Today we take a look at the Varina Farms Winter Warmer Limited Edition.
I want to thank buddy John Young for gifting several singles of this blend.
“Varina Farms, also known as Varina Plantation or Varina Farms Plantation or “Varina on the James”, is a plantation established by John Rolfe on the James River about 40 miles upstream from the first settlement at Jamestown in the Virginia Colony, and across the river from Sir Thomas Dale’s 1611 settlement at Henricus.
“In 1612, English colonist John Rolfe introduced the cultivation of a special strain of tobacco for export to England, which was much better-liked by the Europeans than a harsher form which grew naturally in Virginia. As his tobacco became a cash crop for the struggling colony’s economy, he established a plantation estate at Varina Farms about 45 miles upstream from the first settlement at Jamestown and across the river from Sir Thomas Dale’s 1611 settlement at the progressive community in Henricus. Henricus was developed as a potential replacement for the shortcomings of the Jamestown location.
“Varina Farms Plantation was named for a mild variety of the tobacco from Spain which was similar to the non-native strain Rolfe used in developing his successful product. The plantation became the home of Rolfe and his second wife, Rebecca (Pocahontas), Chief Powhatan’s daughter, head of the Native American Powhatan Confederacy for two years following their marriage in 1614. It was the birthplace of their son, Thomas Rolfe in 1615.”
I ripped all the good looking deli paper off my sticks to allow them to humidor rest. I tried one thinking it might not be up to par and was totally surprised. A very nice cigar.
So I stole the photo showing the paper they are rolled in.
This is a pretty nice looking stick. Extremely dark and closer to black than brown. There is an oily sheen I hope shows up in my photos. And the wrapper feels very toothy. Very tight seams. Lots of small veins. One cigar is rock hard and the next has a few too many soft spots. So consistency seems to be an issue.
The cap is beautifully done and I can’t tell how many caps are there. And the perfect pig tail sits atop it all.
I clip the cap “yarmulke style” so all I remove is the cap wrapper and none of the tobacco beneath it. Looks like a yarmulke. (A Jewish beanie to the goyim out there.)
I smell rich earthiness, spice, cocoa, raisins, espresso, cedar, and leather.
Time to light up.
Flavors are about to build quickly: Chocolate, black pepper, espresso, raisins, loads of cedar, leather, nougat, a Three Musketeers candy bar flavor (both dark and light chocolate with a mousse-like consistency), Sweetness that will either foment into caramel or butterscotch, and a very leathery element.
That’s a lot to pack into a cigar with only ¼” burned.
I get all the same catalogs you get. Perfect for when you are taking a dump. I’ve noticed this new-ish brand several times and figured the paper wrapped cigar was just another gimmick to hide a mediocre cigar. Well, thanks to buddy John Young, he taught me the errors of my ways.
There are two blends: The Varina Farms Winter Warmer Limited Edition and the Varina Farms Breakfast Blend which is a milder medium body cigar.
With ¾” burned, the Varina Farms Winter Warmer Limited Edition develops into a flavor bomb.
The sweetness is still undetermined but no worries on my part; it is delicious no matter what the root of it is.
The strength is medium+ body. Methinks I should have had a bowl of cereal first.
I’m impressed that there is already a nice balance and long finish. Unusual for this to happen so early in the smoke.
Damn. There is a major flavor explosion. All those listed become bolder and with a shiny new luster.
Well, my lovelies, it seems we have discovered an excellent $5.00 stick. I swear on a stack of Torahs that if I had blind taste tested this blend; I would guess it to be a $7-$9 cigar.
Caramel. It’s caramel. Gooey. Sticky.
Flavors are going nuts on me. Nothing in the list has changed except for the addition of a tasty nuttiness.
The sun comes out. Time to turn the camera flash off. It’s sunny but pretty cold. Going up to 27° but is only 19° with the wind chill. Which means too cold for snow. I feel for the other parts of the country getting an early cold winter with too much snow. Luckily, our neighbors have two boys in college and they will help us out with the shoveling. I can’t do it. Not yet, anyways.
My beloved creaminess appears in the form of heavy cream, homemade whipped cream, custard, and Suzy cream cheese.
I need to check how my stock portfolio is doing with that Montana dental floss farm. I invested big on that one.
The spiciness is all but gone. And flavors become very nuanced and subtle. Not bold like earlier. The strength settles back into classic medium body. This usually means it is gearing up for its second explosion around the mid way point.
The second third begins.
Here they are: Chocolate, creaminess, espresso, nuttiness, caramel, raisins, cedar, black cherries, leather, and nougat.
Varina Farms Winter Warmer Limited Edition comes in one size only. Belicoso 5 x 54. The Varina Farms Breakfast Blend comes in three sizes and is in the $4.00-$5.00 range and comes in boxes of 24.
While the Breakfast Blend is a regular production cigar, the Varina Farms Winter Warmer is limited to only 3000 boxes.
Flavors begin to build once more. Earlier that predicted.
This is a mighty fine cigar. The Connecticut Havana Media Tiempo wrapper is having a major impact on the blend.
I just can’t believe this stick is only $5.00 each. Really. Varina Farms has no web site. Just a Face Book page.
So there is virtually no information on the brand’s background. I found the description above in Wikipedia and clearly, it seems the company owner wanted to show his homage to the beginnings of tobacco in the new America.
I am at the halfway point.
The cigar is blowing me away. If you are looking for a great, inexpensive cigar….well, your Uncle Katman found one..with the massive help of John Young. I never would have thought to purchase this cigar. I am constantly surprised at how many great cigars are out there under the $5-$6 price point.
I would love to have a box of the Varina Farms Winter Warmer Limited Edition. This is a perfect cigar that is good any time of the day and so cheap, you can smoke two at a time.
If the blend were a little more complex, it might qualify for my Top 25. That is my only criticism; and it really isn’t a true criticism…that the complexity level is low. But to compensate, the cigar is a real flavor bomb. And you don’t have to humidor age it very long. I’m guessing that the most you need to let it rest is 4 weeks. Probably less.
The construction has been top notch. The char line is on the money. The wrapper has given me zero problems.
But I have had to nip the cap a couple times because it has that pointy belicoso cap. Must dig my teeth in to hold it in my mouth while I type.
I am truly digging this cigar.
The only other concern is the consistency of the cigar’s packing. As I mentioned earlier, one is rock hard and the other has lots of soft spots. OK. So they didn’t use #9 rollers. So what. The soft spots are not off putting.
The last third begins.
Oddly, the strength has remained at medium body. The Varina Farms Winter Warmer Limited Edition is so smooth that it may be blotting out the manufacturer described medium/full body. That was just a wild hair guess.
I’m in the mood for a rock n roll story at the end of this review.
Bam. Flavors explode. This is now Flavor Bomb 2.0.
I won’t list the flavors because the song remains the same.
This is my kind of cigar. I like the size. Construction is excellent. It became a flavor bomb very early in the smoking experience. And the flavors are like riding on a roller coaster. Bold, then mellow, then bold again, etc.
For a cigar only 5.5” long, it has really give me my money’s worth..or should I have said John Young’s money’s worth.
As I smack my lips, flavors roll around in my mouth treating me to an incredible flavor experience.
The strength finally moves to medium/full.
Flavors are super intense.
The Varina Farms Winter Warmer Limited Edition ends without any heat or bitterness. And only a faint hint of nicotine.
And now for something completely different:
I’ve run out of new stories but as I gain new readers, it will be new to them. To my long time readers; my apologies.
Instead of being driven around in a limo, the band decided to get a big comfy touring car. After the first tour, we got rid of the tour manager and made him ride with the roadies. We had our own clique.
As was always the case, our European tour started in Amsterdam. Our first order of business was to visit the government run hashish club called the Paradiso. You had to pay a one-time fee of 5 Guilders. Back then, that was about $1.50.
The Paradiso was a Hippie’s paradise. Three floors, plus a basement, full of entertainment. That was usually our first gig of the tour. The Paradiso had a massive concert hall.
In the basement, was a small bar with tables. And the guy who sold hash. He sat in a dark corner of the bar in a big overstuffed chair. Behind him, was a big chalk board with types of hash listed and their prices. And there was a limit to what you could buy. If I remember correctly, you could buy up to half a pound if you mixed the types of hash.
And it was CHEAP!
And fresh. Not like the hash we were used to smoking in America.
After Amsterdam, we toured the rest of Holland hitting about 4-5 cities.
The first gig after Amsterdam was about a 2 hour ride. We got high the entire ride.
One particular tour, it was me, Stew, and the chick singer in the back seat with Darryl driving and Mick riding shot gun.
We were high as kites.
The chick proclaimed loudly “Who wants a blow job?”
Stew and I raised our hands simultaneously.
Stew asked why I should go first and I explained that since he and the chick were now living together, it should be. My reasoning worked. So I unzipped my fly and the chick did her thing.
The problem was I couldn’t move. I was locked into position. I sat behind Darryl who put his seat all the way back giving me very little leg room to stretch out.
Everyone watched. I couldn’t seem to focus. So I grabbed some dirty magazines and looked through it while the chick was giving me head.
My legs were completely numb.
The chick then turned her attentions to Stew. We all were laughing.
Then, Stew leaned his head back, turned his head towards me and said; “Kohn. We are cum brothers.”
Everyone roared with laughter.
She asked if anyone else wanted a BJ?
Darryl and Mick declined.
The hash did its thing. Not to mention a great dose of head. I fell asleep and was awoken when we got to the arena.
I got out of the car and my legs were wobbly. The band saw me weaving and bobbing and laughed while taking photos of me.
Before the band, the chick had a lead part in the original London production of “Hair.”
There is a complete nude scene in the musical. The men and women go on stage holding a big parachute above their heads and then they would drop it showing off their nudity.
The chick told me that just before the guys went on stage, she would pull on their puds to give them erections for the scene.
That’s a trooper.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS