead, the complexity is in stasis when, by this point, should be executing back flips on my palate.

Now I know why a lot of reviewers didn’t touch this. This makes me despair the human race. Reviewers too.

As I’m writing those words, the blend’s flavor profile improves.
A little more starch is added to stiffen the resolve of the blend. Flavors become bolder.
The complexity returns. Transitions are marked mostly by the black pepper. The finish is spicy.

The savory v. sweet factor is out of balance. I may be calling out the Quattro Nicaragua too early, but it seems more like a one trick pony than cigar of the year.

My favorite blends from Isabela Cigar, Casdagli Cigar, and Southern Draw all start with a bang and don’t look back.

This blend is herky jerky. Almost confused.
Now I’m in full shock mode. This happens every time I review one of the top cigars from Cigar Aficionado. They are becoming the most unreliable source for cigar information on the planet.
They are like Playboy with good articles…but no tits.

It’s not a bad cigar. It should be setting my socks on fire. Instead, it is spitting loogies on my shoes to shine them.

Yet, because of the CA endorsement, the cigars are flying off the shelves. Lots of online cigar shops are out of stock. I guess the payoff to CA is worth it for the manufacturer.
The flavors come and go. One moment, I’m hopeful…the next; I’m disgusted.

If I were reviewing this cigar not knowing its status in corporate cigars, I’d say that Aging Room did a nice job but accomplished something short of spectacular.
In fact, there are plenty of Aging Room blends that are better.

Hype can also hurt a cigar. I suspect that a lot of smokers bought this baby and found themselves talking themselves into liking this blend more than they should. And others are left wondering what happened.

I’d love to give you a list of subtleties and nuances but there are none. The flavor profile has not changed an iota. No additions to the taste. It is a one trick pony.

Basically, this is a good catalog AJ blend. At least, Aging Room did not super-size the price point. That would have pissed me off. But for this price range, there are hundreds of good cigars out there that I’d choose before buying another Quattro Nicaragua.

Complexity, transitions, finish, subtleties, nuances, and balance never reach their full potential.

The cigar goes out again.

But construction and burn are excellent. Go figure.

Something else bothers me…no description of the Nic puro leaf stats. I doubt they are proprietary or that would have been mentioned in their press release. Everyone loves to go into great detail about the tobacco they are using. Not this time.

The chocolate is missing in action. Black pepper reigns supreme. There is a bit of creaminess that is pleasing. The sweet elements have disappeared. It is all savory. And dominated by spiciness. Maybe this cigar needs 6 months of humi time; but I doubt it.
I don’t believe the leaves are extensively aged.

Strength has been full tilt for some time and now the dreaded nicotine kicks in.
I smoked a Southern Draw 300 Hands Maduro ($6.00) yesterday and it was better.
Lack of consistency is a foregone conclusion now. We are now in the death throes of this blend.
Caramel shows up with little left in the cigar. But not enough to shift the balance right side up.
With an inch to go, the flavor profile improves a bit.
Fuck you Cigar Aficionado.


And now for something completely different:

1984…I’d had it with the music industry. A whole decade at the top of my game artistically. And a whole decade of the industry financially fucking me in the ass.

My Eddie Munster project went down in flames. My recording studio partner was embezzling while I was on the road with Butch Patrick promoting the record.

Here is how the downfall began: I wanted a production deal with the record company; Rocshire Records. (Google this company)

This means that instead of signing a standard recording deal, I had my entertainment lawyer draw up my own contract.
What all this shit means is that I put every cent of my own money into this music project. My grandfather had passed a few years earlier and I had the dough.

My purpose, at my cost, was to do everything. Hand the record company a finished product…Final mixed tunes, artwork for the single sleeve, and music video. All they had to do was press the 45 single, promote it, and distribute it.

On the first return of the first quarter of sales, I got a check. We sold 3600 records in less than a week and then the quarter changed. I got 25¢ (65 cents in 2020 dollars) per single. My first check was for $900. Know how much I got in Curved Air? 5¢ per album. And now the cocksuckers are telling me there isn’t enough royalties on the albums I played on to issue me a check. First time in 40 years. Meanwhile, the sale of these albums is prolific. Not to mention, I played on countless compilation albums. Rat bastards.

Then it took off. We sold 181,000 units before Rocshire was shut down by the F.B.I.
That would have been $45,250 ($110K in 2020 dollars). It would have covered my nut; plus some.

