A little more than a year ago, we posted information about one of Viaje’s newest cigars, the Exclusivo Super Lance. At the time, it was appearing in a 7 1/2 x 48 vitola, although at the time it was known the ring gauge would be a bit thinner at 46 ring gauge. As has become common place with Viaje prototypes in the past few years, the early samples were banded with the familiar black on white bands used for the company’s White Label Project series. Early last month, the cigars were shipped to retailers as part of a slew of Viaje releases in a short period of time.
Here’s what the prototype version looks like compared to the production version:
Exclusivo is a Nicaraguan puro blend crafted allegedly for owner Andre Farkas’ personal taste. Since then, it has taken on a variety of shapes, sizes and release types. In total, there are now 13 releases for the Viaje Exclusivo line. They are:
- Viaje Exclusivo Robusto (Jar Release) (4 7/8 x 50) — January 2010 — 100 Jars of 35 Cigars (3,500 Total Cigars)
- Viaje Exclusivo Robusto (Bundle Release) (5 x 50) — July 2010 — n/a
- Viaje Exclusivo Chiquito (2009) (4 3/4 x 51) — 2009 — 100 Boxes of 25 Cigars (2,500 Total Cigars)
- Viaje Exclusivo Double Edged Sword (5 3/4 x 52) — July 2010 — 125 Boxes of 25 Cigars (3,125 Total Cigars)
- Viaje Exclusivo Short (4 1/4 x 42) — March 2011 — 100 Boxes of 50 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)
- Viaje Exclusivo Chiquito (2011) (4 3/4 x 51) — May 2011 — 100 Boxes of 25 Cigars (2,500 Total Cigars)
- Viaje Exclusivo Tower 45th (5 3/4 x 52) — April 2011 — 100 Boxes of 20 Cigars (2,000 Total Cigars)
- Viaje Exclusivo Corona Gorda (5 5/8 x 46) — 2010 — Event Only.
- Viaje Exclusivo Atlantic Cigar Co. 15th Anniversary Lancero (7 1/2 x 40) — November 2011 — 150 Boxes of 25 Cigars (3,750 Total Cigars)
- Viaje Exclusivo Robusto (2012) (5 x 52) — May 2012 — 250 Boxes of 25 Cigars (6,250 Total Cigars)
- Viaje Exclusivo Tower 45th (2012) (5 x 52) — June 2012 — 100 Boxes of 20 Cigars (2,000 Total Cigars)
- Viaje Exclusivo Chiquito (2013) (4 3/4 x 51) — April 2013 — 100 Boxes of 25 Cigars (2,500 Total Cigars)
- Viaje Exclusivo Super Lance (7 1/2 x 46) — May 2013 — 400 Boxes of 25 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
For those wondering, there will be a fourteenth Exclusivo release shortly. The company has made it known that the second release of Double Edge Sword will take place at the 2013 IPCPR trade show.
- Cigar Reviewed: Viaje Exclusivo Super Lance
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L. (Raíces Cubanas)
- Wrapper: Nicaragua
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 7 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 46
- Vitola: Fundadores Gordo
- MSRP: $10.80 (Boxes of 25, $270.00)
- Date Released: May 3, 2013
- Number of Cigars Released: 400 Boxes of 25 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
Without question, Exclusivo is my favorite Viaje line as far as appearance goes. The deep chocolate wrappers contrast the silver bands wonderfully. Aroma from the Nicaraguan wrapper is somewhat muted with sweet leather, cocoa and orange notes. The cold draw is somewhat sour, but still relatively sweet with defined citrus over earth and leather.
The Super Lance begins the first third a bit fuller than my past few Exclusivos, toastiness, grass, earth and a touch of harshness through the nose. There’s a defined strength from the get go and it doesn’t seem to be letting up. After about ten minutes, the Viaje settles to a profile that is sweet, earthy with bread and leather. On the back half of the tongue a decent mixture of red and black peppers have taken hold at times overwhelming the remaining flavors.
There’s still some harshness present as the second third takes shape, although there are plenty of changes. The Super Lance is now closer to medium-full than it is full as far as strength, although the flavors still remain. There’s no trace of sweet cocoa, a staple of AGANORSA leaf and by consequence Viaje, which is odd. In its place is leather, earth, green licorice, and the sweet and sour citrus notes from the first third. Still present is the pepper, the only thing not entirely changed from the earlier third. The draw was never ideal from the get to, but it’s opened up quite a bit and now keeping the cigar going is becoming a concern.
As the final third enters I notice two changes, a simultaneous increase in harshness while the pepper fades. In inch or so and I give up under the assumption the final inch will only see those two things continue, something I have little interest in. As was the case for the latter half of the cigar, the construction is becoming increasingly problematic, although, I’m able to nurse the cigar to prevent it form ever going out.
- I’m not really sure what this vitola should be called, but putting Lancero in the name seems wrong. It’s actually closest to a true Churchill (7 x 47) as far as I can tell. The Lonsdale is the size its proportionally closet to, at least in my opinion.
- It’s hard to imagine that this vitola is almost a dollar less expensive than some of the Robusto vitolas of the Exclusivo line.
- We are 14 releases in—or about to be—and Viaje has yet to release a Belicoso in the Exclusivo line.
- Viaje’s use of the WLP bands on prototypes is nothing new, neither is the announcing of cigars a year out from their release.
- This is the largest Exclusivo release to date, Viaje of late has been releasing larger and larger releases.
- Despite this, our site sponsors are completely sold out of the Super Lance.
- Strength-wise this starts full and ends medium-full, but because of the length, it leaves a decent nicotine punch.
- While many will continue to criticize Viaje’s construction issues, I’ll say this: over the last 12 months it has been generally pretty good. The problem is given the company’s portfolio largely starts at $10.00, the issues really shouldn’t be there. This is one of a few examples over the last year where construction has been consistently frustrating, but it’s a few too many.
- I can’t think of a line that has two cigars 7 1/2 inches plus and 46 and under on the ring gauge.
- Final smoking time was two hours and ten minutes on average.
The first two I smoked were well above average, the last one was pretty bad. Chalk it up to whatever you want, the score takes it into account, but even at its best, the Super Lance makes me scratch my head. Is it better than the Exclusivo Lancero? No. Is it different in profile from the rest of the line. No. It's refreshing to see a bit stronger start in the Exclusivo line, similar to the first Tower 45th, but the rest of the profile of the Super Lance has been done before and as such it's hard to get excited about it. For the price, this is one of Viaje's best bargains and a decent cigar, but I still wouldn't put it in the top half of Exclusivo's portfolio.