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Viaje Exclusivo Short Perfecto Collector’s Edition 2018

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Viaje operates unlike any other cigar company on the market.

Rather than having a profile made up of a series of core lines, offered to retailers on a regular basis, and supplementing it with limited edition releases, Viaje ships cigars in batches.

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The cigars are limited, though in varying quantities, and sometimes they are sold on an annual or semi-annual basis, while other times a specific cigar is only released once. There is at least one series of cigars that is said explicitly to be a one-time release: Collector’s Edition.

In 2012, Viaje—already into its limited edition program—introduced the Collector’s Edition moniker. It’s a special band and designation given to select cigars—so far there have been eight of them—signifying that this particular cigar by way of the combination of blend and size, will only be released once.

The latest to receive that designation are two different Exclusivo Short Perfectos. Viaje’s Exclusivo line is described as the personal blend of the company’s founder, Andre Farkas. The Nicaraguan puro was first offered in 2009 and has since inspired two offshot brands, Leaded and Nicaragua, the former of which uses higher-priming tobacco known as medio tiempo.

Both lines got Short Perfectos, 5 x 56 vitolas, packaged in 40-count humidor boxes. Production was limited to 250 humidors of each version.

Each version is offered in a 5 x 56 vitola and comes in wide 40-count humidors, with the cigars stacked in two rows of 20. The Exclusivo version is priced at $474 per humidor, or $11.85 per cigar, while the Exclusivo Leaded version is offered at $500 per box, or $12.50 per cigar.

*Not pictured

  • Cigar Reviewed: Viaje Exclusivo Short Perfecto Collector's Edition 2018
  • 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: 56
  • Vitola: Perfecto Gordo
  • MSRP: $11.85 (Boxes of 40, $474)
  • Release Date: July 2018
  • Number of Cigars Released: 250 Humidors of 40 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

It’s been a while since I’ve smoked a cigar with a ton of barnyard, but the wrapper of the Viaje Exclusivo Short Perfecto is filled with that smell on top of some leather and acidity. What’s odd is that barnyard is not a typical flavor I get from the Exclusivo. The foot is sweeter with some powdered cocoa and tingles of pepper. The cold draw has a plethora of chocolate, both in intensity and the types of cocoa. At times it tastes like a chocolate milkshake, other times like store-bought brownies. There’s also some mild pepper, but it’s a very small part of the medium-full profile.

The Viaje Exclusivo Short Perfecto Collector’s Edition starts very toasty with some strawberries, white pepper and jalapeño. For the first five or six puffs, the flavor is absolutely glorious: rich, vibrant and full of contrast. Unfortunately, the flavors seem to disappear, particularly in the mouth. Instead of vibrant flavors, there’s some creaminess, minerals and some big pepper, all extremely delicate. The retrohales provide a dose of more developed flavors with a sharp pineapple, some toasty notes and a mixture of red and black pepper. The peppers are quite bizarre; they are super aggressive as far as how sharp and burning they are, but they aren’t particularly strong in terms of how intense they are in terms of the overall flavor. Instead, both red and black pepper lingers well into the finish. Flavor is medium-full—although it’s easy to think that the flavor is full—body is full and strength is medium-plus. Construction is great, though I do wish there was more spoke production.

The flavors in the mouth are still not particularly notable. There’s some earthiness, white pepper and mineral flavors, but most of my time is spent on the retrohale. Creaminess, orange peel and some red and white peppers are found when the smoke hits the nasal cavity. What’s odd is that the creaminess overwhelms the pepper and sits on the tongue long into the finish. Flavor remains medium-full, body is full and strength is medium-full. Once again, there’s nothing to correct on the construction side, but I do wish there was a greater amount of smoke production.

Despite my desire for something different and my attempts to find those flavors, the mouth is still quite earthy. As has been the case with the exception of the first few minutes of the Viaje Exclusivo Short Perfecto Collector’s Edition 2018, the retrohale is where the flavor is. I’m able to pick up nuttiness, a lot of burnt popcorn and black pepper. Once the finish starts, that pepper turns into a white pepper and coats the tongue in a fairly aggressive manner. Flavor is full, body is full and strength is full.

Final Notes

  • Note: These cigars were smoked in late August and the review was written then. The review was delayed as we were trying to track down all of the cigars for the collections, a mission that is still not complete.
  • I find that the Collector’s Edition band looks really odd on the foot., likely because it features the top curved element, which really makes it look like a main band.
  • The peppers, particularly in the first and second third, make this cigar seem a lot stronger, both in flavor and nicotine, than it actually is.
  • I have little doubt that this cigar will improve with a month or two of rest, particularly as the flavors continue to marry. At the moment the flavors are very even, which at times it makes it challenging to pick  out anything beyond the individual flavors.
  • Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time was one hour and 45 minutes on average.
85 Overall Score

While the Viaje Exclusivo is not an everyday cigar for me, I feel like I’ve smoked enough of them to know what the profile is and the Short Perfecto Collector’s Edition is not it. The flavors and complexity I normally find in the Exclusivo, which is my favorite Viaje line, were nowhere to be found. Objectively, there’s not anything wrong with the cigar: it had flavor, it burned well and it was decently balanced. Whether it ever turns into something that tastes more like the rest of the Exclusivo family remains to be seen, but it definitely needs more time.

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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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