Aging Room has been on a roll for the better part of 2 years now, starting with the SWAG and original Aging Room M356, and they don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. A big reason I say that is because of the newest limited release, the Aging Room M21 Fortissimo. Named in the same manner as previous limited releases, the M21 stands for the date the project was finalized, Monday, January 21st. Using all Dominican tobacco and produced in only 1 size, a 5 3/4 x 47 perfecto, the Fortissimo is a beauty to behold. With only 3000 boxes of 10 (30,000 total cigars) produced, this is a cigar I was quite excited to smoke when I first heard news of it back in March. Shown at the annual IPCPR in Las Vegas and just arriving here at Cigar King, it was one of the most talked about cigars both at the show and here in store with customers asking when it would arrive. Now that is has arrived, lets see if the cigar holds up to the hype.
Size: Fortissimo 5 3/4 x 47 Perfecto
Price: $12.95/stick or $115.95/box of 10
Appearance: The Aging Room M21 Fortissimo may be one of the prettiest cigars I have seen, the perfecto shape is such an elegant looking stick. The wrapper is a cocoa brown color with a slight reddish tint and very minimal veining. The construction is flawless; the seams are near invisible, the cap is a small pigtail with a tight twist, and the foot closes nicely to finish the beauty of the cigar. The band is the same as previous limited Aging Room bands, brown with gold accents and Aging Room written in a cream like color at the top, with the bottom of the band featuring the M21 moniker in blue over a white backdrop.
Pre-Light Aroma: With the foot coming to such a point to complete the shape, it is hard to pick up much scent. Some people clip the foot of these shapes to allow the cigar to draw right off the bat, which would also allow me to get a good smell of the foot, but I prefer to let the cigar open as the nub burns and opens up. What I do pick up from the foot is a faint sweetness that is hard to place with a slight tingle in the nose that I can only expect will be some sort of spice. The wrapper itself smells of sweet tobacco and grass. Once clipped (you can also twist off the pigtail to remove the cap) the draw is tight, though that is expected because of the narrowness of the foot before lighting. The draw brings a chocolate covered raisin sweetness with a slight spicy tingle on the lips, a wonderful combo that really excited the palate.
As I expected, the draw of the Aging Room M21 Fortissimo really opens up once past the nub tip, which only took 3-4 smaller sized puffs to get to. The flavor comes through immediately and takes over your palate with an intense fervor, developing into a savory smoked nuttiness with a white pepper spice at the back of the palate. Smoke production is well above average, producing copious amounts with very little effort, each thick and chewy while leaving a soft, subtle flavor lingering on the tongue. Through the nose the smoke is more earthy with a slight sweet twang to it, a flavor I would equate to a citrus fruit. The smoke is a solid medium strength through the first third though it does seem to be building as we move into the second third. The flavor intensity makes the strength almost not noticeable, I found myself so entranced with it. The burn line is a little wavy but never to the point of needing a touch up and the ash holds for around half an inch before I tap it off easily.
Into the 2nd third and the Aging Room M21 Fortissimo takes on a more sweet cocoa flavor though the smoked nuttiness continues to shine on the finish with the spiciness lingering at the back of the mouth. The citrus flavor I picked up on the retrohale has been replaced with the cocoa sweetness as well, though the spice picked up through the nose significantly. The strength has picked up to the medium-full range in this middle third though it doesn’t seem to be on the same upward tick that it was initially. The burn line has kept up pace from the first third, still a bit wavy though nothing to complain about. The ash still holds for just over a half an inch before I tap it off or risk it falling in my lap.
The finish of the Aging Room M21 Fortissimo takes on a leathery finish with the spice on the palate all but disappearing. The sweet cocoa is still lingering intermittently, creating a nice balance of flavor between earthy and sweet. The intensity of the spice through the nose has backed off considerably in this final third, allowing the citrus notes to return to the retrohale. Strength wise, the cigar finishes solidly in the medium-full category, something I find perfect for the flavor profile. The strength didn’t overpower you, allowing to truly enjoy the intriguing changes in flavor profile from start to finish. Even with the variety of great cigars on the market today, I will say this joins a short list of cigar of the year candidates. It isn’t overpowering strength wise and delivers a depth of flavor many cigars attempt to but simply fall short of. Be sure to order these before they are gone; to do so, contact us at 800-669-7167 or click here.