The Voyage is the debut release from a new cigar company called Baracoa Cigar Company. The company was founded by Danny Vazquez. Vazquez’s goal was to provide a high quality product at an affordable price. To produce The Voyage, Vazquez teamed up with the La Aurora factory in the Dominican Republic. The cigar made its debut at the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show. Following the Trade Show, Vazquez launched his cigar on July 30th, 2016 at Quartermasters Cigars in Frederick, Maryland. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke The Voyage in the Toro size. With The Voyage, Vazquez comes through with flying colors on his debut. This is an outstanding release and one to definitely keep an eye on.
When announcing his company and The Voyage Cigar, Vazquez explained how Columbus was the inspiration for his first cigar:
“In 1492 Christopher Columbus set out to change the world, by defying conventional thinking and believing that earth was round, and that he could find new travel routes around the globe. Along his journey he landed on the east coast of Cuba, where the city of what is now known today as Baracoa, stands proudly today. This cigar was created, not to acknowledge the discovery of the new world, but to celebrate the courage it took to take that Voyage and defy the odds. Which is exactly my experience in diving in to the cigar industry. So I ask you to take ‘The Voyage’ and discover Baracoa Cigar Company. Our mission is to NEVER SETTLE, especially when others claim it can’t be done.”
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at The Voyage Toro and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Voyage is a multi-national blend using tobaccos from three countries highlighted by a 2011 vintage Dominican Corojo wrapper.
Wrapper: 2011 Dominican Corojo
Filer: Nicaraguan, Dominican
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (La Aurora SA)
The Voyage was launched in two sizes. Each size is packaged in 20 count boxes.
Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 5 1/2 x 54
The Dominican Corojo wrapper of The Voyage Toro has a medium brown color with a rosado tint. Upon closer examination some darker marbling can be seen on the surface. There is also a light coating of oil on the wrapper. I found this wrapper to be on the smooth side with most of the veins on the thin side and the wrapper seams well hidden.
The band of The Voyage has an antique map design with a silver trim. On the map is the text “THE VOYAGE” in red font with silver trim. There are some silver adornments surrounding the text highlighted by a silver medallion at the top. The lower portion of the band has a black textured background. Sitting on that background just below the center of the map are three silver medallions. While they are small each medallion is unique and reflects the story of the cigar. The left-most medallion has image of El Yunque (a mountain located in Baracoa) along with the text “EL YUNQUE BARACOA”. The middle medallion has a coat of arms with the text “REP DOMINICANA”. The right medallion has the text “1492” with the text “THE LANDING OF COLUMBUS” surrounding it. Finally on the far right is the company slogan “Never Settle” in red cursive font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up The Voyage Toro, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut. Once the cap was successfully clipped, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered notes of wood, mixed fruit, cream, and a slight amount of baker’s spice. Overall I considered the pre-light draw of this cigar to be excellent. At this point, I was ready to light up The Voyage Toro and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The start of The Voyage Toro delivered some notes of classic wood, mixed fruit, and cedar. The wood notes took hold as the primary note right out of the gate. The fruit notes were a close secondary note, and the cedar was much more distant. There also was a creamy texture to this cigar that created a great synergy among the other flavors. Meanwhile on the retro-hale, I detected some additional cedar.
During the second third, the wood notes remained the primary note. Prior to the halfway point of this cigar, there were times that the mixed fruit made its way to the forefront. The creamy texture of this cigar also intensified nicely. The cedar remained in the background, but now there also was a slight red pepper note on the tongue. In addition, a little bit of the red pepper now made its way into the retro-hale.
Once The Voyage crossed the halfway point, the mixed fruit notes began to slowly diminish. Entering the last third, the cedar notes increased joining the classic wood in the forefront. While the creamy texture decreased slightly, there still was a very nice smoothness to this cigar. In addition the fruit and red pepper were also still present in the background. This is the way the smoking experience came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Construction-Wise, I found The Voyage Toro to be excellent and this reflected nicely in both the burn and draw. While there was a slight amount of curvature on the burn line from time to time, this was a cigar that maintained a straight path from start to finish. This was also a cigar that did not require a large amount of touch-ups. The resulting ash was on the firm side with a salt and pepper color. While the photo below shows a darker ash, I did find the ash lighter on some of the other samples. Meanwhile the burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw had a nice sweet spot. It was not too tight, nor was it too loose. This was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
From start to finish I found The Voyage Toro to deliver a medium-bodied smoking experience. There was an increase in body in the second half, but overall I still found this cigar to stay in the medium range right until the end. As for the strength, I also found it to remain in the medium range. Toward the last third, there was a slight uptick and the strength did progress into medium to full territory.
The strength and body balanced each other nicely for the first two thirds. During the last third, the strength took a slight edge.
My first reaction after smoking this cigar is that this an impressive debut by Danny Vazquez. Not only did Vazquez succeed in his goal in delivering a high quality cigar at a very good price point, but he came through with flying colors. The Voyage Toro is an excellent offering. It delivers a well-balanced flavor profile. In particular, I loved the smoothness this cigar delivered, yet at the same time there was just enough spice and just enough sweetness. While this doesn’t effect the score, I love the Columbus theme of this cigar and how it was reflected in the packaging and banding.
The Voyage Toro is a cigar that I could recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast. It’s also a great cigar for a novice looking to move to a cigar with a “medium” profile. As for myself, this is a cigar that I would smoke again. It’s a great regular rotation smoke, and one that is certainly worthy of a box worthy.
Key Flavors: Fruit, Generic Wood, Cedar, Cream, Red Pepper
Strength: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Last Third)
Assessment: 4.0-Box Worthy
News: Baracoa Cigar Company Launches with “The Voyage”
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 208
Stogie Feed: n/a
Brand Reference: Baracoa Cigar Company
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted