The Wayfarer is the second brand released by Serino Cigar Company. It follows up the company’s first line, Serino Royale. Serino Cigar Company is run by industry veteran Tony Serino. After working two decades in the industry importing and selling premium bundle cigars, in 2016 Serino started his own super premium line. To produce his blends, Serino has teamed up with Omar Gonzalez Aleman of La Corona Cigars S.A.. Gonzalez is the former head director of the La Corona Factory in Havana, maker of many well-known Cuban brands such as Romeo y Julieta, Hoyo de Monterrey, Cuaba, Por Larranaga, Saint Luis Rey, San Cristobal de Habana and some Montecristos. The Wayfarer is actually a second generation project that was spearheaded by Tony Serino’s son Carson, done in conjunction with Omar Gonzalez Aleman’s son Luis Omar González. Today, we take a closer look at the Wayfarer in the Corona Gorda size.
The name Wayfarer refers to a traveler by foot and it’s an appropriate name for Carson Serino, who is an avid traveler and backpacking enthusiast. On a backpacking trip he made to Iceland, Carson had forgotten to pack cigars. Once he arrived in Iceland he went to stock up on cigars. Carson soon discovered the majority of the cigars available in Iceland were Cubans. As he started to smoke the Cuban cigars, he was inspired to develop a cigar with that type of profile. This led to the blending sessions of the Wayfarer after he returned from Iceland. Wayfarer originally started out as a personal cigar of Carson’s handed out at events. Eventually, the decision was made to introduce the Wayfarer into widespread distribution.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Wayfarer in the Corona Gorda size.
The blend to the Wayfarer consists of an Ecuadorian Corojo ’99 wrapper over Nicaraguan tobaccos. As mentioned, the Wayfarer is produced at the La Corona factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Corojo ’99
Binder: Jalapa, Nicaragua
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (La Corona Cigars, S.A.)
The Wayfarer is available in five sizes:
Corona Gorda: 6 x 46
Robusto: 5 x 52
Toro: 6 1/4 x 50
Corona: 5 1/8 x 44
Dalia: 6 3/4 x 43
The line showcases three types of classic Cuban style caps. The Corona Gorda uses a classic Cuban triple cap. The Robusto has a Perilla (fan-tail cap) while the Toro has a 109 style cap (tapered tip with a flat top).
The Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper of the Wayfarer Corona Gorda had a medium brown color to it. Upon closer examination, there was some slight mottling on the surface. The surface of the wrapper also had a light coating of oil on it. This was a slightly bumpy wrapper as it had some visible veins and visible wrapper seams.
The band to the Wayfarer has a black background with gold font on it. There is a retro-look to the band as a whole. This band is highlighted by the text “Wayfarer” in a retro-cursive font. Just below that text is the text “SERINO CIGAR”. There is a small image to the left and right of the center of the band depicting a foot traveler. The text “SERINO CIGAR” also goes around the rear of the band. There are many gold adornments on the band. The band is also trimmed around the edges in gold. The trim has more of a metallic gold look to it.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I normally do, I chose a straight cut to commence the cigar experience of the Wayfarer Corona Gorda. After clipping the cap, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered a mix of caramel, natural tobacco, and cedar. There was a nice dose of sweetness on the pre-light draw and while that’s something I don’t usually prefer, I was very pleased with the flavors I got here. With an excellent pre-light draw in the books, I was ready to light up the Wayfarer Corona Gorda and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The Wayfarer Corona Gorda kicked off with notes of cedar, citrus, sweet natural tobacco, and some hints of black pepper. Early on, the citrus notes moved to the forefront and developed a honey-like sweetness. The natural tobacco notes was a close secondary note that occasionally popped in the forefront. As for the pepper and cedar, that settled in the more distant background. As the cigar moved through the first third, there were some hay notes that also surfaced. On the retro-hale, I got an additional layer of pepper.
On the second third, I found the natural tobacco notes started to become more prominent as a primary note. The citrus/honey combination slowly started to diminish during this stage of the smoking experience. There was an increase in the cedar notes while there still were also notes of hay and pepper in the equation as well. Meanwhile, I found the retro-hale changed from pepper to notes of cedar.
The final third of the Wayfarer Corona Gorda saw the natural tobacco take control. The citrus/honey combination was now in the background, playing more of a complementary role in the flavor profile. At the same time there still some notes of hay and pepper present. This is the way the flavor profile of the Wayfarer Corona Gorda came to a close. The resulting nub was cool in temperature, but slightly soft to the touch.
Burn and Draw
Overall, the burn of the Wayfarer Corona Gorda performed extremely well. This was a cigar that maintained a straight burn path from start to finish. There was some occasional jaggedness on the burn line, but overall I didn’t find it to trigger much in the way of additional touch-ups. The resulting ash was on the firm side. The ash was light gray with some darker spots mixed in, Meanwhile the burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw of the Wayfarer Corona Gorda also performed excellent. This was a draw that had a touch of resistance to it – which is ideal for my preference. At the same time, this was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
The Wayfarer is a cigar that started out on the upper end of mild to medium for both strength and body. Both attributes increased in intensity, but at different rates. The strength would reach the medium level by the midway point while the body moved into medium territory by the second third. The increase in body leveled off in the second half, but I still found the strength developed some additional intensity – particularly in the last third.
In terms of strength versus body, the body had a slight edge for the first two-thirds, but in the final third, the strength would have a slight edge.
The term Cubanesque is a loaded term and I often see it used when someone wants to say a non-Cuban cigar smokes like a Cuban one. I personally find the term to be an oxymoron because there are non-Cuban cigars and Cuban cigars – and they are different. At the same time, I get the concept of saying there are some qualities of a cigar reminiscent of a Cuban. I think that’s the best way to describe the Wayfarer Corona Gorda. There are some very unique qualities to the Wayfarer – especially the way the sweet notes hit the tongue. While the Wayfarer Corona Gorda delivers more sweetness than I would prefer, I found it worked beautifully with the overall profile of this cigar. Overall, Serino Cigar Company’s sophomore release comes through with flying colors. It’s a cigar I could recommend to a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I’d smoke again – and it’s one that easily garners box worthy consideration.
Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Citrus, Honey, Hay, Pepper, Cedar
Complexity: Medium Plus
Strength: Mild to Medium (1st Half), Medium (2nd Half)
Body: Mild to Medium (1st Third), Medium (Remainder)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Box Worthy Consideration
News: Serino Cigar Company to Formally Introduce Wayfarer at 2017 IPCPR Trade Show
Source: Serino Cigar Company
Brand Reference: Serino Cigar Company
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop