14th Mar2012

Viaje White Label Project Winter Classic

by GoodFellasCigars

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Shape: Rothschild

Size: 4/12 x 48

Country: Honduras

Strength: Medium

Production250 Bundles of 25 Cigars; 6,250 Total Cigars

Price Range: $8.00; $200.00 for a Bundle of 25

The Viaje White Label Project Winter Classic is the first of Viaje’s White Label Project for 2012 and the fifth installment for the line overall. Viaje created the White Label Project to give Viaje customers a glance at what may be to come from Viaje as well as test those cigars with customers. These cigars with their unique and sometimes unique sizes would otherwise not be made available to the public. So it is always a treat smoke a new White Label Project.

The Look: The Viaje White Label Project Winter Classic is 4/12 inches by 48 ring gauge Rothschild with a lightly veined light brown wrapper with some darker brown spots. The Viaje White Label Project Winter Classic like the previous White Label Project is fitted with a white band with the word Viaje printed in black. The pack is firm with some depressions. The depressions concerned me slightly as I didn’t know if that would be an bad omen for the quality of smoking enjoyment that I may get from this cigar.

The Start: The foot of the Viaje White Label Project Winter Classic had an aroma of light spice and barnyard and, the wrapper gave off an aroma of light musk. The pre-light draw had a flavor of light black liquorish. The initial draw contained flavors of dark liquorish, oak wood tones, and light spice.

The Beginning: Going more into the first third of the Viaje White Label Project Winter Classic the smooth flavor profile consisted of oak wood, dark liquorish and, creamy chocolate. Following the flavors that came shortly after puffing on this cigar, the finish was made up of semi-bitter caramelized sugar, light pepper, and an oak woodiness. The draw was great and the burn was very even. The ash had light to medium gray coloring and held well to the cigar. While I was enjoying smoking the Viaje White Label Project Winter Classic I was also outside enjoying the nice weather. As I was doing this I noticed the sun shine highlighting smoke white-blue that came off the cigar. This is not remarkable in any sense but it was nice to witness the sunny side of mother nature while finally getting to enjoy a cigar in the warm open air after months of smoking in doors. So far this was a great start to this cigar.

The Middle: In the second third of the Viaje White Label Project Winter Classic, the flavor profile shifted but only slightly. The oak was replaced by mahogany, the dark liquorish went away but, the creamy chocolate remained. On the retrohale spice and pink pepper were present. The finish had bitter caramelized sugar, sea salt, and a bit of tanginess that could perhaps be described as mango. The draw still quite good but the burn was slightly uneven. At rest the smoke that exuded from the Viaje White Label Project Winter Classic carried an aroma of warm wood .

The End: The final third saw the flavors become over all become bolder. The flavor profile here was still very smooth while the woody flavor of dark mahogany came to the forefront and a creamy dark chocolate was also present.  The finish was a bit spicy consisting of a spicy black pepper, and the slight tang from the second third. The draw was yet again still quite excellent, while the slightly wavy burn started to correct itself from the second third. Here in the final third ash seemed to be not as strong as it was in the first third. I stopped smoking this cigar nearly at the start of where the band was as starting to get harsh.

Final Thoughts: The Viaje White Label Project Winter Classic was overall a very enjoyable cigar with an interesting yet most smooth flavor profile. I would love to smoke this cigar in front of a fire place with a good beer or now that the weather is nice again, by a bonfire again with a good beer. I would not mind if Viaje produced this cigar again but maybe this time without the white band.

05th Mar2012

Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge

by GoodFellasCigars

Wrapper: Nicaraguan

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Shape: Nub

Size: 3 1/2 x 54

Country: Honduras

Strength: Full

Production:  300 Boxes of 25 Cigars; 7,500 Total Cigars

Price Range: $6.40 per cigar; $185.00 for a Box of 25

The Super Shot line of Viaje cigars was dreamed up by Andre Farkas while clay shooting and of course enjoying some cigars. The only problem with tying to enjoy both clay shooting and a cigar at the same time was that the cigars were not short enough to smoke during the breaks between rounds of shooting and so went out when during the rounds.

“I recently took up clay shooting and I noticed something… The cigars I brought weren’t short enough to enjoy between rounds. I’d start smoking and before it was finished it was my time to shoot again, so the smoke kept going out… But it isn’t just for a day out shooting clay. It’s designed to be smoked when time is a factor or while doing any sort of work.” – Andre Farkas speaking with Cigar Aficionado

Andre decided to fix this problem by creating a cigar short enough to smoke between rounds and dubbed his creation the Super Shot. The Viaje Super Shot is available in two sizes the 3 1/2″ by 54 ring gauge “10 Gauge” and the 3 1/4″ by 52 ring gauge “12 Gauge”. These names and sizes are aptly themed for the clay shooting and and shot gun shell theme. Topping off the this theme is the card board box these cigar are packaged in. The box is very similar to the size of an actual shot gun shell box and is styled in the vintage style of past shot gun shell boxes (See Below).

The Look: The Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge is a nub sized cigar measuring 3 ½ inches by 54 ring gauge with a dark brown slightly gold toned wrapper. The wrapper extends almost over the entirety of the foot which adds to the look of the Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge being a shot gun shell. Also adding to the look of this cigar being a shot gun shell are the veins which heavily covers the wrapper and to a smaller extent the small raised bumps which also cover the wrapper add texture to the cigar like the grooves of the plastic exterior of a shot gun shell. Finally the pack of the Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge is firm with hardly any give.

The Start: The foot of the Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge had an aroma of dark country liquorish and the wrapper also had an aroma of dark country liquorish. The pre-light draw had spiciness and had some earthiness to it. The initial draw had showed to have heavy spice, lots of power, and pleasantly bitter dark chocolate.

The Beginning: The first third of the Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge had of flavor profile that smoothed out from the initial draw that was dark, creamy, and spicy. The finish had more defined flavors of bitter dark chocolate, leather, and wood tones. The draw was great and the burn was unfortunately uneven. While the ash produced was gray with spots and streaks of darker gray. During the first third I experimented with pairing the Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge with Wild Turkey American Honey. This pairing was simply great as the sweetness of honey of the Wild Turkey American Honey added a great complementing element to the flavors of the cigar.

The Middle: In the second third of the Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge again, the flavors were not incredibly complex yet, were quite smooth for a cigar that was such full bodied and strong. Wood tones and spice were the predominate flavors. The finish on the other hand again had more discernible flavors of dark chocolate, wood tones, and leather.  The draw was again very good and yet again unfortunately the burn was still uneven so I decided to correct it. Here in the second third the cigar went out and the burn had to be corrected. At rest the aroma that wafted from the Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge was nice a burnt chocolate. Besides the drawback of the burn issues that the cigar experienced the flavors though not incredibly complex were a great balance of flavors.

The End: The final third of the Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge had the flavors come out more as the flavor profile consisted of vanilla, pleasant creamy dark chocolate and leathery tones. The finish consisted of vanilla, chocolate, and leather at the end. The draw was good and the burn after the correction in the second third was finally even.

Final Thoughts: The Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge was a very strong cigar though definitely not as strong as any of the Viaje Skull and Bone series. Still for anyone not used to smoking full bodied cigar this may not be for you and if you do decide to take on this cigar don’t plan on doing anything too physical it may not turn out well. This cigar had a nice balance of flavors but was not very complex. Water was the primary pairing while smoking this cigar as to get a more accurate reading of the flavors that composed the Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge but in the first third I experimented with pairing this cigar for a short while with Wild Turkey American Honey. This pairing worked surprising well as the sweet honey flavor of this liqueur blended with honey and bourbon brought a sweetness that took the edge off that made smoking the Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge considerably more enjoyable. Over all Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge was a solid cigar and minus the burn issues is something a cigar aficionado with preferences for stronger cigars would enjoy.

 

01st Mar2012

Viaje Satori Zen 2011

by GoodFellasCigars

Wrapper: San Andrés – Mexico

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Shape: Box-Pressed Double Torpedo

Size: 6 3/4 x 52

Country: Honduras

Strength: Full

Production150 Boxes of 25 Cigars; 3,750 Total Cigars

Price Range: $11.75

“Satori is the Japanese word for enlightenment, used to refer to a deep or lasting realization of the nature of existence. Experience has shown there are many paths to enlightenment. Cigars have often been the catalyst for achieving heightened awareness and a greater understanding of our complex world. I have had the good fortune to meet many interesting people with whom I have spent countless hours deep in conversation with a fine cigar in hand. This cigar is a tribute to the enlightenment one can achieve while indulging in one of life’s great luxuries.”

