This particular Viaje is a perfecto shaped cigar with a bottle nosed shaped tip. That’s a fairly unique shape nowadays and I do like the look of it. As you might guess with Viaje, this is a limited edition cigar (For more info check out Cigar Coop).
But limited edition, or, as is the case here, “Collector’s Edition,” doesn’t mean good. I’ve liked some Viajes (Skull and Bones Red 2012 WMD) and I haven’t cared for some others (TNT 2012); that’s just natural.
This cigar does look nice and, as I mentioned before, is a perfecto. I think due to the difficulty in rolling this kind of cigar the wrapper does have a couple of minor stretch marks around veins. It’s also a little bumpy in some areas with the most obvious misshapen parts being around the bulge near the foot. None of this is off-putting, though.
It’s also a very oily cigar and the Nicaraguan grown wrapper tobacco is medium brown with some darker flecks and lighter splotches (this isn’t a demerit in my book because tobacco is, after all, a natural product). I’ve smoked one before at a herf and now let us see if this thing is worth the price tag.
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99
Price: $225.00/Box of 25 | $10.00/Single
Tree of Life Fire!
It’s a fairly spicy cigar with a decent amount of intensity. The spice is a cross between sweet and floral but the main part of it is black pepper. There’s also some cedar and earthy flavors roaming around as well. What I like most about the first third is that the flavors work well together and are very clean.
The spice loses some of its sweetness but keeps its floral and black pepper essence. Cocoa has come on and has a slight bitter tinge to it that gives extra life to the flavor profile. It’s a (good kind of) weird mixture of soft, floral spice and earthy, bitter cocoa. I’m liking it.
During the final third the main flavor is that black pepper with a solid backing of bitter cocoa and earth flavor combination. The flavors are fairly strong during this third as has been the case throughout. Perhaps the flavors were a bit stronger during the first third but not by a large margin.
Medium bodied with a good draw and burn, this cigar was easily able to keep my interest from the beginning to the end. It wasn’t a particularly special cigar but it was good in its own way. The combination of the spice and earth and bitter cocoa was interesting. If you are a fan of Viaje you probably won’t be disappointed by this cigar.
I have no clue why they are using the band that they are. It’s cool and all, with a little painting of a woman and what looks like a grown up cherub (or is it an angel?), but I have no clue what it’s suppose to signify. And guess what? I’m not going to look into it.
Alright, I looked into it. Supposedly, it’s basically souped up artwork from the early twentieth century and, when put that way, that makes sense because it actually looks like art is suppose to look. You can see it on the side.
The name, Flor de las Antillas, means something like “flower of the Antillas”, and that “flower” would be Cuba and the “Antillas” are, I’m led to believe, a group of islands (For those of you like me who have only had tres years of high school Spanish – and, as such, know barely any Spanish – “Antillas” is the Spanish spelling for “Antilles“, which is the term used to denote the island chain in the Caribbean). So, the name is meant to honor Cuba (and by “Cuba” they must be talking about the island itself and the people – not the athletically attired tyrant on the Oft rumored precipice of death).
What about the cigar? It’s rustic with some bumps, veins and wrinkling of the wrapper. A box pressed torpedo and it is obvious that this cigar is very well made no matter how “rustic” the oily, medium brown sun grown wrapper looks.
Length: 5 ½”
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown
Price: $130.00/Box of 20 | $7.25/Single
Sweet spice with chalky earth and some cocoa start out this cigar during the first third with the sweet spice taking the lead. I like spice and if it just sticks to that I will enjoy this cigar. The smoke is chewy and the finish lasts for a little while both in my nostrils and in the back of my throat.
Whereas spice was the major flavor during the first third the second third shifts more towards cocoa and earth. It’s an interesting mix of flavors that works well and I’m finding that I don’t like it any less since the flavor profile has shifted.
With the final third of this cigar the cocoa and earth just get stronger. There are fleeting moments of burnt hay interspersed that adds a little bit of extra interest into the flavor profile for me.
My first introduction to this cigar was when one of the guys who works at Embassy Cigars in Brea, CA gave me one as a sample. I didn’t know anything about the cigar and he just figured that I’d like it. Well, he was right. This is a very good cigar, maybe not very complex but still very flavorful.
Medium-full bodied with an excellent draw and burn. Each one of these that I smoked offered copious amounts of smoke and that smoke was the residue of what is a very good cigar.
A dark wrapper with a couple of medium sized veins; this cigar looks good. It comes from Don Pepin Garcia and the My Fathe Le Bijou 1922 makes use of this difficult leaf to grow called Pelo de Oro for the wrapper, which means something of gold, if I’m not mistaken (score one for three years of high school Spanish!). I have liked this cigar in the past and have generally good feelings about the My Father line of cigars as well. Never have done a review on one (except for the Smoke Inn’s special edition El Hijo) but do not take that as a sign of anything, good or bad.
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro
Price: $235.00/Box of 23 | $11.50/Single
Eagle Speedster Pyre!
Pepper with very dry wood – oak – and a distinct crispness to the flavor profile. It’s hitting me just right with that slight peppery burn at the entrance to my nasal passages, the lasting oak on my tongue and the general warmness of the flavors. Basically, it’s starting out a winner.
As all you francophiles out there already know “le bijou” stands for “the jewel” – at least that’s what I have read. And it makes sense, maybe not “the jewel,” but the whole French thing because while I was thinking about the best way to describe the flavor profile for this cigar that’s what I came up with: French. While the flavors are big and bold (spice and oak I’ve already mentioned, I’d add cocoa to the mix after the first third) they are also refined and there is an elegant balance to everything.
The only change of note to this great cigar is that there is a grilled meat flavor that starts coming on near the end. Overall, it’s a good cigar that definitely kept my interest from the beginning, when it was very peppery, to the end as it mellowed out into a well rounded mixture of pepper, oak, cocoa and meat. It’s medium-full bodied, just slightly more than medium really, with a great draw and burn. It’s one of those cigars that you will love smoking.
I received this cigar as a sample from Cigars Direct; my reviews are my own.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan | Binder: Nicaraguan | Filler: Nicaraguan | Box of 24: $100.00 | 5 Pack: $24.00 | Robusto | 5″ x 50
0/3: To me, Don Pepin Garcia is the Samuel L. Jackson of the cigar industry. You know that he is great but he doesn’t get the credit that he deserves from some people. Don Pepin Garcia makes some delicious cigars and the DPG Series JJ Natural is one of them. But what about this cigar?
Well, it feels tightly packed and it looks good enough with only a couple of largish veins marring the appearance of the wrapper. A fair amount of oils gives the dark brown wrapper a nice sheen. The triple cap (just like the Cubans do it!) looks solid.
1/3: I like puros not because I’m some sort of tobacco supremacist – far from it – but because it gives you a better idea about how the tobacco from a certain area will normally taste. Sure, I know, there are many variations within countries and the kind of tobacco leafs you get from one farm can be significantly different than the leafs from another farm a few miles away. But, still, I think that there are some trademark differences between countries; like with this Nicaraguan puro with its bold spicy notes that relentlessly remind the nerve endings in my nasal passages that they recently blew by.
There are also notes of nutmeg, barley and maple. The first parts of the beginning third were amazing but it begins to slide backwards a bit by the end of the first third.
2/3: Even though it has regressed somewhat from the beginning the plateau from which it started was very high. Spice is still the main flavor but now the biggest supporting flavor is a sweet floral flavor. And then at about the halfway mark my enjoyment of the cigar picks up again.
Deep, soulful flavors centering around maple with a fringe of spiciness that sticks around all over. It has a lot of complexity to it – other flavors include floral notes, earthiness and cocoa – and the flavors work extremely well with each other.
3/3: And there is a change back towards that floral flavor, which, while disappointing, still isn’t a bad flavor. But that floral flavor is not all there is. There is mesquite, which is not a flavor I get all that often. It doesn’t end amazingly though, with the flavors dying somewhat.
4/3: “Perplexing” is the best word to describe this cigar. One moment I am in love with it and the next I am confused. Alternating between the great and the merely good is something that I have not encountered too much but, still, this medium bodied cigar with a good draw and burn is a cigar that you should try. Personally, I think the version with the natural wrapper has the edge.
0/3: It looks like a fairly well made cigar. A little hard to the touch but it is still a visually appealing cigar. Not a lot of oils on the wrapper.
On a separate issue, is the point of the name – Patel Brothers – supposed to evoke longing memories of Mario Bros? Maybe whilst lighting the cigar you will be brought back to that time you ate the mushroom and squashed the spiked turtle – digitally, of course.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf | Binder: Nicaraguan | Filler: Nicaraguan | Box of 20: $80.00 | Torpedo | 6″ x 52
1/3: Starts out enjoyable even though the flavors are borderline harsh. By that I mean there is a separation between the flavors, which are earth, smokiness, and bitter cocoa; and the overall smoking experience, which is bitter.
2/3: A mild sweetness has started to come through during the second third. Strong and dark is the name of the game here but, so far, I am enjoying this cigar more than I thought I would. An extremely earthy cigar.
3/3: The sweetness is still a background flavor but it has grown in prominence and it is providing a decent counterbalance to the robust earthiness that is evident in this cigar’s flavor profile. The sweetness is a little odd: it’s closer to straight, natural sugar than to anything else I can think of.
4/3: Unless you want an extremely earthy experience this probably is not a cigar for you. It also at times harsh and, because of that, the flavors can come off as being overbearing and not good. Personally, I would smoke this cigar again but I will not be seeking this cigar out. If it’s part of a deal I wouldn’t balk at it though.