Even though the records continued to sell, the FBI confiscated all funds. I was now broke. My house disappeared. They tried to get my car but I became homeless and lived out of it for a while. Friends put me up here and there.
I got out of Dodge…so to speak (later)…

I walked away from my cheating studio partner. I tried to get a restraining order to stop him from selling valuable recording equipment to feed his habit; but my lawyer fucked up. I had thought of just killing him. Comme ci comme ça…

I ran into an old friend. He had a working band. The foursome was fantastic. I became their manager. I did their sound. After all, I had just produced a few thousand bands so live sound was a walk in the park. And I got to party.

Still young and good looking, I thought I had a lot of friends….oops…not true. While I was a rock star, they were friends. After the previous disaster, no one took my phone call. I was a pariah like this was my entire fault.

I moved up to South Lake Tahoe with the band and hung out for the summer of ’84.
I met Charlotte there. We hit it off. I became a kept man even though the band was paying me like a 5th member.

The keys player and the drummer were brothers…in their mid/late 20’s. Handsome lady killers. And they knew it.
The bassist was a nerdy geek. Naturally. And the guitarist/violinist/keys player/vocalist was the leader. I knew him from 16 years earlier in high school.

Four-part harmonies. Great players. Always playing dates.
The brothers were from Dodge City, Kansas (I did say “later”).
And the band was going to play as headliners for Dodge City Days.

We drove from SoCal with all the equipment. And planned to stay two weeks.
The brothers had family there. We stayed with their uncle who owned a buffalo ranch in Ensign…outside of Dodge.
He had a large barn that he divided into two parts. One was your typical barn a rancher must have. The other half was a playroom. Pool table, video games, pin ball, full kitchen, and lots of old couches.

There was a shoe box on the fridge full of weed. The uncle had a small garden of veggies out behind the house and he hid his plants amongst those veggie plants.
Plus, the local sheriff always brought the uncle any weed the cops confiscated.

We were encouraged to take handfuls of weed any time we wanted. It was never hidden. Always open for the taking.

But man, it was fucking hot! Over 100° every single day. Thank God it was a very dry heat.
We did the 2-hour tourist tour of Dodge. Boring. Poor man’s Knott’s Berry Farm. So, tourist driven that it was embarrassing.
They had a Dairy Queen.

There were so many family members at the ranch that sleeping arrangements were doled out helter skelter. I got to sleep in an old trailer. No electricity: so, I had to run a single extension cord. I had two choices. The first was to use it for TV. Or…to use it to run the A/C. Couldn’t do both.

The Summer Olympics were on TV from L.A. So, I spent my time stoned and watching the games. I’m not kidding when I say there was nothing to do in this God forsaken place.
I actually had a part in the prep for the Olympic Games through my recording studio. That’s another story I need to tell. Long Beach hosted 4 sporting events.

Every day, the trailer was swarmed with Amazonian sized flying bugs. They liked to crawl under the sheets of my bed. Every night, I pulled back the bedding only to find a few dozen banana sized bugs. Good thing I wasn’t armed.

Word got out that “Californians” were in town. We would just be hanging out under a tree shooing giant, jungle sized bugs away in the ferocious heat when we got visitors.
Pickup trucks only. I don’t think anyone within a 100-mile radius owned a car.

These strange visitors were roughly our age. Cowboy hats. Big belt buckles. Chawin’ tobaccy.
And each and every one of them pulled out some joints saying, “I betcha’ you city boys never smoked shit like this here stuff befo’.”
They were right every time.

I spent the entire two weeks blasted out of my mind. Everyone wanted to impress us, and those two weeks are now a blur.

We did the concert in the park. The whole town of Dodge, and surrounding farming communities, showed up to see the city slickers play rock n roll. That was the only fun time of the two weeks.

…One last memory of that time.
The brothers’ mom lived in Colorado but made the trip with her lesbian partner.
Mom was a beautiful, sweet woman. Kind and considerate. Sense of humor.
Her partner was rude, crude, and obnoxious.

Charlotte had officially become my girlfriend by then. We wrote. (Remember…this was 1984…no smart phones).

I was excited one day as I got a letter. The lesbo started asking me, in front of Mom, “What kind of lay is she? Is she good? I bet she is. What does her vagina feel like? Does she fuck good?”
Mom was outraged and while sweet; not brain surgeon material, said, “Oh I’m sure she is a good fuck. You don’t have to say that to him. He’s such a nice boy.”

All we ate was buffalo and corn on the cob. Hundreds of acres of corn. And hundreds of head of buffalo.
We ate buffalo steaks, hamburgers, roasts, jerky, stew, liver, and blood sausage.

