Viaje Holiday Blend Petit Robusto 2011
There were no specific details about whether the blend has changed from previous years. The one thing to consider though is that this could be another crop of tobacco, and that can factor into the end result of the cigar.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo
This year, Viaje makes a change to the sizes for the Holiday Blend vitolas from 2010. The Viaje Holiday Blend 2011 still features the same vitolas, but each is increased 1/4 in length.
Torpedo: 5 1/4 x 54
Petit Robusto: 4 1/4 x 54
For this cigar experience, I opted to go with the Petit Robusto. The cigar is a well-packed cigar with no soft spots. Like its predecessors, the Viaje Holiday Blend 2011 is highlighted by its dark, roasted coffee colored wrapper. From close examination of the wrapper, there are some additional dark(er) spots on the wrapper. The wrapper itself is oily. It has some visible veins. While the wrapper is primarily smooth, there are some areas where the wrapper is toothy. The cigar also features a covered foot. You can detect a farm-like scent from this cigar.
The band is the same as the previous Viaje Holiday Blend ones – olive green and silver in color. It features “Viaje” in large classic silver font on an olive background. Below that text is the text “Holiday Blend” in olive font on a silver background. That silver background is situated below the olive background on the band.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my Viaje Holiday Blend 2011 Petit Robusto, I placed a straight cut into the cap and commenced with the pre-light draw. The dry draw notes were primarily coffee ones, but I could also detect hints of cherry and cedar in the background. Overall, I considered this a positive pre-light experience and one that was much better than the Holiday Blend 2010. At this point, it was on to toast the foot of the Holiday Blend 2011 and see what this cigar would bring to the table.
The start of the Viaje Holiday Blend 2011 was already more exciting than the 2010 version. The start treated me to notes of pepper, roasted coffee, cherry, and some wood. The pepper was not a classic black pepper and seemed to be some pepper variant that I really could not come up with an analogy for. Early on, the cherry notes became the primary flavors, the pepper notes took a secondary role, while the roasted coffee and wood were tertiary notes. The cherry, pepper, and coffee notes then took turns alternating as to which note is in the forefront.
By about the ten percent point of the Viaje Holiday Blend 2011, the coffee notes morphed more into a chocolate/mocha flavor. The alternating of the flavors continued for most of the first two thirds of the smoking experience. The interesting thing is how the chocolate/mocha, pepper, and cherry notes had a great synergy, yet at the same time could be easily identified individually. This flavor profile would hold for the first two thirds.
In the last third, the cherry sweetness diminished, and it was the pepper and chocolate notes that remained. I was expecting the Holiday Blend 2011 to finish very spicy, but this didn’t become the case. The chocolate notes complemented the pepper right until the end. The finish was actually smoother than I also expected. The resulting nub was outstanding – cool in temperature and firm to the touch. Overall, the flavor profile seemed developed and age was not an issue here.
Burn and Draw
For the construction attributes of burn and draw, I felt the Viaje Holiday Blend 2011 scored well, but just didn’t deliver perfect scores. For the burn, while the cigar didn’t canoe, it didn’t have a razor-sharp burn like I would like – despite multiple touch-ups. The burn line remained jagged for much of the cigar experience. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal. The resulting ash was salt and pepper-like.
|Dimensions||5.5 × 1.75 × 1.75 in|
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