July 11, 2011


The second cigar I am reviewing from the Viaje new releases is the cigar that shocked a lot of people last year, by taking the number two spot in Cigar Aficionado's Top 25 of 2010. It didn't shock people because it was a bad cigar, it shocked them because not a lot of people had even heard of it. Luckily for me, I live in Columbus Ohio, home of New Havana Cigars -- a long time dealer of Viaje who gets 99% of their releases. I had smoked the V.O.R. (which stands for Viaje Oro Reserva) from last year and knew it was a great cigar. For 2011 the Viaje V.O.R is being released in a double torpedo box-pressed shape .

Quote from Andre Farkas about the shape:
VOR & VPR DT were originally a one off size (that's why the Edition Limitada band is on the cigar) but I like the shape too much. This will be a permanent addition to the Reserva line up.

Vitola: Double Torpedo box-pressed
Length: 5 3/4
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Nicaragua Corojo 99
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $11.50 in full boxes
Smoking Location: New Havana Cigars
Beverage: water

Do you think there are enough bands on this cigar? I'm pretty sure most people will say the same thing at first glance. Just like the La Sirena from Miami Cigars, most of this cigar's wrapper is covered up by bands. Or in the case of La Sirena, one band. What was visible of the wrapper showed off a medium brown color with darkened areas that looked like wood spalting. I noted this also on the most recent version of the Viaje Summerfest. The cigar was evenly packed and constructed very well for its difficult shape. The pre-lit aroma was faint, but did smell slightly of earthy tobacco. I clipped both ends of this double torpedo and the cold draw was quite surprising. I tasted some sweet apricot flavors that I had not expected from the pre-lit aroma.

First Third   

My Viaje V.O.R. started out with a full-on assault of spice. From the moment the flame hit the cigar, I was getting a ton of black and white pepper flavors covering my entire palate. An inch into the cigar, the front of the profile was still spicy as ever. What did change up is the flavor on the finish. I started to taste a deep leathery flavor that made for a nice little relief from the pepper.  I am a self-proclaimed lover of peppery cigars, but I also love a little mixture of flavors. This stick was producing just that. It needs to be noted that just like the spice, from the first puff, it rockets you into a full-body, full-power smoking experience. This one is not for the medium strength guys. The draw was excellent and the stick burned evenly.

Second Third  

The second third of my Viaje V.O.R. saw the flavors turn to what I had been expecting from this cigar. I remembered smoking one from last year and really felt like the flavors were reminiscent of old, refined tobacco. At about the halfway point of this stick, that is exactly what I was tasting again. Whereas in the first third, it was very similar to the normal Oro release from Viaje, this point was where things got different. This flavor was very interesting and I highly suggest to anyone who wants to experience it, to pick up one of these cigars. There are no other words to describe it other than old tobacco. Mixing with this flavor were still the spicy, peppery notes, and now just a mild afterthought of leather. Again, the strength is very strong and even though I was only in the second third, I could feel my heart rate picking up.  

Final Third and Final Thoughts 

The final third of my Viaje V.O.R. was once again dominated by that old tobacco flavor that came on at about the half way point of the cigar. The spice seemed to fade off a bit to make way for this star, but it was still there enough to make me go for some sips of water. I smoked the last third of this cigar very slowly because the strength was way up there for me and I didn't want to knock myself out.  I smoke a lot of heavy sticks and this, for me, is way up there in strength. The construction was great all the way to the nub and I never had to do any touch ups, even when smoking slowly.

My final thoughts on the Viaje V.O.R. DT? This is a much better effort from Viaje. I've historically been a fan of this brand, but have had some disappointment with some of their newer releases. I will 100% say I was not disappointed with this one and it lived up to just what I remembered from last year. The old tobacco flavor I got from this blend is unique, which makes for a cigar that I would like to sit down and pay attention to. I'm going out on a limb here, but maybe that is the flavor that wowed the people at Cigar Aficionado so much? I have no idea if that is true.

Would I buy it again? I would buy a few more of these to keep around for when I want something out of the ordinary. I know of a few still kicking around from last year, so it would be cool to see what even more aging does to them.

Would I buy a box? I don't think I would buy an entire box of these because there are other sticks from Viaje that I like more. I'm sure it's box worthy for some people though because it is a very nice cigar.



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