Agile Cigar Reviews are cigar assessments where we use a lightweight, shorter format. These will never take the place of our comprehensive reviews. They are only used on blends we have previously assessed. This might be a blend we are re-scoring or giving a score for the first time. It might be a blend we are looking at in a different size. Today we look at the Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Décadas Fundador. This is a cigar we previously assessed back in June 2016.

Viaje Holiday Blend 2019

 

Wrapper: Not Disclosed
Binder: Not Disclosed
Filler: Not Disclosed
Country of Origin: Not Disclosed
Factory: Not Disclosed
Fundador: 6 x 54 (Box Pressed)

Viaje Cigars is well known for its seasonal and holiday releases. When it comes to Christmas time, it’s no exception. Every year since 2009, Viaje has released a cigar just in time for Christmas. The cigar is one of three releases: Holiday Blend, Holiday Blend Candy Cane, and Christmas Tree. The cigar that started it all for Viaje at Christmas is the Viaje Holiday Blend. Today we take a closer look at the 2019 installment of the Viaje Holiday Blend.

Over the years, the Viaje Holiday Blend has been released in several vitolas and several blends across several factories. Originally the Viaje Holiday Blend was produced in Honduras at the Raices Cubanas factory. In 2015, production shifted to the PDR Cigars factory in the Dominican Republic. Since then the company has been tight-lipped on who has produced the Holiday Blend and what the components of the Holiday Blend are. Below is a list of all of the Christmastime seasonal releases for Viaje since 2009:

While the blend and factory details of the Viaje Holiday Blend 2019 are unknown, the cigar itself is a 5 x 54 Robusto. 2019 marked the tenth anniversary of the Holiday Blend. That original release was also in a 5 x 54 Robusto, and the Holiday Blend 2019 marks the first time since the original release the 5 x 54 Robusto has been released.

The Holiday Blend 2019 delivered a foundation of coffee, cocoa, earth, lemon-citrus, and mixed pepper. Throughout most of the smoking experience, cocoa and coffee notes were the most dominant. Sometimes coffee and cocoa notes form a strong fusion (which I dub mocha), but in this case the notes were separate. Earlier on the citrus notes were more dominant, but as the cigar experienced progressed there was more in the way of pepper spice present.

The flavors delivered were medium to full in body countered by medium strength. Normally my experience with the Holiday Blend was bolder, but the cigars smoked had 11 months aging on them in. Burn-wise, the Holiday Blend 2019 did require several touch-ups along the way. While I normally like a draw with some resistance, there were times this draw was tighter than I prefer.

 

OVERALL ASSESSMENT

Final Thoughts

Over the years, the Holiday Blend has had its ups and downs in terms of how each has performed for me. Many regard the original 2009 release of the Holiday Blend to be one of the best. I had smoked that size and found it to be extremely enjoyable.  My assessment of the 2019 one isn’t going to go down as a memorable or epic experience. It isn’t going to go down as a miss either. In the end the 2019 was simply an average cigar for me – and a release that falls right in the middle of the overall Holiday Blend rankings. It’s a cigar I would lean toward recommending to an experienced cigar enthusiast – and it’s certainly one I wouldn’t discourage a novice for smoking. As for myself, I would certainly buy another and smoke it again.

Summary

Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Cherry-Cream, Earth, Mixed Pepper, Wood
Burn: Very Good
Draw: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Minus
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Finish: Very Good

Rating

Value: Buy One
Score: 89

References

Previous Assessment: Viaje Holiday Blend 2015
News: Cigar News: Viaje Holiday Blend 2019 Release Coming This Month
Price: $20.40
Source: Purchased
Brand Reference: Viaje

Photo Credit: Cigar Coop