Today, we take a look at the Viaje Late Harvest Hang Time LH 648.
Rainy 24 hours = Crappy photos…muy sorry.
This cigar is produced at the legendary Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L. (Raíces Cubanas).
Only 250 boxes of 35 were put up for sale. The cigar was released in July, 2013. And when I saw them at Small Batch Cigar, I had to get a 5 pack. Because of the very limited supply, they only sell 5 packs. And have only 4 units left. So when this review is over, best hurry. They have the best price for this cigar, if you can find it, anywhere. Everyone else that still carries them jacked the price up. SBC gives you a discount.
From the Viaje web site:
“In wine parlance, hang time refers to the length of time between flowering and harvest – in other words, how long the grapes hang on the vine. Hang Time is an extension of the Late Harvest line. It differs from Late Harvest in one important way. The wrapper selected for Hang Time is from a higher priming, which allows for more time on the stalk resulting in a more intense smoking experience.”
I found only two reviews for this cigar. That’s how rare it is. And how good it is. Reviewers must have been so impressed that they didn’t want to waste one on a review.
I am giving this cigar literally no hang time. Pardon the pun. I dry boxed it for 48 hours and here we go.
But Andrew from Small Batch Cigar eased my mind and said this in an email:
“I think the Viaje Late Harvest is ready to smoke. The cigars have been sitting for almost a year so I think the initial reviews were too quick to judge! I look forward to hearing what you think. I am continually amazed how this industry feels like one big family, from the customers to the manufactures everyone knows everyone somehow and I love it! Glad you found us!”
I’m glad I found you, thanks to loyal reader, John Starr. Andrew is a real class act and I don’t mind publicizing his online store. Good people deserve to be given all the help that’s possible.
BTW- Andrew will put together any type of package you desire. If you just want onesies and twosies of a bunch of cigars, he will put that together for you. And with the Katman10 discount code, you still get 10% and free shipping. Win/Win.
I want to add that I made some wise purchases this month so that I won’t be just reviewing high level boutique brands but regular production cigars as well to balance things out.
I spoke to Andrew and the cigars I have for review are all nicely aged. I have smoked three and all of them were rip roarin’ ready to go.
The stick has a beautifully mottled dark brown, coffee bean wrapper. Seams are tight. Lots of small veins. Very toothy to the touch. And expertly crafted triple cap with a small pig tail. And very oily. And unless the sun comes out in the next 90 minutes or so, you won’t see it. It is damn near dark outside at 8:30am.
I smell aromas of rich tobacco, potent dried fruit, strong red pepper, cedar, and sweetness.
Time to light up.
The first puffs are pungent and tart. Sweet and sour. A very strong cocoa flavor arrives. I’m surprised I didn’t smell it. A lovely coffee element. The earthiness proves how good the tobacco is.
And the red pepper is building from the start. Then more fruitiness: Cherries. Not black cherry; more like the Rainier cherry.
I like this cigar already. It has massive potential if you are patient enough to buy some and forget about them for 6 months.
The cigar is heavy in the hand; jam packed. Another flavor: Dark molasses.
At the ½” burned point, a smooth creaminess joins the flavor profile. Man, this cigar is like one of those T shirt cannons used at sports events. Flavors are being shot at me quickly and with great ease. Smooth, smooth, smooth.
The red pepper is very, very strong now.
At the 1” point, here are the flavors: Spice, rich earthiness, creaminess, citrus, dried fruit, coffee, cocoa, cherry, and dark molasses.
The flavor profile, at this point, is very elegant and flavorful. Just a wonderful blend. I could smoke this cigar all day long.
The construction is holding up nicely. A slight waviness in the char line but nothing needing touch ups. Although, a small soft spot occurs near the foot. Still too much humidity in it. More humidor time will cure that.
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of dry boxing your cigars for 48 hours. Especially, if they are premiums. If you just dump them in your humidor, you may see the humidity jump as much as 4-5%. What does that tell you? You need to let the cigar rest and breathe, without the cello, and then plop them in the ol’ humidor. They will age a little quicker and have lost most of the excess humidity from being a newly acquired cigar.
The second third begins with it becoming a flavor bomb. Probably would have happened sooner if there was more humidor time on the cigar.
This is a hellaciously delicious cigar. Flavors are looming large. The spice fades back to 4th or 5th position. And the creaminess really surges. So does the fruitiness and sweetness.
I’m at the halfway point and this is a heavenly smoke. The sun is peeking out from the clouds and the oily wrapper is more visible.
The strength has been pretty much classic medium bodied throughout the first half. But now it has moved to medium/full. I can feel it in my gut.
A nice mixed nuts flavor emerges. It enhances the cocoa and coffee aspects nicely. For being a Nic puro, I’m surprised that the cocoa and coffee elements were not much stronger. Instead, it seems to hang around the creaminess, sweetness, fruit (both dried and fresh), and that delicious candied lemon peel which at this point becomes orange peel. Not as sweet and tart as the lemon component.
There is no stopping the long climb to the end of the cigar with the flavors becoming stronger and stronger with each puff.
The cigar is uber complex now. The balance could not be more perfect and the finish is very long…and chewy.
The last third is the really big sweet spot. That soft spot long ago disappeared as it burned away and now is as solid as a rock.
Speaking of rock, I saw The Doors live in 1969 at the L.A. Forum. I had great seats and a chick with me that I knew I would score with after the concert. I had never seen such a wall of speaker cabs. They stretched across the 80 foot stage and were at least 25 feet tall. Must have been 75 cabs.
As way his way, Morrison was really drunk. So he had a small brown shipping box in one hand and the mic in the other. Every few minutes, he would puke into the box. He would then put the box down and pick up a large bottle of whisky and chug it.
And then puke into the box again. People up front were beginning to sympathy puke too. Man those were the days!
With a couple inches to go, I am on cruise control. I don’t want this to end. And thank you baby Jesus, I have four left to smoke. Because so few were made and it they were released in 2013, there are very few left. I think I was pretty lucky finding them at Small Batch Cigar. I’ve smoked the Late Harvest blends over the years and this is, by far, the best blend.
Plus, the cigars have had over a year to marinate in Andrew’s humidor. Smart move not selling boxes or they’d be gone in a flash. I just checked and SBC has only four 5 packs left. I’d jump on it. The price is right.
Red pepper returns. And surges right back to where it was very potent early in the cigar.
The way the flavors rotate reminds me of an analogy. When I was young, I got swim lessons at the Pike in downtown Long Beach. An amusement park that went back to the 1920’s. Old and dilapidated in the 1960’s. But the carousel had that thing where you lean from your horse on the outside perimeter and grab a ring. Each ring wins you a prize. That’s what the Viaje Late Harvest Hang Time LH 648 tastes like. Every 30 seconds, a resurgence of a flavor. And I win a prize.
The strength hangs at medium/full. And so far, no nicotine. I probably just jinxed it.
The Pike had this monstrous wood roller coaster called the Cyclone Racer. Scared the shit out of me. And every year, several drunken sailors met their demise while riding it and standing up; urged on by their buddies. Long Beach was a major Navy yard. Right on the ocean. Used to love it when they would allow civilians on the destroyers or aircraft carriers.
The flavor profile hasn’t changed since my earlier description. It doesn’t need to. It is riding the wave of perfection.
The cigar finishes out wonderfully. No harshness, no heat and no nicotine.
And now something special for my readers:
“THE KATMAN SPECIAL” Sampler from Small Batch Cigar!
I put my head together with Andrew at Small Batch Cigar and came up with a 5 cigar sampler: The Katman Special
A five cigar sampler whose price is $45 and are all new cigars. Five different cigars. And at the lowest price you will find anywhere for each one.
All limited edition cigars.
Andrew has provided a 10 % discount code for my readers only: Katman10 and shipping remains the same: FREE. So if anything changes on SBC, you still have the Katman discount. Forever.
Click on “The Katman Special”
It is also shown on Small Batch Cigar’s Home Page.
There are only 20 units available and when they are gone, they are gone, baby, gone.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS