Early last year we posted a news story about Viva Republica’s new line, the Guerrilla Warfare. Slated for an April 2013 release, the petit corona came in cabs of 50 and a very reasonable price point, assuring that these flew off the shelf and were fairly difficult to track down. This year the Guerrilla Warfare is getting a second size, a 5 1/8 x 44 corona.
Here’s what our original news story had to say about the Guerrilla Warfare blend:
“The purge grades of the Nicaraguan filler were fantastic, but when I tried the Dominican filler as a pure grade, it was incredible,” said Holly. “It shifted the perception I had that Nicaraguan tobacco had an edge when it comes to strength while maintaining flavor notes.”
Holly said the name is a tribute to the “small, but fierce outfits of freedom fighters that operated in Central and South America during the second half of the 20th Century.”
As Charlie Minato wrote about earlier today, the Guerrilla Warfare Corona is 5 1/4 x 43 slated for a March release.
Here is a photo of the two sizes next to each other:
- Viva Repubica Guerilla Warfare Corona (5 1/4 x 43) — 2013 — $5 (Boxes of 50, $250)
- Viva Repubica Guerilla Warfare (4 x 41) — 2013 — $4 (Boxes of 50, $200)
- Cigar Reviewed: Viva Republica Guerrilla Warfare Corona
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: E. León Jimenes Tabacalera
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
- Binder: Dominican Republic & Mexico
- Filler: Brazil, Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
- Size: 5 1/4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 43
- Vitola: Corona
- MSRP: $5.00 (Boxes of 50, $250.00)
- Release Date: March 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2
The wrapper is a medium mottled brown color and is incredibly smooth and silky to the touch with just a hint of oil. Squeezing the cigar reveals some give, though it’s uniform and doesn’t have any soft spots. The aroma coming off the wrapper is a barnyard note with some bright hay notes up front and some light leather notes hanging out in the background. The cold draw brings a lighter barnyard aroma, though some cocoa and a touch of black pepper on the lips adds to the list.
Starting out the first third I get some strong notes of cedar, pepper, cocoa and a bit of spice in the background. The draw is good and there’s plenty of billowing white smoke on the draw, though that dwindles to almost nothing coming off the foot in between draws. There’s a slightly sour note on my lips after each draw, and while it’s not unpleasant it’s definitely different. I’d almost think it’s from the pectin on the cap and not the wrapper itself. Ash holds nice and firm and while the burn isn’t perfect, it is pretty good and only required one small touch up.
The second third of the Viva Republica continues much as the first, though the pepper has come to dominate the profile slightly more than the other notes with the cedar, cocoa and spice only slightly in the background. On the slightest retrohale I can feel the peppery kick overwhelming me. Overall I wouldn’t say this is a strong cigar so far, though it is quite bold. The burn has needed a touch up here and there, but still overall the construction seems to be quite solid.
Moving into the final third I’ve noticed the pepper has all but faded away interestingly enough. With the pepper gone it’s allowed the other notes to shine a little brighter, including the earlier notes of cedar, cocoa, a little spice and some leather. An interesting sourish note has also been uncovered by the lack of pepper, and it’s not an unpleasant note, just more one that I can specifically taste on my sour and bitter receptors of my tongue. Finishing off the cigar, it smokes well all the way to the end without getting harsh or overly hot.
- With this latest batch of the Petite Corona and the new Corona, the Guerrilla Warfare now have bands and they look good. The bright green logo and lettering goes great against the black background and really pops on the cigar.
- We at halfwheel are always clamoring for smaller ring gauge releases and it’s nice to see manufacturers doing just that.
- This cigar has finally convinced me that I probably underrate the strength of cigars. With Brooks Whittington’s review of the Petit Corona talking about it’s strength and Jason Holly’s description of the cigar, I feel like I should be saying these are very strong cigars. If I had not read those descriptions though, I’d peg this at maybe a little more than a medium plus, though the flavor profile of the cigar is quite bold.
- It’s also worth noting that certain cigars hit certain people harder than average.
- The comments on the Petite Corona review and Viva Republica’s IPCPR post indicate that these cigars are quite hard to find and I can only assume that will be the case with the Corona as well.
- Part of the reason for that is a delay in packaging meant the cigars were somewhat forced out without a formal launch.
- As we usually caution on smaller ring gauge cigars, smoke slow – if you hurry this cigar you won’t get your full enjoyment out of it.
- The cigars for this review were sent to halfwheel by Viva Republica.
- Final smoking averaged just under one hour and 30 minutes.
Having had the opportunity to smoke both the Petite Corona and the Corona, I would say the flavor profiles are virtually identical. That’s a good thing, because depending on how much time you have to smoke, you can choose one or the other. While not overly complex, the full-bodied profile had some very enjoyable flavors of cedar, cocoa and spice with an overlaying pepper note that dominated the majority of the cigar. Interesting and minor sour notes added a bit of uniqueness to the cigar. As far as construction goes, there were some minor touch ups needed but nothing serious enough to detract from the overall enjoyment of the cigar. When these are available I know I will be seeking these out and can easily suggest that you jump on the opportunity to get them as well.