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Review: Viaje Oro Koa (Prerelease)

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Today we will be taking a look at a highly anticipated cigar for all you Corona Gorda lovers out there, the Viaje Oro Koa! In 2009, Viaje started allowing two different retailers to choose a vitola of one of their two core lines of cigars, the Oro and the Platino, with different numbers (usually under 60) of boxes. Last year, Habana Smoke Shop decided on a Short Figurado named the La Pequena for the Oro line, while another store The Humidor in Wichita, Kansas decided on a 5 x 58 stick they named the Five Fifty Eight for the Platino line.

Last year, the wonderful Tobacco Grove in Minnesota and the equally as wonderful New Havana Cigars were chosen for the honor. New Havana Cigars decided on a 4 1/2 x 54 Petit Robusto they named the Fernando in the Oro line, which was released in only 30 boxes of 25. Tobacco Grove decided on a Corona Gorda (6 x 48) for the Platino line they dubbed the Samurai and released only 60 boxes of 25 cigars.

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2011 marks the third year of this tradition Viaje shares with retailers and with that comes the first of this year, the Viaje Oro Koa for R. Field Wine Co. in Hawaii! They will also be hosting a special Viaje event on October 21st during which they will be introducing these wonderful cigars. Only 100 boxes of 25 cigars will be available, which is noticeably more than the previous 60 boxes that were released last year. They are currently starting a pre-sale list however anyone actually attending the event will have first dibs and the remainder will be offered through phone sales.

At this point, Andre Farkas has confirmed that the Platino Samurai that was released for Tobacco Grove last year will be again available sometime early next year 2012. Its unclear how many boxes will be released but I would expect between 60 and 100 boxes of 25.

Viaje Oro Koa 1.png

  • Cigar Reviewed: Viaje Oro Koa
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L.
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo 99 Café
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 5 5/8 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Vitola: Corona Gorda
  • MSRP: $8.50 (Boxes of 25, $212.50)
  • Date Released: October 21, 2011
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2
  • Number of Cigars Released: 100 boxes of 25 (2,500 cigars)

The cigar is really inviting with a dark, oily wrapper with minimal veins and a real rich, leathery look. The feel of the cigar is solid with no give to it at all and it has a perfectly applied triple cap with an overall smooth feel to it. The pre-light aroma is sweet and rich with notes of chocolate, coffee and leather. There is a core of sweet earth as well. The pre-light draw is very sweet as well with a lot of earth, coffee and leather.

Starting off in the first third the cigar starts out a solid medium body with damp, earthy profile, it literally tastes of wet earth, with the smell of musty wood and dirt. The spice and pepper is present right away with a nice tingle on the tongue and through the nose. A little ways into the cigar the sweetness takes hold with a nice dark semi sweet chocolate, coffee and leather.

Viaje Oro Koa 2.png

Coming into the second third the spice and pepper diminishes a bit and the profile gets sweeter with flavors of coffee, chocolate, earth and leather. The dark chocolate has certainly faded a bit and has been replaced with a sweeter, medium chocolate. The draw, smoke production and overall performance are spot on with no problems at all.

Viaje Oro Koa 3.png

Finishing up in the final third the cigar continues on a smooth path of dark, dominant flavors of earth, chocolate, coffee, leather with variations of spice and pepper coming in and out. The finish is medium in length but very flavorful and easy on the palate, keeping my mouth nice and moist.

Viaje Oro Koa 4.png

Final Notes

  • If I had to compare this to any of the other sizes I would choose this one in a heart beat. I have smoked quite a few Oros and I will say that this one impressed me the most, not only does it surpass the other sizes in flavor but it looks the best and feels the best while you smoke it. It’s one of the nicest cigars I have seen this year with its dark oily wrapper and wonderful smooth texture.
  • Unfortunately we couldn’t get a photo of the box itself but we are told it will be a standard Viaje Oro cabinet box of 25.
  • Again if you are interested in these call up R. Field Wine Co. at (808) 596 9463! We can’t guarantee you will be able to get some but you might as well call and get on the list!
  • Final Smoking time was one hour and five minutes.
89 Overall Score

My feelings towards this cigar are similar to my feelings towards the Platino Samurai. In the Oro line, the Corona Gorda is simply the best vehicle for this blend. It offers a wonderful balance of flavor, rich profile, and a nice balance of spice and pepper. It really makes me wonder why the hell they don’t just make this part of the standard line of sizes. It’s easily my favorite of the line thus far.

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About the author

Steve Valle wrote for Smoking Stogie, a precursor to halfwheel, from 2010-2011.

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