Andre Farkes told us that there would be a clue of what is to come form Viaje in one of the shipments of Viaje cigars to cigar stores. Above is the hint that Andre told us about. From this clue we gather that the HHG or Honey and Hand Grenades will be debuted at the IPCPR 2012. We reviewed one of ten of the pre-production Honey and Hand Grenades that Andre gave us in the spring of 2011. CLICK HERE to read our review of the Pre-production Viaje Honey and Hand Grenades.
Printed on the front of the clue is a design consisting of a black outlined pentagon with a black outlined bee that has a hand grenade like shape for the abdomen. On the reverse of the clue are printed sets of word. The first set is “Viaje HHG”. The second set is ”The Shiv”, “The Shank”, and “The Rapier”. This set of what we can assume are titles of cigars. These titles are separate form the the first grouping “Viaje HHG”. finally, the third set of words is “IPCPR 2012″. From this we think that only one cigar blend is hinted at and three sizes are then listed and then IPCPR 2012 obviously hints that what ever this clue is referencing will be revealed in at the IPCPR in Orlando during August 2012. .
VIAJE - HHG
Viaje HHG (Honey and Hand Grenades)
THE SHIV - THE SHANK - THE RAPIER
The three sizes that the Viaje Honey and Hand Grenades will be called
The Viaje Honey and Hand Grenades will be debuted at the IPCPR 80th Annual Convention & International Trade Show
August 2 – 6, 2012
Orange County Convention Center – South
We are excited to see what the final product of the Viaje Honey and Hand Grenades is and what exact sizes it will be offered in. One thing is sure Viaje has a surprise for us at the IPCPR 2012.
Price Range: $8.50 per cigar or $212.50 for a box of 25
It has finally arrived! BURN Premium Cigar Specialists have received 99 boxes of its fifth anniversary limited edition cigar, the Viaje Samurai Maduro. This Viaje Plantino Samuari features a San Andrés maduro wrapper while the previous Viaje Plantino Samuari featured a Nicaraguan Corojo 99. Though like the previous one the maduro version is a limited edition Corona Gorda size of the Platino blend. The Viaje Plantino Samuari Maduro is also Viaje’s only cigar labeled a Maduro but the new version of the Satori blend features the same San Andrés wrapper.
If you want to take part in BURN’s fifth anniversary by buying a box of the Viaje Plantino Samuari Maduros know this… only 25 boxes will be sold by Burn and another 25 by Tobacco Grove. That’s a total of 50 boxes that will be sold to customers residing outside the state of Minnesota. Pre-orders will start Monday February 27, 2012 and the boxes should ship the week of March 5, 2012.
CALL either BURN (952-808-9259) or Tobacco Grove (763-494-6688) AND MENTIONGood Fellas Cigars when you place an order!
The Look:The Viaje Plantino Samurai Maduro is Corona Gorda measuring 6 inches by a 48 ring gauge the same size as the Viaje Plantino. The wrapper is blotted with very dark brown spots on a slightly less dark brown back ground and has dark noticeable veins. The pack was firm only compressing slightly when squeezed between the index finger and thumb.
The Start: The wrapper of the Viaje Plantino Samurai Maduro gave off aromas of sweet tobacco and manure; while the foot of the cigar gave off aromas of salt and pepper, and spice. After observing the aromas of the unlit cigar I proceeded to perform pre-light draws. From this, flavors of light farm aroma, a tone of sweet tobacco, and a hint of spice. Then after cutting and lighting the cigar with a three inch match, the initial draw was sweet and produced a dark spiced chocolate flavor mixture that was quite robust and pack a bit of a punch.
