Wrapper: San Andrés – Mexico
Shape: Box-Pressed Double Torpedo
Size: 6 3/4 x 52
Production: 150 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.