|Viaje Oro Collector’s Edition|
Last month, we previewed the Viaje Oro Collector’s Edition. This was a special limited edition vitola of Viaje’s Oro blend that was launched at the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show. Viaje President Andre Farkas created the Collector’s Edition Series for cigar and Viaje cigar enthusiasts who like to keep special cigars. Each release of the Collector’s Series is intended to be a one time release of a special vitola based on an existing Viaje blend. Once the cigars are gone in the release, they are gone. This is part of the intent to making the Collector’s Series a special release. I recently had a chance to smoke this first release of the series – the Viaje Oro Collector’s Edition. This cigar features one of the more unorthodox shaped perfectos I have seen. I found this to not only be an outstanding cigar, but actually one of the more impressive perfectos I have smoked in 2012.
Viaje’s Oro line, along with the Platino line were originally core, regular production lines of Viaje. At the beginning of the year, these lines became limited production, small batch releases consistent with everything else Viaje does. This results in vitolas in the Oro (and Platino) lines being released in small batches (i.e. waves). Again for the Collector’s Edition, this particular release is the only time this vitola will be released.
Let’s break down the Viaje Oro Collector’s Edition and see what this cigar brings to the table:
The Viaje Oro is an all-Nicaraguan puro. The Collector’s Edition is no exception:
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo 99
The Oro is available in several other vitolas. We will cover the ones that are being released in this release
Collector’s Edition: 5 x 52
Chico: 5 1/2 x 42
Fuerza : 5 x 52
Gran Fuerza: 5 1/2 x 58
Divino: 5 5/8 x 46
Delicado: 6 x 50
Torpedo: 6 x 52
El Padre: 7 x 52
VOR #5: 5 1/2 x 52 (Modified Blend) *
VOR DT (Double Torpedo): 5 3/4 x 52 (Modified Blend) *
* Note: The VOR #5 and VOR DT are part of the Oro Reserva line which is technically a modified blend. We have included it for completeness.
The vitola is the story with the Viaje Oro Collector’s Edition. This perfecto is more unique in that it has more of an open tip by the foot where the cigar tapers. The other end features more of a traditional torpedo/perfecto tip.
We described the unique perfecto of the Viaje Oro Collector’s Edition above. The wrapper is a cocoa-colored wrapper with a touch of colorado red tint. I’d categorize the wrapper as silky in complexion. It has a couple of visible veins and the wrapper seams are well hidden.
The Viaje Oro Collector’s Edition features the standard Viaje Oro band with a green, yellow, and gold color scheme. There is a secondary band toward the footer that has a black, silver, and white color scheme. Most of the band has a black background. The band has a semicircle section on its upper front part. On that semicircle is the text “Viaje” in white cursive font. On the lower half of the band (a traditional band stripe) is the text “Collector’s Edition” in a smaller white font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my smoke of the Viaje Oro Collector’s Edition, I went with a straight cut into the torpedo tip. When I started with the pre-light draw, I detected notes of grass and earth. To a lesser extent the dry draw yielded some notes of cocoa and there also was a tiny hint of cedar. Overall I considered this a satisfactory pre-light draw experience.
For lighting up the Viaje Oro Collector’s Edition, I took an approach similar to what is recommended for the Berger and Argenti Entubar. The Entubar has a fuse that protrudes from the foot of that particular cigar. It is recommended that the entire foot be toasted. In this case I did lit the cigar Viaje Oro Collector’s Edition similar to the Entubar -making sure I toasted the entire tip of the foot. I figured this would help with making this a cleaner burn.
|Footer (right) of the Viaje Oro Collector’s Edition|
While I toasted the whole foot, I did start smoking the Viaje Oro Collector’s Edition right away to test the flavor profile. The initial flavors of the Viaje Oro Collector’s Edition provided notes of earth, nut, and cedar. The earth and nut notes moved into the forefront while the cedar notes moved to the background. Some cocoa notes could also be detected in the background. As the tip of the cigar burned, the cedar transitioned to more of a classic pepper spice. The pepper could also prominently be detected through the nostrils.
Once the tip was completely burned, I was treated to a pepper blast. The pepper blast was reminiscent of a Garcia family pepper blast. When the pepper blast subsided, the earth and nut notes returned. The cocoa notes were now replaced by coffee notes. The earth, nut, coffee, and pepper notes were all on par. Around the 10 percent mark, the pepper spice moved back out in front again.
The flavor profile of the pepper, coffee, earth, and nut continued into throughout the first third of the smoking experience. The coffee notes got a little more pronounced in the second third, however the pepper notes always seemed to have a slight edge over the other flavors.
As the smoke of the Viaje Oro Collector’s Edition entered the last third, the pepper notes took control. The pepper notes continued to also be detected through the nostrils. The end of the Viaje Oro Collector’s Edition was spicy, but had no harshness. The resulting nub was ideal – especially for an unorthodox perfecto. The nub was cool in temperature and firm to the touch.
Burn and Draw
When I first took a look at the Viaje Oro Collector’s Edition, I was very impressed with how this cigar looked. I also was impressed by the construction of this cigar. However, given the unorthodox perfecto shape, I had my concerns on how this cigar would burn and draw. In general I always prefer a parejo over a perfecto or torpedo. However, the Viaje Oro Collector’s Edition really surprised me as it performed very well.
The burn line needed a little tlc as the tip burned, but that was pretty much it. The burn line remained straight with minimal touch-ups following that point. The resulting ash was the typical gray/black ash found on many Viaje cigars. The burn rate and burn temperature were also ideal.
|Burn of the Viaje Oro Collector’s Edtion|
The draw was outstanding as well. The draw was smooth from start to finish. This was as enjoyable a smoke of a perfecto as I have had.
Strength and Body
I was a little surprised with the strength and body of this cigar as well. The Viaje Oro Reserva blends have always been advertised as an amp’d up version of the core Oro line. For both the Viaje Oro Reserva VOR #5 and VOR DT, I assessed those cigars as medium to full in terms of strength and body. The Viaje Oro Collector’s Edition starts out medium to full in both strength and body as well. However as the smoke moved into the second half, both the nicotine level and the depth of the flavors increased. This resulted in a full strength, full-bodied smoke in the second half. Throughout the entire smoke of the Viaje Oro Collector’s Edition, both the strength and body balanced each other very nicely.
This really was a very good cigar experience. Sometimes I usually am disappointed the way an unorthodox looking cigar smokes, but there was no such case with the Viaje Oro Collector’s Edition. This provided a really nice smoking experience from start to finish – providing nice flavors, a good balance of strength and body, and excellent construction. This cigar probably is one I would steer toward a more experienced cigar enthusiast as it does get to be full strength and full-bodied in the second half. This is a cigar worthy of the name “Collector’s Edition” and if you are a Viaje fan, this is one you will certainly want to have. It’s certainly a cigar I would buy more of and smoke again.
Strength: Medium to Full (1st Half), Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium to Full (1st Half), Full (2nd Half)
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: The cigars for this assessment was purchased from Outland Cigars in Charlotte, North Carolina.