Viva Republica Propaganda Five and a Half Truth

At the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show, Viva Republica showcased its third line of cigars – the Viva Republica Propaganda. Viva Republica was formed by Jason Holly back in 2012. In 2013, the company was named one of the Cigar Coop Five Boutiques to Watch. Holly has partnered with the La Aurora factory in the Dominican Republic to make his cigars. Earlier this year the relationship with La Aurora was strengthened when it was announced that Miami Cigar and Company (La Aurora’s distributor) would become the distributor for Viva Republica. As a part of that arrangement, Holly would also become a part of the Miami Cigar creative team responsible for developing existing brands and create new projects.  Over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to smoke the Viva Republica Propaganda in several sizes.  Today I take a look at the 5 1/2 x 54 Five and a Half Truth.  Overall this is a unique and outstanding blend. This cigar continues to strengthen Holly and Viva Republica as a company on the rise doing great work.

While much of the boutique market is focused in Nicaragua, Holly and Viva Republica are making their cigars in the Dominican Republic at the La Aurora factory. The company has two other lines, the Rapture (available in a Natural and Maduro) as well as the Guerrilla Warfare. The company also did its first limited edition small batch blend for Cigars for Warriors.

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Viva Republica Propaganda Five and a Half Truth and see what this cigar brings to the table.

Blend Profile

The Propaganda features a wrapper called Brazilian Magico Cubano wrapper. While this is the first Viva Republica cigar to utilize a Brazilian wrapper, this is also a different Brazilian wrapper than seen on many cigars. The Brazlian Magico is a cuban seed wrapper that is a rare seed varietal. The remainder of the blend is a multinational blend – something that is seen across the other Viva Republica lines. This includes tobacco from Pennsylvania – which is the state Holly is from.

Wrapper: Brazilian Magico
Binder / Filler: Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Pennsylvania
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (La Aurora S.A.)

Vitolas Available

The Viva Republica Propaganda is available in three sizes.  Each of the three sizes has a name associated with the theme of “propaganda”.  The cigars are skewed toward larger ring gauges and are available in 20 count boxes.

Disinformation: 4 x 54
Five and a Half Truth: 5 1/2 x 54
The Big Lie: 6 x 58

Packaging of the Viva Republica Propaganda
 Five and a Half Truth


The Brazilan Magico wrapper of the Viva Republica Propaganda Five and Half Truth has a rich coffee bean color. Upon closer examination, there is some darker marbling that can be seen. Depending how the light hits the wrapper, it will show a slight colorado red hue to it. The wrapper has a thin coating of oil on it. There are some visible veins and thin wrapper seams.

The banding to the Viva Republica Propaganda is edgy and contemporary, but it has some classic origins. Holly told Cigar Coop that the red, black, white, and gold color scheme pay homage to one of his favorite cigars, the Fuente Fuente OpusX.  The background to the band is red with a gold patterned trim.  The text “VIVA REPUBLICA” is at the top of the band in large white font.  Below that text is the the text “PROPA” and “GANDA” upside-down in large gold font.  To the right, in landscape mode is the text “LEON Y HOLLY” in white font adjacent to the text “UN PROJECTO SPECIAL DE” in gold font in reverse.  Further to the right is a Lenin-like propaganda sketch in black.  To the lower left of the sketch is a “V” and “R” in gold font separated by a white lightning bolt.  Just under that text is the text “RIDE THE LIGHTNING” in small white font.  To the left side of the band is the text “THE LIGA NATIONS” – in black font in landscape mode.  The five country names of the tobaccos in the blend are scattered on the left side of the band positioned various ways.  Finally there are black and white lightning bolts adorning the band.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

Prior to lighting up the Viva Republica Propaganda Five and a Half Truth, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. After the cap was successfully removed, I proceeded to the pre-light draw. The dry draw delivered a nice amount of complexity as it delivered notes of coffee, cedar, natural tobacco sweetness, and a touch of pepper. The pepper seemed to increase as I progressed with the dry draw. Overall I considered the pre-light draw to be outstanding. At this point I was ready to light up the Propaganda and see what the smoking phase would have in store.

Flavor Profile

The start to the Viva Republica Propaganda delivered a mix of cedar, black pepper, and coffee. There was a slight lemon note in the background. The cigar also had a creamy undertone that was present throughout the cigar experience. The retro-hale produced black pepper and at times I found the black pepper could be on the stronger side.

During the first third, the coffee and cedar notes alternated in intensity in the forefront.   The pepper notes were a close secondary note and the lemon was a little more distant.  Toward the end of the first third, I found the cedar became the primary flavor.  The coffee notes had transitioned to a chocolate note and were a close secondary flavor.  The pepper and lemon notes were still secondary and the creamy undertone remained.

During the second third, while the cedar was primary, the chocolate notes still found their way from time to time in the forefront.  The lemon notes transitioned to more of a dried fruit and remained in the background with the pepper.  The creamy undertone still remained.

On the last third, I found the Propaganda picked up with spice and joined the cedar flavors in the forefront. The chocolate and dried fruit were still background flavors.  This is the way the flavor profile held until the end.  The resulting nub was cool in temperature and firm to the touch.

Burn and Draw

Overall the burn to the Viva Republica Propaganda Five and Half Truth performed very well. The burn line remained relatively straight from start to finish requiring occasional touch-ups along the way. The resulting ash was a charcoal gray. It wasn’t the tighest ash, but it wasn’t loose either. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.

Burn of the Viva Republica Propaganda Five and a Half Truth

As for the draw, I found it to be outstanding. It had a touch of resistance which is something I like. This made the Propaganda an enjoyable cigar from start to finish.

Strength and Body

One thing I liked about the Viva Republica Propaganda Five and Half Truth is that it was in my sweet spot in terms of both strength and body.  I found that this cigar fell into medium to full for both strength and body.  There was a slight increase in strength and body in the second half, but both attributes still stayed in the medium to full range.  Overall I found a nice balance between the strength and body as the Propaganda delivers the best of both worlds.

Final Thoughts

Overall I have found the Viva Republica Propaganda to be a blend that has gotten better since it has put some age on it.  The one thing that really impressed me about this blend was the complexity.  This cigar has nice flavor nuances and nice flavor transitions.  The flavors produced also complemented each other really nicely.  I had smoked the 4 x 54 Disinformation, but the Five and Half Truth was the size that really impressed me in this line.  Viva Republica has been doing some great cigars, but I found the Propaganda to be the best to date.  This is a cigar I’d probably recommend to a more experienced cigar enthusiast, but would not discourage a novice to try this – especially if someone wants to graduate to something fuller. As for myself, I really enjoyed this cigar and it’s a box worthy one in my book.


Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: High
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Finish: Excellent
Assessment: 4.0 – Box Worthy
Score: 93


News: Viva Republica Propaganda
Price: $8.25
Source: Cigars Provided by Manufacturer
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 103
Stogie Feed: Viva Republica Propaganda Disinformation (Pre-Release)