Viaje Cigars posted some information on Facebook on 1/11 regarding the Oro and Platino lines.  They also put an update on the White Label Project.  While the information was high level, the Oro/Platino announcement might generate more questions than answers – especially for cigar enthusiasts who are not familiar with Viaje Cigars.   Let’s take a review of these statements – and what they mean.

Viaje Oro and Platino Lines

UPDATE – VIAJE is now 100% small batch. ORO and PLATINO will now be rolled in short runs to ensure quality and consistency. In addition, both will now feature a primary and secondary band. (Source Viaje Cigars, Facebook 1/11/12)

What does this mean?

If you are not familiar with Viaje Cigars, Viaje has built their reputation around small batch, limited production releases.  Small batch means exactly what it says – there are not a lot of cigars rolled in a particular production batch.  This usually results in a retailer getting one to two boxes of a cigar or blend that is released.  The limited production can take on a variety of different dimensions:  1) Viaje can release a blend in a one time release (like many of the Viaje White Label Project releases); 2) Viaje can release a blend in small batches in a particular vitola(s) – and then change the vitola(s) from batch to batch (this was done with the Viaje Skull and Bones‘ release);  3) Viaje can annually produce a limited run on a particular blend (such as the Viaje Summerfest, Viaje 50/50, Viaje Satori, and now Viaje Late Harvest).   Up until this point, the exception to the small batch, limited production attributes has been the Oro and Platino lines.  Now that has changed.

You might ask – the Oro and Platino lines do fall into a small batch, limited production model -namely with the Viaje Oro Reserva and Viaje Platino Reserva blends?  The “Reserva” version of these cigars are actually variations of the Oro and Platino blends respectively.   The “core” Oro and Platino lines are different and up until this announcement have been part of regular production.  I’ve heard a couple of retailers say they’ve had difficulty getting the core Oro and Platino, but I cannot comment how widespread this issue is.

While Viaje cigars are highly sought after because they are done in small batch, limited production models, the core Oro and Platino lines have probably been the least sought after.   This – along with a banding change makes these potentially more desirable.  If there are issues with keeping up with production, this move could help alleviate those issues.  With this announcement, Viaje operates all of their lines in the small batch, limited production model.

Blend Profile

The blend for the Oro and Platino is very similar.   The Oro blend is considered more fuller from both a strength and body perspective.

Wrapper: Nicaragua Corojo 99
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Vitolas Available

The Platino and Oro lines do have different sizes even though their are similarities to the blends.   This is important to note because a small batch, limited production model could impact what when a consumer will see what vitolas.  There is nothing official from Viaje, but this is still something to keep in mind.

Fuerza: 5 x 52
Chico: 5 1/2  x 44
Gran Fuerza: 5 1/2 x 58
Torpedo: 6 x 52
Delicado: 6 x 50
El Padre: 7 x 52
Jefe: 7 x 50
Lancero: 7 1/2 x 38

Chiva: 5 x 52
Fino: 5 3/4 x 44
Belicoso: 6 x 52
Sueno: 6 x 54
Jefe: 7 x 50
Lancero: 7 1/2 x 38

White Label Project

Thank you to all who participated in the White Label Project. Due to all of your feedback STUFFED TURKEY will now be added to the slate for Thanksgiving 2012. The first WLP of 2012 will be releasing soon. Stay tuned… (Source Viaje Cigars, Facebook 1/11/12)

What does this mean?

The White Label Project (WLP) is a line that has been released by Viaje last year.  The cigars in this line are considered somewhat experimental to
varying degrees.  One such blend was the Viaje WLP Candela (our #28 Cigar for 2011) released earlier this year. Another White Label Project blend is the WLP 50/50 Red.   These fit the small batch, limited production model described above.

The Viaje White Label Project Stuffed Turkey was assessed last November on Cigar Coop.   It will be making a return in 2012.   Here were our thoughts on this blend.