Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo
Size: 4.5 x 48
Price: $7.51 MSRP
Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2
Accompanying Libation: Water
The two photos above are from the Viaje Face Book page.
Today we take a look at the new Viaje Señor Andre’s Chicharrones Spicy.
The Viaje Señor Andre’s Chicharrones Spicy is a new blend from Andre Farkas. This particular blend is part of 3 blends: Original (Corojo), Bold (Maduro), and Spicy (Criollo). The cigars can be purchased in lots of 90 cigar boxes for $676.00 MSRP. 30 of each blend in its own compartment.
Or boxes of 30 can be bought separately. These are roughly $225.00
There is a new addition to the line called “Jalapeno.” They retail at $8.56 MSRP.
All of the tobacco comes from the AGANORSA farms in Nicaragua. And the production occurs at the TABSA factory (Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A.) in Nicaragua, which is owned by Eduardo Fernández.
Due to the short stature of the length, I will review the Viaje Señor Andre’s Chicharrones Spicy in halves rather than thirds.
This is not a remarkable looking cigar. But seams are tight. Lots of big veins for such a little firecracker. The wrapper is the color of butterscotch with a semi-oily sheen. And is very smooth to the touch. The triple cap is outstanding as it just melts right into the body of the cigar.
COLD DRAW NOTES:
Sniffing the cigar’s shaft and foot brings nothing to the table. Once clipped, there are slight hints of hay and cocoa.
Upon lighting up, I get a blast of chocolate, fruity sweetness, red pepper, and cedar. The cigar literally starts with an explosion of flavors.
The draw is good. Loads of smoke fills the room.
I found there to be char line issues in all of the cigars smoked. Constant attention is required to keep the burn line from taking off.
There is also a nice sweet red bell pepper flavor.
The Viaje Señor Andre’s Chicharrones Spicy has a very interesting flavor profile. Unlike the typical Nicaraguan puro flavor profile.
There is a heavy vegetal flavor. But the driving force is the red pepper and sweetness.
An inch in, some creaminess appears in just a small dose.
I’ve had to touch up the foot several times and it is beginning to annoy. I expect better from Farkas. And on such a short cigar, the smoke time is drastically reduced by constantly trying to control a runaway burn.
Just past the 1” mark, I find the Viaje Señor Andre’s Chicharrones Spicy to be one dimensional. It doesn’t have the qualities that allow it to be called a high premium cigar. It has the qualities of lesser priced cigars.
The char line seems to have finally settled down at the 1-1/4” burned point.
The spiciness has ratcheted down a bit and allows the chocolate and creaminess to become more prominent. There is also cedar, vegetal notes, wood, leather, toasty, nutty, and coriander.
So the cigar has blossomed it appears. It is no longer one dimensional. At the same time, it does not impress. I’ve found Viaje to be a hit or miss brand. There are some phenomenal blends but at the same time; there are some duds.
It didn’t take long to get here. Approximately 15-20 minutes.
The burn line begins to waver once again. This has become a real pain in the ass.
Caramel shows up to give the sweetness some body.
Throughout the burn, the strength has been medium in body.
I feel like I’ve been a victim of another clever gimmick. I’m always wary of any cigar manufacturer that spends so much time on the marketing through flashy presentation. If the cigar is great then they could call it Cigar No. 5 and be done with it. But go to all the trouble of what Farkas has done is a waste of time.
I’ve noticed that there are almost no reviews of this line. A couple for the Original, a couple for the Jalapeno, and none for the Spicy. None. That tells you something.
The Viaje Señor Andre’s Chicharrones Spicy is a pleasant enough cigar but I was expecting fireworks. And instead, I got a single sparkler.
I don’t detect any sort of complexity. The balance is fine. But a very short finish.
The second half is a huge improvement over the first half but the construction issues are taking away from the enjoyment of this blend.
With less than 2” to go, the Viaje Señor Andre’s Chicharrones Spicy becomes very smooth. Is complexity about to happen?
And then like a light switch has been flipped, coffee enters and the entire flavor profile bursts into something special. There is now a bit of lemon citrus. The chocolate and creaminess are really banging away now. The spiciness lurks in the recesses of my palate. Not strong but ever present.
Alas, too little, too late.
The Viaje Señor Andre’s Chicharrones Spicy finds a bit of complexity and the finish becomes longer.
The stick ends with a whimper. The strength is barely medium bodied. And earthiness which was missing for most of the cigar finally arrives.
While $7 and change is not an exorbitant price, there are plenty of cigars just as good for $5.00. See my list: “The Katman’s List of 131 Great Cigars in the $5.00-$6.50 Range.”
This is a $5 stick dressed up to go the ball in its finest attire when underneath is a plain jane.
I would like to try the other three blends. But after reading a few reviews that exist for the line, it appears that those reviewers are responding the same as me. Just an OK cigar.
The Viaje Señor Andre’s Chicharrones Spicy is a big letdown. The burn issues being the biggest distraction.
If I had blind taste tested this cigar, I wouldn’t have in a million years guessed it was a Viaje blend. I would say Torano.
Ain’t that a slap in the face.
Farkas is known for conjuring blends that are much better than just OK. I think he knew that this cigar was just going to lay there like a flounder so he dressed it up for the big cotillion and hoped the PR would fool us. Inexperienced smokers may like the cigar. Experienced smokers will not.
While $7.50 is no longer an expensive cigar, it is too much for the Viaje Señor Andre’s Chicharrones Spicy. Instead of spending a small fortune on the marketing aspect of this cigar, Farkas would have been better served if he kept the brouhaha to a minimum and sold the cigar in the $5-$6 range…at the most. At least at that point you know what you are getting. At almost $8, one expects something special.
Not only do I not recommend this cigar, I am disappointed in buying a 6 pack sight unseen. The lack of reviews should have turned the light on above my head. But the name “Viaje” has a certain cache to it and one has certain expectations from that brand.
Oh well, it’s only money.
The samples were given to me by Johnny Piette of Prime Cigar Co. in Brookfield, WI.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS
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