In 2011, there was some chatter that Viaje was planning a trio of lancero releases known as Trifecta. It ended up taking three years for the cigars to make it to stores, eventually showing up in 2014.
As the name indicates, there were three different lanceros—each measuring 7 1/2 x 40—included. Two were from Viaje’s original regular production lines, Oro and Platino, while the third was a new blend called Plata, which was a Nicaraguan puro made with AGANORSA tobacco. One of the more unique aspects of this cigar is that it was made at Casa Fernández Miami, meaning this is a rare instance of an American-made Viaje.
I was interested to see what Plata had in store, largely because while Viaje puts out lots of new cigars, it does not regularly have entirely new blends. Plata was fairly mild as far as Viaje goes, albeit—still hitting the medium-full mark—and was easy to smoke and enjoy. For me, it ranks behind the Platino and Exclusivo Lanceros, but that hardly means that it should be looked at as a second-rate Viaje. Hopefully, we get the opportunity to see this blend in additional sizes, or if nothing else—more availability.
Unfortunately, there has not been another Plata release and given it’s been seven years, I had sort of forgotten about the Plata. So when I opened up a box containing cigars for me to redux in the future, I had to take some time to figure out what the cigar actually was.
- Cigar Reviewed: Viaje Plata Lancero
- Country of Origin: U.S.A.
- Factory: Casa Fernández Miami
- Wrapper: Nicaragua (Corojo)
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 7 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 40
- Vitola: Lancero
- MSRP: $10 (Box of 30, $300)
- Release Date: April 18, 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: 200 Boxes of 10 Cigars (2,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 3
There’s a bit of discoloration on the cellophane, but it’s not obvious until the cigar is removed from the cellophane. It reveals two notable features. The first is the very metallic bands, which look like the shiny side of aluminum foil. Then there’s the wrapper, which has a great rosado color and a solid amount of oils. Despite being in cellophane, there’s only a mild-medium aroma from the wrapper, containing barnyard and acidity. The foot’s aroma is sweeter with both chocolate and sugar cookies, around medium-full. Cold draws are medium-full and very balanced with flavors of barbecue sauce, cocoa, blueberry muffins, acidity and creaminess. On other note, the cigar is a bit tight for a lancero.
The Viaje Plata Lancero starts with toastiness, meatiness, leather and oak. Given the age of the cigar, I’m a bit surprised by how toasty it is and how robust the profile is. About an inch in and the toastiness has calmed down, the main flavor is now nuttiness with secondary flavors of leather, French fries, some bitter earthiness, a creamy coffee that reminds me of a flat white and earthiness. Flavor is full, body is medium-full and strength is medium-plus. The draw continues to be a bit tighter than I’d like it to be—even for a lancero—and I think it’s because of an obstruction that is towards where the beginning of the final third would be. That being said, the smoke production is pretty impressive, particularly in terms of the smoke that makes it into the mouth.
As the second third hits, earthiness has joined the nuttiness as a top flavor, now sitting over some raspberry, oranges and a building toastiness. Every indication is that the second half of this cigar is going to be quite a bit toastier than the first part. It finishes with lots of toasty flavors over nuttiness, earthiness and some herbal flavors. Retrohales add some readiness to the profile along with some more orange citrus. The Plata Lancero is full in flavor, body is medium-full and strength is also medium-full. While I thought there was going to be an overwhelming amount of toastiness, the final third sees the bread flavor challenge the earthiness and toastiness. The orange flavor gets sweeter and is increasingly closer to Hi-C. There are secondary notes of creaminess, peanut butter and pizza dough. It finishes with leather, harshness, pizza dough and lemon. Retrohales have bread flavors, paprika and creaminess. Because of those flavors I find myself pushing more and more smoke out through the nose, though the one negative is the retrohale’s finish, which is a sharp combination of cinnamon and wasabi-like pepper. Flavor is full, body is medium-plus and strength is medium-full. The draw continues to be tight—even as I burn through where I thought the knot was—and I’m surprised to look at the clock and see how quickly I’ve smoked this cigar, wrapping up in just under two hours of time.
While I really enjoyed the aged Viaje Plata Lancero, I am left to wonder what it could have been. I feel like the tight draw caused some of the sharp flavors and increased the speed at which I smoked the cigar, only compounding the issue. There was a lot to like: distinct flavors that produced contrast, rich flavor and body and copious smoke production. I don’t think I have anymore Viaje Plata Lanceros left, but if I did, I’d know there’s plenty of time left to smoke them.