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In 2013, Viva Republic released the a new line of cigars named Guerrilla Warfare, first in a 4 x 41 petite corona vitola and later in a 5 1/4 x 43 corona size.

Sold in boxes of 50, the petite corona vitola was released in April 2013, and is composed of an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper covering double binders from the Dominican Republic and Mexico as well as filler tobaccos from Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. The cigars are rolled at E. León Jimenes Tabacalera, err La Aurora Cigar Factory, in the Dominican Republic and carry an MSRP of $4, with boxes of 50 selling for $200.

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Our original news story had this to say about the Guerrilla Warfare blend:

The Pennsylvania retailer cited other small cigars like the La Palina Kill Bill and Tatuaje Petite Cazadores as part of the inspiration for his cigar, but noted that Guerrilla Warfare would be different—it would be stronger, a lot stronger. To achieve this strength the Guerrilla Warfare uses a mixture of Brazilian, Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers underneath Dominican and Mexican binders and an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. According to Holly, it took only three tries to get to the final blend.

“The purge grades of the Nicaraguan filler were fantastic, but when I tried the Dominican filler as a pure grade, it was incredible,” said Holly. “It shifted the perception I had that Nicaraguan tobacco had an edge when it comes to strength while maintaining flavor notes.”

Where is what I said in my original review back in April 2013:

The Guerrilla Warfare is an extremely interesting cigar, almost at odds with itself. At different points in the smoke, this cigar is sweet, peppery, spicy, strong and even a bit nutty. While not the most balanced of profiles, it is fairly complex, especially for such a small vitola. I absolutely adore the size, and it is interesting that it is such a full strength blend, not something I am used to in a 4 x 41 cigar. Well worth picking up and proof that Viva Republica is moving in the right direction.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Viva Repubica Guerilla Warfare Petite Corona
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: La Aurora Cigar Factory
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Binder: Dominican Republic & Mexico
  • Filler: Brazil, Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
  • Length: 4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 41
  • Vitola: Petit Corona
  • MSRP: $4 (Boxes of 50, $200)
  • Release Date: April 2013
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1

The Viva Republica Guerilla Warfare is virtually identical visually to the first samples I smoked for the first review, which is not surprising since they were all given to me around the same time. The cigar is covered in a silky smooth mocha brown wrapper that has some significant mottling to it, as well as a hint of oil. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of strong espresso beans, cedar, leather and manure along with some obvious vanilla sweetness, while the cold draw brings flavors of leather, barnyard, dark chocolate, coffee and a touch of black pepper.

Starting out, the Guerilla Warfare features a dominant creamy oak and dark chocolate base, interspersed with flavors of peanuts, grass, salt and black licorice. While I am getting some black pepper on the retrohale, it is not aggressive at all, and it combines nicely with some vanilla sweetness that is also present. There is also a touch of spice on my lips that does not seem strong enough to last very long. In the second third the profile shifts gears, with the dark chocolate note is replaced by earth combined with the same creamy oak from the first third. Other notes of nuts, leather, citrus and bread  flit in and out, and the vanilla sweetness from the first half morphs into a distinct maple syrup note that is only present on the retrohale and continues until the end of the cigar.

Viva Repubica Guerilla Warfare Petite Corona

Construction-wise, the Guerilla Warfare features both an excellent draw after a simple straight cut, as well as a burn line that is wavy, but non problematic. The smoke production is both copious and dense, and while the strength in the blend is obvious from the start, it only hits a point halfway between medium and full at the end of the cigar, which is impressive for such a small vitola.

Miami Cigar & Co., the U.S. distributor for Viva Republica, advertises on halfwheel.

92 Overall Score

I liked everything about the Guerilla Warfare when I first smoked it, and after more than three years of rest, it has only gotten better. The profile that was full-bodied is now noticeably more balanced, and there is quite a bit more nuance to the flavors than I remember from the original samples. This a great example of how some age can really bring forward more flavors and complexity in a cigar, and they are smoking great right now.

Original Score (January 2013)
90
Redux Score (May 2016)
92

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Brooks Whittington
About the author

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.

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