The Beginning: Into the first third of the Viaje Plantino Samurai Maduro smooth flavors of cedar, spice, and sweetness from dark chocolate developed. On the finish there was a bit of kick with dark coffee bean roast. The draw was good and the burn was only slightly uneven. The ash produced was light gray with some darker gray areas randomly placed. During the first third a thought came to mind that this would pair very well with a coffee based dessert like tiramisu. The light and creaminess of the tiramisu would complement the sweetness the Viaje Plantino Samurai Maduro’s dark chocolate and the coffee of the desert would then pair well with the dark coffee roast of the cigar.
The Middle: In the second third of the Viaje Plantino Samurai Maduro, it was yet again quite delectable. The flavor profile was yet again defined by sweetness and how the flavors of the cigar played off it. Playing off the sweetness was a spice that could be described as allspice, and woodiness mixed with a smooth dark roast. The finish saw a woodiness come to the forefront, dark roast in the background, and a hint of chocolate sprinkled in. The draw was very nice and burn corrected becoming even. All the while this cigar was wafting aromas of spice, sweet earth, caramelized sugar coffee, and chocolate tones. At this point I have to say I was quite enjoying the balance of flavors this smoke had to offer, it like a desert that I could light and puff away at.
The End: When the final third arrived the flavor profile also shifted. Lots of warm woodiness came right to the forefront of the flavor profile. Very slight saltiness appeared complemented by a spiced chocolate. The finish comprised of sweet dark roast and after came warm pleasant spice. The draw was good and the burn was very even.
Final Thoughts: The Viaje Plantino Samurai Maduro was one of the more enjoyable smokes I have had in a while. The balance and mixture of flavors centered around a dark roast coffee bean, dark chocolate and wood was exceptional. This cigar was like a 6 inch by 48 ring gauge smokable desert. That being said, this cigar would shine being paired with an Irish coffee with cream and, tiramisu on the side. This would be the optimal after dinner cigar. It is strong enough to cleanse the palate but also sweet enough to be the cigar lover’s desert to end a good meal.
By definition a hygrometer is any device that measures the relative humidity or the amount of water vapor in the air in relation to the maximum amount of moisture the air can hold at a given temperature. Leonardo da Vinci is credited with building the very first hygrometer in the 1400s. Over the years improvements in terms of practicality and functionality were brought about by Francesco Folli, Robert Hooke and, John Frederic Daniel.
Above you see the inside of a analog hygrometer and as you can see the hair is attached to a base inside the frame of the analog. It is then looped counterclockwise a few times around a spring-loaded axle and then lastly attached to a weak spring. As the humidity rises the hair lengthens, reducing the torque on the spring-loaded axle allowing it to begin to rotate clockwise. This in turn causes the visible metal pointer to rotate showing you that there is an increase in humidity. Also, when the humidity decreases the hair retracts and the metal pointer rotates showing the decrease in humidity.
Analog hygrometers relying on the horse hair are not as trust worthy as digital hygrometers. This is due to the hair over time becoming weak and loosing the properties as described above. Even worse though is the eventuality the hair will snap which will cause the hygrometer from working altogether. This make the metal pointer appear stuck in place.
How do Digital Humidor Hygrometers Work?
Digital hygrometers are overall a very simple mechanism. They are also more reliable than analog hygrometers for the simple fact they do not rely on hair which breaks down overtime. Above you can see the basic layout of the inside of a digital hygrometer. The yellow parts are two separate but interlocking pieces of metal that are mounted a top a non-conductive silicon plate. The two pieces of metal are then the attached to a wire that links them to a battery, micro-chip, and a voltmeter. From there the micro-chip compares the readings from the voltmeter to a database and then displays the calculated humidity on a digital screen. Humidity on these are very precise and only are off by +/- 2%. How does all this work though? Water is a conductive liquid and at higher humidity levels there will be more water vapor in the air. This water vapor then settles on the silicon plate and allows for electricity from the battery to transfer between the metal pieces. The more humidity means the more water vapor on the silicon plate which then means the more electricity can flow between the metal pieces. The voltmeter measures this flow and then lastly the micro-chip calculates this reading in it’s database and then displays the humidity reading corresponding to it’s calculations.
Once you buy a hygrometer either digital or analog it will need to be calibrated first otherwise it will not read humidity right. Here is out to calibrate a digital and an analog hygrometer:
You will need:
A digital hygrometer
A bottle cap the size of a water bottle cap or bigger
A sealable plastic container or sealable plastic bag
Complete the following steps calibrate your analog hygrometer:
Take the cap and fill it with salt until it is just under level with the top of the cap
Add a slight amount of water to the salt in the cap in order to just make a salt paste mixture. DO NOT over saturate.
Place the cap with the pasty salt mixture in to the container or bag and be careful to not spill its contents
Place the digital hygrometer into the container or bag as well
Seal the container or sealable bag air tight
Wait for twenty-four hours
Take out the hygrometer out of the container or plastic bag
Check and note the reading on the digital hygrometer
(DIGITAL) If the hygrometer does not read seventy-five degrees you will have to adjust the reading. Adjusting varies depending on the make and model of the digital hygrometer. In this instance to calibrate the xikar digital hygrometer pressing and holding the center button for a few seconds will make it read seventy-five degrees. In other common digital hygrometers that have dials you will have to turn the dial either left or right until it reads seventy-five degrees. Always read the directions for your particular make and model to make sure your digital hygrometer is adjusted properly.
(ANALOG) If the hygrometer does not read seventy-five degrees adjust by inserting a flat head screw driver in the back of the analog hygrometer in the center knob and turning either left or right until it reads seventy-five degrees. Turning left will dial the hygrometer up and turning right will dial it down.
If you have followed these steps you have now successfully calibrated your digital hygrometer
Let’s start off with the basic definition of what a humidor is. A humidor is anything that is designed to store and age cigars. Quality humidors are lined with Spanish cedar inside them and when kept up properly should maintain an optimal humidity in the range of 68% to 72%. Most people in the cigar industry see a humidor as a small investment that will protect a much larger investment of cigars for many years.
To restate again a humidor should be made of Spanish cedar on the inside but, the outside can be made of almost anything. Spanish cedar used in humidors is in fact not cedar at all. It is actually a form of mahogany that gives off a very pleasant cedar-like aroma and responds well to changes in humidity which makes it an optimum choice for storing and aging cigars.
Two other main components a humidor that must be placed within the humidor to work properly are a hygrometer, digital or analog, and a humidification device which can range from gel products to bead tubes to just your standard round absorbing pads. The humidification device either adds or removes moisture from the air inside it to maintain the desired humidity. The hygrometer purpose is to give an accurate reading of the humidity and some models also measure the temperature within the humidor.
Humidors don’t usually come ready to use right away though. First you will have to season it. Seasoning is a process that creates an optimal climate within you’re humidor of 68% to 72%. Here is how to season a humidor the right way:
You may have heard that wiping down a humidor with distilled water is quick and easy way to season a humidor but, sadly this is a sure fire way to ruin any humidor by warping the wood and destroying seal of the edges, defeating functionality of a humidor. So you must ask yourself; do you want a humidor that will be ready fast or you want one that is going to last? Here we will show you how avoid this unfortunate ending.
You will need:
Four Medium Heartfelt Beads Humidity Tube ( 65% Rh is recommended) more if the humidor is larger than a 100 count and less if less than 100 count. You are going to need to find out the cubic inches of your humidor to really determine this. 1 medium tube = 540 cubic inches.
