As I prepared to review today’s cigar I realized that my camera was at work so I had to resort to my phone’s camera. Anyway, one of the benefits from working at home is I can smoke. So as the snow falls outside my window and work awaits I needed to prioritize my day and the cigar review became first order.
Today’s smoke was pretty much off my radar until a certain magazine named it the #2 cigar of the year as they are produced in limited quantities and I never see the brand at any location in New York City which is very frustrating because for the most part the Viaje cigars I have smoked I have enjoyed. But like many cigar smokers I had to ask is this cigar really worth the #2 slot? The cigar is produced at the Raices Cubanas cigar factory which also makes illusione and has had some success lately. The brand owner is Andre Farkas and this our take on the Viaje Reserva VOR #5.
Cigar: Viaje Reserva VOR #5
Size: 5.5 x 52
Wrapper: Nicaragua Corojo 99
Binder: Nicaragua (Double Binder)
Facebook: Viaje Cigars
Appearance and Construction: A gorgeous looking box pressed cigar that has a nice weight to it, and no soft spots. The foot of the cigar reveals a nice bunching and the wrapper has a nice amount of oils showing with some thin veins interwoven throughout. The cigar is well constructed and utilizes a two band system. The first one is the Viaje Oro label and the second one denotes Reserva in gold on a black background. Overall the A&C is not the best I’ve seen but it is in the top percentile.
Flavor & Notes: The foot of the Viaje Reserva serves up some nice spice to the nose with some floral similarities. Once the cigar is clipped with my Xikar scissors the draw serves up some wood notes and a touch of cocoa. Once the cigar is lit there are some initial notes of leather and spice. As the first third continues the notes of leather and spice are joined by a nice cocoa note. As the cigar enters the second third the leather note remains but begins to play second fiddle as the cocoa turns it up a notch with a nice touch of warm spices and well defined cinnamon. As we enter the final third of the cigar some of that floral I tasted on the pre-light draw begins to tease as the cigar takes on a nice sweet cocoa and caramel on the finish of this absolutely delicious cigar.
Smoking Characteristics: This stick smokes nice and slow so make sure you have the time set aside to properly enjoy it. The dark color ash is light and flaky and it never really held on for more then an inch at a time for me, so be sure to smoke it slow. Smoking it fast can make it burn hot without the ash in place to help keep it cool. The draw offered a slight resistance which is how I like it and the cigar had a wonder chocolate graham cracker aroma that was heaven.
Conclusion: When I saw this cigar listed at #2 in that cigar magazine I scratched my head and was pretty irate over it. Had I smoked it prior to my top 15 list of 2010 this cigar definitely would of cracked the top 10, possibly the Top 5. While I still feel that list was a great injustice to some brands that came out this year, it seems they hit the mark on this wonderful cigar that was definitely worthy of greatness. My only complaint is I wish that Viaje was more available especially in NYC.
Disclaimer: As always all spelling, typographical and grammar mistakes have been left in place for you amusement and/or to annoy my good friend Gary J. Arzt.