A new Viaje Exclusivo shipped earlier this year, but for the first time, it’s getting the Reserva treatment. Previously only relegated to the Oro and Platino lines, the Reserva distinction means the tobaccos used in that blend are from an older vintage, and then are aged longer than usual. The release this year comes in two different sizes: a 5 x 54 Robusto and a 6 x 52 Toro.

With these two additions to the Exclusivo lineup, that brings the total to 17 cigars.

Viaje Exclusivo Vitolas

Viaje Exclusivo Reserva Robusto 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Viaje Exclusivo Reserva Robusto
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L.
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Vitola: Robusto
  • MSRP: $9.52 (Boxes of 25, $238)
  • Release Date: April 13, 2016
  • Number of Cigars Released: n/a
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

I am immediately impressed by the Exclusivo Reserva’s incredibly smooth, soft and oily wrapper. Squeezing it there is a little bit of give – just supple enough to feel correctly filled and humidified. Off the wrapper comes an enticing aroma of graham crackers, earth, leather, hay, cocoa and sweet fruits. From the cold draw I get a pleasant mix of old wood, sweet fruits, damp earth and some cocoa.

Starting into the first third, rich spice, dark fruits, leather, earth and a very light pepper greet my palate. With a perfect draw right in the middle of the acceptable range, an even burn starting out and plenty of smoke production, I’m tentatively hopeful that the construction of the cigar will continue to impress. As the Exclusivo Reserva settles into its groove, spice continues to be the name of the game, and though the profile takes on a sweetness due to the dark fruits, the leather, earth and pepper balance it out nicely so it’s not overwhelmingly sweet.

Viaje Exclusivo Reserva Robusto 2

Spice continues to dominate into the second third, though the other flavors aren’t far behind and the pepper seems to be increasing slightly. While the construction has continued to be mostly good, a small touch up is needed around the halfway mark. The ash is slightly flaky, but does hold on well to about one inch. While the profile continues much the same, I don’t find myself wishing for it to change or shift, since it’s a pleasant mix of flavors that compliment each other well.

Viaje Exclusivo Reserva Robusto 3

Since the single touch up in the second third, the burn has continued on almost razor sharp into the final third. I still haven’t seen much movement to the flavors, with continued rich spice notes up front, followed by a healthy dose of sweet dark fruits, fresh leather, musty earth and the light pepper that never seemed to really make its way out of the background. While the ash is still flaky, it’s about the only complaint I have from the construction, as the draw and burn have done great all the way to the end. In the final inch of the cigar I’m still getting great flavor without any harsh or bitter notes, and it ends as smoothly as it began.

Viaje Exclusivo Reserva Robusto 4

Final Notes

  • Since the Exclusivo is supposed to be Andre Farkas’ personal blend, I’m surprised it hasn’t gotten the aged Reserva treatment before. It seems like the logical choice.
  • The black, cream and silver color scheme of the Exclusivo band matches really nicely with the black and gold of the Reserva line. Combined with the super soft wrapper, it’s a very nice visual and tactile experience prior to lighting the cigar.
  • All three samples performed very similar to each other, though one sample needed a touch up in the final third and not the second third. As far as scoring goes, they’re were all identical however.
  • The feeling towards Raíces Cubanas seems to wax and wane, usually in regards to the construction of the cigars, but the Exclusivo
  • Reserva seems to be on the upswing as it performed quite well.
  • Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time averaged right around an hour and a half.
90 Overall Score

I was pretty excited to try the Exclusivo line with some extra age on it, and really it didn’t disappoint. From the very beginning the Viaje Exclusivo Reserva Robusto provided a pleasant experience, starting with how the cigar felt, smelled and tasted before even lighting it, all the way to the very last draw that remained smooth and enjoyable to the end. I historically have had mixed feelings about the Exclusivo line, but revisiting them later down the road generally sees improvement, so the line has definitely shown its ability to age well. Whether or not you have some Exclusivos from prior years in your humidor, I think picking up some of the Reserva line would definitely be something you should do sooner rather than later, as they won’t be around forever.

Brian Burt

I have been smoking cigars since 2005 and reviewing them as a hobby since 2010. Initially, I started out small with a 50-count humidor and only smoking one or two cigars a month. Not knowing anybody else that smoked cigars, it was only an occasional hobby that I took part in. In March of 2010, I joined Nublive and Cigar Asylum, connecting me with many people who also shared an interest in cigars. Reading what they had to say about brands I had never heard of, I quickly immersed myself in the boutique brands of the industry and it was then that cigars transformed from a hobby into a passion.