Viaje Cigars had three key releases during the 2014 Thanksgiving holiday season. Viaje Stuffed Turkey Dark Meat, Stuffed Turkey White Meat and Farmer Bill Hatchet. I grabbed a few samplers so I could review all three and for a completely arbitrary reason I started with the Dark Meat.
The Stuffed Turkey cigars are the first first Viaje White Label Projects to become a full fledged release. It is my understanding that these cigars will be re-released every November, similar to the Viaje Full Moon which is released every October.
You may recall that Andre Farkas shared the news of these releases during his appearance on CigarChat. The video is posted below. He also shared the band art exclusively with CigarFederation back in September.
Viaje Stuff Turkey Dark Meat
Vitola: Robusto Grande
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Maduro
Binder: Nicaragua - Aganorsa
Filler: Nicaragua - Aganorsa
Cigars smoked for review: 2
Cigars for review were purchased by RobbyRas from Atlantic Cigars
Quick Note: For this review I used CigarFederation's rating system
Pre-Light: The San Andres wrapper on the Dark Meat is REALLY dark! So much so, it is almost black. The cigar measures 5x58 and is densely packed with tobacco. The wrapper gives off a faint musty while the cold draw offers notes of dark chocolate, coffee and nuts.
Beginning: The Stuffed Turkey Dark Meat started off with a classic maduro profile. Bold notes of earth, dark chocolate and coffee were present right away and there was a nice baking spice on the retrohale. These flavors built up to a full body rather fast and a nutty note was introduced at the 1/2 inch mark. The spice on the retrohale was more cinnamon than pepper and kept things in balance. The overall flavor profile was thick and hearty. The strength was in the medium range and would stay there until the final third.
Middle: The first big flavor transition happened around the 2 inch mark. The nutty note took on a hazelnut flavor and this became a major flavor component. A note of burnt peat showed up around the same time and reminded me of the flavor of Laphroaig 10 Year scotch. Luckily, this note was short lived and didn't have a huge impact on the cigar. I found it a bit odd that it showed up in both cigars for such a limited time. The peat flavor was present for 10-15 minuets in each cigar I smoked for this review.
After the peat note was gone the profile smoothed out. Notes of coffee, hazelnut and dark chocolate combined nicely while the baking spice on the retro slowly grew in intensity.
End: The flavors and strength took a step forward in the last few inches. The baking spice on the retro beefed up as well. The profile held strong to the end and the strength jumped into the full category. The boost in strength was so gradual that I almost didn't notice it, but as I reached the final two I inches I was feeling it.
Final Thoughts: I am really coming around on Viaje lately. I don't know if the blends are getting better or my palate is changing or if it's a combination of both. I was never a big fan of Viaje, but I have found myself seeking them out more and more. I never smoked the WLP version of the Stuffed Turkey so I can't compare them. What I can do is say that this is a really good cigar. It is the perfect "after dinner" maduro. It has a ton of flavor, great balance and enough complexity to keep you guessing. I will be seeking out a few more to smoke now and a few more to age. In six months I think these will be dripping with thick, rich flavor.
Rating: 90 AKA Box Split
If anyone wants to split a box, lemme know. I dig everything about this cigar (except maybe the size) and I think it's only going to get better.