Viaje Summerfest 2015 | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Cafe Rosado Corojo ’99
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan (Esteli, Jalapa, and Condega)
Size: 6 x 52 “Toro”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $9.47 MSRP (Box Price)

VIAJEBOXES

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Today we take a look at the new Viaje Summerfest 2015.

BACKGROUND:
Viaje Summerfest saw its first release in 2010. It took a break from production in 2014 and the 2015 was just released. No word on production quantity. This is the first Toro in the line.

All prior Summerfest cigars were produced at the Raices Cubanas factory in Honduras. This year’s Summerfest is produced at the TABSA factory (Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A.) in Nicaragua. The factory is owned by Eduardo Fernández, the owner of Aganorsa S.A.

The blend has changed slightly from previous blends.
It also changes the brushed foot to a 1” long unfinished foot without a wrapper.
Andre Farkas said there were burn problems with the brushed foot and hence the change to the exposed foot. It should solve the burn issues.
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DESCRIPTION:
A beautiful Rosado colored oily wrapper. Invisible seams. Minimal veins. A flawless triple cap. Packed solid. And the exposed foot gives the cigar some real panache.

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
The shaft provides aromas of sweetness, spice, fruit, earthy tobacco, and a touch of citrus.
The clipped cap and exposed foot give off aromas of orange citrus, sweetness, spice, hay, floral notes, and earthy tobacco.
The cold draw tastes of allspice, earthiness, hay, spice, citrus, and coffee.

FIRST THIRD:
The exposed foot lights easily. The draw is excellent. A heavy cigar.
First flavors are: Coffee, red pepper, sweetness, wood, cinnamon, a nice rich tobacco flavor, and Suzy cream cheese with a dab of chocolate.

The spiciness ramps up quickly. Becomes a combo of both red and black peppers.
From my standpoint, Farkas did not solve the burn issue with the change of foot styles. The char line needs its first major fix.
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Yeah, an exposed or brushed foot is sexy looking but it is usually just a pain in the ass after everyone does their “oohs and ahhs.”

Once I’ve burned through the muff, the flavor profile expands. That creaminess is enhanced. So is the sweetness factor.
There is a flavor I can’t put my palate on that is very nice but very elusive at the moment. I’ll get it. It’s savory.
NO! It’s peanuts. Combined with smoked meat and dried fruit. Now that’s an interesting combo. There is a roasted veggie element that was the missing quotient I couldn’t really identify. It just hit hard and fast with the other flavors all at once that I got confused. (Don’t say it.)
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The Viaje Summerfest 2015 has some nice subtle, nuanced flavors but nothing is leaping out at me.
Strength is medium body.

I don’t think it is a humidor aging time issue because the friend that got it to me got his a couple months before they came out. It helps to know people.
I have some Viajes that have been around for years and I just don’t think that Viaje is a brand that does well with extensive aging. Just one man’s opinion.
But a couple months should be doing better than this. Everyone else bought theirs around June 3 when they were released.

SECOND THIRD:
The sun begins to shine allowing my photos reflect the nice oiliness in the wrapper.
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The Viaje Summerfest 2015 is going nowhere fast.
Farkas can knock the ball out of the park sometimes. But he isn’t consistent. At best, he is 50/50 with his blends.
I counted 23 reviews I’ve done on assorted Viaje blends.
That smoky meat element begins to move closer to the front of the pack along with some sweetness. It’s not quite beef jerky.
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HALFWAY POINT:
The sunshine is really bringing out the Rosado red color in the wrapper.
No major transitions. I’m disappointed. This seems to be a miss.
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The flavors are so subtle, I don’t know if I even want to list them since they have not changed since earlier descriptions.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice cigar. I just expect more from Farkas. But to be quite honest, if you check all of my 23 reviews of Viaje blends, you won’t find a single Summerfest review. That’s because over the years, they haven’t impressed. And I didn’t want to write a bummer review like I’m doing right now. I had my hopes up.

It seems like the flavors want to come out of hiding but like the little engine that could, they ain’t there yet.
One thing I noticed is how fast the stick is burning. The Viaje Summerfest 2015 isn’t as packed as first thought.
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Smoke time at the halfway point is 30 minutes. That’s a little short for a Toro. It should be at least 45 minutes. With the finish line at around 90+ minutes.
Strength is just shy of medium/full.

LAST THIRD:
Finally.
The last third becomes the sweet spot. Flavors are blooming. The spiciness has hit a new level.
Here they are: Spice, creaminess, beef jerky, sweetness, coffee, fruit, cinnamon, graham cracker, nuttiness, toasty, gingerbread, nutmeg, oak, and lemon citrus.
About friggin time.

But once again, too little, too late.
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There has also been the annoyance of burn issues. The Viaje Summerfest 2015 has required touch ups about every 5 minutes. That doesn’t help the flavor quality one bit.

I think I don’t have to say this but this will be the last Summerfest I review. It’s just not a solid blend.
It is a great cigar now. Wonderful flavors.
Oh well….

PRICE POINT:
Nearly $10. Nah. If this is all she’s got, then it is a $6 at best.

SUMMATION:
Major disappointment. That’s two reviews in a row. I would much rather drool and fawn over a cigar than diss it. This is not fun.
Flavors come too late into the blend.
There are serious burn issues.
And what is really frustrating is that the last third just explodes with what may have been. If this cigar had this kitchen sink list of flavors from the start, this would have been a rave review.
I just do not recommend spending your hard earned money on the Viaje Summerfest 2015.
Do you think I have any chance of getting on Farkas’ reviewer’s list now? LOL!
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And now for something completely different:

I was contacted by the owner of “Hollywood Hi-Fi.”

This is the description on their web site:
“Welcome to HollywoodHiFi.net, the long-awaited Internet home of non-singing celebrities…bizarre, hilarious and sometimes lethal stabs at musical stardom! As immortalized in the brilliant book “Hollywood Hi-Fi” by record collectors/pop culture mavens, George Gimarc & Pat Reeder!”

They wanted to know about Butch Patrick and my project “Whatever Happened to Eddie” back in 1983. And they wanted me to confirm that Butch lip synced and I was who I said I was.
I confirmed both. This is not news. So this is the story of the project in a nutshell.

Here is what I wrote back to them:
“Yeah, that’s me.
I owned a recording studio in Long Beach, CA in the early 80’s.

A friend brought Butch to me because he had an idea for a song. It was a crude living room cut of what was to become the final song. Some changes were made to the lyrics.

I got a license from Universal Studios to use the theme from The Munsters and off we went.

I produced the song and the B side. I also played bass on it. My partner, Dave Glenn engineered both songs.
I brought in some fine musicians but the only one of Eddie and the Monsters to play on the single was the drummer, Reek Havok.
Brent Black was one of the Monsters and he did the vocals.
Brent now has his own church in Hawaii. I forget his real last name.

Through my PR agent, I got a record deal with Rocshire Records.

But prior to that, I was able to talk the famous cinematographer Marvin Rush to do the filming of the video.

I wrote the script the night before filming began. I sat on a couch in my studio and had 33 scenes written in about 20 minutes.
We filmed at three locations. Only two were used in the final cut. We used Hollywood High and the Princess Louise in San Pedro.
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Since there was no real band, Butch and I traveled across the country doing radio and TV and even clubs. Because he was already a celebrity, it wasn’t a big deal that no band followed.

I had a production deal with Rocshire. I did all the work. I produced the single, produced the photography for the single cover, produced the video, had promo 8 x 10’s made, and handed over the finished project to Rocshire.
rocshirerecords

We sold 181,000 units before Rocshire was brought down by the FBI. The owner’s wife worked for Hughes Aircraft and was embezzling millions of dollars and funneling into the record company.
Just before I was to get a major royalty check, the record company was shut down. I lost everything.

I don’t allow the video to be seen on YouTube or any other media. Why? Because every now and then a TV show about child stars goes into production and I can charge a fee for them to use it. If I make the video public, I lose that right.

I have all the original rough cuts. I have the finished video on 3/4″ video and DVD. Including outtakes.

I still have a lot of pristine mint condition 45 singles. I have T shirts. I have autographed 8 x 10’s. And as I said, the DVD.
So there you have it.

The idiots on YouTube that think they know what they are talking about are mouse food. They must be high or something when they refuse to believe that it is really the producer of the project making those comments. And their versions of what happened are way off base. We didn’t use the Queen Mary…etc.”

In the statement above, I am referring to a YouTube audio version of the song. I won’t allow the video to be played and have had to defend myself with my copyright to the YouTube folks many times to have the video removed.
If you read some of the comments beneath the video you will see some idiots out of their depth telling everyone I had nothing to do with the project.

I followed up with another email going into more detail:

“Everything I wrote to you is true. There is nothing Butch can sue over. I’ve written extensively in my cigar review site with stories about Butch but they are all negative and contains passages about drug abuse. That…he could sue me over.

I don’t sell anything online anymore. My federal copyright for the video is good for my lifetime plus 65 years so my daughter will get the rights. I’m basically waiting for Butch to climb a clock tower with an automatic rifle and start mowing people down. Then my stuff will be valuable.

He does pretty much play down the Eddie and the Monsters period of his life. I’ve got stories galore about being forced to babysit him constantly because he was always drunk. The record company made me do and go everywhere with him doing publicity to keep him in line.

I’ve heard from Butch over the years but only when he wanted something and then he was very nice to me.
But he stabbed me in the back. I co-wrote a TV movie script to get him back into the swing of things based on the Monkees-like Eddie and the Monsters.

After Rocshire went down, Butch had a meeting with Ann Beats of SNL fame. She was a producer. He tried to sell the idea of the TV show to her. He brought her all the stuff from the project including my script.
She said she liked the idea.

Meanwhile, he did this all behind my back.

He got called back to Beats’ office two weeks later and she said they were going to do the show….without him.
He lost it and called me for help. I told him to go fuck himself.

He told me they made a few shows but they were so bad they ditched them and instead brought about a remake of the Munsters with John Schuck as Herman. The show went into syndication for a year or two but was really terrible. So it died.
So it seems my project spawned the remake. Oh the irony.

I was a musician early in life. At 24, I went to England and got a gig with the famous progressive band Curved Air. I played bass and Stew Copeland of The Police played drums. I lived the life for about 10 years and then went straight.
The music biz just brought me down and I didn’t want to be a 60 year old playing “Proud Mary” in bars.

I went back into construction management and that’s where I finished my career.

If you go to my cigar web site and punch in Butch Patrick in the Search Window, you will find lots of stories about him. I am very well known in the cigar industry especially due to the niche I carved out for myself by telling real rock n roll stories after the cigar review.

But you may not use them. They are salacious and libelous. They are all the truth but I don’t want to start a mudslinging campaign with Butch. I’m too old and too poor to get in a legal fight with him.
Butch made a career out of signing autographs at washed up child star conventions.

His second career was scamming rich people out of their money. He found idiots with dough who thought it was cool to be next to Eddie Munster.

I did hear he cleaned his act up eventually. I’m glad. The gene for drinking ran in his dysfunctional family.
I hope he remains clean and sober. Hopefully, he makes better business decisions. But meanwhile, he stepped on his own dick. He hasn’t worked steady as an actor since The Munsters. He can’t get an acting job to save his life. He is doomed to make a living being Eddie for the rest of his life.

I put all my own dough into that ill-fated project over 30 years ago and in the end lost everything. I have no love lost for Butch. But then I was an idiot too. But by the time I realized he was a drunk we were right in the middle of the project and it was either go forward or can the whole thing. I was fucked.”

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