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Review: Viaje Platino Samurai Maduro (Prerelease)

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A few weeks ago, we broke the news that the Viaje Platino Samurai Maduro had arrived in Minnesota at BURN Premium Cigar Specialists and Tobacco Grove. Tomorrow (March 5, 2012), pre-orders will ship from both stores, both of whom still have a limited supply in stock. Rather than rewriting history, here’s what we wrote a few weeks ago:

The Samurai is the limited edition Corona Gorda size of the Platino blend that was first released in 2010 and then released again in January of this year. (We have reviewed both the 2010 version and the 2012 version.) Both times, the cigar has been released to both BURN and its sister store Tobacco Grove.

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This is the first time that Viaje has released a cigar that they specifically designated as a Maduro, choosing a San Andrés wrapper, also an extreme departure from Viaje’s consistent record of Nicaraguan puros. (The 2011 version of the Satori also used a San Andrés wrapper.)

Outside of the wrapper change, the Platino Samurai Maduro mimics the January release: 99 boxes of 25, $8.50 per single, $212.50 per box for out of state customers.

Only 50 of the 99 boxes will be offered for out of state customers, with 25 going to BURN and 25 going to Tobacco Grove. The remainder will be sold to in store customers.

Pre-orders will begin on Monday February 27, 2012 and the boxes will ship a week later on March 5, 2012.

Both BURN (952.808.9259) and Tobacco Grove (763.494.6688) will be taking pre-orders via phone, and the latter will also offer boxes online.

 

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The boxes of the Viaje Platino Samurai Maduro are identical to the Viaje Platino Samurai 2012, except for the Maduro sticker on the side as shown below:

Viaje Samurai Maduro 2

(image via James Succio/Burn Premium Cigar Specialists)

 

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Here’s a picture of all there Viaje Samurais:

Viaje Platino Samurai

In order of appearance:

 

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And the particulars. Viaje Platino Samurai Maduro 1

  • Name: Viaje Platino Samurai Maduro
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L. (Raíces Cubanas)
  • Wrapper: San Andrés (Mexico)
  • Binder: Nicaraguan
  • Filler: Nicaraguan
  • Size: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 48
  • Vitola: Corona Gorda
  • MSRP: $8.50 (Boxes of 25, $212.50)*
  • Release Date: March 5, 2012
  • Number of Cigars Released: 99 Boxes of 25 Cigars (2,475 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3

It’s dark. The picture against the boxes may make the Samurai Maduro look a bit darker than it actually is, but it still is remarkably black with a decent amount of purple hue. There’s a bit of cracking and the typical discoloration on the dark San Andrés, it’s pretty reminiscent of another San Andrés to come out of Raíces, the Illusione ~hl~ Maduro. Aroma from the wrapper of the Samurai Maduro has a sweetness to it, but there’s also a lot of barnyard that is a bit more dominant. There’s a nauseating white pepper on the cold draw with a lot of sweet cocoa and a bit of dry oak note. The Samurai Maduro is somewhere between medium-full and full, classic Raíces all the way.

 

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Lighting up the first third produces a rather toasty aroma. The first draw of the Viaje Samurai Maduro starts with a great sweetness, cedar, nuts, earth and then some cocoa. About 30 seconds in there’s a black pepper that develops, although initially it remains rather light. As the Corona Gorda gets into action, flavor profile develops into a bittersweet wood, lots of earth and a dominating black pepper. It’s not the typical Maduro profile, not the typical Viaje profile. Smoke production and draw are both great, burn line is inconsistent, although never perfect despite my careful lighting technique. Viaje Platino Samurai Maduro 2 The second third of the Samurai Maduro sees a sweetness amp up and then quickly fall apart. Midway through, the woodsy note is the dominant profile along with some green licorice and meatiness on the finish. The black pepper remains and doesn’t lose any strength, although it is much smoother than the first third. Unfortunately, towards the end of the second third, the draw opens up a bit more than I would have liked. Strength is medium-full to full, noticeably heavier than the Samurais I’ve had. Viaje Platino Samurai Maduro 3 Into the final third and a bit more sweetness emerges. The dark chocolate that was noticeable in the first third comes back, although the earth and black pepper are really the dominant notes. It continues to be full, but the Samurai Maduro still is a bit stagnant in terms of development. As I near the final inch, constant touch-ups remain. Viaje Platino Samurai Maduro 4

 

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Final Notes:

  • For whatever reason, it seems like every box of Samurais I’ve seen has one or two that have wrappers beat up from what it seems like is the ribbon.
  • The contrast between the wrapper and the bands is great.
  • These cigars were originally supposed to be made for BURN Premium Cigar Specialist’s fifth anniversary, which won’t take place for a few months.
  • This is the fourth Viaje released in the past two weeks. As I mentioned in the Super Shot 10 review, I don’t understand why Andre Farkas & co. continue to release cigars in clusters. If you were to buy one box of all the Viajes released in the past ten days, it would set you back over $800.00.
  • For those that want to make questions about the legitimacy of the color of the wrapper, remember, the San Andrés ~hl~ Maduro looks identical. For the record, no signs to suggest any cooking/dying. My hands were spotless each and every time I smoked it.
  • I wouldn’t say this is wet, although Tobacco Grove shipped these in a bag with a huge 65% Boveda in order to stabilize the humidity. However, the consistent burn line issues with Viaje has gotten to be annoying. It’s beyond a cosmetic thing at this point, leave it alone and one half of the cigar will be an inch further down than the other pretty quickly. On the second and third examples I smoked, I spent a long time making sure that the Viaje Samurai Maduro was lit evenly and started off burning evenly, it really didn’t matter much.
  • As with the other releases that have gone to the Minnesota stores, because of the high tobacco tax in the state, out of state purchases are significantly cheaper than purchasing in store.
  • Smoke production and draw were quite good. At times, the latter was a bit loose, but by in large this portion of the construction category was solid for the Viaje Samurai Maduro.
  • This is the second store exclusive for BURN Premium Cigar Specialist/Tobacco Grove, who are sister stores, this year. It’s also the third in the past year with the Viaje Zombie coming out last spring.
  • Strength is a bit south of full, body is similar and flavor is right in the full category. It seems a bit heavier than the typical Viaje Samurai.
  • Final smoking time was on average 1 hour 45 minutes.
  • If you are interested in purchasing the Viaje Platino Samurai Maduro, both BURN (952.808.9259) and site Tobacco Grove (763.494.6688) will be taking pre-orders via phone and you can order from Tobacco Grove here.

 

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The Bottom Line: Much like Brooks’ thoughts on the Viaje Samurai (2012), this cigar had a decent flavor profile that didn’t do a whole lot of developing. It wasn’t flat out boring, but it also left a decent amount to be desired. Easiest way to describe this: a beefed up version of the Viaje Samurai. The sourness and black pepper both seemed to have transitioned over, although the dominating earth note seems like a new feature. Overall, I had a lot of hopes from the Mexican wrapper, but the sweetness I had hoped for just wasn’t anywhere to be found in the Viaje Platino Samurai Maduro.

Final Score: 85

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Charlie Minato
About the author

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.

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