Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Toro
Size : 5 x 52
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Criollo
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Price : $10.50
More info about purchasing Viaje Exclusivo cigars...
I have been more than fortunate to be smoking through some great sticks that have been sitting in my humidor for much of the year. This little gem was released back in March as a way to celebrate Tower Cigars’ 45th anniversary which really isn’t until 2012. Fortunately for all, they released these cigars in 2011 to treat all of the waiting public yearning for more of Andre Farkas’ exclusivo blend (his personal blend). Today, while writing this review, I read Jon Huber’s blog about bloggers/cigar reviewers and his thoughts of cigar makers as artists or musicians. If cigar makers are artists than I have to go out and say the Tower Exclusivo 45th is Farkas’ “Mona Lisa.”
The Tower 45th, truthfully, almost looks identical to the Viaje Oro Reserva from 2010 or Casa Fernandez’ Aganorsa Leaf robustos with its soft box press. The wrapper has a rough, rustic look with a bit of mottling and discoloration ranging from deep Colorado brown to flecks of black. Slightly squishy when squeezed, the cigar has a good amount of packing for a box press. The wrapper exudes a good amount of oils on its skin, and features plentiful but miniscule veins. Smells like light leather to the wrapper and black tea to the foot. I love the banding of the exclusivos with the classy secondary band- very attractive.
Cutting the triple cap is easily manageable with my Oliva guillotine cutter, and a pretty open draw is felt with the dry draw. The loose draw provides a plentiful amount of smoke whenever it is torched,…… smoke stacks anyone? The Tower 45th wasn’t the greatest cigar at keeping a straight burn, but it wasn’t drastically hindering the smoking pleasure neither,… a few touch ups were needed. The charred ash fell off in 2 inch chunks.
A blast of black pepper was felt right from the start after sparking the Viaje, and once the pepperiness settled I was met with a profound amount of rich saddle leather and dark chocolate notes. The smoke is quite sweet in flavor and very delicious. I note a hint of grassiness on the aftertaste of the smoke. What I was impressed with the most with this cigar is the clarity of flavors that I am able to pick up,… it isn’t hard at all to decipher what I am tasting,… instead it is very easy. The flavors start to change on me and I pick up flavors of Indian spices (cardamom/anise?), peanut butter?... and possibly even woodsy notes? The flavors change on me on almost every other puff - quite exciting and attention grabbing.
Into the 2nd part of the cigar the pepperiness remains in the background, especially on the retrohale. Charred wood, leather, some cocoa and peanut butter still remain the dominating flavors.
Flavors keep changing every other puff and pick up intensity as I make my way into the last part of the cigar. The cigar is quite strong and powerful, even after several months of being in the humidor. I imagine these were quite stout when they first appeared on the market. Butteriness is something that characterizes this smoke and brackets the intense power and flavor bomb of an ending of this cigar that includes more cocoa, nuts, leather, and pepper.
If you got ahold of these upon release, then you got one heck of a cigar for the price,… even at almost $11 a stick. This is a super premium exclusive stick of the highest order, and punches way above its weight class,… and that’s hard to say about a stick that is already priced this high. These sticks go for way more now on the aftermarket if you can even find them.
Overall Rating :
This is the best cigar that I have smoked from Viaje,… period! This IS Farkas’ “Mona Lisa.” Saying that this is the best Viaje is saying a lot considering how many good cigars he has put out in the past few years,… but this one takes the cake. I sometimes have trouble deciphering the flavors I detect in many cigars, but the intensity and clarity of flavors are on par with some of the great cigars on the market,… i.e. Padron Anniversaries, Tatuaje Barclay Rex’s/Pork Tenderloins, Dirty Rats, or Illusione Mk Ultras. Keep smokin’ my friends,…