Today we will be taking a look at the Viaje Exclusivo Short in our first review of “Viaje week”. There are so many Viaje LE’s that we felt we needed to review so we just decided to cram them all into one week for your viewing pleasure! The Viaje Short was rumored to be created for the wintery states giving us something smaller to smoke during the cold winter months. 100 boxes of 50 were made and originally it was reported that only 2 shops would be getting this release, however, a few different top Viaje retailers have received them. We go ours from our great friends at Empire Cigars in North Carolina. The cigar is an Exclusivo blend rolled in a standard Short Vitola coming in at 4 1/4 x 42 and sports a pigtail at the head. They sell for $6.50 per stick and come in cabinets of 50.

The Viaje Exclusivo Short is a very petit sized cigar and looking at it you can’t help but say “This cigar is $6.50!!?” I find that to be incredibly high for an ultra petit corona. Other then that, my initial impression is good though, it has a nice medium chocolate colored wrapper with a firm pack and a tight seam. The pigtail at the head is very attractive. The cigar smells of hay, tobacco and some cedar. The pre-light draw is full of sweet tobacco and some barnyard type notes.

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  •     Cigar Reviewed: Viaje Exclusivo Short
  •     Country of Origin: Honduras
  •     Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L. (Raíces Cubanas)
  •     Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo
  •     Binder: Nicaragua
  •     Filler: Nicaragua
  •     Size: 4 1/4 Inches
  •     Ring Gauge: 42
  •     Vitola: Petit Corona
  •     MSRP: $6.50 (Boxes of 50, $325)
  •     Date Released: March 2011
  •     Number of Cigars Released: 100 Boxes of 50 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)

The first third offers an extreme blast of spice and pepper not uncommon with the exclusive blend. As I predicted it mellows nicely after 5 or 6 puffs. Initial flavors are wood, leather and a touch of coffee. There is an intense black pepper flavor on the finish as well as an overall creamy, almost chewy texture to the smoke.

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Coming into the second third the cigar switches up a bit. The leather has completely vanished and the coffee has turned into a deeper espresso like flavor. There is also a bit of semi sweet chocolate on the finish along with some pepper. The burn gets a little unstable at times but after touching it up it’s not an issue.

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Finishing up in the final third the pepper completely dies down to almost nothing, the espresso reverts back to a more mellow coffee tone from the first third and the leather comes back a bit. The profile overall is earthy with a nice sweetness. The finish is long with just a bit of spice.

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85 Overall Score

While I enjoyed this cigar quite a bit and found it to be somewhat on par with a lot of the exclusivo blends, I am not quite sure if the vitola works for this blend as I didn’t find it to be as complex or balanced as say the original jar release or the Double Edge Sword but it was still a enjoyable cigar. The price is also a huge factor, I certainly wouldn’t spend the money on these simply because I don’t think any cigar of this size should cost that much. Was it a good cigar? Absolutely! Would I go out a search for more and spend that kind of money on them?? NOPE. Good cigar, but the price point is way off, in my humble opinion.

Steve Valle

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