|Viaje Summerfest 2010 Robusto|
This month Viaje released their 2012 version of the Viaje Summerfest as a part of their summer releases. This marks the third year, Viaje has made an annual release of this blend. In each of the years, Viaje has made some variations to the vitolas, but from all accounts – the blend is pretty similar in all three. Today, we explore what is the rarest of these vitolas released, the Viaje Summerfest 2010 Robusto. This particular blend demonstrates that sometimes a blend works better in a one vitola over another. With the Viaje Summerfest 2010 Robusto, not only is this the best vitola for the blend, but it certainly ranks among the best Viaje releases to date.
There is a reason why the Summerfest 2010 Robusto is one of the most difficult ones to obtain. Word is that this vitola was produced by mistake and never intended to be released. Viaje Cigars Founder Andre Farkas made a decision to release 50 boxes anyway. These boxes were shipped in mid 2010, along with more boxes of a shagged foot torpedo version (intended to be the released version). My initial experience with the shagged foot torpedo version was not positive for two reasons: 1) It was a torpedo, and I am not a big fan of torpedoes; 2) The shagged foot was too long to start to get any flavors from the wrapper. In subsequent smokes, I had to actually cut part of the shagged foot off that torpedo – and that helped a lot (although it was still a torpedo). However, in the case of the classic robusto parejo of the Summerfest 2010 Robusto, this shape allows the blend to really shine. Once the 50 boxes were gone, the Robusto has not been made again since and this has become a sought after cigar.
Let’s break down the Viaje Summerfest 2010 Robusto and see what this is all about:
Like a good number of Viaje releases, the Summerfest blend is a Nicaraguan puro. It s highlighted by its Cafe Rosado wrapper:
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo 99 (Cafe Rosado)
This section name might be a little misleading because as I mentioned above, this is a very difficult cigar to get. Here are the incarnations of the Summerfest blend since its release in 2010.
Robusto: 5 x 50
Torpedo: 6 1/2 x 50
Torpedo: 5 1/4 x 52
Churchill: 7 x 50
Toro: 6 3/4 x 50
When I described the blend I mentioned how the Cafe Rosado wrapper stood out. This is a medium-brown colored wrapper with a colorado red tint to it. The wrapper is not oily and definitely has a rougher feel to it. There are very few wrapper seams that are visible. While there are some veins visible, I would not describe this as a toothy wrapper.
The band has a red and gold color scheme. It features “Viaje” in large classic gold font on a red background. Below that text is the text
“Summerfest” in red font on a gold background. That gold
background is situated right under the red background on the band.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
When you have a hard to get cigar, sometimes the hardest thing to do is to place that initial cut. Finally with my Summerfest 2010 Robusto, I managed to muster up the courage and place a straight cut into the cap. The pre-light draw had a lot of wood and cedar notes, but I also detected some cinnamon notes as well. The cinnamon flavors made for an interesting dry draw. When I smoked the 2010 Summerfest Torpedo, I felt that the smaller circumference (of the torpedo tip) inhibited getting some of the flavors of the dry draw. It was now time to fire up my Summerfest 2010 Robusto and see what the cigar experience had in store.
The one thing I liked about the Summerfest 2010 Robusto when it came to its flavor profile is that it was evolving profile. For a good chunk of the smoke, the flavor notes I detected continued to build on each other.
The initial flavors were a combination of white pepper and wood. There was a minor pepper blast (a.k.a Garcia/My Father Cigars style) to start. The pepper settled down as was quickly joined by notes of coffee, cream, and cinnamon. It was the coffee and cream notes that moved into the forefront with the cinnamon, white pepper, and wood playing secondary roles. There was a unique fusion with all of these flavors – and it created one of the more uniquely tasting cigars I have had.
Around ten percent, I noticed some toast notes move into the background. Toward the end of the first third, some dark chocolate notes also entered the equation. The chocolate notes were also in the background. The toast and chocolate notes both helped with the evolution of this cigar as they complemented as opposed to replacing the other flavors. In the second third, there were times throughout the smoke where the dark chocolate did move between being a primary flavor and being a secondary flavor.
Around the midway point of the smoke of the Summerfest 2010 Robusto, the white pepper seemed to mount a comeback. At the same time, another note evolved from the flavors of coffee, cream, wood, cinnamon, toast, and dark chocolate (I could still taste all of these flavors) – flavors of sugar cane. The sugar cane-like notes provided a nice sweetness to the cigar.
Toward the last third, the flavor profile began to simplify as many of the flavors slowly dissipated. The notes of chocolate, cinnamon, cream, toast, and sugar cane all faded. The cigar got more woody and peppery (still white pepper) toward the end. I could still taste a little coffee on the tongue toward the end. There was a definite increase in spice in the last third, and I could also feel the spice in my nostrils. The spice didn’t make for the smoothest finish, but it wasn’t overly harsh either. The resulting nub was cool in temperature, but soft to the touch.
Burn and Draw
This cigar has been aging in my humidor for a couple of years, so I was hoping for no major burn or draw issues. For the most part the burn was good. There were times I had to use my butane lighter for touch-ups, and that kept it straight without any major canoeing. The resulting ash was salt and pepper color and held pretty tightly. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal. With the burn temperature, I could sense that overdrawing on the Summerfest 2010 Robusto could easily lead to a hot burn. This was one of those cigars I wanted to really enjoy, so the slower pace worked well and kept the temperature in check. Overall, this cigar had a very good draw to it as well.
|Viaje Summerfest Robusto 2010 Burn|
Strength and Body
The Viaje Summerfest 2010 Robusto is going to have a little kick to it. It is not going to be overwhelmingly strong, but it still had just enough nicotine to push it into the medium to full strength range. For the body, there are some nice flavors in this cigar. The flavors are robust yet not overpowering. Overall, I assessed this to be a medium to full-bodied cigar as well. The strength and body balance each other very nicely on this cigar – giving you the right dose of strength and right dose of flavor.
This cigar is nothing short of a home run and definitely ranks among Viaje’s best releases. At the time of this writing, I have not sampled the Summerfest 2012, but the Summerfest Robusto 2010 stands above all of the other releases in the Summerfest series. It is worth noting that the Summerfest Robusto 2011 Torpedo does have a shagged foot and is of a similar size to the Summerfest Robusto 2010. However, in my book a torpedo still doesn’t stand-up to a parejo. The Summerfest 2010 Robusto would be perfect to introduce a novice smoker to a complex, flavorful medium to full strength/body smoke. Experienced cigar enthusiasts will appreciate the complexity and flavor of the Summerfest 2010. However, given how hard these are to come by, you might just want to lock these away. As for myself, I’m not sure if I will ever get to smoke these again, but I’d sure like to.
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Source: This cigar was gifted to me by a friend. Thanks SB.