Viaje Satori Edición Limitada 2012

The 2012 IPCPR Trade Show marked the third show in a row that Viaje Cigars unveiled a release of their Satori line.  According to Viaje Cigars’ president Andre Farkas, there were not many major changes to the blend.  The big change is in the shape of the vitolas.  While the three vitolas are the same size, the vitolas that were parejo and box-press have reversed. The Zen (perfecto) now is no
longer box-pressed and is now is parejo for 2012. The  previously parejo-shaped Karma (Robusto) and Nirvana
(Toro) are now box-pressed for 2012.  The change in the shapes was the rationale for dubbing this year’s Satori an “Edición Limitada”.   When I spoke to Farkas, he told me that he felt this was his best work with the Satori.  After smoking a pre-release sample, I concluded that this is one very good cigar.

The original Viaje Satori was released in 2010.   This cigar used a dark oscuro wrapper and in my opinion was one of the best oscuro cigars ever to be released.  The original Viaje Satori 2010 finished as our #3 Cigar of the Year for 2010.  While the Satori 2010 won a lot of fans into Viaje, there were two
complaints that were heard: 1) The wrapper was too dark and therefore
must be dyed (I don’t subscribe to that theory); 2) The wrapper was too
thin and delicate (I can attest to that).   In 2011, Farkas opted to go with a San Andres Maduro wrapper for the Viaje Satori 2011.   The Satori 2011 was still a very good smoke and it finished as our #13 Cigar of the Year for 2011.

Viaje Satori 2010 (Left), Viaje Satori 2011 (Right)

For both the Viaje Satori 2010 and Viaje Satori 2011, I have always had a preference for the Karma (robusto) vitola.  I was very fortunate to be given a sample of the Viaje Satori Edición Limitada 2012 in the Karma (box-press robusto) size.   Let’s take a closer look at the Viaje Satori 2012 Karma.   As a disclaimer, this cigar experience is based on a single pre-release sample of the Satori 2012.   As with all pre-release cigars, we will opt to provide a pre-review to share thoughts and perspectives on this cigar.

Blend Profile

As mentioned above, the Viaje Satori Edición Limitada 2012 uses the San Andres Maduro wrapper.  This was the same wrapper utilized or the Satori 2011.   The remainder of the blend uses Nicaraguan tobacco.

Wrapper: San Andreas Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan

Vitolas Available

As mentioned above, the same three vitola sizes are available with the Viaje Satori Edición Limitada 2012.  The difference are that for 2012 the box-press and rounded vitolas are reversed.

Karma (Box-press Robusto): 5 x 52  
Nirvana (Box-press Toro): 6 x 50
Zen (Traditional Perfecto):  6 3/4 x 52

Viaje Satori Edición Limitada 2012 Nirvana
(Cigar Coop photo from 2012 IPCPR Trade Show)

Viaje Satori Edición Limitada 2012 Zen
(Cigar Coop photo from 2012 IPCPR Trade Show)

Appearance

The box-press shape to the Karma (robusto) vitola makes for one very beautiful looking cigar.  The San Andres Maduro wrapper has a roasted coffee bean color.  There is a slight oily sheen to this cigar.  There are very few visible veins and very few wrapper seams.

There are two bands on Viaje Satori Edición Limitada 2012.  The primary band is the same band that has been found on the Satori 2010 and Satori 2011 releases.  It features a yellow, red, white, and turquoise blue color scheme.  A yellow Buddha is prominently placed on the center of the band.  Below the Buddha is the text “Satori” in white font on a turquoise blue stripe.   There is also some Asian lettering on the back of the band in white font.   For the first time, the Satori features a secondary band.  This band features the text “Edición Limitada” in maroon color on a silver background.  There is also some addition maroon striping on that secondary band.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

For my smoke of the Viaje Satori Edición Limitada 2012,  I was treated to a combination of wood, cedar, and cherry sweetness.  On the Satori 2011, I had also gotten sweetness from the pre-light draw, but was never able to put him finger on it.  With the Satori 2012, the dry draw sweetness definitely seemed better defined (i.e. cherry).  Overall, I considered this a positive pre-light draw.  It was now on to lighting up my Satori 2012 and seeing what the cigar experience would bring to the table.

Flavor Profile

There were some parallels to the smoking experience of the Satori 2011 – after all they do have a similar blend.  However, I do think the Viaje Satori Edición Limitada 2012 brought its own unique qualities to the table.

After lighting my Satori 2012, cherry sweetness and wood notes from the pre-light draw continued.  These notes were soon joined by some spice notes.  The spice notes had a combination of both pepper and wood qualities.  As the smoking experience moved through the first third, I also detected some coffee notes in the background.   

Later in the first third, the cherry sweetness morphed into more of a classic citrus sweet flavor.  As the cigar moved into the second third.  The citrus became the primary flavor while the spice notes joined the coffee flavors in the background.

Toward the end of the second third, the citrus notes diminished and the coffee flavors moved into the forefront.  Notes of leather joined the coffee in the forefront.  Toward the end of the second third, the flavor profile was coffee and leather as primary notes with the citrus and spice notes secondary.

In the last third, the spice notes joined the coffee and leather up front.  There is a some kick at the close of the cigar.  The end of the cigar is spicy, but not harsh.   The nub of the Satori 2012 is ideal – cool in temperature and firm to the finish.

Burn and Draw

The burn to my Viaje Satori Edición Limitada 2012 did require some maintenance.  The burn line definitely meandered from time to time, and required more touch-ups with my lighter than I would have preferred.  For the most part, the resulting ash was tight with a salt and pepper color.   The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.  This smoking experience was based on a single, pre-release smoke – so that needs to be considered when analyzing the burn issue.

The draw was outstanding.  The Satori 2012 was a very enjoyable smoke.

Strength and Body

When I smoked the Satori 2011 blend, I assessed this to be a medium strength, medium to full-bodied smoke.  The Satori 2012 seemed to have more strength and more body.  Some of this could be due to the fact that the Satori 2012 I smoked was a pre-release while the Satori 2011s I have been smoking had more age.  I still enjoyed the fact that the Satori 2012 had more strength and body.

From a nicotine perspective, I thought the Satori 2012 had some pop.  I assessed this cigar to be medium to full in strength.  From a depth of flavors perspective, I thought the flavors were robust.  The Satori 2012 started out medium to full-bodied and progressed to full-bodied by the end.  For the most part the strength and body balanced each other well – although toward the end, the body had a slight edge over the strength.

Final Thoughts

The big question is how does this cigar compare to the Satori 2011.  I think in the end the Satori 2012 is the better cigar.  Despite the fact the burn required higher maintenance, I really enjoyed the flavors and complexity delivered by the Satori 2012.   Even though some age might tone down the strength and body, I think the box-press in the smaller vitola does some nice things to this blend.  Time will tell how the burn issues resolve itself or not.

One of my main criticisms of San Andres Maduro wrappers is that they tend to overwhelm a blend.  No such problem with the Satori 2012 as this wrapper really allows the flavors to be developed.

This is a cigar I would recommend to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast as I think its a little too much for the novice enthusiast.  This could change if the blend mellows with age.   As for myself, this is a cigar I will smoking again – and again.

Summary

Burn: Good
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: High
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full (Full at the end)
Finish: Good

Source: The cigar for this assessment was given to me by Andre Farkas of Viaje Ciagrs.  The cigar was given in the spirit of
friendship and to provide thoughts
on this upcoming release.  Cigar Coop is appreciative for the sample, but
in no way does this
influence this review.