Sixteen months ago, cigar industry icon José Blanco and his wife Emma Viktorsson launched Las Cumbres Tabaco. Once the company was launched Blanco went hard at work blending the Señorial and Señorial 65th Anniversary lines. Meanwhile Viktorsson worked hard on the marketing and art for these lines. With Frejya, it’s now Emma who gets her chance her to blend a cigar. Plans are for Freyja to be showcased at the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show in New Orleans next month.
Viktorsson blended this cigar without the help of her husband José and without the help of José’s cousin, Tabacalera Palma factory owner Jochy Blanco. When she blended Freyja, Viktorsson only worked with the factory manager. As she explained, “I did not want a brand in my name to be a ‘José Blanco’ or a ‘Jochy Blanco’ -blend,” but most of all I now felt ready to blend and want to see what would ‘Emma´s blend’ be?”
The name Frejya refers to a Viking goddess of beauty and fertility. She is the chief of the Valkyrie. For Viktorsson, this project allowed her to connect her Swedish roots with the cigar producing countries.
Like Señorial, an actual oil painting was designed for the Freyja logo. The painting was designed by a family friend from Macedonia named Jana Jovanova. “We have her own art at home too, I love her style! And she portrayed Freyja fantastically,” stated Viktorsson.
In terms of the end product, Viktorsson told us “Sweetness all throughout but with different notes, in the last third I feel the sweetness of dried fuit like dried prunes. In the second half a gentle earth kicks in, probably from the San Andres (tobacco), while the sweetness turns into dark chocolate. A slight gentle spice all throughout and in the finish, and also some nuts. It is a full body as ‘body’ with full flavors, and a medium to full in body-strength. The finish is long on the lips and quite sweet.”
At a glance, here is a look at the Frejya:
Freyja features tobaccos from there countries. The Dominican tobaccos come from the La Canela farm and have four to five years of aging on it.
Wrapper: Dominican Criollo ´98
Binder: Mexican San Andrés
Filler: Dominican Criollo ´98, Dominican Piloto Cubano, Nicaraguan Esteli.
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (Tabacalera Palma)
Viktorsson explained to us some of the details around the tobaccos
“I wanted a Dominican wrapper… not because they are my favorite but some of them are SOME of my favorites (other favorites include: Habano Ecuador: Señorial has it, and Cameroon:) and Jochy Blanco, owner of Tabacalera Palma has fantastic wrappers from La Canela farm with 5 to 7 years of age. I thought about a Criollo ´98 or a Corojo – it became Criollo ´98 – fantastic wrapper with 5 years of age.
“I love Mexican San Andres but I didn´t want that as a wrapper, and mostly it is used for Maduros, which this line is not, so I had the idea of making it the binder. Tabacalera Palma has never done that, and it turned out Super!!! This part of the blend never budged from me nor Geraldito the production manager. Primings yes, but not the seeds to earth.
“I wanted the filler to have Dominican tobaccos and Nicaraguan ones. I have learned and witnessed throughout the years that these two distinct origins usually blend great! This was tweaked a lot and the filler is what made it over which made it over 10 blends. Seeds of the Dominican ones were clear but primings were tweaked. The Nica one was a process of choice, and the Esteli was the chosen one to marry into this blend.”
While there are three types of tobacco for the filler, there are actually four different types of tobacco as there are two primings used of the Dominican Piloto Cubano.
Sessrúmnir Corona Larga – 5 3/4 X 42 ($7.00 SRP)
Valhalla Robusto: 5 1/2 x 50 ($7.85 SRP)
Thor’s Toro: 6 x 54 ($9.00 SRP)
Valkyrie Pyramid: 6 1/2 x 52 ($10.00)
Each of the vitola names tie back to who the goddess Frejya: Valkyrie are a host of female figures who were believed to select who would win in battle. Half of the dead warriors were said to be taken to Frejya’s heavenly hall Sessrúmnir while he other half were taken to the god Odin’s hall Valhalla. As for Thor’s Toro, Viktorsson says “the name says it all”.
Image Credits: Las Cumbres Tabaco