Viaje Satori Karma 2014 | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5 x 52 “Robusto-Karma”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $10.32 MSRP
Number of Cigars Smoked Prior to Review: 0
Accompanying Libation: Water

Number of Times Cat Played with Cigar While I Dry Boxed it Over Night: ∞

1

2

Today we take a look at the Viaje Satori Karma (2014).

Before we go any further, I have some explaining to do. I dry boxed the cigar for 24 hours and sometime in the middle of the night, our cat who thinks he is a bad boy teenager, decided to play with it and hence; it looks a little shredded. If I had another stick, I would have used it for the review. I shall deal with Sammy later.

HISTORY:
The Viaje Satori line is made at Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L.
A different blend has been released every year since 2010. And this is an extreme limited production run. In the past, it was typical of Andre Farkas to only let loose of 150 boxes. This time around, he is not disclosing how many were made for public consumption.
The original 2010 version used an Oscuro wrapper. After that, it was always the Mexican San Andrés.

SIZES AND PRICING:
Arya: 4 1/2 x 48 $8.80
Karma: 5 x 52 $10.32
Nirvana: 6 x 50 $10.56
Zen (Double Box Press Perfecto): 6 3/4 x 52 $11.76

DESCRIPTION:
What a shame what this damn furry beast did to my cigar. Which was a gift from Johnny Piette of Prime Cigar Co. in Brookfield, WI.
The oily, mottled wrapper with the deep rich colors of the best coffee beans has perfect construction going for it. Seams are nearly invisible. Few veins. And a near perfect triple cap. The stick is absolutely jam packed. And the Viaje Satori Karma is smooth as silk.

AROMA AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
I better not smell cat feet.
Sweetness, fruit, cedar, and carpet.

FIRST THIRD:
The first puffs have a manly, meat flavor. The draw is spot on. The clawed section near the foot is disassembling but my fingers are crossed I burn through it.
There is deep woodiness as smoke fills the room.
A wallop of spiciness hits me in the puss. (No pun intended)
3

Following that is a strong presence of a good cup of coffee. A bit of saltiness shows itself. I dread the thought of what the cat might have done to make the Viaje Satori Karma salty.

The foot is a real mess. Damn cat. So photos will be put off til I pass this area. I don’t want the casual reader to think this is normal.
I get a nice flavor of black walnuts. The sweetness morphs and splits. I get a bit of berry influence. The newly added creaminess gives another element of sweetness the flavor of café au lait.

Despite the bottom third looking like Dresden after the fire bombing, it is holding up well throughout the rest of the cigar. Sturdy little bugger.

For some odd reason, I never got around to reviewing the other releases. Turns out, I did. But for other blogs. I remember telling Johnny I’ve reviewed it but I will certainly enjoy it and then discovering it ain’t there. Every single cigar Johnny sent me was a reviewable cigar.

Strength is a tick over medium body.

The red pepper kicks into gear once again. It jettisoned the first stage and is on to the next. Really spicy. The creaminess helps to offset the burning of the tongue.

SECOND THIRD:
The flavors: Spiciness, coffee, cedar, creaminess, cocoa, sweetness, berry, wood, and a rich earthiness.
I finally burn past the town of Dresden, Germany.
4third

I’ve reviewed a few of Viaje blends lately: Zombie Antidote ($8.92), Exclusivo Leaded ($9.44), and the new Señor Andre’s Chicharrones Spicy ($7.51).

Of the three, only the Zombie Antidote blew me away. Farkas seems to produce different blends a little too often. It gives the appearance of not focusing at what is at hand. And therefore; weak blends. It’s a shame because Farkas has put together some brilliant blends in the past.

While I am truly enjoying the Viaje Satori Karma, it doesn’t have that Viaje kick in the pants style blend. There is still time to make me shut my mouth. I’ve only burned 1-5/8”.

Strength hits medium/full.

The spiciness might be too much for some smokers. I happen to like it. Give me all you got. Clearly, this blend is for the experienced palate. For the strength and the diversity of flavors. Some are subtle and nuanced and others are right in your face.
Except for a nick on the cap, the cat scratch fever portion of the cigar is now behind me.

HALFWAY POINT:
The sweet berry element comes to the forefront. The chocolate aspect is much stronger now. So is the coffee. Creaminess moves up the ladder with them.
The spice remains the same.
5half

The Viaje Satori Karma becomes a very rich, smooth blend. The woodiness is potent.
The packing of the tobacco makes this a slow smoke. With 2” to go, I’ve invested almost an hour of smoke time.
6

LAST THIRD:
The sweet spot is unveiled.
The strength moves to full bodied.
The berry sweetness is a major component now.

The Viaje Satori Karma is now a berry, chocolate, spicy, creamy flavor bomb now.

The exact same thing happened with the Exclusivo Leaded and the Señor Andre’s Chicharrones Spicy. Neither of the cigars kicked in until the last third. I don’t know. I do believe Farkas is better than this and these blends should unravel their big booming flavors right from the start; not the last 1-3/4”.

More wrapper damage begins to show up as a result of my cat thinking it was his one and only play toy.
Nicotine kicks in with 1-1/2” to go.
Some serious heat and harshness finds itself in the last bit of the cigar.

PRICE POINT:
Hmmm. $10 cigar. We are on the cusp of all boutique brands being double digit $$ cigars when it comes to pricing. Try to find a boutique cigar that is $7. Of course, I’ve jotted down a few in “The Katman’s Best 163 Boutique Brands/Blends in the $6-$9.50+ Range.”

I give up trying to analyze the pricing mentality of boutique brands. The only online store that really tries to keep prices down is Small Batch Cigar. Behind that is Cigar Federation. But Small Batch Cigar makes a Herculean effort to undercut everyone and then allow you a 10% discount and free Priority shipping. That’s hard to beat.

Unfortunately, there have been quite a few limited edition blends I couldn’t get my hands on due to not having the dough during their limited selling period…like Friends and Family.

The Cache, Platino, Oro Reserva, still remain my favorite Farkas blends. There are pirates out there selling the invisible Cache for your left leg. As much as I love that cigar, I ain’t filling the coffers of carpet baggers.

I do a quick bit of research and discover that 90% of all Viaje blends are in the $9-$11 price range. Family and Friends is in the $15 range.
I also discover that almost every online store carrying Viaje is selling them for the same prices. So Farkas is keeping a tight lid on the prices that stores can sell them for.

SUMMATION:
The Viaje Satori Karma is a good cigar. Good but not great. There are a huge handful of cigars I’d buy before purchasing this cigar. Thanks to Johnny, I am getting to try sticks I haven’t had before. Thereby allowing me to taste test them without laying out the dough.
The price points of $8.80-$11.76 are not out of range.
While the last third is the best part of the cigar, the harshness and heat ruin it for me.
7

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1 reply

  1. I’ve given up paying more than $7 for any cigar, because:
    a) Curivaris exist
    b) Illusione Rothchildes exist
    c) I have gotten Paul Stulac Black Midnight Fire and White Blinding Light robustos from Cigarmonster at $35 a 5-pack (and Lord of Albanys for $27) AND they ship to Malaysia.
    Item c) cigars were purchased thanks to your expert guidance, BTW. Thanks!