July 15, 2017

Viaje Birthday Blend (6 x 52 Belicoso)

Video review HERE.

(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
The Viaje Birthday Blend is returning for 2017. This will mark the second year the Birthday Blend has been released.

This year’s Viaje Birthday Blend will feature a Criollo ’98 wrapper. This is a change from the 2016 release which featured a San Andres Maduro wrapper. The Birthday Blend once again returns in a 6 x 52 belicoso format. The 2017 will be packaged in 25-count boxes – with each bundle in the box individually gift wrapped.

The Birthday Blend draws its inspiration from Old Forester’s Birthday Bourbon, which is an annual release to commemorate Old Forester founder George Garvin Brown’s birthday. Since 2002, it has been an annual limited release by the bourbon company. Viaje Cigars’ founder Andree Farkas decided to come up with a similar concept to commemorate his own birthday and thus the Viaje Birthday Blend was born.

The cigar is dark and well made. It has an above average feel in the hand for a belicoso of this size.

The test draw after cutting the minimum from the belicoso cap was firm so I decided to use my PerfecDraw tool to improve the draw and not cut any more from the cap. Once I had it to my liking the initial flavors after light up were sweet cedar with some vegetable notes, chocolate, black coffee, and black pepper which I rated at an 8. 

About 1 1/2 inches in (21 minutes) the chocolate notes are coming out much more. There is still some of the underlying vegetable flavor. There are now brown sugar notes. The black coffee notes are still quite prominent. There is still a touch of sweet cedar. The pepper is also still very good. The cigar is starting to taste, or remind me of, a chocolate cake which seems appropriate for a birthday blend cigar. The finish is a sweet cream with some light chocolate notes and a touch of lingering black pepper. The cigar is on the upper end of medium bodied.

At the midpoint (42 minutes) there are a lot of dark chocolate and black coffee notes. There is a touch of sweetness from the brown sugar. The floating vegetable flavor is still there but in a lesser amount. While the black pepper remains very good it has increased on the finish, which is now a more pronounced chocolate and cream. The cigar is medium to full bodied and moving up. 

As the cigar ended (1 hour 22 minutes) there were no major changes from the midpoint onward. The dark chocolate and black coffee remained very heavy with a touch of brown sugar. The vegetable flavors faded away. The cigar reminds me of a chocolate cake in some aspects but if it had more sweetness and some added richness it would have been amazing. As it is, it's a good cigar that is quite dark noted. It ended at full bodied. These should be on shelves where Viaje Cigars are sold.

Score: 91

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