Those are some very bold words to describe a cigar. It is true that relaxing and enjoying a cigar can put one in a meditative state. Maybe this cigar is better getting a cigar aficionado to enlightenment but, I’ll leave that to you to find out for yourself. The 2011 line of Satori cigars has changed slightly from 2010 as seen the the Viaje Satori Zen. The Zen retained its striking 6 3/4 x 52 Box-Pressed Double Torpedo shape but dropped the oscuro wrapper in favor for a lighter Mexican San Andrés wrapper. This change was due in part to complaints of how strong the original Satori blend was. Now many people did not particularly like the old blend but I for one really enjoyed it. So, I was somewhat sad to see the oscuro wrapper discontinued for the Satori line of cigars. But, switching to a San Andrés wrapper will broaden the appeal and I for one even though miss the original Satori line I love what the new wrapper has added this cigar and that is why the Viaje Satori Zen 2011 is our March Cigar of the month.

The Look: The Viaje Satori Zen is a Box-Pressed 6 3/4 x 52 Double Torpedo with a dark brown wrapper dotted with darker brown spots with dark veins to match. Compared with the original Viaje Satori Zen it is still quite sticking in appearance but the nearly perfect black oscuro wrapper from before made it even more striking. The pack was of the box-press was firm with a little bit of give. But, appearances are not that all important as compared to the flavor and how the cigar smokes. So, let’s get to it.

The Start: The foot of the Viaje Satori Zen had aromas of spice, and light black liquorish. The wrapper gave off none of these aromas and instead gave off scents of leather, caramel, and a nuttiness of almond. The pre-light displayed a more pronounced essence of black liquorish then its aroma coming from the wrapper. Once lighting the Viaje Satori Zen with the soft flame of a match I took some initial draws and found it comprised of spiciness, leather, and walnut.

The Beginning: Into the first third of the Viaje Satori Zen the flavors comprised of cinnamon, hazelnut, and a hint of ginger. The finish was simply a pleasant toasted hazelnut. The draw was fabulous producing an abundant amount of smoke. Being a double torpedo both ends must be cut the foot does not have to be as far cut as the head. Due to the shape it would not be uncommon that during the first minute or two the cigar could have a somewhat difficult draw. This should rapidly improve as the foot of the cigar burns and opens a wider area for air flow. The burn was slightly uneven and the ash was shaded light gray to darker gray and held well.

The Middle: In the second third the Viaje Satori Zen mellowed. The flavor profile featured a creamy dark chocolate. On the retrohale a nice spice that could be described as cinnamon came into play along with nice nuttiness. The finish switched from a roasted hazelnut to a light hazelnut favor. The draw remained excellent and produced a good amount of smoke. The burn improved over the first third but was still slightly uneven. The smoke wafting from the cigar carried with it a great aroma of hazelnut. Over all the second third was slightly simple yet had a good balance of flavors. The smooth taste of 12 year Canadian Club Whiskey would complement the Viaje Satori Zen nicely. Perhaps the next time I smoke this cigar with a snifter of 12 Year Canadian Club Whiskey warmed to 55 degrees by soapstone whiskey stones. And perhaps this combination with help me achieve enlightenment… maybe. If not at least it will be tasty.

The End: The final third was surprisingly more complex than the previous third. Here the flavor profile consisted of a nice toastiness, hazelnut, and dark chocolate. The finish really shined with the wonderful taste of a whiskey barrel that of charred white oak, also complementing the whiskey barrel flavor was dark chocolate, and a very slight hint of the fruitiness of dark cheery. The Draw like both of the previous thirds was still excellent and the burn by now was pretty even.

Final Thoughts: Over all the Viaje Satori Zen was a pretty constant smoke with a pleasing flavor profile. The highlights of this cigar came in the forms of a constant excellent draw and a  flavorful dominate nutty-hazelnut taste. Pairing the Viaje Satori Zen with a good smooth whiskey such as 12 Year Canadian Club Whiskey would make smoking this cigar a great pleasure. As compared with with the original Satori line which I enjoyed very much this updated Satori Zen did not go wrong. Frankly, I would love to smoke these quite a bit more often when I have the chance. If your local brick and mortar store has these in stock give them try along with a smooth spirit may bring you some enlightenment.

26th Feb2012

Pre-Release Viaje Plantino Samurai Maduro

by GoodFellasCigars

Wrapper: San Andrés – Mexico

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Shape: Corona Gorda

Size: 6 x 48

Country: Honduras

Strength: Full

Production: 99 boxes of 25; 2,475 cigars

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 MENTION Good 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.

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