Waste not, want not, the axiom goes. There are some folks at the Oliveros outfit who would wholeheartedly agree. While working on blends for its popular Swag line for two and a half years, the cigar makers created a blend that didn’t make the final cut. Last year, they revisited that particular batch and deemed it worthy to release in a limited quantity. The ensuing result is Aging Room Small Batch M356.
Cigar Stats: M356 is a Dominican affair, with the filler and binder wrapped in a Dominican Habano ligero leaf. It’s available in a number of configurations: Motivo (6x46), Forte (5.875x40/56), Major (6.5x60), Mezzo (6x54), Presto (4.5x48), Rondo (5x50). I sampled the Rondo, which retails for $7.50.
Appearance: The reddish-brown wrapper is very appealing, and the stick is tightly rolled with few noticeable veins. The cap is impeccable and the band is understated and unpretentious.
The Smoke: The pre-light aroma and taste is also on the understated side, but the game changes when the flame is applied. It’s quite spicy at first, but a very solid and consistent earth and wood flavor (feels like cedar) soon takes hold and lasts for the duration. There was a slight burn issue in the early going – which could be chalked up to an incomplete lighting job by yours truly – but after a correction there were no problems at all. M356 puts out a generous amount of rich aroma during the smoke, and that is one of its strongest attributes.
Verdict: There are cigars out there that will challenge your palate to a greater degree than M356, but this is still a smoke that delivers a tasty experience. It’s definitely worth trying. For more information on the M356 or the entire line of Aging Room cigars, visit oliveroscigars.com/agingroom. – Brian Coyne