Freyja_Valhalla_Robusto_by_Las_Cumbres_Tabaco

Freyja Valhalla Robusto by Las Cumbres Tabaco

Freyja is the second brand launched by Las Cumbres Tabaco, the company owned by José Blanco and his wife Emma Viktorsson. It follows up the Señorial brand that made its debut back in 2014. When the company launched its first brand Señorial was Blanco’s project, but Freyja is a project spearheaded by entirely by Viktorsson. The name Frejya refers to a Viking goddess of beauty and fertility who was the chief of the Valkyrie. For Viktorsson, this project allowed her to connect her Swedish roots with the cigar world. The cigar made its debut at the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show. The cigar has recently arrived at retailers. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the Freyja in the Valhalla Robusto size. Overall, I found this to be an excellent offering and one that solidifies Las Cumbres Tabaco’s portfolio.

As we learned when the cigar was announced, Viktorsson worked on developing the blend for Freyja without the help of Blanco, or Blanco’s cousin Jochy Blanco (who runs Tabacalera Palma where Las Cumbres is producing its blends). While this is her first brand, Viktorsson is not new to the cigar industry. She spent several years working at Swedish Match, and she was on the tasting panel when Blanco was developing his CyB cigar at Joya de Nicaragua.

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Freyja and see what this cigar brings to the table

Blend Profile

Freyja features tobaccos from three countries. Back in June, Viktorsson gave us a breakdown of how she came about selecting the tobaccos for the brand. The Dominican tobaccos come from the La Canela farm and have four to five years of aging on it. Perhaps the most interesting factor is the Mexican San Andres tobacco used in the binder. While San Andres is one of the most popular wrappers today, it is less common to see this used as a binder.

Wrapper: Dominican Criollo ´98
Binder: Mexican San Andrés
Filler: Dominican Criollo ´98, Dominican Piloto Cubano, Nicaraguan Esteli.
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (Tabacalera Palma)

Vitolas Available

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. From those battles, 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 called ValhallaThor refers to the hammer wielding god who was the son of Odin

Sessrúmnir Corona Larga – 5 3/4 X 42
Valhalla Robusto: 5 1/2 x 50
Thor’s Toro: 6 x 54
Valkyrie Pyramid: 6 1/2 x 52

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Freyja Packaging (Cigar Coop IPCPR Photo)

 

Appearance

The Dominican Criollo ’98 wrapper of the Freyja Valhalla Robusto has a cinnamon color to it. Upon closer examination there is a slight amount of darker marbling. The wrapper itself has a nice coat of oil on it.  There are some thin visible wrapper seams as well as some thin visible veins.

The band features an oil panting-styled image of of the goddess Freyja. On the lower pat of the image is the text “FREJYA” in large classic-styled gold font with black trim. Below that text is “LAS CUMBRES TABACO” in small white font. The image is surrounded by a gold and blue frame. The left and right of the band has sepia colored old painting-styled images of Viking boats.  On the lower part of each of the side images is the text “HAND MADE IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC” in small white font. The sides of the band are also trimmed in gold.

Freyja ring

Freyja band (Photo Credit: Las Cumbres Tabaco)

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

As I normally do, I started the cigar experience by using a straight cut to remove the cap of the cigar. Once the cap was removed, it was on to pre-light draw. The dry draw delivered a mix of leather, mixed citrus fruit, and cedar. Overall I considered the pre-light draw of the Freyja Valhalla Robusto to be excellent. At this point I was ready to light up this cigar and see what the smoking phase would have in store.

Flavor Profile

Right out of the gate, the Freyja Valhalla Robusto delivered a nice assortment of flavors as I detected a mix of earth, citrus, cedar, and black pepper notes. The citrus and earth notes became primary early on. Meanwhile, the cedar and pepper notes delivered some complementary spices from the background. At the same time, the cedar and pepper were present on the retro-hale – along with a touch of citrus sweetness.

During the first third, the earth notes remained primary. Notes of caramel surfaced in the background with the spices. There also was a slight nutty component that surfaced from time to time.

As the Freyja Valhalla Robusto moved into the second third, I found the earth notes remained primary. The citrus notes moved between the forefront and background while the caramel and spices were grounded in the background. The nutty notes still surfaced from time to time in the more distant background.

Toward the later part of the second third, I found the cedar and pepper spices increased and in the last third, they joined the earth notes in the forefront. The caramel and citrus notes still provided some subtle sweetness in the background. This is the way the Freyja Valhalla Robusto came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.

Burn and Draw

I found the burn to perform well on the Freyja Valhalla Robusto. This is a thicker wrapper, so it will require a little more attention, but it still wasn’t a case this cigar required high maintenance to keep a good burn. The burn path remained straight. There was a little bit of jaggedness on the burn line, but this was easily remedied with a few touch-ups. The resulting ash was a silver gray color. It wasn’t an overly firm ash, but it wasn’t a loose one either. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.

Freyja_Valhalla_Robusto-Burn

Burn of the Freyja Valhalla Robusto

The draw performed very well. This wasn’t a loose draw, nor was it a tight one either. I found the Freyja Valhalla Robusto to be low maintenance to derive flavors from. I also found this cigar delivered a nice amount of smoke production.

Strength and Body

From a strength perspective, I found the Freyja Valhalla Robusto to fall into the medium range. There was a slight increase in strength along the way, but I still found this cigar to be medium strength toward the end of the cigar. As for the body, I did find this cigar to start out medium. As the cigar experience progressed, I found the body increased linearly and by the second half, the Freyja was into medium to full-bodied territory. In terms of strength versus body, I found the body had the edge throughout the smoking experience.

Final Thoughts

While this is the first formal assessment of the one of the Freyja vitolas, I’ve had an opportunity to smoke all four sizes. One thing I really like about the Frejya line is how each of the sizes delivers its own story. Right now I find myself going back to the Valhalla Robusto. There was a nice amount of complexity in terms of flavor nuances and flavor transitions. At the same time, I found the sweetness and spice of this cigar balanced each other nicely. This is a cigar I’d recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast, but it’s also a great cigar for a novice to move to something medium / medium plus. As for myself, I found this to be a cigar that was quite enjoyable – and I do believe there is some nice aging potential with this cigar. It’s easily worthy of a box split.

Summary

Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: High
Strength: Medium
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Finish: Good
Assessment: 3.5-Box Split
Score: 91

References

News: Las Cumbres Tabaco Showcases Freyja and Señorial Offerings at 2015 IPCPR Trade Show
Price: $7.85
Source: Cigars Provided by Manufacturer
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 151 Episode 161
Stogie Feed: Freyja Valhalla Robusto by Las Cumbres Tabaco