Every now and then I sample a cigar that seems to perfectly sum up the moment I am enjoying while I experience the blenders masterful creation. The Viaje Exclusivo just happens to be such a cigar. It is the first game of the World Series with the NY Mets facing the Kansas City Royals and after watching the first 4 innings at a local nonsmoking pub decided to take it back to the Stogie Press Lounge and fire up the Viaje Exclusivo that has been screaming to be smoked since Andre Farkas gave it to me at this years IPCPR.
Now, the Viaje Exclusivo is not a new blend from Andre Farkas and Viaje cigars. It was originally introduced in 2009 as the Viaje Exclusivo Chiquito and has been a limited production cigar available in a variety of vitolas since then.
In fact Viaje explained:
The cigar first started out as an events-only product. However, the demand for more accessibility grew to the point where we turned it into a small batch release. The demand grew even further which allowed Exclusivo to become Viaje’s only regular production cigar.
In total there has been 15 different limited production vitolas over the years, but now 6 years after the initial introduction, Andre has decided to make it a regular production line for Viaje and I am sure all Viaje followers are happy about that.
This year there are 5 vitolas that round out the total to 20 over 6 years :
- Viaje Exclusivo Robusto (5 x 52) – Regular Production
- Viaje Exclusivo Double R (5 1/2 x 54) -Regular Production
- Viaje Exclusivo Toro (6 x 50) -Regular Production
- Viaje Exclusivo Torpedo (6 x 52) – Regular Production
- Viaje WLP Exclusivo Churchill (7 x 49) -150 Boxes of 25 Cigars
For this review I am sampling the Robusto that was provided to me by Viaje Cigars.
As I noted, the Viaje Exclusivo was begging me to smoke it every time I rotated my collection. It had a beautiful dark brown oily wrapper that always shined in the light of the open humidor. That dark wrapper is a Criollo ’98 leaf and the cigar as a whole is a Nicaraguan Puro using AGANORSA leaf. I hae to say it is a wonderful blend. As you will read the flavors are so well-balanced just like the two championship teams I am watching play in this years World Series.
Running the cigar through a pre-light ritual I pickup some earth and grassy notes. The dry draw delivers a small dose of pepper that is detectable on the lips.
Once it’s toasted up, the pepper from the dry draw is first to come through awaking my senses and then a nice touch of butter highlights the background of the early burn. The wrapper has a wonderful sheen to it as the warmth of the burn brings more oils to the top of the aged Criollo ’98 leaf. The ash is solid, well-formed, and glistening, snow white in color. The smoke is thick, so thick you can cut it with a knife.
I detect a touch of mineral on my tongue from the tobacco on the head of the cigar.
You may ask why is a guy with a nick name Boston Jimmie is wearing a NY Mets hat.Well first it is not a Yankee hat, but the truth is, I grew up in a Mets household on Long Island NY. Even to this day my 86 year old mother still watches the games even as my Dad passed on a few years back. So if my Sox are not in it, I might as well root for the Mets. Just like the Viaje Exclusivo started off great with flavor, burn, and smoke delivery this has been a great 1st game of a world series including an inside the park Home Run.
As the Viaje Exclusivo rounds past the one inch mark, there is a toasty flavor that enters the profile along with a Cubanesque floral aroma. So far this is an extremely smooth smoke. The burn is perfect and the draw is exactly what a quality cigar should have.
Getting towards the second third there is a touch of leather and dried fruit that enters the mix. A hint of nut blends in after a few puffs and rounds out the experience. The flavor profile continues to ratchet up as a background of spice fills out the blend. I have to say this an incredibly well-balanced cigar delivering full flavor sensations in a medium to full strength cigar. As I noted earlier it was the perfect choice to smoke while watching the two well-balanced teams in the world series. There is no bite or bitterness, just absolute pleasure.
Well into the second third, the aroma departs from floral to more of a spicy nut and there is a spiced fruit entry to the profile. The smoke production remains full and the burn is just impeccable. As a regular production cigar, I can only hope to get my hands on more of these.
The game is all tied up 3-3 now in the top of the 8th and I am getting to the final stage of the Viaje Exclusivo. The ash finally fell as the Mets took a 4-3 lead. As you can see the ash is one that I certainly like. It does not get much better than this.
As smoked it down to the nub, it delivered a long dried fruit finish that lingered on my palate after I was done.
Overall we would like all cigars to deliver like this but that just doesn’t happen. Between the oily wrapper, solid construction, flavor, strength, and smoke production this has been a most relaxing smoking experience. The cigar and I just became one tonight. It was right from the start to the finish even though the game went 14 innings and the Mets lost. All I can say is, “sometimes a cigar really is just great” Speaking for the many Viaje supporters out there, thank you Andre for making this your first regular production cigar. It was a home-run in 2009 and is still is today.