In June, Viaje announced two new cigars inspired by Japanese culture named The Geisha. The Geisha is a pair of 6 3/4 x 52 perfectos, which are packaged designed to resemble a bento box, which features a depiction of a Geisha on the front.

“The project started as an idea during a trip to Japan over six years ago,” reads a post on Viaje’s Instagram page. “Thanks to the hard work of so many, that idea is finally ready for its debut.”

While there are two cigars, they are sold in a single 28-count box, with 14 each of two different blends. Both of them include Nicaraguan binders and filler tobaccos grown by AGANORSA Leaf; one of the cigars incorporates a Nicaraguan corojo 99 wrapper while the other uses a Mexican San Andrés maduro wrapper. Both blends are produced at AGANORSA Leaf’s Agricola Ganadera Norteña S.A. factory located in Nicaragua.

Each box has an MSRP of $420, meaning the cigars are priced at $15. Production is limited to 400 boxes meaning there are 5,600 of each blend for a grand total of 11,200 cigars.

  • Viaje The Geisha San Andrés (6 3/4 x 52) — 400 Boxes of 14 (5,600 Total Cigars) — $15 (Box of 28, $420)
  • Viaje The Geisha Corojo (6 3/4 x 52) — 400 Boxes of 14 (5,600 Total Cigars) — $15 (Box of 28, $420)
84 Overall Score

Over the years, I have found that quite a few of Viaje’s creations feature an abundance of spice, pepper or strength, or a combination of all three. That is the case with The Geisha Corojo as well, but this cigar also has something some of those other blends are lacking: a massive amount of flavor. In fact, while the flavors of tea leaves, cocoa nibs and earth are just enough to compensate for the increasingly problematic aforementioned pepper and strength during the first two thirds, any nuance present in the final third is simply overwhelmed. The Geisha Corojo is going to be a prime choice for a redux review in a year or so, and while lovers of extremely strong blends will most like likely enjoy it now, I am willing to bet that resting time will turn this into one of Viaje’s better releases.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Viaje The Geisha Corojo
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Agricola Ganadera Norteña S.A.
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua (Corojo 99)
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 6 3/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Perfecto
  • MSRP: $15 (Box of 28, $420)
  • Release Date: July 2022
  • Number of Cigars Released: 400 Boxes of 14 (5,600 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

A combination of a simplistic but artsy band, a unique vitola and a gorgeous, reddish-brown wrapper makes this Viaje a sight to behold from a visual standpoint. In addition, there are very few veins—but plenty of oil—and the cigar is both nicely firm when squeezed and silky smooth to the touch. As soon as I pull it out of the cellophane, the wrapper smells strongly of peanuts and hay along with somewhat restrained notes of earth, leather, sourdough bread and generic sweetness. Things are a bit different when it comes to the aromas emanating from the foot, which include notes of dried tea leaves, toasted bread, espresso beans, cocoa nibs and earth. After a Dickman cut, cold draw reveals flavors of nutmeg, sweet cashews, leather, hay, tea leaves and milk chocolate sweetness, along with a slight hint of spice.

Anise and leather hit my palate just after I light the foot of the Viaje, along with a massive amount of both black pepper and spice that really makes me sit up and take notice. Main flavors of dried tea leaves and cocoa nibs take over the profile after about 10 puffs, followed by notes of earth, leather, toasted bread, lemongrass and cinnamon. Although not as aggressive as the first few puffs, the spice on my tongue continues to be very noticeable, while the retrohale features a combination of strong black pepper and graham cracker sweetness that seems to be increasing as the first third burns down. Flavor and body are at a point just under medium while the strength ends the first third just above the medium mark. In terms of construction, the draw is a bit tight for the first eight puffs or so—a very normal situation when smoking a perfecto like this—but then opens up nicely after that. The smoke production is massive off of the foot, but one cigar needs a couple of corrections with my lighter, both fairly minor in nature.

During the second third of the Geisha Corojo, dried tea leaves continue to be one of the top flavors, but the cocoa nibs note from the first has been replaced by a gritty earth flavor. Additional notes of lemongrass, leather tack, dark chocolate, cinnamon and a generic nutty flavor flit in and out at various times. While the black pepper on the retrohale remains at about the same level, the graham cracker sweetness morphs more into a marshmallow flavor that continues to be noticeable until the end of the second third. Flavor has bumped up to a point slightly above medium, but both the body and strength increase enough to end up at medium-full. The draws and smoke production continue on their excellent paths, but two separate cigars need a touchup each to keep from getting out of control.

There are a number of significant changes to the profile of the Viaje during the second third, starting with a dramatic increase in both the amount of black pepper on the retrohale and the strength, the latter of which eventually ends up blasting through the full mark in the final puffs. In turn, both have a negative effect on the balance in the profile, which is still exhibiting main flavors of gritty earth and tea leaves, albeit more of the former than the latter. Although the pepper does overwhelm most of the secondary flavors—as well as any remaining sweetness on the retrohale—I do taste slight notes of leather, espresso beans and dark chocolate every once in while. Flavor decreases to a solid medium, while the body easily hits full before I put down the nub with a bit less than an inch remaining. Construction-wise, there continues to be no issues with either the smoke production or draws for all three cigars, but the burn on two sticks is problematic enough to need a couple of corrections.

Final Notes

  • Viaje has indicated there will be more of The Geisha cigars produced at some point in the future.
  • If you are wondering, the two Japanese symbols on the band of The Geisha translate to one simple word: cigar.
  • Interestingly, the same symbols are used on another of Viaje’s Japanese-themed releases named Hamaki Omakase, albeit in a different color scheme.
  • In Japan, geisha are equal parts artists and entertainers trained in different aspects of Japanese culture, including dancing, poetry and playing classical Japanese music on various instruments.
  • I saw quite a few geisha—and even met a few in person—while I was living in Japan back in the early part of the 90s.
  • While I have not viewed it in person yet, the box for these two cigars—and really, the whole presentation in general—looks absolutely stunning from the photographs I have seen.
  • Although the draw and smoke production were quite good on all three cigars, the burn turned problematic at least once on each of the cigars I smoked.
  • The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time for all three cigars averaged out to two hours and 11 minutes.
84 Overall Score

Over the years, I have found that quite a few of Viaje’s creations feature an abundance of spice, pepper or strength, or a combination of all three. That is the case with The Geisha Corojo as well, but this cigar also has something some of those other blends are lacking: a massive amount of flavor. In fact, while the flavors of tea leaves, cocoa nibs and earth are just enough to compensate for the increasingly problematic aforementioned pepper and strength during the first two thirds, any nuance present in the final third is simply overwhelmed. The Geisha Corojo is going to be a prime choice for a redux review in a year or so, and while lovers of extremely strong blends will most like likely enjoy it now, I am willing to bet that resting time will turn this into one of Viaje’s better releases.

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.