The Solera line from Aging Room garnered a lot of attention at its release at the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show. The Aging Room Solera comes available in four wrapper options including Dominican Sun Grown, Mexican Maduro, Connecticut, and Dominican Corojo. I had high hopes to review the entire line before 2016 came to a close, but I just couldn’t seem to find them anywhere. Since the start of the new year, I was able to locate the Aging Room Solera Dominican Corojo and Maduro versions at Atlantic Cigar Co.
Manufactured in Santiago, Dominican Republic at Tabacalera Palma, three sizes are currently being produced in each wrapper option: Festivo (4.7 by 52), Fantastico (5.6 by 54), and Fanfare (6.125 by 57). The Solera name comes from the aging process used for the blend. Information on the process was provided in the press release:
The Solera method of aging is a fractional blending process where the finished product is a mixture of ages. By aging together tobaccos from different years, a marriage of flavors occurs long before the cigars are made.
“The aging of tobaccos from different vintages,” said Rafael Nodal, President of Boutique Blends, “ensures the marriage of flavors and characteristics from different tobaccos, creating a unique cigar.”
“Normally the tobaccos are aged separately and blended together at the time of rolling the cigar,” explained Hank Bischoff, Vice President and co-founder of Boutique Blends Cigars, “but with the Solera system,” continued Hank, “the result is a more mature aging and blending process yielding a more complex blend than previously attainable.”
Size: 5.6 by 54
Wrapper: Dominican Corojo
Binder: Dominican Habano
Filler: Dominican Habano
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 25 Minutes
Upon removing the large secondary band, the Aging Room Dominican Corojo wrapper leaf comes into full view. Tons of veins, color imperfections and variations, and oils characterize this rustic looking leaf.Even though the stick is rustic in appearance, the cigar feels velvety under the fingertips with only a couple larger veins being felt. The Solera Dominican Corojo gives slightly as I pinch it between thumb and index finger and there are no soft spots to be found.
The wrapper aroma is faint, however, I am still able to pick up some musk and silk chocolate on the wrapper and a nice natural tobacco sweetness from the foot of the cigar. The cigar comes to a close with a pointy pig-tail cap that clips easily. The cold draw is just about perfect with more of the natural tobacco sweetness, chocolate, clove, and rich cedar. There is a lot of sweetness on the cold draw and a medium spice lingers on the lips.
The Aging Room Solera Dominican Corojo takes a few minutes to warm up as the flavors begin to build and mesh with each other. Those couple of minutes are worth the wait as a beautiful, warm cedar is pairing up with a caramel and cinnamon in the medium range. Moving the smoke through my nose, a mild white pepper spice is brought out that you don’t get a whole lot on the palate. Just after an inch, a new sweetness arrives that I am having hard time putting my finger on. But it is much sweeter than the earlier caramel. The smoke is thick and chewy in the mouth. A solid, gray ash is being formed as the cigar burns evenly with only a small piece of the wrapper lagging behind.
As I move into the second third, the core of the smoke remains the warm, rich cedar. The finish that was really clean in the first third now has a lingering earth and coffee and the pepper has intensified on the retrohale. That earlier sweetness that I mentioned may be a sweet yeasty flavor and a new fruitiness has joined in. It finally looks like the burn is in-line with no portion of the wrapper leaf trailing behind. The Aging Room Solera Dominican Corojo is producing a copious amount of smoke with each small draw. The flavors have gradually moved into the medium/full range.
With the last third underway, the richness of this Solera continues to build and a char flavor moves into the profile. The sweetness decreases as the yeasty flavor continues strong. As soon as I thought the earlier burn issue was resolved, the same issue as earlier has reappeared, but it is not at all impacting flavors or anything else as far as I can tell.
I noted many similarities between the Dominican Corojo version and Sun Grown, especially how the cigar progressed in the range of flavors and strength. With that said, the Aging Room Solera Dominican Corojo has a leg up on its counterpart. The core cedar flavor was satisfying as the cigar showcased some evolving sweetness that grabbed my attention and a decent spice that kept my palate warm. Portions of the wrapper struggled to keep in-line with the rest of the burn, but other than that the performance was flawless. It is important to note that the second cigar smoked for review tunneled for the first inch and a half severely impacting the flavors in the first third, but recovered shortly after. I will need to burn through a couple more before a give a final judgement on consistency. But all I can say for now is that the profile worked well with me.