I haven’t eaten buffalo since. Besides, it is too dry. No fat…that’s why it is so healthy.

I was ready to leave on the 3rd day. The smell of buffalo goes a long way. Hundreds of buffalo make it a garbage pit.
Two fucking weeks in Kansas.
Why Dorothy wanted to go home is beyond me.


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14 replies

  1. Enough about cigars I know there’s never enough about cigars but what do you think of the bass solo in Bela fleck and the flecktones sinister minister? Flashy but good? Good but flashy? A discerning public wants to know.

    Yours, Roberto

  2. I think the solo is a fine example of playing a variety of scales, quickly, on round wound strings for that funk factor on what sounds like a P bass. Flashy? No. Well played? Of course. Would I play a solo like that? Nope. I’ve played solos on records and used my fretless for that task. I like that big warm flat wound sound…and still managed to play as intricately for the song as required.
    The thing about recordings is that they are mere moments in time. Especially, solos. As a musician, you really can’t look back. Always moving forward. I’m sure the bassist has thought of a million ways to play that solo better since its recording. We all carry that burden in the recording studio.

  3. I think I’ve only heard the live version… Maybe studio on radio? There are a few acrobatic guitar spins (hence”flashyx). I’m not a musician. My thoughts: any bass solo is a hard ask for the general listening public–he pulled it off. My other thought: the harmonica is the real winner. Compare it to a fussy reeded clarinet that produces many of the same human-voice-like plaintiff tones–he’s quicker, cleaner (!) more deft.

    Two cents from the tin ear seats.

  4. I watched the live version…better. And who doesn’t love a bassist twirling his bass like a hula hoop?

  5. CA’s cigar of the year was the torpedo not the robusto, which CA didn’t score as high. The COTY award has always been size-specific and never extended to the whole brand. Different sizes perform differently no matter the brand, which is why it makes no sense to smoke the robusto and then say that the torp didn’t deserve No. 1. It’s an unfair extrapolation. Try smoking the torp. You might end up feeling the same way, but at least your opinion on COTY would be based on smoking the actual cigar and not something else.

  6. Maybe…but why didn’t the major cigar industry reviewers take on the Torpedo? And why are there only a couple reviews of the blend? Cigar of the year normally gets more attention from the reviewers.
    Have you sent the same message to the 3 reviewers that did not review the Torpedo as well…Cigar Coop Robusto 90, Cigar Authority Robusto 94, and Stogie Guys Robusto 90?
    How do you know that these reviewers didn’t smoke the Torpedo and determined it wasn’t as good as the Robusto; and then decided the 5 x 50 would get a better score?
    The whole thing smells like a fish market.
    I don’t know anyone that takes Cigar Aficionado’s reviews seriously. And why are the same short list of cigar brands on their list year after year?

  7. I can’t speak to any of that but frankly it’s all besides the point. If you didn’t smoke the torp, you didn’t smoke CA’s COTY. It’s not the same thing.

  8. It’s OK. I can speak to everything you said…weak comeback by the way..but I’ll give you the last word. Have a nice day.

  9. It wasn’t intended to be a comeback, just a response, but if that’s the hostile way you see things, then that’s the way you see things. Smoke the torp.

  10. You write a comment accusing me of comparing apples to oranges. Of course, you’re not hostile…you’re providing constructive criticism.
    I respond to your criticism with a sound statement…you don’t know how to respond…so, now your feelings are hurt.
    Look, I agree that a blend will taste different when comparing a Churchill to a Lancero.
    But saying an identical blend in a 6 x 52 format compared to a 5 x 50 format will taste a whole lot different is crazy.
    A 1″ length difference. And 1/32″ difference in diameter….C’mon. You can’t be serious that you think there is major improvement going on from Robusto to Torpedo. One inch in length does not create a makeover.
    We are done here.

  11. Hey Katman. I just want to say thank you. I’ve been reading your reviews for years and they are by far the most accurate (and entertaining) anywhere. Keep up the good work!

  12. Thank you, Darren…you are a brilliant man.
    All the best,

  13. Tried this cigar about 5 different times at 5 different rhs and I hated every I’ve of them. I’ll take a new world any day of the week. I really wanted to like this blend but it’s so one dimensional it’s laughable how it was even in a top 25 let alone cigar or the year. The only cigarI’ve had that has deserved the title #1 has been the oliva melanio figurado

  14. Frank said “frankly”, but he is already Frank so no need to say “frankly”. Hehehe.

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