My Viaje Satori

In the “indie” cigar market (or commonly called boutique cigar market), Viaje has been building a reputation that is helping distinguish themselves from their competition.   Viaje has been employing a “micro batch” process for its cigar releases.  Namely, it is producing the majority of its boxes in small batches (i.e. under 500 boxes) for a release.   Once the batches are gone, so is the cigar.   The other thing is that the cigars are very good.  The majority of these micro-batch releases have been memorable smokes.   This micro-batch release was the vision of company head Andre Farkas.   While retailers have been a little hesitant on committing to a company focused around short-run releases, consumers have been flocking to these sticks as they have been flying off the shelves.  At the 2010 IPCPR, Viaje came out with another anticipated short-run stick – the Viaje Satori.

Packaging for the Viaje Satori
The inside of the Viaje Satori

In my write-up of the Liga Privada Dirty Rat, I discuss and introduced the concept of a Cigar Pre-Review.  One reason why I’ve opted for a Pre-Review as opposed to full blown review is that I smoked the Satori at the IPCPR trade show in New Orleans.  Since I was not in a stationary position smoking this cigar, and my pallet was probably on tobacco overload, I cannot provide the depth of a review I would normally like.  Upon a second smoke, I will be able to add more context. However, make no mistakes – just from what I tried at IPCPR, this was one of the best sticks that came out of the show.

Here are the facts on the Viaje Satori. 

Wrapper: Double Oscuro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan

Word is there are about 150 boxes for each of these sizes being allocated:

Karma – Robusto – 5″ X 52  
Nirvana – Toro – 6″ X 50 –
Zen – Double Ended Box Press Perfecto – 6.75″ X 52

For my smoke at IPCPR, I smoked the Nirvana.   The key thing to this cigar is its Double Oscuro wrapper.   I’ve heard some folks say this is a dyed wrapper.  I can tell you this is not the case at all.  The key to a good Oscuro wrapper is not only its black oily color, but the sweetness that results from the fermentation and curing process.   This Oscuro wrapper hits it out of the park in both areas.   The construction of the cigar is impeccable as well.

As you smoke this, the Oscuro sweetness almost has a cocoa-like sweetness to it.  When I complimented Andre Farkas on nailing it with the Oscuro wrapper (in terms of the sweetness), he was very appreciative – he told me he really worked to perfect and cure this wrapper.

There are also splashes of pepper and cedar in it that balance the flavor perfectly.   The spices are not overwhelming.  The strength of this cigar is definitely on the full side.   I didn’t get a lot of flavor transitions in this smoke, but the flavors that were present were more than satisfying.  The stick will burn very cool.  It does warm up a bit as the smoke goes.  Overall, it was not a harsh finish.

I do predict that this micro-batch will fly off the shelves when they arrive in the retailers.  In fact this should be in Cigar Coop’s running for a Cigar of the Year.

Stace Berkland with Andre Farkas – master behind Viaje