Video review HERE.
The Friends and Family line originated as Andre' Farkus' private blend that he would hand out to his friends and family. This year's version is a 5 x 52 robusto called Le Joueur, which means "the player".
Viaje does not release any blend info on this cigar.
The cigar is nice looking but the white band with silver lettering makes it a little hard to read but at the same time it looks rather regal. The foot is closed.
With the closed foot a test draw after cutting the cap is out of the question. So, I cut the cigar and toasted the foot, lit it and gave it a test draw. It was ok but not great. Shortly after drawing a few times I used the PerfecDraw to open the draw a bit. The initial flavors at light up were a sweet orange citrus with some cedar influence, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a light black coffee base. There appeared to be a red pepper which I rated at a 7. The finish is nutmeg and sweet cream with lots of lingering black pepper (yes, the lingering pepper was black).
At the first third (25 minutes) the cigar is very nice. There is a nice tangy, cedar/citrus flavor with lots of cinnamon, nice brown sugar, caramel, lots of nutmeg, and a light black coffee base. The pepper is now a black pepper on the front end. The cigar is medium bodied at this point. The cigar is very good in the first third. I rated the first third at 94.
At the second third (1 hour) the cigar is going along much like it was in the first third with 2 exceptions; the cigar is now medium to full bodied and the nutmeg has risen quite a bit. The nutmeg is taking away a slight amount of sweetness so I lowered the score to 93. Still very good. The finish is unchanged. The ash is a little flaky so you will need to be close to the ashtray when smoking this cigar. I did not deduct points for this, however.
The cigar lasted 1 hour 20 minutes. The flavors remained the same with the slightly elevated nutmeg and now the black coffee notes are increased a bit. For the most part they rose only to a noticeable amount. The cigar is full bodied. That surprised me a bit but it got to a nice full bodied status. The finish was unchanged. This is a very good offering from Viaje. Hopefully you can find them at your local shop or possibly online. For the final third I held the score of 93.
Overall Score: 93.33