In 2010, Viaje Cigars released the fourth vitola in the company’s Exclusivo line, a blend that has been called owner Andre Farkas’ personal blend. Named the Double Edged Sword, the cigar was a 5 3/4 x 52 double perfecto that incorporated a Nicaraguan criollo wrapper covering binder and filler tobaccos that are also from Nicaragua. Only 3,125 cigars were produced and it was sold in boxes of 25.
In August 2013, Farkas decided to release a cigar in the same blend with a similar name: the Double Edged Sword II. While it featured the same blend, the newest version was different in some key ways. First, instead of a double perfecto that was closed at both ends, the newest version had on closed end on the cap and a cut end on the foot. Secondly, at 6 1/2 by 50, the Double Edged Sword II was noticeably longer, albeit with a slightly smaller ring gauge. Lastly, instead of boxes, the Double Edged Sword II was shipped in ceramic jars holding 19 cigars, with only 700 jars produced.
Here is what I said in my original review back in August 2013:
Knowing that the original release of the Double Edged Sword was one of my all-time favorites from Viaje, I was really looking forward to seeing how the new version would stack up. The answer, as so often seems to be the case with Viajes these days, is mixed. While most discussion online about this cigar has centered around packaging, shipping issues and inconsistency in appearance, the actual flavors and profile—sourness and blandness in the first third notwithstanding—were both extremely good and the construction was decent on all of my samples. If the first third was not as bland as it was on all three samples I smoked, this score would have been quite a bit higher.
- Cigar Reviewed: Viaje Exclusivo Double Edged Sword II
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L.
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 6 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Perfecto
- MSRP: $18.63 (Jars of 19, $354)
- Date Released: July 22, 2013
- Number of Cigars Released: 700 Jars of 19 Cigars (13,300 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 1
Much like the last time I reviewed it, the Viaje Double Edged Sword II is covered in a milk chocolate brown wrapper that has a reddish tint to it, and is quite smooth to the touch, but does also feature some noticeable veins running up and down its length. The cigar is just a tad spongy when squeezed, but there are no soft spots that I can feel. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of strong cedar, earth, manure, hay and bitter espresso while the cold draw brings flavors of aged oak, leather, earth, dark chocolate and coffee, with a hint of sweetness.
The Viaje Double Edged Sword II starts out with a very strong creamy oak note, with lesser flavors of bitter espresso, leather, bread, meatiness and barnyard. There is a surprising amount of pepper on the retrohale that does not seem to want to recede anytime soon, and I am tasting a very light indeterminate sweetness on the finish that is just not strong enough to place as of yet. Just after the first third ends, the sweetness in the blend becomes more distinct, becoming a floral sweetness that combines very nicely with a dark chocolate note that has become dominant at around the same time. The pepper does begin to recede around the start of the final third, and I also notice an uptick in the amount of creaminess on the finish as well, which continues until the end of the cigar.
Construction-wise, the Double Edged Sword II featured an excellent draw throughout the entire cigar, and while the burn was not razor sharp, it never wavered enough for me to have to touch it up. Smoke production was massive from the first puff, with the foot putting off dense white clouds starting the second I lit it up. The strength in the blend was well integrated, and hit a solid medium about halfway through the cigar, where it remained until I put the nub down with a little more than an inch left after a one hour and 44 minute smoke time.
Unlike the first time I reviewed it, the Viaje Double Edged Sword II did not feature a bland first third; in fact, it was quite good flavor-wise, and really set the tone for the rest of the cigar. The close to two years of age on this specific vitola in the Exclusivo blend have been good to it, with a new and wonderful combination of floral sweetness and dark chocolate that really went well together, and more importantly, was present for most of the smoke. The flavors were better integrated, better balanced and just more appealing overall, making this a very good cigar at this point in its life and certainly miles above when it was first released.