In February, Viaje Cigars shipped the latest version of Juntos, a series of cigars produced in collaboration with other prominent cigar makers that is named after the Spanish word for together.
The newest incarnation was produced in conjunction with E.P. Carrillo and is made up of two different vitolas—a 6 x 54 torpedo and a 6 x 54 toro—but the blend is the same for both, namely a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper covering an Ecuadorian Sumatra binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua. Both sizes retail for the same $14 and 10 of each are packaged in a tin that separates into parts, each holding 10 cigars. A total 500 tins were shipped to Viaje retailers on Feb. 19 and the cigars were produced at the Tabacalera La Alianza S.A. factory in the Dominican Republic, which is owned by Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, Jr.
While this is the second time a cigar named Juntos has been released—the 2016 version saw Viaje teamed up with Quesada Cigars—the series actually debuted in 2014 when it was named Collaboration. The name was changed to Juntos in October 2015 after Fairmont Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Alec Bradley, filed a trademark claim.
There have now been four different releases in the Collaboration/Juntos series.
- Viaje Collaboration 2014 (6 x 52)— 1,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars) — $11.50 (Boxes of 20, $230)
- Viaje Collaboration 2015 (6 x 52) — 600 Boxes of 20 Cigars (12,000 Total Cigars — $12.80 (Boxes of 20, $256)
- Viaje Juntos 2016 Torpedo (6 x 54) — 1,000 Jars of 10 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars) — $14 (Jars of 20, $280)
- Viaje Juntos 2016 Toro Extra (6 x 54) — 1,000 Jars of 10 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars) — $14 (Jars of 20, $280)
- Viaje Juntos 2018 Torpedo (6 x 54) — 500 Jars of 10 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars) — $14 (Jars of 20, $280)
- Viaje Juntos 2018 Toro (6 x 54) — 500 Jars of 10 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars) — $14 (Jars of 20, $280)
- Cigar Reviewed: Viaje Juntos 2018 Torpedo
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A.
- Wrapper: Connecticut (Broadleaf)
- Binder: Ecuador (Sumatra)
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 54
- Vitola: Torpedo
- MSRP: $14 (Jars of 20, $280)
- Release Date: Feb. 19, 2017
- Number of Cigars Released: 500 Jars of 10 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
Visually, the Viaje Juntos 2018 Torpedo is covered in a dark and mottled espresso brown wrapper that is parchment rough to the touch and features a touch of oil. The cigar is slightly more firm when squeezed than I expected and the wrapper has numerous bumps and veins running up and down its length. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of strong leather, sweet barnyard, peanuts, oak and grass, while the cold draw brings notes of earth, hay, anise, cloves, roasted coffee beans and a very strong black pepper.
The first third of the Viaje Juntos 2018 Torpedo starts with a profile that is fairly muddled flavor-wise, although there is a gritty earth note as the dominant flavor, along with oak, hay, leather and nuts. Although there is black pepper present on the retrohale, it is nowhere close to as strong as I was expecting after the cold draw and it does accentuate the other notes in the profile. There is also some slight spice on my tongue and some maple sweetness on the retrohale, neither are strong enough to have much of an impact at this point. Construction-wise, the draw is excellent after a simple Dickman cut and the burn is problematic enough to need touching up right out of the gate. Smoke production is extremely dense off of the foot and the strength is fairly mild so far, hitting a point between mild and medium by the end of the first third.
Thankfully, the flavors in the profile of the Viaje Juntos 2018 Torpedo are quite a bit more distinct in the second third, with a combination of roasted peanuts and earth easily taking the top spot. Other flavors of bitter espresso, creamy oak, hay and a touch of floral flit in and out as well, while both the spice and the maple sweetness from the first third are marginally stronger. The draw remains excellent and the burn evens up nicely, while the smoke production continues to pour off of the foot like a house on fire. Strength-wise, the Viaje has increased noticeably, easily hitting the medium mark by the time the second third comes to an end.
Interestingly, a number of attributes that were present during the first two thirds of the Viaje Juntos 2018 Torpedo have completely disappeared by the start of the final third, including the spice on my tongue, the black pepper on the retrohale and the maple sweetness. The combination of roasted peanuts and gritty earth easily remain the dominant flavors in the profile, followed by other notes of creamy oak, barnyard, leather, dark cocoa nibs, floral and cloves. In terms of construction, the draw is as good as ever, while the burn is wavy, albeit not even close to bad enough to need touching up. Strength hits a point between medium and full about halfway through the final third, but stalls out there and I put it down with less than an inch left.
- Juntos 2018 is actually the second time that Viaje and E.P. Carrillo have joined forces: the first collaboration was the Viaje Piña that was released in June 2017.
- This is one of those cigars that gets very bitter very quickly if you puff too fast, so keep the puff rate slow.
- The bands on each of my samples were extremely difficult to remove, to the point where a piece of the wrapper came off with each time I took one off.
- I really love the packaging for the Juntos Series and I am not alone, as it took the #6 spot in halfwheel’s 2016 Packaging Awards.
- Final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 38 minutes.
- The samples smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co., Cigars.com and Serious Cigars carry the Viaje Juntos 2018.
Considering the cold draw, I was expecting quite a bit more pepper in the profile of the Viaje Juntos 2018 Torpedo, but that ended up not being the case. Although noticeably muddled in the first third, the blend smooths out nicely in the final two thirds and the flavors become quite a bit more distinct, with a nice roasted peanut and earth combination taking the dominant spot. Despite the fact that each sample had to be touched up at least once, the overall construction was decent, with the close to perfect draw—after a Dickman cut—being the high point. If you can suffer through a fairly average first third, the Viaje Juntos 2018 Torpedo has some redeeming qualities, but even at its best both Viaje and E.P. Carrillo make numerous better blends that are not only easier to find, but cheaper as well.