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Sometimes things truly are just coincidence.

In the case of the two most recent sizes in Las Cumbres Tabaco’s portfolio, José Blanco and Emma Viktorsson both picked box-pressed vitolas, the former a box-pressed corona for Señorial Maduro, the latter a box-pressed toro gordo for Freyja. And yes, they have assured me it wasn’t done in collaboration with each other.

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Viktorsson again shared her cultural heritage by way of her new addition Mjölnir, a 6 1/2 x 55 trunk-pressed toro which is named for Thor’s hammer.

She said that she had been wanting to add a larger size to the line, which debuted in four sizes: Sessrúmnir Corona Larga (5 3/4 x 42), Valhalla Robusto (5 1/2 x 50), Thor’s Toro (6 x 54) and Valkyrie Pyramid (6 1/2 x 52).

“I did not want to simply add a round size, I wanted something different and box-press clicked for me,” adding that the size evoked thoughts of Thor’s hamme due to its size and shape.

Las Cumbres Freyja Mjolnir IPCPR 2016

The Freyja Mjölnir keeps the blend’s components the same, using a Dominican criollo 98 wrapper, Mexican San Andrés binder and fillers of Dominican criollo 98, Dominican piloto cubano and Nicaraguan tobacco from Estelí.

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  • Cigar Reviewed: Freyja Mjölnir
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Tabacalera Palma
  • Wrapper: Dominican Republic (Criollo 98)
  • Binder: Mexican San Andrés
  • Filler: Dominican Republic (Criollo 98, Piloto Cubano), Nicaragua (Estelí)
  • Length: 6 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 55
  • Vitola: Toro Gordo
  • MSRP: $9 (Boxes of 21, $189)
  • Release Date: August 2016
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

The Freyja Mjölnir gets a near flattening box press, which gets me thinking about two things: first, I would have likely never guessed this is a 55-ring gauge; second, having been to Tabacalera Palma and seen the process, this cigar takes me right back to the factory. The wrapper is a touch darker than caramel at its lightest and a dusty light brown at its mottled darkest, with a good vein structure but some interesting wrinkling at points, possibly just the way the leaf is or an effect of the press. It’s soft and smooth in the hand, while the cigar itself has a bit of give when squeezed front to back and less so side to side. It’s fairly uniform in firmness, with only one soft spot detected amongst the three samples. The aroma from the foot is bright, floral and toasty, with a bit of pepper as well, reminding me a bit of Champagne or sparkling wine but with a heartier fruit note and occasionally more prominent breads. The cold draw is a touch loose but not worrisome except for one wide open cigar, offering a light white bread flavor and a much simpler introduction.

Having smoked some of the other sizes in the Freyja line, I’m prepared for the opening profile of the Mjölnir, which is rich in terroir that shows a good amount of pepper, dry wood, and a touch of salt that hits with good initial strength and flavor before settling into the palate for a lingering finish. There is plenty of smoke in the early goings, and the slightly loose cold draw turns out to be fine once the tobacco has been lit. After the first bit of ash drops off, the flavor pivots a bit and picks up notes of a crusty breads, vanilla latte and peanuts, with the wood and pepper yielding a bit of the flavor but none of the physical sensation on the tongue. Retrohales still deliver a pepper-dominant smoke that is bright in the nose and an appreciated complement to the flavor.

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Bright white pepper remains a constant though the first half, particularly in the nose where it is easily the most vivid component of the smoke. The palate gets some of it as well, though when combined with the dry woods and somewhat sharp soil, doesn’t stand out quite as clearly. There is also a bread flavor that has been part of the cigar for some time, though it’s fleeting and not the most engaging, until it takes a sourdough turn ahead of the midpoint and summons some more vivid memories. Like the bread, there are also some earthy notes, and for as much I find myself clamoring to pick out the Mexican San Andrés binder leaf’s contribution to the flavor, I don’t get a corresponding return. It’s there, but not in the way that the flavor might be in other cigars. Just as I’m beginning to think that the Freyja Mjölnir is turning into a very linear cigar, the flavor softens and the smoke thickens up, while the aroma makes a fragrant pivot heading into the final third.

freyja-mjolnir-3

While the shift doesn’t last quite as long as I’d hoped, the Freyja Mjölnir explodes with a rich floral sweetness in the aroma as its signal that the final third is now underway. It fades before slowly reemerging in the aroma a few puffs later, though as I find myself looking for it I also notice that the flavor continues to bite into the sides of my tongue, an enjoyable sensation when used sparingly but one that has become a bit too frequent. The smoke continues to develop a cake donut consistency, thick and almost chewy, it does a good job hiding the pepper that is found via retrohales while softening it a bit on the tongue. Even though the pepper never completely left the equation, it has returned with a renewed vigor in the final two inches. The smoke gets a tick or two hotter in the final inch, which only serves to sharpen the pepper even more and encourage it to become more aggressive on the tongue, a flavor that leads to the cigar being put down.

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Final Notes

  • Viktorrson says it’s pronounced ‘Me-YOEL-nir,” with a soft l and a rolled r.
  • While the wrapper doesn’t show a ton of tooth on its own, as soon as the foot is lit it becomes easy to see it as they turn white in the ash.
  • I can’t say that I noticed the Freyja Mjölnir being particularly flaky with its ash, but looking down at the black sweatshirt I had on while smoking the second sample proved otherwise.
  • I visited Tabacalera Palma during the 2015 ProCigar Festival, and my recap includes pictures of how the factory box presses cigars such as the Freyja Mjölnir.
  • Each of the three samples more or less felt the same in my hand in terms of firmness, but there were drastic differences in the cold draw, ranging from a touch firm to wide open.
  • The third cigar seemed to be the most box-pressed of the three, something I noticed as I tried to set it in the ashtray and it seemed to be making barely any contact with the stirrups of my Stinky ashtray.
  • Additionally, while each cigar suffered from some combustion issues, the first two weren’t problematic enough for me to drybox the third, though that ended up being the worst burning of the bunch and the one that likely needed some time to dry out. I lost track of how many times I had to relight it during its second half and ultimately put it down with about two inches to smoke out of sheer frustration.
  • The above point is a reminder of how cigars from the same box can have a good bit of variability. While they are generally rolled around the same time, that doesn’t always mean that every single one will smoke the same. Different batches of filler could have been used, a roller or buncher could have been a bit heavy-handed with the mister, or the airflow just wasn’t as good in one spot of the aging room as it was in another.
  • For some reason, this vitola of the Freyja line seemed a bit rougher to my palate than the other sizes I’ve smoked. I’m not quite sure if it’s the result of the different proportions or maybe just a slightly different batch of tobacco, but there was a bit more irritation in the throat than I recall from previous experiences.
  • I covered the Las Cumbres Tabaco booth during the 2016 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show.
  • The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel
  • Final smoking time was two hours and 30 minutes on average.
85 Overall Score

I still remember smoking my first Freyja, which happened to be in the company of Jochy Blanco of Tabacalera Palma and some of the company’s staff, and thinking something along the lines of “this is a pretty darn good cigar.” I still hold that to be the case after smoking the Mjölnir vitola, though for some reason it didn’t impress me quite as much as the other sizes in the line. There's a bit more roughness at points, and while this size offers a number of very enjoyable notes, the palate sometimes feels like it's forced to fight off the pepper that can be a bit too dominant in the nose. There's less cooperation between all the senses in this expression of the blend than in the others I've smoked, and ultimately what leads to Mjölnir's final score.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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