Last month, Viaje shipped the Exclusivo Leaded Double Edged Sword, a new cigar that is a combination of two different Viaje releases: the 5 x 52 Double Edged Sword vitola and the Exclusivo Leaded blend.
The original Double Edged Sword vitola was a limited edition size in the Exclusivo line that was released in 2010 and 2013, while the Leaded blend was first released in 2014 with a re-release in 2016.
As the name suggests, the Exclusivo Leaded Double Edged Sword is a stronger version of the Exclusivo blend, achieved by incorporating medio tiempo leaves, which grow at the highest portion of the plant above the ligero priming and aren’t found on every plant. This makes the tobacco not only quite rare, but also quite expensive, especially when you consider that most tobacco plants do not actually have usable medio tiempo tobacco. If media tiempo tobacco sounds familiar, you might remember it being used in the Maestro del Tiempo 6102R from Warped Cigars, the Cohiba Behike BHK and the La Palina Goldie, among others.
According to a Viaje spokesperson, there were 500 boxes of the Exclusivo Leaded Double Edged Sword shipped last month, with each box containing 25 cigars. Each cigar is priced at $10.50, before taxes, with the rolling happening at Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L. in Honduras.
- Cigar Reviewed: Viaje Leaded Double Edged Sword
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L.
- Wrapper: Nicaragua
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Perfecto
- MSRP: $10.50 (Boxes of 25, $262.50)
- Release Date: March 2017
- Number of Cigars Released: 500 Boxes of 25 Cigars (12,500 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
As with quite a few Viaje Exclusivo releases, the Exclusivo Leaded Double Edged Sword is covered in a thick, dark expresso brown wrapper that is at odds with itself, being both rustic looking and smooth to the touch. There is an complete lack of oil but a very obvious mold mark, as well as a huge soft spot on the back end right under the band. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of sweet oak, leather, dark chocolate nibs and manure, while the cold draw brings flavors of rich hot chocolate, earth, creamy wood, black pepper and a touch of citrus.
As expected with a perfecto tipped cigar, the Viaje Exclusivo Leaded Double Edged Sword takes a bit to get lit and drawing well, but once it opens up the flavors start coming quickly, with a nice dominant earth and creamy cedar base interspersed with flavors of leather, hay, barnyard, cashews and anise. There is a wonderful raisin sweetness noticeable on the retrohale along with some black pepper, while I am also picking up some slight spice on my tongue. The draw is excellent so far after a Dickman cut, along with very good burn, and the smoke production is massive off of the foot. The overall strength starts off fairly light—especially for a Viaje blend—and while it does begin to increase, it does not hit the medium mark by the time the first third comes to an end.
The raisin sweetness increases in the second third of the Viaje Leaded Double Edged Sword and I start to pick up a slight citrus note on the retrohale as well as a continuation of the black pepper. The dominant flavor shifts to a creamy leather note, followed by freshly roasted coffee beans, gritty earth, cedar, hay and bitter dark chocolate. Construction-wise, both the burn and draw continue to impress, while the smoke production seemingly increases a tiny amount compared to the first third. The strength increases noticeably starting around the halfway point, and ends the second third firmly in the medium range and still rising.
Although the raisin sweetness is still present in the final third of the Viaje Exclusivo Leaded Double Edged Sword, the amount is noticeably reduced compared the the first and second thirds. There is also a bit more black pepper on the retrohale. The profile shifts again, with an espresso bean note now the dominant flavor, interspersed with flavors of aromatic cedar, cocoa nibs, hay, citrus and slight creamy leather. The burn and draw remain excellent until the end, and the overall strength ends up hitting a point in-between the medium and full marks before I put the nub down with about an inch left.
- Honestly, I am shocked at the $10 price point for these cigars, considering that is the same price as the original Double Edged Sword from 2010, which did not include the media tiempo leaves.
- Since it debuted in 2010, the Exclusivo line has been described as the personal blend for Viaje’s owner, Andre Farkas.
- I have always loved this vitola, but it is not easy to smoke until you get about a half inch into it due to the perfecto foot.
- The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- The final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 42 minutes.
- If you would like to purchase any of the Viaje Leaded Double Edged Sword, site sponsor Atlantic Cigar has them in stock here.
I have long thought that the Exclusivo blend was one of Farkas’ best—with the original Double Edged Sword and Tower Cigars 45th as two of my top cigars of all time—and while the Exclusivo Leaded Double Edged Sword does not come close to the best in the line, it is still quite good. In fact, the combination of distinct raisin sweetness, black pepper and citrus that is present throughout the profile makes for a very enjoyable smoke, and the fact that the dominant flavor kept changing was a nice bonus. Construction was excellent overall with a near perfect draw—albeit after the burn line passed the half inch mark due to the perfecto foot—and a burn that only needed to be touched up once or twice on each sample. A very good smoke, and one that I look forward to smoking again.