A calibrated hygrometer
Have cigars ready toward the end of this process ( at least 25% of the capacity of what the count of humidor is)
Complete the following steps to season your humidor:
Place the unscented sponge(s) on the saucer
Dowse the unscented sponges with distilled enough to be able to wring out water
Open up the humidor
Remove the tray if the humidor has one
Place the saucer with the dowsed sponges into the humidor
Place the hygrometer in the humidor
Wait 10 minutes and then record the base reading from the hygrometer
Place the tray back into the humidor if possible
Close the lid full shut
Wait at least 8 hours until completing the next step
Check and record the reading on the hygrometer, if the humidity has risen you are on track
Place the lid back into the humidor if possible
Close the humidor lid fully
Wait 18 to 24 hours until completing the next step
Check the humidity in the humidor. If the humidity has again increased you are in track (mid 70s)
Place a Heartfelt Beads Humidity Tube ( 65% Rh is recommended) into the humidor
Place the tray back into the humidor if possible
Close the lid fully shut
Wait 24 hours until completing the next step (Stabilization period)
The humidity will rise and possibly spike dramatically. This is normal do not be alarmed
Remove the saucer and sponges from the humidor
Place a second Heartfelt Beads Humidity Tube (65% Rh is recommended) into the humidor
Place the tray back into the humidor if possible
Close the lid fully
Wait 12 to 24 hours before completing the next step
Check the humidity from the hygrometer, if the humidity is not in the low 70s place the lid back in if possible and close the lid fully and wait another 6 to 8 hours and if it is go onto the next step
Place your cigars within the humor
Place the tray into the humidor if possible
Close the lid fully shut
Wait 2 to 4 hours before completing the next step
Fill the last 2 Heartfelt Beads Humidity Tubes (65% Rh is recommended) as directed by Heartfelt’s directions
Place the last 2 Heartfelt Beads Humidity Tubes (65% Rh is recommended) on far left and right of the tray once back in 2 to 4 hours
Close the lid fully shut
If you have followed these steps you have now successfully seasoned your humidor
Commonly Asked Questions From Readers
Q: First, my question. I have a new, small humidor and I’m seasoning it (unfortunately I did it the wrong way by wiping down the interior). I can’t seem to get it below 80% humidity. I currently have a 4 oz jar of gel, filled with distilled water in the humidor. How can I bring the humidity down? Would a PG solution do a better job than simply distilled water (I’m referring to how I fill the gel-based humidifier)?
A: Some ways you can bring down your humidity are:
1. If you have any cedar sticks from boxes or anything place one of those inside because the dry cedar stick should absorb some of the excess humidity within the air.
2. Grab an unused sponge and take a chunk off and place it inside. After a decent amount of time take it out let it dry again then put it back inside and repeat if necessary.
3. Crack open the lid just slightly. I suggest using a small match box wedged between the lid. Do this for about an hour or two and it will drop the humidor’s RH.
4. Put more cigars inside. Fill it almost to capacity.
These are a few methods that should help you drop the overall RH of your small humidor. Some reason your humidor could be high are:
1. You might have needed more time in the seasoning process such that there wasn’t enough time for the humidor to settle down.
2. You might have over soaked the wood with distilled water so there might be liquid still resting in the inner layers.
3. Climate you live in. Example: Northern states have dry winters so we have to constantly maintain our humidors because the outside climate if taking so much. Southern states have a lot of humidity and warmth year round so their humidors need less attention and stored in cooler areas because the outside climate can give too much in their case which brings up another reason.
4. Where do you keep your humidor (also pertains to climate) upstairs (higher level) or downstairs?
Upstairs especially in a higher humidity climate can cause the humidor to really go up and down with its RH value. The key thing to do is store a humidor in a lower level of a building which is ideal because most homes or building basements are roughly all the same temperature due to them being inside the earth and don’t change too much varying on the season. Example: In the winter your basement is warm and in the summer it usually is the coolest place in your house. This makes sense because depending on the time of year is dependent on what your body is used to. But, if one does not have a basement or a lower level placing within a closet works best and lastly don’t place in the sun because it’ll heat up the humidor.
As for would a PG solution do a better job than simply distilled water…The answer to that is no because those jars of beads are Silica based. They are specially designed to only take distilled water and can be ruined by propylene glycol. The only things that really take PG solution these days are the round or rectangular pads that come with the humidor which are basically useless and cost you more in the long run because the PG solution is a lot more expensive than distilled water.
Q: Now, regarding the large cabinet humidor, it has 3,500 cubic inches of interior space. I went with a cabinet-style humidor because I wanted to keep my cigars separate and organized and didn’t want to bother rotating them monthly. Here’s what I am planning and your comments seem to align with it. I am planning to use one Heartfelt Industriesmedium, rectangular humidifier in the bottom (it says it can humidify 2,160 cubic inches). Then I plan to use four medium Heartfelt tubes (that purport to humidify 540 cubic inches). I plan to place two tubes on the middle shelf and two more on the top shelf to bring the tube total to four, plus the rectangular one on the bottom. Might that be overkill? Since the math computes to a coverage of 4,320 cubic inches, might that over-humidify my new cabinet? (Don’t want to do that.) I also will have three hygrometers in the new cabinet (top, middle and bottom) to help me better regulate the internal micro-climate. To season it, I bought six new sponges and plan to use one per saucer, spaced mostly evenly throughout the humidor. I figure, based on my own calculations, that it might take a full week to bring the whole unit up to 70% humidity.
A: That sounds like a pretty solid game plan, I like it. As for your question about might that be overkill? The answer to that is no for a few reasons:
1. Yes the beads do say how much area they will cover but, they don’t say how much area they will cover when cigars have been introduced into the equation. So having it cover more area than what your humidor says is fine. In this case more is better!
2. The one thing about the Hearfelt Beads is they maintain the RH level in your humidor. Example they carry bead tubes that say 60%, 65%, and 70% RH. The reason for these percents and having a certain percent within your humidor means the tubes are going to try their best to keep it near whatever percent is on the tube you bought. Theses bead tubes just don’t kick moister out they regulate that’s why I love them. I suggest the 65% tube for the simple fact if your humidor is being fussy in summer months and likes to spike really high the 65% will help keep it from rising to unwanted RH levels. If you had the 70% in a summer month you could get a rise of 80% RH which is extremely unwanted. So be safe and stay 65% my friend.
Overall it’s safe to use more Hearfelt Beads than the minimum amount recommended in your humidor. The over compensating will help with humidor recovering from things like opening your humidor to compensating for the ever changing seasons to lastly a possibly bad seal a humidor may or may not have.
Q: I just bought a new one that is tall (24″) and has several drawers to store cigars in an organized way. How would I season this humidor? Would I add additional sponges at the third and fifth drawer level? How many hygrometers should I install and how many Heartfelt tubes should I use to maintain long-term humidity control? Thanks.
A: It sounds like you have a cabinet humidor that holds between 250 to 300 cigars if I’m correct. For this size of a humidor it will season slightly different than the one shown in the video for the simple fact there is a lot more surface area with the one you have so water will evaporate faster. My suggestion to seasoning this is to get about 3 shallow bowls/plates fill them with distilled water and place 1 on the top shelf and 1 on the bottom 2 shelves.
As for a humidification device I suggest the Cigar Oasis XL Cigar Humidifier because you have a large humidor and you would have to use too many bead tubes to keep it maintained properly but, if you would like you could get 3 medium bead tubes along with this to be safe and place them on alternating racks you can. You want to place the Cigar Oasis XL Cigar Humidifier on the bottom shelf along with all the bowls inside your humidor but, not the bead tubes if you decided to get them those you put in after seasoning process.
And as for a hygrometer I suggest getting one and placing it on the top rack because the Oasis has one built into it. Then you’ll get a good reading from the top and bottom of your humidor. Once you have all that inside your humidor close it up for about 5 days to a week and come back in that amount of time and your humidor should be stabilized right around 70%. The Oasis should be preset right out of the box to 70% and will always keep your humidor at that level. Once all that time is up had your cigars and don’t be surprised if the humidor will drop down a few % because within 24 hours it should restabilize.