On a crisp, winter morning, the thin Colorado air cutting through protective layers of clothing, the members of the Dojo brave the elements in what has become routine. The sun is high enough in the sky to feel its subtle warmth, incapable of thwarting the biting winter. Bluesy, grunge rock cuts the silence, pushing a small stereo to its low fidelity limits, a welcome accompaniment as small puffs of smoke and visible breath dissipate into the atmosphere.
Somehow, I feel this is exactly what Viaje had in mind when they blended the Winter Classic; a small, flavorful, 4.5 x 48 rothschild. CEO Andre Farkas seems to be in touch with the colder climate smokers, as far too many are burdened by the brutal winter months, often having to make sacrifices to smoke a decent cigar. The Winter Classic’s small size and full flavor profile make for an enjoyable, quick smoke before the real cold sets in.
Nicaraguan CriolloWith Viaje’s limited availability, boutique craftsmanship, and typically high price point, a single sampling was all I had to work with. Two solid months in the humidor would hopefully season the Winter Classic to Colorado’s unusually dry, cold climate. Let me tell you straight off, this stogie was up for the task!
A very clean cut to the velvety, soft wrapper assured me right away that it had acclimated well, though the pre-draw felt tight. The wrapper had a very barnyard-y smell, with a hint of pepper in the background and a chocolate flavor on the draw. Lighting up, you’ll notice right away, this is a full flavored cigar. Nut, white pepper, and toast flavors reveal themselves first in small clouds of smoke. It’s surprising to get such full flavors without the accompanying voluminous smoke, but if the flavor is there, I’m happy.
At this point (2/3), the cigar is medium-full in body and burning slightly “wonky”. The cigar is performing well though, with good construction, feeling dense with tobacco. It is full with nutty flavors, noticeably sweet chestnut and butter. There is also a “tingling” pepper sensation in the back of the throat that keeps things interesting, complimenting the butter and nut nicely. Coming to a close, there is an added sourdough note, shifting flavors just often enough to keep my attention throughout, yet never losing its core.
- Big flavor
- Progressive flavor
- Quick smoke
- Expensive for the size