A good friend of mine does plenty of traveling for business. In his travels, he has hooked up a friend of his with me for a review I’ve done in the past. This friend of his is Hal Rubin of Empire Cigars. If you recall, I reviewed his house cigar, the La Flor Dominicana Cheroot, last year.
Since that review, Hal and I have exchanged pleasantries between this mutual friend of ours. A couple of weeks ago the pair got together and Hal was kind enough to send a package back for me. Inside the package were two cigars, the Viaje Reserva Platino and Viaje Reserva Oro.
It was explained to me that both cigars are in the early stages of production and Hal wanted to get my input on the two lines while he had some of his original samples left. A few weeks after the samples made their way to me, I decided it was due time to light one up and see what it was all about.
Viaje Cigars are a boutique operation that deals in limited production lines. I was first introduced to Andre Farkas and his line during the 2009 IPCPR convention in New Orleans. Since the trade show I’ve heard many good things about the boutique line but haven’t had the pleasure to try much of it.
With that said, I went into this First Impressions review with virtually no experience with Viaje product. Before lighting my cigar, I gave it a quick once over. Having no band or fancy packaging, there was nothing to distract me from taking in all the visual appeal of the cigar. The wrapper was consistent in color with small veins and a rich oily sheen.
Despite being firmly packed, the draw was good. I experienced a slight bit of resistance but when lit the cigar produced plenty of dense and flavorful smoke. I don’t know for sure how long it took me to smoke through the entire cigar, but I do know it was a substantial amount of time. My Toro (50 x 6.00) vitola produced a fairly dark ash which was solid and flake free.
The flavors didn’t change much throughout the smoke. The main flavor I noticed was a rich natural tobacco taste with an inter-weaved woody flavor. Every now and again I noticed a malty sort of flavor that made me think of Scotch. The finish was fairly easy on the palate although it seemed a bit acidic.
When it was all said and done, I was impressed with my single Viaje Reserva Platino sample. Being a boutique cigar, I’m sure the price point on this stick is outside of my normal comfort zone. Even with it potentially being pricey (I would guess around $10.00), I wouldn’t hesitate to pick one up on occasion, given the opportunity to buy locally.