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.

29th Jan2012

Pre-Production Viaje Honey and Hand Grenades

by GoodFellasCigars

Wrapper: Criollo

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler:  Nicaraguan

Shape:  Rounded cap with torpedo foot

Size: 5 1/3 x 44

Country: Honduras

Strength: Full

Production: Pre-Production

Release Date: IPCPR 2012

Today we bring you a review of the Pre-Production Viaje Honey and Hand Grenades. This was given to us by Andre Farkas last spring, 2011. Only ten were handed out by him. This cigar is scheduled to be released this year and to be based off the Exclusivo blend. Will this be the next cigar from Viaje to rule them all? Will it be the next Viaje Oro Reserva VOR No. 5? Or just another excellent stick from Viaje? The name itself sounds pretty bad ass and unique, Honey and Hand Grenades. We won’t really know till it’s out on the market. Anyways enough of the talk lets dive into this review!

The Look: The shape of the Honey and Hand Grenades is very unique. If I’m correct this shape is going to be the first of it’s kind in the cigar industry. It consists of a rounded cap and a torpedo like foot. The size is similar to a Corona. The cap by the looks of it is triple capped and the wrapper is put on very smooth from head to foot. The wrapper has a light amount of veins and the pack is very firm with virtually no give. Lastly, the band has a glued on H & HG standing for Honey and Hand Grenades and has brass knuckles underneath it.

The Start: After inspecting the cigar I move to the pre-light aromas. The wrapper had light scents of manure and cedar, nothing too strong. As for the foot it also had a light smell of manure nothing too strong or anything, just average. Moving on to the pre-light draw it took some effort to draw and only had a small amount of sweetness. I couldn’t really pin point it to anything though. Now to begin the light up. Immediately received a strong red pepper spice that gave the tongue a good tickle and made the palate moist. It also had a dark, rich earth flavor.

The Beginning: The first third starts with the red pepper again which you can really feel on the tongue giving it a prickly feeling. As for the draw it becomes easier the farther you move into the torpedo foot. Sounds kind of weird saying torpedo foot. Making my way through the foot I picked up notes of a really dark flavor like a dark roast coffee. When letting the cigar sit it produces little wisps of smoke continuously and as for each draw they produce a great amount of voluminous white smoke that warms the mouth. Now once I get passed the torpedo foot the spice begins to smooth out and the dark flavors begin to come on more than before. The burn here is a little wavy but nothing too concerning. Pretty confident it should smooth out later because it probably waved out due to the torpedo foot light. I’m also really enjoying how it feels in the hand and mouth, good natural feel with the right amount of weight to it. Getting closer to the second third the flavor profile begins to change starting with a bitterness rising up and a tiny amount of burnt caramelized maple wood. With the aroma being of a sweet wood. Also by the start of the second third the burn evens out and the ash that is a mix of white, grey, and black stays firm up til this point.

The Middle: Now making my way into the second third the smoke begins to become more creamy adding more of that sweetness of a semi burnt maple wood. The spice isn’t completely gone thought it’s now more on the back burner to say the least. The profile transition so far has just been great; starting with the dark beginning and now entering the sweet middle. The draw at this point has become very smooth and producing more voluminous amounts of smoke. The burn also has improved just like the draw becoming almost razor sharp. Another plus with this cigar too is that you can let it rest for quite some time without it going out which is due to the smaller ring gauge. Now just before going into the last third I noticed a hint of manure which I’m saying I could have been picking up from the aroma itself.

The End: Lastly, I begin the final third of the Honey and Hand Grenades. The peak of the sweet and creaminess is right here and then it slowly begins to retract. The spice begins it’s ascend back up with it starting to tickle the tongue again. Along with the spice comes the bitterness again. It transforms into more of a barnyard type musk. For example when you go into an old barn and it gives off an old wet smell. The burn is still going steady and same with the ash. Getting farther into the last third the smoke begins to dry out more and inducing a very small amount of almond flavor and a bitter anise flavor on the finish but, still overall keeping that pleasant musky spice. I gave it a retro haul here and experienced a heavy amount of spice that made me tear up a bit. Then as for the finish it consisted of red pepper with an after taste of the musky barnyard wood.

Final Thoughts: Once all is said and done this smoke took me about 1 hour and 10 minutes. The Viaje Honey and Hand Grenades was superb! I was able to smoke it down to the nub without any complaints. I’m very excited for when this hits the market. It has a bad ass name and I especially love the new shape that Viaje tried to do here with a mix between your standard Parejo and Figurado. Hopefully this won’t be the last of this kind of shape because others in the industry could benefit from this idea and maybe even take it further. The Viaje Honey and Hand Grenades provides an excellent journey that any aficionado or beginner would be happy with. I look forward to when this is out and others can enjoy it just as much as I did. Lastly remember folks to check back when this cigar hits the market for our post production review comparison!

CLICK HERE for more information leaked about the Honey and Hand Grenades

Once again a special thanks to MansonPhoto from MansonPhoto.com for taking the pictures. Please rate and comment on the photos because he would love your feedback!

 

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17th Nov2011

Montecristo Relief Organization Operation Hope 2011

by GoodFellasCigars

MONTECRISTO RELIEF ORGANIZATION

The Montecristo Relief Organization was established in 1999 by Altadis U.S.A. after the devastating hurricanes Mitch and Georges pounded their way through the Caribbean in the autumn of 1998 killing over 11,000 people and injuring millions. Aside from the severer loss of life, the destruction also claimed many people’s homes leaving many homeless and causing economic hardship.  Since its beginning the Montecristo Relief Organization has donated several millions of dollars to construct homes, schools, medical facilities, and provide scholarships and economic opportunities to victims of natural disasters in the Caribbean and the United States.

In recent memory a devastating tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri on May 22, 2011 causing loss of life and immense damage. The Montecristo Relief Organization stepped into provide much needed funds to help the community of Joplin by matching the first $75,000 in contributions made by Altadis U.S.A., CBI employees, customers and, vendors.

Efforts like this are much needed as natural disasters strike the United States and the Caribbean. But, to fund to such efforts the Montecristo Relief Organization does not rely on donations alone and instead has created a yearly fund raising drive called Operation Hope. Operation Hope raises funds through the Operation Hope sample pack that has consisted of Montecristo cigars and an accessory such as a cutter or lighter.

For 2011 Montecristo has assembled a selection of 5 premium cigars matched with a Triple Flame Lighter in a sampler packaged in a beautiful gift pack presentation. Included in the Operation Hope 2011 Sampler are:

1 Montecristo75th Anniversario ~ Edmundo

1 Montecristo75th Anniversario ~ No.2

1 Montecristo Classic Collection ~ Toro

1 Montecristo White ~ Toro

1 Montecristo Reserva Negra ~ Toro

1 Cigar Savor Lighter ~ CS3 Tri Flame

All of this has an MSRP of $110.00 but retails for $55.00. This is well worth the price considering the deep discount a combined pack of a tri-flame lighter and highly sought after Montescrito cigars and not to mention the the warm fuzzy feeling you will gain by providing a charitable donation to the Montecristo Relief Organization

14th Nov2011

Viaje Fifty Fifty Red Label No. 2 (2011)

by GoodFellasCigars

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo

Binder:  Nicaraguan

Filler:  Nicaraguan

Shape: No. 2

Size:  6 x 50

Country: Nicaragua

Strength: Medium to Full

Price Range: Around $13.00

After bringing you the review of the Black Label here is our take on the second half of the Fifty Fifty Series but, first I will recap. To start off I will say a little background to what the Viaje Fifty Fifty series is about. It first made it’s debut in 2009 and after that it was meant to be an annual release for Viaje. The thing that sets these cigars apart is that they involve taking two different blends which they then combine into a single cigar. Overall this is a unique concept developed by Andre Farkas and his crew at Viaje. The Fifty Fifty series has always a pair of two when released, one Black, and one Red. The difference is usually the Black Label is to be considered a more full-bodied smoke referring to the body and strength. The Fifty Fifty is usually available in 3 sizes which are:

No. 1: 5 5 /8 x 46
No. 2: 6 x 50
No. 3: 7 x 47

And now to the cigar itself. The Viaje Fifty Fifty Red Label has a little pig tail just like the Black Label, a firm pack near the foot and a softer pack near the cap with overall smooth construction, and light amount of veins. The wrapper/foot had a woody smoke smell along with some sweetness. Then the pre-light draw was a lot smoother than what I experience with the Black Label and the pre-light flavors were a sweet and spice mix of tobacco.

Upon first light the smoke entered giving the palate a tingling, warming sensation that gave flavors of pink pepper, a spice that is spicy but, not overwhelming to the point of its an ass kicker. Along with the initial light the smoke gave the aroma of a pungent campfire smell which reminded me of the smell the foot and the wrapper had.

The first third of the Viaje Fifty Fifty Red Label kept the spice from the initial draw but, not as strong and along with the spice is a dark cocoa. The aroma coming off is of a rich, warm tobacco. The main profile of the first third though stays consistent with a spicy, musky, barnyard earth flavor having a decent amount of smoke come off with each draw. As for the ash it is black/dark grey just like the Black Label but, the draw is smoother here than the Black Label. The burn on the other hand is becoming jagged at the transition point in the second third.

Traveling through the second third I begin to noticed the spice going down which is making me think that were beginning to transition. I was sure right just before the half way mark I begin to pick up flavors of a mild peanut flavor that begin to make the smoke really creamy. At this point too the spice tone reminded me of a burning cedar that was great! It made a great, full, warm smoke on the palate. Going past the halfway point the burn started slowly correcting itself but, the ashy was still loose at flaky just like the Black Label.

The final third has the spice go down a little bit more where it becomes a underlying tone kind of like it comes around after each finish of a draw. The main profile here is a big mix though, starting with the warm nut with a tad bit of musky. As I get more into the final third the full transition becomes apparent with the profile being bitter espresso that is decently strong with some bite to it on the tongue. Along with all this is a dry earth flavor and as always the underlying spice that’s still kinda there. More bitter than spice though at the end. The tobacco loosens up too making the draw even easier and the burn also evens out more too.

The finish is slightly dry, mainly being bitter along with a earthy nut and lastly with the underlying spice being there. Overall the Viaje Fifty Fifty Red Label profile was great going from spicy to creamy to finally a bitter, nutty earth flavor. The only downfall was the same ones as the Black Label being the jagged burn and flaky ash except, the Red Label had a better draw. I suggest people still try this Viaje because it’s a great concept having a cigar that has a beginning that’s totally different from the end.

Review on the Viaje Fifty Fifty Black Label No. 3 (2011)

Home » Viaje Fifty Fifty Red Label No. 2 (2011) » Viaje Fifty Fifty Red Label No. 2 (2011)
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Rating: 3.00

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