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Review: Viaje Satori Karma (2011)

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Today we will be taking a look at a Limited annual release from Viaje, the Satori Karma 2011!

In 2010 Andre Farkas and his brand Viaje showed up at the IPCPR trade show in New Orleans with a limited cigar called Satori, which is a Japanese word that means “sudden spiritual enlightenment. It was a jet black looking cigar available in three sizes, Karma (5 x 52 Robusto), Nirvana (6 x 50 Toro), and Zen (6 3/4 x 52 Box-Pressed Double Torpedo). These cigars were made for IPCPR only, specifically for retailers who attend the show. Andre Farkas has said he wanted to do something special for the loyal retailers who showed up at IPCPR. Only 150 Boxes of 25 of each size were available (11,250 cigars total) and once they were gone they were gone, however this is in fact an annual release so every year during IPCPR these will be available in similar numbers. This brings us to our review for today.

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Holding true to their promise, the Viaje Satori was once again released this year at the 2011 IPCPR in Las Vegas with a definite change. The wrapper appeared to be much lighter than last years release. We were all a bit in the dark last year when Andre released the Satori with a super special Oscuro wrapper. It was brought up many times over to say the least. Many wondered, given the dark as night wrapper, if it was dyed. The suspicions mounted when many smokers experienced the wrappers leaving their hands stained brown. Viaje will tell you that the wrappers were indeed not dyed and I believe them. While the evidence may look suspicious it has been brought to our attention many times that due to a natural process in fermentation, wrappers can produce extremely dark colors and even run off on your hand creating a stained mess. Despite the cause, the effect was the same and no one likes brown stains on their hand. Viaje solved this by using a different wrapper (Mexican San Andrés) and lower priming which (in my opinion) looks much better!

As with the 2010 release, this years release is available in the same three sizes as well as being available in the same numbers, 150 boxes of 25 of each size.


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Lets get to it shall we?

Viaje Satori Karma (2011) 1.jpg

  • Cigar Reviewed: Viaje Satori Karma (2011)
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L. (Raíces Cubanas)
  • Wrapper: San Andrés (Mexico)
  • Binder: Nicaraguan
  • Filler: Nicaraguan
  • Size: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Robusto
  • MSRP: $10.35 (Boxes of 25, $258.75)
  • Number of Cigars Released: 150 Boxes of 25 Cigars (3,750 Total Cigars)
  • Date Released: August 2011
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 2

*Each size had 150 Boxes of 25 Cigars (3,750 Total Cigars), meaning 11,250 Total Cigars for the 2011 Release of the Viaje Satori

The Viaje Satori shows a much lighter wrapper than last year’s. It’s at least one or two shades lighter with a dark chocolate wrapper as opposed to the jet black wrapper from last year. There are minimal veins, no soft spots and it has a tight seamless wrap and a perfect triple cap. It smells of cedar, earth and a sweet fruitiness. The pre-light draw shows a lot of wood, leather and earth with a slight hint of pepper.

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Starting off in the First Third the Satori Karma shows a lot of wood, coffee and leather. There is a real nice spice and pepper kick on the finish. It’s already on the upper end of medium body as the cigar produces a ton of smoke and has a real easy draw. As the first third progresses the spice and pepper intensifies and I start to get some dark chocolate notes as well which, at times, border on bitter.

Viaje Satori Karma (2011) 2.jpg

Coming into the Second Third the cigar switches up nicely with a sweeter, softer tone with a lot of sugar cane like notes as well as mellow earth, a touch floral, a nice balance of wood, coffee, pepper and spice. All the flavors mesh very well together and create a nice bouquet of rich flavor and balance. The construction is near perfect.

Viaje Satori Karma (2011) 3.jpg

Finishing up in the Final Third the cigar doesn’t change up anymore, it’s pretty much the same as the last third with a touch of that bitterness from the first third creeping in. While it doesn’t progress into anything more exciting, the flavors that are present are decent and enjoyable.

Viaje Satori Karma (2011) 4.jpg

 

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Final Notes:

  • In my opinion this was a definite step up from last year’s release, it was more flavorful, more complex and well balanced. Last year’s release was a little boring and had muted flavors where this one had a nice sweetness, lots of flavor and great balance.
  • I have only smoked the Karma vitola of this release, but I have heard from many people that the Karma is the best one flavor-wise.
  • This year’s release is obviously sold out but because it’s an annual release this will be available at next years 2012 IPCPR, so if you are interested I would call up Empire cigars, tower cigars or Tobacco Grove sometime before the IPCPR and get on a list so you can get some.
  • Final Smoking time was 1 hour.

 

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The Bottom Line: As I stated in the final notes this was definitely a step up from last years release, however it still didn’t knock my socks off. It’s a good cigar no doubt, but when I smoke it I still can’t help but think there is something missing, there is a slight muted character to it similar to last year’s release (although in smaller quantities) where you are left wanting a little bit more. The second third is the star of the show but the first and last third show a bit of bitterness and an overall flat profile. It’s still a good cigar and certainly worth a try if you come across any.

 

 

 

Final Score: 84

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About the author

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

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