Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo
Size: 5.25 x 52 Shank
This cigar debuted at the 2012 IPCPR convention.
According to Andre Farkas, “This is not going to be ‘in your face’, in terms of strength and sweetness.”
All Viaje cigars are released in small batches. Retailers will receive just a few boxes of each size. It also means that until Viaje ramps up another production cycle, retailers won’t see any more of these small batch cigars for quite a while. So purchasing now is paramount if you want to try these sticks.
The shape for each cigar has a rounded head and a torpedo foot. Once you remove the red aluminum foil, it can be easy to confuse which end to clip.
The Nicaraguan Criollo wrapper has an almost a mottled look to it. The color is like a well roasted rump roast. The wrapper has some oiliness. It is firm in the hand without any soft spots. Seams are tight and there are some medium sized veins running the length of the cigar.
There is a pinhole in the cap. This is to help with moisture control during the aging process. Like the schnook I am, I punched the cap before taking a photo.
The red foil that covers the stick from the foot to the band actually ends underneath the band. I had to remove the band in able to remove the foil.
I sniff away and I have trouble smelling much as my head cold is still in its last phase. And since the foot is closed, I snip it. I get a sweet graham cracker aroma.
The draw is a little difficult. And I am considering using my ice pick tool to loosen it. But as I puff away, the cigar opens nicely and the initial worry disappears.
My first impression is that there are some spice notes along with a sweet woody flavor.
The stick is giving off a lovely, light brown smoke. I quickly discover some creaminess.
Then the sweetness appears. It is very subtle. Doesn’t taste fruity..It complements the flavor of the spice and the woodiness.
The burn started out a bit ragged but immediately corrected itself.
Viaje cigars have a signature that seems to travel from one blend to another. It starts out like a lamb and then morphs into a lion.
At the 1” mark, the body is barely medium.
The burn becomes a bit erratic once more. Nothing troubling, though. We will see how it fares.
At this point, I would say that this is the Viaje blend that a newbie could be introduced to as his/her first of the line. The pepper is mild. The sweet tobacco is lovely. I still taste pie crust. And now I’m beginning to smack my lips. This cigar begins to have a long finish.
As the first third ends, the cigar becomes well balanced. The flavors begin to seek out their own complexity as their depth of character improves.
The char line has corrected itself nicely.
The stick’s spiciness is ramping up now into the second third.
The sweetness of the tobacco is very evident now. After every few puffs, I take a swig of water and that intensifies the flavor.
The strength is building as well. It bypassed medium in pretty short order. And is moving towards full.
This Viaje blend is different than all the others. Its flavors and strength build very slowly.
The ash seems to break off in 1” increments.
As the second third burns its way to the halfway point, the Viaje, I know and love, is beginning to show itself.
Now the thing is goddam delicious. Flavors shooting past me like a Pink Floyd laser show.
Creaminess abounds now. It mixes with some sort of sweet stone fruit. And the pepper is going for the gold.
The last third is where it really shows off. Two inches of delight.
The flavors are now exploding. The complexity is daring and delightful.
Everything is powering up now. The spice is running wild, but controlled. The other flavors mentioned are going nuts in a dreamy sort of way. The sweetness reminds more and more of a honey suckle plant.
I nub the stick and it never becomes harsh or bitter.
As always, the Viaje Company has something to offer in the way of expectation and surprise. This line is always worth the asking price. The only problem is that they disappear too quickly from the market.
I reiterate here….this is a perfect cigar for a newbie. Yes, it gets powerful during the last third, but it takes you there slowly so your palate can adjust.
My recommendation is that you strike fast because this stick will be gone in the blink of an eye.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS