Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo
Size: 5 x 58 “Robusto Gordo”
Price: $10.99 ($10.00 at Small Batch Cigar minus 10% discount = $9.00)
Today we take a look at the brand new Viaje Stuffed Turkey White Meat (2014). It is produced at the Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L.
The line began in 2011. And was originally part of the White Label Project. (See Smoke Inn).
The companion blend is the Viaje Stuffed Turkey Dark Meat (5 x 58). Instead of a Nic puro, it has a San Andrés maduro wrapper.
The entire blend is made of Aganorsa tobacco.
Both blends were released last month.
In addition to the Thanksgiving releases, Andre Farkas released a third blend called Farmer Bill Hatchet. A 7 x 52 box pressed stick that goes for $11.00. And it was also released in November.
Between 2011-2103, the White Label Project output was only 150 bundles per year. I could not find any info on how many of these two cigars will be released. But I imagine that they will be limited releases.
I bought the Viaje Thanksgiving Mix 5 Pack from Small Batch Cigar for $51.00 minus 10% = $45.90 or $9.18 each. And includes:
2 x Stuffed Turkey White Meat $10.00
2 x Stuffed Turkey Dark Meat $10.00
1 x Farmer Bill Hatchet 7 x 52 (Box Press) $11.00
This is a helluva little spark plug. Solid but proper portions of give. Tight seams, a normal amount of mostly small veins, a perfectly round cigar, superbly applied triple cap. The wrapper is a semi oily reddish brown color. And it feels pretty smooth with the slightest bit of sandiness to the touch.
I clip the cap to find aromas of spice, dried fruit, strong wood, and sweetness along the shaft.
Time to light up.
The draw is great. A room full of smoke appears out of nowhere. Creaminess and caramel appear immediately. Same time as the red hot pepper. My eyes are watering and my nose runs.
Flavor Bomb 1.0 in the first 1/8”. Now that’s an accomplishment. It oozes with flavors.
Creaminess, spice, caramel, cedar sweetness, café latte, dried fruit, very strong wood element, and leather.
It has the “IT” factor. It is spot on in terms of becoming a perfect cigar. For my tastes, of course. It reminds me of an Ezra Zion cigar blend. Hits you hard and fast with quality.
I’m not sure that the Viaje Stuffed Turkey White Meat (2014) can maintain this level of absurd flavors throughout the smoke. It is amazing.
I don’t like the 58 ring gauge. I have a small, delicate and fragile maw. And since I chomp, it is hard to hold it comfortably. But this blows apart my theory about big ring gauge cigars being timid. This stick is a ball buster. Or a turkey baster. Either one.
I would love to have more as I fear that the tradition of only putting out 150 boxes will continue. This means that the cigar will be gone in a week or two. The only thing that might keep it on the shelves longer is the double digit price and the silly cigar band. This is more of a cartoon. But that’s OK. Farkas is just having fun and you know that Farkas’s just wanna’ have fun.
Flavors continue to become bolder. This is a very intense flavor profile.
The strength has hit medium/full.
The spiciness is still very strong.
The char line is razor sharp.
I notice in this third photo what appears to be a tear in the wrapper near the foot. I look at the cigar and then back to the photo. It is merely a seam transition. There is no tear or rip in the wrapper.
The dried fruit is black cherry. Haven’t tasted this element in a while. Normally comes with a Nic puro.
The cigar hits its stride with some nice complexity and a very long lip smacking finish.
There are other flavor elements but I can’t nail them yet.
The caramel and creaminess hold court above the other flavors. The sweetness is just right.
The large ring gauge causes some serious chomping on my part and I indulge in the first clipping of the cap. I must protect my readers at all cost. Rule #A-074T8 of the United Reviewer’s Union.
Most Viaje blends need little humidor time if you want a treat right after you get it. I’ve only had these Stuffed Turkeys for maybe a week. I was hesitant at the thought wasting a good cigar because I have no patience. But I have been rewarded by the Farkas blending skills. I don’t know where else this cigar can go in terms of flavor and character. I believe it is giving off that fresh rolled profile.
I would love to know how the other reviewers maintain a beautiful cap throughout the smoke. Maybe most smoke the cigar first and take notes and then write the review allowing them control of the cap. I always decimate the cap. But I feel like Studs Terkel if I smoke and type at the same time.
The construction is absolutely perfect. This is a well-made cigar.
The second third begins.
The price point. I know you hear me piss and moan all the time about double digit cigars. But two factors make this cigar worth it. First, the assumed extremely limited production. Pretty much a one-time deal until next year and a different blend.
Second, the Viaje Stuffed Turkey White Meat (2014) is a superb cigar built exclusively for the experienced palate. I believe the ever growing strength would not entice a newbie.
And in fact, I did not pay double digits for the 5 cigar pack. With the 10% discount Small Batch Cigar offers, the price per cigar is only $9.00. And that my friends, is more than a good reason to snag some.
The char line needs a minor touch up.
I am now very much looking forward to smoking and reviewing the Viaje Stuffed Turkey Dark Meat (2014). I’m a big fan of the San Andrés maduro wrapper.
A lot of the other reviews miss out on all the flavors I am experiencing. I don’t understand that.
The mind can play funny tricks because I swear I taste pumpkin pie.
I like the fact that the spiciness has remained with the flavor profile this entire time. There is nothing I like more than a spicy cigar that retains that spicy profile throughout the smoke. The Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial does that.
This is one the most intense flavor profiles I’ve smoked in ages. In fact, I would prefer to just enjoy it rather than writing about it.
The nuttiness is now defined as almonds and hazelnut. The almonds actually give off a more intense marzipan flavor.
The earthiness of the Viaje Stuffed Turkey White Meat (2014) becomes more prevalent. It is rich and the minerals come through loud and strong.
It is also very leathery. Very much like the smell of a new leather jacket. I hang on to things. I’ve owned three guitar straps in my life. I bought my second one in 1971. I bought its replacement in 2005. It was a custom made Italian leather strap that I sniffed like a glue junkie for longer than it appropriate. I don’t have the bass any longer but I kept the strap.
The flavors deepen with more nuance than boldness. The balance is now perfect.
It is damn near impossible to pull the flavors apart. They have morphed into ONE.
The only exception is on the finish. The caramel and creaminess are friggin ridiculous. It is like drinking a milk shake.
I’m trying not to chomp. I’ve clipped the cap twice now and I fear one more time will crack wrapper.
The strength is medium/full. But no sign of nicotine. I hate that. Retrohaling makes me dizzy sometimes. Never having smoked a cigarette makes it tough to do it right. I’ve also found that it was impossible to learn how to do it from descriptive explanations or YouTube. I had to have a friend show me how. So don’t feel bad if you can’t seem to manage it.
A very sweet stone fruit element emerges. A little bit of everything: plum, peach, apricot, and mango. Brown sugar makes its appearance for the first time.
The flavor profile of the Viaje Stuffed Turkey White Meat (2014) takes another step upwards and we have Flavor Bomb 3.0.
I am a Viaje fan. Out of the dozens of blends that Andre Farkas has produced, I’ve only smoked a couple clunkers. Very few blenders can make that claim.
I do believe that Farkas has really outdone himself with the Viaje Stuffed Turkey White Meat (2014). I really can’t think of any criticisms. The only one I can manage is more personal than real. I don’t care for the 58 ring gauge. There is just something about large ring gauges I don’t like. If I see a 6 x 60, I run. Very few big cigars have the flavor intensity of the smaller cigars. This stick is the grand exception.
I don’t rate cigars because it is too objective and who am I kidding. I’m not an expert like those who professionally rate cigars because of the depth of their involvement in the cigar industry. One reviewer gives a stick a 91 and another gives it an 89. Tell me the difference between an 89 and a 91?
I know this is redundant because you already know this but palates are unique. I can’t count the cigars I’ve reviewed where I loved the cigar and other reviewers hated it. Or conversely, they hated it and I loved it. So I pay no attention to other reviewer’s ratings. They mean nothing.
The bottom line is that the Viaje Stuffed Turkey White Meat (2014) is a truly magnificent blend.
I recommend you try the Viaje Thanksgiving Mix 5 Pack from Small Batch Cigar. You get two each of the Stuffed Turkey blends and the third Thanksgiving release: Farmer Bill Hatchet. If you have the dough, get 5 packs of each.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS