A few months ago I was notified I placed #2 in the Ambassador Cigars and Spirits Lounge, March Madness contest and received a gift certificate for the shop. Now not knowing the next time I would be in the Troy, MI – I contacted the Ambassador team and asked if they would cash in my certificate for a nice cigar sampler and I left the selection to the team. Well, to say I was blown away with the selection would be an gross understatement. Always trust your tobacconist!! Anyway, one of the cigars in that selection was the Viaje Exclusivo Leaded Double Edged Sword.
So what is the Viaje Exclusivo Leaded Double Edged Sword?
Back in 2014, Andre Farkas released a small batch cigar known as the Viaje Exclusivo Leaded that was a tweaked blend of the Viaje Exclusivo blend. It was available in one robusto vitola. Andre called this a leaded version as he added some very hard to find Medio tiempo leaf. This leaf is the highest priming of the plant and there for limited in supply. That high priming adds unique strength and flavor do to the enormous amount of nutrients that are fed into the final priming.
This year, Andre has once again released a limited production Viaje Exclusivo Leaded blend. He chose to use the Exclusivo Double Edged Perfecto as the base, and as in the 2014 robusto release he has added Medio tiempo leaf to make this the “leaded” variety.
The Viaje Exclusivo Leaded Double Edged Sword blend is a Nicaraguan puro described as:
- Wrapper – Nicaraguan
- Binder – Nicaraguan
- Filler – Nicaraguan
It is available in one vitola, a 5.75 x 52 perfecto. Of course the original 2014 Viaje Exclusivo Leaded is avaiable as a robusto, if you can still find it. They are packaged in 25 – count cabinet style boxes and have an MSRP of $262.00/box.
The Viaje Exclusivo Leaded Double Edged Sword is an absolutely beautiful perfecto, with a satin smooth, chocolate-brown wrapper that has a consistent color throughout and a nice sheen. It is finished with a pencil point cap and excellent foot. The barrel has a sweet spice aroma to it. Because it is a perfecto, I really can’t describe any aroma of the foot (tip).
I used a double blade cutter to slice the cap on slight angle, opening it up about an 1/8th inch, which provided a nice restriction to the draw. Rolling it about I was getting some gentle pepper and earth notes.
The cigar is adorned with a the standard Viaje band except the leafs and the word Viaje in the logo are red.
Let’s light it up and see how it performs.
Cigar Review Notes
- Butter on first light while pepper fills the retro hale
- Spicy and sweet chocolate aroma immediately begins filling the air around me
- Once the burn moves past the tapered foot, smoke volume is fairly full
- Touch of cinnamon and sweetness quickly enters
- Excellent burn with a light grey ash and solid form all the way to the tip
- Heavy oiling on the wrapper as it burns
- Smoke is incredibly smooth after the first third
- I have to say, the cut I made was perfect for the draw
- Cinnamon moves into the aroma
- Caramel sweetness and apple notes enter – kind of like a candied apple
- Coffee notes blend in with a chocolate aroma midway through the second third
- Ash still holding tight on thin char line
- Hint of black pepper building on the tip of my tongue
- Nut finds its way in at the half way point as the sweetness continues to soothe the palate
- Profile starts to shift to more of a savory and pepper smoke
- Ash fell at the half, solid and perfect in form
- Burn cone is perfectly centered and medium in height
- Strength at this point is solid medium
- Flavors are dancing around lighting up taste buds across my palate
- Finish is clean with just a light lingering nut
- Pepper and spice start to increase with an syrupy sweet undertone
- Savory continues into final third
- A short burst of almond enters – where did that come from !
- Strength moves closer to full at the finish
- Overall Smoking Time was 1 hour and 20 minutes
Overall, the Viaje Exclusivo Leaded Double Edged Sword is an amazingly complex yet well-balanced cigar that delivered on flavor and strength keeping the palate enticed throughout the experience. The burn was pristine from foot to nub and the strength did not overpower the experience. This is certainly a cigar designed for the true aficionado. I am torn about what I would suggest pairing this with, but with the subtle sweetness throughout I would consider a sweet espresso, highland single malt, bourbon, or even an aged rum. Heck, this would even pair well with a Guinness. I didn’t have the opportunity to try the original Viaje Exclusivo Leaded robusto but I can tell you I certainly enjoyed the Leaded Double Edged Sword. I think I will convince my Stogie Press associates to go in with me on a box buy and let them age some more.