|Viaje Exclusivo Atlantic Cigar Company 15th
Anniversary Lancero (2011)
As the name indicates, the Viaje Exclusivo Atlantic Cigar Company 15th Anniversary Lancero is a retail-exclusive cigar to Atlantic Cigar Company. Toward the end of 2011, Atlantic Cigar Company commissioned four cigar manufacturers to make four retail exclusive cigars to commemorate the retailer’s 15th anniversary. The Viaje Exclusivo Lancero was the first of these four cigars to be released (this was followed by releases by My Father, E.P. Carrillo, and Oliva). At press time, Viaje has just announced a return of the Exclusivo Lancero for a limited run to Atlantic Cigar. Today, we go back to the Exclusivo Lancero from the 2011 batch. Overall I’ve found the Exclusivo blend to do very well under aging and with around 2 1/2 years of age this cigar will not disappoint. It delivers an excellent cigar experience.
The Exclusivo blend started out as a personal blend for Viaje president Andre Farkas. It was originally released in a Corona Gorda format used as an unofficial event cigar (this past week, that Corona Gorda had its first national release). Since then it has been released in several frontmarks and has become a favorite among Viaje fans. As with all Viaje cigars, these are small batch, limited production releases.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the original Viaje Exclusivo Lancero for Atlantic Cigar and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Like most Viaje releases, the Viaje Exclusivo is a Nicaraguan puro.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo
The following is a list of vitolas for the Viaje Exclusivo line:
Atlantic Cigar 15th Anniversary (Lancero): 7 1/2 x 40
Corona Gorda: 5 5/8 x 46
Super Lance: 7 1/4 x 46
Short: 4 1/4 x 42
Robusto (2010): 4 7/8 x 50 (released in jars and bundles)
Robusto (2012): 5 x 50
Chiquito: 4 3/4 x 51 (Every two years – limited retailers)
Double Edged Sword: 5 3/4 x 52
Double Edged Sword II: 6 1/2 x 50 (released in jars – Viaje Collector’s Edition 2013)
Tower Cigars 45th (Boxpress): 5 1/2 x 52 (Retail Exclusive to Tower Cigars)
The wrapper of the Viaje Exclusive Robusto has a dark coffee bean colored wrapper with a colorado red tint to it. The wrapper itself also is oily There are some visible veins. Not much in visible seams. This cigar contains a pig-tail cap (which is not shown in the photo above).
The band features the classic Viaje leaf logo with a black, silver, and ivory color scheme. The actual Viaje logo and name are in black text sitting on an ivory background. The remainder of the band is adorned with silver. To the far left and right are the text (in black font) “Nicaragua” and “Hand Made” respectively.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For this specific cigar experience, the pig-tail cap had fallen off during storage (no loss of points here). I still opted to go with a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was removed, I proceeded with the pre-light draw ritual. The dry draw provided a mix of coffee, earth, and light pepper spice. Overall I considered the pre-light draw to the Viaje Exclusivo Atlantic Cigar Company 15th Anniversary Lancero to be satisfactory. At this point I was ready to fire up this lancero and await what the smoking phase would have in store.
The start to the Viaje Exclusivo picked up with the pre-light draw left off. I picked up notes of coffee and earth. There also seemed to be a woody element present in the forefront. I was picking up some light black pepper notes. As the smoking experience moved through the first third the coffee notes took over as a primary flavor. The pepper notes kicked up a bit, but still were secondary – joining the earth and wood notes. The retro-hale took a little time to build, but later in the first third, it was delivering something that was almost an herbal spice.
The second third saw the wood, earth, and coffee notes are prominent. The three notes alternated as to what was the dominant flavor. The pepper notes still remained more of a secondary note on the tongue, but still prominent on the retro-hale.
The last third saw the wood, earth, and coffee notes continue to alternate, but the pepper spice had increased – joining the other flavors in the forefront. This is the way the flavors held until the end. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch – and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The Viaje Exclusivo Lancero performed very well burn-wise. The burn line remained sharp from start to finish – requiring little in the way of touch-ups. The resulting ash was mostly firm and was not prone to any major flaking. The ash was the dark gray ash that is often seen on many Viaje cigars. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
|Burn of the Viaje Exclusivo Atlantic Cigar Company
15th Anniversary Lancero
The draw was a little snug, but it had the right amount of resistance in my book. It’s pretty much where I would expect a lancero’s draw to be. The draw never proved to be high maintenance or a chore.
Strength and Body
While this is the first time I officially assessed the Exclusivo in the lancero frontmark, this cigar did seem to mellow somewhat from both a strength and body perspective. I found this cigar to be a medium strength, medium-bodied smoke from start to finish. Both the strength and body balanced each other nicely. Overall, I found that this profile suited the Exclusivo blend just fine.
I’ve usually found the Viaje Exclusivo blend to be one that ages very well and really gets better over time. The cigars smoked for this assessment were probably the most aged Viaje Exclusivos I’ve had to date – and the end result was one of the best experiences I’ve had with this blend to date. Normally I’m not the biggest lancero fan, but I also found that his blend suited this vitola just fine. This is the kind of cigar that will please both the novice and the experienced cigar enthusiast. With the Viaje Exclusivo Lancero making a return to Atlantic Cigar at press time, fans of Viaje and this blend certainly have something to look forward to. As for myself, this is definitely a cigar I’d smoke again – and it’s one worthy of a box split.
Assessment: 3.5 – Box Split
News: Viaje Exclusivo Lancero Returns to Atlantic Cigar Company (2014 Preview)
Price: $9.50 (for 2014)
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 92
Stogie Feed: Viaje Exclusivo Atlantic Cigar Co. 15th Anniversary Lancero (2011)