Toro-ish, 6" x 48 ring gauge / $11.99, Maxamar's
When I chose this weeks cigar for review I had forgotten that Dave had already reviewed it. You can read the background on the cigar and Dave's review here. Up until recently it was very rare that I got to smoke any Viaje since there are almost no shops out here that carry them. However my regular shop recently started to get in their cigars. This was the very last cigar from the one box of each size they got left when I saw them on the shelf. Even with the price being higher than what I usually like spending on a cigar I decided to give it a try.
The wrapper on this cigar was a nice reddish chestnut brown in color. There was some darker mottling to it as well. The wrapper was also fairly oily and smooth to the touch. There were some medium veins but nothing too bad. The pigtail cap was very well done. Putting my nose to the wrapper brought about an intense barnyard aroma with leather and raisins coming from the foot. When I gave it a squeeze it was fairly firm to the touch and without any soft spots. After clipping it and taking a cold draw I got the taste of milk chocolate with an ok draw.
Lighting it up brought about the fairly intense flavors of leather, coffee, earth and chocolate with some spice on the tip of the tongue. After about an eighth of an inch the spice really started to build with the retrohale being an intense wasabi like burn. The draw was a little tight and seemed like I needed to keep puffing on it to keep it lit. The burn was pretty ragged from the start and a whole in the wrapper developed. Towards the end of the first third I started to get some notes of cinnamon and grilled meat. The burn canoed pretty bad where the hole was so it needed a touchup from my lighter.
The second third was fairly similar to the first. The flavors I could note were of leather, earth and coffee with a slight amount of sweetness on the finish. The spice was still pretty strong although not as intense as the first third. The draw was still a little thin and the burn was pretty ragged and needed some correction.
As I moved into the final third the spice started to die down a bit, although I did start getting a slight nicotine hit. The construction still continued to be troublesome as it needed a relight because I stopped puffing on it for 30 seconds, which was a little annoying. The flavors I noted were of leather, cinnamon, earth and coffee with a slightly creamy finish.
Overall I don't think this cigar was ready for release. To me it seemed as though this cigar could have been laid down for about a year and it wouldn't have been as harsh and the flavors would probably be better. Also I don't think a cigar that costs $10+ should have as many construction issues as this one did. I think if these issues were resolved it would have been a much better cigar. However from the other people I've talked to about this cigar I might have just gotten a bad one since most have had a positive experience with this cigar.