There has been a growing trend in recent years for the makers of cigars to release the blends that they themselves smoke.

The Viaje Exclusivo blend is said to be Andre Farkas’s personal blend. Over the past two years, there have actually been quite a few different releases in this particular blend, albeit all very limited.


There are more vitolas to be released this year and there are always rumors of even more, of course. There are five Exclusivo blend on the Market at this moment, and two that have not yet been released.

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  • Viaje Exclusivo Robusto (Jar)
  • Viaje Exclusivo Robusto (Bundle)
  • Viaje Exclusivo Chiquito
  • Viaje Double Edged Sword
  • Viaje Exclusivo Short
  • Viaje Tower 45th (Unreleased)
  • Viaje Corona Gorda (Unreleased)

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As its name implies, the Viaje Exclusivo Tower Cigars 45th is being released to commemorate Tower Cigars 45th Anniversary. However, as you may or may not know, the store’s 45th is actually in 2012, not 2011.

So why release an Anniversary cigar early? Well, when Mark Just at Tower Cigars asked Andre Farkas to roll him a special cigar for the release in October of 2010, he assumed the entire process would take a little while and wanted to ensure it would be ready for the next year. What he did not know is that Farkas was already looking for just such a project and had already thought up a few things.

As a result, it took quite bit less time then normal for the cigars to be finished, since the initial legwork was already in process. Just did not want them to sit for another entire year, these cigars have already been rolled and sitting in boxes for seven months now, so he decided to release it a year early.

Just plans on releasing a cigar every year on the store’s anniversary, but they may or may not be the same vitola and blend. There are 100 total boxes of 20 being released.

The boxes are priced at $210, and the MSRP of each cigar is $10.50.

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  • Cigar Reviewed: Viaje Exclusivo Tower Cigars 45th
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L.
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo
  • Binder: Nicaraguan
  • Filler: Nicaraguan
  • Size: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Box-Pressed Robusto
  • MSRP: $10.50 (Boxes of 20, $210)
  • Date Released: April 5, 2011
  • Number of Cigars Released: 100 Boxes of 20 Cigars (2,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3

The cigar itself is a wonderful specimen with a very smooth medium brown wrapper, despite the veins that are present. It has an extreme-box press and the wrapper smells like a combination of cedar, spice and espresso. It is very hard when squeezed, almost rock hard, has almost no give at all.

The first third starts out with the ideal amount of pepper and spice on the lips. Flavors include a musky cedar, leather, cinnamon and espresso. The spice tapers off after about 15 puffs and the strength starts to build.

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The second third shifts profiles totally, with a creamier woody notes taking over as the dominant flavor, and a sweet background note. There are also flavors of milk chocolate and a bit of leather. It is also is still getting stronger, and it is an interesting combination of overt sweetness and strength by the end of the third.

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The final third sees the spice make a comeback in waves, as the sweetness from the second third disappears entirely. Still a very woodsy profile, but more of a spicy wood, with some leather and dark chocolate. It is also very strong at this point, not so strong I had to stop smoking, but definitely noticeable.

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Final Notes

  • Make no mistake, this is a strong cigar. While the Exclusivo Corona Gorda I reviewed was no lightweight, the Tower 45th blows it out of the water. The strength got progressively more intense until the very end of the cigar. I would put it above the original Robusto in strength, easily.
  • The smoke that was produced by this cigar was wonderful: white, billowy, dense, spicy and plentiful.
  • I smoked three of these prerelease Tower 45th for this review, and two of three were great in construction with excellent burn and draw. However, the last one I smoked had a very loose draw, I had to relight a few times and I even pulled a fairly large stem out of it. Having said that, the flavors were not affected in any way and I just chalk the last cigar up to a bad sample.
  • The final smoking time was one hour and 20 minutes.
  • The cigars will be available for purchase on April 5 at 10 A.M. PST. Sales are limited to one box and five singles, you can do so here.
93 Overall Score

I think the Exclusivo blend is the best blend that Viaje puts out. Every cigar made with this blend is at the very least very good, and some are great, the Tower 45th is no exception. It embodies everything that I have come to expect from one of Viaje’s top releases: complexity, strength, great flavors and wonderful construction. Is it better than the original Robusto? In my mind, yes, but they are pretty close. Is it better than the Corona Gorda? Maybe. I think I enjoyed them about the same, but for different reasons.


Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.