For those of you that don’t know…
As with a lot of his Limited Edition releases, Andre Farkas of Viaje Cigars has once again released the “Samurai”, a limited edition Corona Gorda in the Platino blend.
This is what I said about the Samurai in the review in 2010:
In 2009, Viaje started the tradition of allowing two different retailers to choose a vitola of one of their two core line of cigars, the Oro and the Platino, with different numbers of boxes, usually between 30 and 60. Last year, Habana Smoke Shop decided on a short figurado named the La Pequena for the Oro line, while another store (and I have been unable to find which one, so if you know, leave in comments, and I will update the post) decided on a 5 x 58 stick they named the Five Fifty Eight for the Platino line.
This year, the wonderful Tobacco Grove in MN and the also wonderful NHC were chosen for the honor. NHC decided on a 4 1/2 x 54 Petit Robusto they named the Fernando in the Oro line (only 30 boxes of 25 released), while Tobacco Grove decided on a Classic Corona Gorda (6 x 48) for the Platino line they dubbed the Samurai (only 60 boxes released)…
Earlier this year, BURN Premium Cigar, the sister store for Tobacco Grove, received the Samurai.
The boxes that the Viaje Samurai (2012) come in are identical to the Original Release, and look like this:
And here is a photo showing the OR Samurai (2010) on top and the new Samurai (2012) on bottom:
But enough of that, let’s get down to business, shall we?
- Name: Viaje Platino Samurai (2012)
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L. (Raíces Cubanas)
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo 99
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Size: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 48
- Vitola: Corona Gorda
- MSRP: $8.50 (Boxes of 25, $212.50)*
- Release Date: January 10, 2012
- Number of Cigars Released: 99 Boxes of 25 Cigars (2,475 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2
The Viaje Samurai is a good looking stick with a medium brown wrapper that has a bit of tooth and a bit of oil on it. There are a few veins running up and down the length, but they are not overly distracting. It’s a bit hard when squeezed, but still has some give. The Nicaraguan wrapper smells strongly of barnyard, dark chocolate, hay and some pepper.
The first third of the Samurai starts off with a nice blast of black pepper that quickly moves to the background, along with flavors of wood, espresso and leather. There is a bit of a sour note that comes and goes, but it is not strong enough to hurt the Viaje’s profile. Near the end of the first third there is a noticeable bread-like flavor that starts ramping up in strength.
Into the second third and the Viaje Samurai continues along the same lines as the first third with the same major flavors and more of the bread like note. Not much change in the profile, but the flavors of the Samurai are still enjoyable. Strength is a mildish medium at best and the draw is perfect, although I had to correct the burn twice by the end of the second third.
The final third holds no surprises and sadly, no major changes. It’s still the same major flavors of cedar, leather and slightly bitter espresso, although I did get a bit of a taste of cinnamon near the end of the smoke that was in neither the first nor second thirds, and that breadish flavor note was gone. Strength of the Samurai ended as a solid medium.
- While I appreciate the fact that Viaje decided to tell me which blend the Samurai is with the secondary band that says, “Platino” (for the record, the silver lined Viaje logo is the Platino blend and the gold lined Viaje logo is the Oro blend), I think a Secondary band that says, “Samurai” would probably have been more appropriate.
- Having said that, according to Viaje, all new releases from this point forward will have (at least) a secondary band.
- I smoked two of the 2012 version and one of the 2010 version of the Samurai for this review, and honestly, I enjoyed the OR 2010 version more. Although the blends are supposedly the same, there was a nice sweetness in the 2010 version that was not present in the newer cigar and the profile was more balanced overall, although some of that could be the year of age that it has on it. You can also see the difference in wrapper color between the two releases in the photo above.
- Just last week, Viaje announced that almost ALL of their releases would now be small batch releases, so expect more releases like this in both the Oro and Platino blend.
- The draw was perfect on both samples, but both samples had some burn issues that needed to be corrected. Nothing horrible, but noticeable.
- In both (new) samples, the smoke production was far below what I am used to seeing in a Viaje cigar through the first third. However, production picked up quite a bit in the second half of the smoke.
- If you would like to purchase and of the Viaje Samurais, call up BURN Premium Cigar Specialist at 952.808.9259 or Tobacco Grove at 763.494.6688. BURN got the majority of stock, but Tobacco Grove received some of the allotment and is offering them at the same price.
The Bottom Line: In past reviews and in 2010 Samurai’s review, I have made no secret of the fact that I think the Corona Gorda is one of the best vitolas for any Viaje blend and this is the case with the Platino blended Samurai as well. I still think the Platino Lancero is the best regular release cigar Viaje puts out, but the Corona Gordas in both blends come in second. Having said that, I have never found the Platino blend to be the most complex in terms of flavors, and the newest release in the line is no exception. Good, clean notes and profile, and the price ($8.50) is better than quite a few of the recent LE releases, but just not a major standout in terms of profile.
Final Score: 84
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