Earlier this month, Andre Farkas of Viaje announced their two newest lines/early Spring releases. The cigars were called Senior Andre's Chicharrónes and Jalapeño, and Andre is going for a food theme with this release. Chicharrón is a traditional dish from Spain that typically uses fried pork rinds, and Viaje's release paid tribute to that by having three blend offerings in the release- Original, Bold, and Spicy. The boxes feature a drawing of a torero and boar, and the three cigars come in one box of 90 cigars, 30 cigars each. The other release, the one that was most appealing to me, was the Viaje Jalapeño. This release was coming out of Raices Cubanas, and with no tobacco disclosed, was rolled in a perfecto manner featuring brilliant packaging. With my love for jalapeños, I had to smoke and review the cigar. Enough of the introduction though, let's take a look at this cigar.
Very little information is given on the actual cigar, but what is known is that the cigar is made at Raices Cubanas in Honduras, and that the cigar is a perfecto that measures 4 7/8" with a 51 ring gauge. The cigars come in 25 count boxes and the packaging is brilliant with the name of the cigar. The Jalapeño is a lovely firgurado, and it has a nice finished cap with that lovely extended foot. The bell on the bottom of the cigar is perfect, and this is a well rolled cigar. It has a wrapper that is very dark in coloring, and it is showing a coloring or dark brown, almost chocolate like, and it has a Colorado Maduro to Maduro coloring overall. The wrapper is showing an aroma of hay, spices, herbal qualities, and rich earth, and the same is for the small foot on the bell of the cigar.
The first third open up by delivering a nice soft spice profile, and it is accompanied by some earthy and dried wood notes. There are some tobacco qualities present as well, touches of cocoa on the finish also, but it is mostly a cigar that has some dryer wood and spice notes.There are touches of pepper here and there, and this is a nice entry to the cigar. The draw was a little tight to begin with, but as I moved further into the third I realized I needed to cut a little more off from the head. The construction was perfect however and it was delivering a nice even burn line with a solid charcoal ash on the end. The ash was holding on firmly, and it had a nice light gray coloring that popped off of the dark wrapper. The draw was somewhat snug at first, but after cutting more it opened up more showing the true qualities. I would describe the cigar as having medium-full body, and the strength is right at a medium level.
When I enter into the second third of the cigar, I find that the spice notes increase slightly, but there is still a nice balance between the spice, earth, and dried wood notes. I am still getting faint notes of cocoa, a little bit more in this third, and it has a nice tobacco finish overall. It is not overly complex in terms of flavors, but it is a solid flavor profile that is enjoyable, and many would enjoy. There are some pepper qualities present as well, and it is working well with the name. The construction is absolutely terrific in this third and it is showing a nice draw while producing a lot of smoke. With the tapered finish, the palate gets that concentrated amount of smoke, and it really helps with focusing on the flavors. The ash on the end has a nice dark gray coloring, and it is a firm ash overall. I would classify the cigar as having a medium-full body level, and the strength is right there as well, but at the same time on the rise from the first third.
I am in the final third of the cigar now and I am finding the spice and peppers notes to be much stronger than they were in the first and second third. There has been a nice growth in terms of those flavors, and it is sticking true to the name of the cigar. I am getting some dry earth and wood notes as well in this third, and it is showing faint bits of cocoa and tobacco on the finish. I appreciate the growth that has occurred in this cigar since the first third, and it has been a showing a nice bit of transitioning with depth. The complexity level has not been high, but overall the flavors have been solid. The construction has been perfect throughout the entire cigar, and it has shown an even burn line with a nice dark charcoal ash on the end of the cigar. I would say that the strength and body have increased to being just under the full level, but over that medium-full hump.
The Jalapeño is a nice new release from Viaje, and the packaging is great. I love the simplicity and boldness in the bands, and the dark teal coloring foil on the top half of the cigar with the stem finish is classic. The perfecto can be a great size, and when they show some change in flavors due to the wrapper throughout, they can produce a complex smoke with a lot of transitioning. I felt the Jalapeño showed some of those qualities, but overall it had a core flavor profile that merely showed an increase in the spice and pepper flavors, strength, and body as it progressed. I never had a problem with construction on any of the blends, and these were smokes that I could enjoy in the afternoon or evening. I found that with one of my samples, there was a snug draw, but when I cut a little bit more from the head and pushed a little in on the cigar that it opened up and showed no problems following that. Overall, I am giving the cigar an 87 rating and this was a fun cigar. Andre never disappoints in delivering cigars that intrigue smokers, and this was truly successful in my case.
Seth's Humidor Rating: 87