Delicado, 6" x 50 ring gauge / approx. $6 at Silo Cigars
Andre Farkas (no, not the kid with "yellow eyes" in A Christmas Story...that was Scut Farkus) founded Viaje in 2008 with a philosophy that is a throwback to an older Cuban tradition--he would only have a few regular lines while continually releasing special, limited editions throughout the year. The first offerings from his company were Oro (Gold) and Platino (Silver). With Burns, my home cigar shop and sponsor of this blog, slated to soon join their dealer network I decided to do a look at some of their established lines to prepare myself for the full "Viaje experience." I was able to pick up a few of their sticks on a trip to Knoxville when I visited Silo Cigars. The Oro is a Nicaraguan puro--listed as "100% Grade 'A' Cuban Seed" on their website--including a Corojo 99 Cafe wrapper. This review captures my initial impression of the first Viaje Oro I ever smoked.
The appearance on the Oro was a mix of elegant and rustic. The band was a beautiful, classy piece of art and the gold ribbon foot band quietly identifies the line (maybe too quietly...a friend of mine smoked a Vieje soon after I had done this review and said he had "the green label" not realizing that there are, in fact, two green labeled Viajes), while the wrapper leaf was somewhat veiny and a bit bumpy and mottled, although this did not detract from the overall impression. The wrapper leaf gave off an aroma of barnyard, while I got rich chocolatey notes on the foot. Prelight draw was excellent and had notes of cocoa and creamy coffee along with a nice sweetness.
Immediately upon lighting, I tasted a nice toffee sweetness followed by a nice spicy pepper on both the tongue and nasal passages. The toffee seemed to be a quickly passing thing and within a few puffs, I was getting more sweet natural tobacco flavor in a very cool smoke, but still with a very spicy finish. The burn line went a little crooked about an inch in, then started to develop a tunnel which was quite unwelcome. Flavor was uniformly great during this time, though, with a rich, sweet natural tobacco dominating and notes of cocoa and graham cracker popping up from time-to-time. Despite a description as "full-bodied" on their website, so far this was hitting me as no more than medium-bodied.
I decided to try to let the burn issue work itself out; it did so quickly and there was no need for a touch up. Shortly into the second third I started getting occasional hits of toffee again and I noticed that the body had ramped up a bit, edging toward the high end of medium. There was still a spicy, peppery finish as well.
In the last third the body continued its ramp-up into the full category and the flavor remained as interesting as ever. While it was still a sweet, natural tobacco that led the way, there were flavors of creamy coffee and pepper spice in there, too. The Viaje Oro was simply a great cigar. It was rustic, but elegant; spicy, but creamy; amazingly complex and consistently wonderful. All that in a cigar that retails for between $6 and $7 is not something that is all that common. This would favorably compare to other "cult" cigars like Tatuaje and Illusione, but it retails for a bit less. This was a great experience and one that I am looking forward to repeating on a regular basis.
Agree, disagree or have your own thoughts you would like to share on this cigar? Please leave a comment and speak your mind!