|Viaje WLP Stuffed Turkey 2012 White Meat|
The Viaje White Label Project (WLP) Stuffed Turkey 2012 White Meat edition is one of two blends that make up the WLP Stuffed Turkey 2012 release. Last year, Viaje released the Viaje WLP Stuffed Turkey 2011 – which was Viaje’s first foray into a 60 ring gauge cigar. In a conversation we had with Viaje president Andre Farkas at the 2012, he confirmed the Stuffed Turkey would be making a return. This time there would be two versions which he dubbed “White Meat” (a natural) and “Dark Meat” (a maduro). The Stuffed Turkey was intended to be a seasonal release around Thanksgiving time, however it was last month where Viaje announced the Stuffed Turkey 2012 series would be delayed until December. The Viaje WLP Stuffed Turkey 2012 has finally made it into retailers. In this assessment, we will assess the “White Meat” edition.
The White Label Project (WLP) is a line that has been released by Viaje this year. The cigars in this line are considered somewhat experimental to varying degrees. For 2012 the WLP Stuffed Turkey 2012 marks the third and fourth blends to be released under this umbrella – joining the Viaje WLP St. Patrick’s Day Candela 2012 and the Viaje WLP Winter Classic 2011
Without further adieu, let’s break down the Viaje WLP Stuffed Turkey 2012 White Meat Edition and see what this cigar delivers.
Last year the Viaje WLP Stuffed Turkey 2011 was only done in a natural edition. That cigar featured a Nicaraguan Criollo wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan filler. As mentioned above, there are two new blends. The “Dark Meat” features a maduro wrapper (country of origin not disclosed). The “White Meat” is the natural edition for 2012 and basically the defacto sequel to the WLP Stuffed Turkey 2011. Viaje has not officially released the country of origin for the tobaccos of the “White Meat” edition, but given that most Viaje Cigars are Nicaraguan puros, the same probably holds true for the Viaje WLP Stuffed Turkey 2012 White Meat edition.
For completeness, we list the White Meat and Dark Meat editions:
Viaje WLP Stuffed Turkey 2012 White Meat
Viaje WLP Stuffed Turkey 2012 Dark Meat
Binder: Not Disclosed
Filler: Not Disclosed
|Viaje WLP Stuffed Turkey 2012: White Meat (Top), Dark Meat (Bottom)|
As mentioned the Viaje WLP Stuffed Turkey 2011 was Viaje’s first foray into the 60 ring gauge cigar as it measured at 5 x 60. For both the White Meat and Dark Meat editions, the size of the cigar remains the same.
The cigars are packaged in bundles of 25. Last year the packaging indicated there were 200 bundles produced. This year it appears from the packaging that the number of bundles has been reduced to 150 – however it is 150 bundles for each of the two blends.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my smoking experience of the WLP Stuffed Turkey 2012 White Meat, I went with my usual straight cut into the cap of the cap. Once the cap was successfully removed, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The pre-light draw provided a mix of leather, wood, some mild cherry/citrus sweetness, and a touch of white pepper. Overall, I considered the pre-light experience to be positive on this cigar. It was now time to toast the foot of my WLP Stuffed Turkey and see what the actual smoking experience would bring to the table.
The start to the WLP Stuffed Turkey 2012 White Meat yielded a quick burst of spice that was a cross between white pepper and cedar. The pepper subsided somewhat, but didn’t completely retreat into the background. The pepper could still definitely be detected through the nasal passage. Some sweetness then emerged and joined the pepper notes. The sweetness seemed to be a cross between cherry and natural tobacco flavors. Finally there was also some cinnamon notes that could be detected. Overall, in these very early stages, no flavor would stand out over the other.
By around the ten percent mark, the spice and sweetness soon alternated as to which was the primary flavor and which would play a secondary role. The cinnamon notes remained in the background. Later in the first third, some earth and mesquite notes emerged. The mesquite notes would go into the forefront. The spice and sweetness continued to alternate as to which note joined the mesquite in the forefront. The earth notes joined with the cinnamon in the background.
At the start of the second half, the sweetness significantly diminished, and the earth notes increased The flavor profile became one of primary notes consisting of mesquite, earth, and pepper. The cinnamon notes remained in the background.
By the last third, the mesquite and cinnamon notes had dissipated. It would be the earth and pepper notes that would remain. As the cigar came to a close, the cigar was not overly spice. The resulting nub was soft to the touch – and slightly lukewarm in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The Viaje WLP Stuffed Turkey 2012 White Meat is a well constructed cigar, but it did lose some points when it came to burn and draw. I mentioned above the cigar felt “light”. While the cigar was well packed, the draw tended to be a little loose. I found this ironic because the 2011 edition had a tight draw. Recognizing this early on, I eased up on the draw right away to prevent overburning.
From a burn standpoint, the burn line tended to be jagged at times – requiring several touch-ups to smoothen it out. The wrapper has a tendency to burn rather easy as it did create a black burn on the burn line. This was more cosmetic than anything. The resulting ash firm with only occasional flaking. The ash was on the darker side – which is seen on a lot of Viaje cigars. I’d categorize it as a “grayish ash with some salt and pepper mixed in”. The burn rate was ideal.
While the wrapper burned easy and the cigar did have a loose draw, the burn temperature actually stayed ideal for almost the entire cigar experience. It was only around the nub where it got lukewarm.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, I found the WLP Stuffed Turkey 2012 White Meat offered just the right amount of pop. I actually found the strength to be dialed back from the WLP Stuffed Turkey 2011. Overall I assessed the WLP Stuffed Turkey 2012 White Meat to be medium to full in strength.
As for the depth of the flavors, the WLP Stuffed Turkey 2012 White Meat starts out medium-bodied. By about the 25 percent mark, these flavors moved to medium to full-bodied. Overall, the strength and body balance each other nicely with this cigar.
From an overall cigar experience, I definitely preferred the WLP Stuffed Turkey 2012 White Meat to the WLP Stuffed Turkey 2011 edition. The flavors in the 2012 seemed more mature. I also felt there was some better balance between strength and body on the 2012 edition. Like the 2011 edition, the 2012 is going to lose some points in the area of burn and draw.
Overall, this is a cigar I’d still encourage experienced cigar enthusiasts to sample this cigar. There still might be a little too much strength for a novice to smoke this. As for myself, there was enough going on with this cigar to keep my interest and satisfy me. Given this is limited, I’d pick up a few of these and definitely smoke them again.
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full (Medium for first 1/4)
Assessment: Nice to Have