Senor Andre’s Chicharrones is a new line of cigars launched by Viaje Cigar Company. Viaje is a company that has become known not only for its small batch production model, but its seasonal releases. Senor Andre’s Chicharrones along with the new Viaje Jalapeno construct a theme to the upcoming Cinco de Mayo celebration. Chicacharrones provides three different “flavor” options and maps them to the three wrappers Viaje has become synonymous for: “Original” (Corojo), “Bold” (Maduro), and “Spicy” (Criollo). Today we take a look at Senor Andre’s Chicharrones Original – utilizing the Corojo wrapper. Overall this is a release that smokes very good now, and one that has some significant long-term aging potential.
The three blends of Senor Andre’s Chicharrones are packaged together. It comes in a ninety-count cabinet style-tray with three compartments containing thirty cigars of each of the three blends.In terms of the cigar name, Senor Andre’s is a play on Viaje President Andre Farkas (This cigar along with the Viaje Zombie Antidote are two cigars where Farkas’ name appears on the packaging). As for Chicharrones, this is a dish that usually consists of fried pork rinds, but sometimes beef or chicken are used.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at Senor Andre’s Chicharrones Original blend and see what this cigar brings to the table.
For Senor Andre’s Chicharrones Original, Viaje turns to the TABSA factory in Nicaragua. Last year, Viaje started utilizing this factory when it launched the Viaje Collaboration 2014 and Viaje Cache lines. As typical with Viaje, the blend utilizes Aganorsa farm tobaccos from Nicaragua.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. – a.k.a TABSA)
For all three blends of Senor Andre’s Chicharrones, they are available in a single vitola – a 4 1/2 x 48 Rothschild.
The Corojo wrapper of Senor Andre’s Chicharrones Original has a medium brown color with a slight rosado tint to it. Upon closer examination there is some darker marbling. The wrapper has a light coating of oil on it and it is on the smoother side. There are some visible wrapper veins, but the wrapper seams are well hidden.
The band to Senor Andre’s Chicharrones Original is black in color. At the top of the band is the text “Senor Andre’s” in a partial cursive white font. To the left and right of that text is a bright yellow wing pattern. Below that text is the text “CHICHARRONES” in large white font with a yellow shadow. Below that text is a yellow color fence–like design featuring the text “ORIGINAL” in white font. There is a yellow-colored Mexican rattle to the left and right side of the band. On the far right is the “VIAJE” logo in white font on a yellow stripe in landscape mode.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up Senor Andre’s Chicharrones Original, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut to remove the cap. After successfully removing the cap, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw yielded an interesting mix of sweet natural tobacco, cedar sweet-spice and some floral notes. Overall I was pleased with the pre-light draw of Senor Andre’s Chicharrones Original. At this point, I was ready to light up this cigar and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The start to Senor Andre’s Chicharrones Original delivered notes of natural tobacco, floral, some black pepper, and a slight raisin note. During the early stages of the first third, the natural tobacco notes became primary. the raisin notes also moved into the forefront and seemed to also demonstrate some prune like sweetness. The black pepper and floral notes became secondary notes. The early stages also saw a generic wood note emerge in the background. Meanwhile there were black pepper notes on the retro-hale with some of the raisin / prune sweetness mixed in.
Later in the first third, the raisin / prune sweetness became the dominant flavor with the natural tobacco notes close behind. The pepper and wood notes remained in the background and the floral notes dissipated. The pepper notes did have a longer finish on the after-draw.
During the second half, I found the raisin / prune sweetness became even par with the natural tobacco notes. I found a better balance between these notes in the second half. For the most part, this is the way the cigar experience remained until the end. There was not a huge spice kick at the end. The resulting nub was outstanding – firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Over a year ago, Farkas was a guest on Stogie Geeks and talked about his plans to focus on consistency. Since then, I’ve seen Viaje products deliver better construction and clearly are scoring higher on both burn and draw. Senor Andre’s Chicharrones Original follows suit here. This was a low maintenance burn. It maintained a straight path from start to finish. While there was a little bit of waviness on the burn line, this was minimal. The salt and pepper-colored ash was tight and firm – coming off the cigar in clean chunks. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of Senor Andre’s Chicharrones Original|
The draw to Senor Andre’s Chicharrones Original was outstanding. It had a slight amount of resistance to it which it something I like. This made Senor Andre’s Chicharrones a very enjoyable cigar.
Strength and Body
From both a strength and body perspective, both attributes gradually built in intensity during the smoking experience. The strength level starts out in the medium range and by the second half, it progressed into medium to full territory. The body started out in the medium to full range. By the second half, the Senor Andre’s Chicharrones Original had entered full-bodied territory. In terms of strength versus body, I found the body had a significant advantage.
I thought Senor Andre’s Chicharrones Original was an interesting and enjoyable smoking experience. It wasn’t the most complex smoke, but it did deliver some good flavors. The raisin / prune sweetness was something I normally have not seen on many Casa Fernandez / Viaje cigars often. This cigar didn’t display any signs of youngness, but my gut tells me this cigar has some serious aging potential capabilities. I actually think if the body dials back slightly, this would also add to the cigar experience. This is a cigar I’d probably steer to a more seasoned cigar experience. As for myself, this cigar is easily one I’d smoke again – and one certainly worthy of a fiver.
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium to Full (1st Half), Full (2nd Half)
Assessment: 3.0 – The Fiver
News: Senor Andre’s Chicharrones by Viaje Cigars
Stogie Geeks Episode: n/a
Stogie Feed: n/a