Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Corona Gorda
Size : 5 5/8 x 46
Wrapper : Nicaragua Corojo
Filler : Nicaragua
Binder : Nicaragua
Price : $10 each
Released at the 2009 IPCPR show the Viaje Fifty Fifty No.1 Black Label is not exactly new to the cigar world but it's pretty hard to find. “Viaje” meaning journey in Spanish, is a small boutique cigar company who produces cigars under the motto, “quality is better than quantity.” Their small verses big attitude allows for more quality control and a better overall product for its consumers.
The official description of the blend is as follows:
“the idea behind Fifty | Fifty is to offer the ability to enjoy two different flavor profiles while smoking the same cigar. Fifty | Fifty’s components are a closely-guarded secret, but two distinct blends were formulated to make up the cigar. Joining the two blends was a challenge that was difficult to perfect. Each cigar is carefully crafted taking triple the amount of time a normal cigar takes to roll. The cigar comes wrapped in a dark, oily Nicaraguan cover leaf with two binders holding the filler in place. Fifty | Fifty starts out as a rich medium bodied cigar before transitioning into a bold, full-bodied smoke.”
On to the review…
The pre-light ritual for my Viaje Fifity Fifty No.1 showed a dark, oily brown wrapper with rough veins from top to bottom. The cap was a beautiful triple seam, complete with a tight pigtail on top. The band contained great detail outlined with black, gold, and cream colorings. The cold draw showed almost perfect resistance with hints of fresh tobacco.
Pre-light score: 8 pts.
With lots of anticipation, the cigar opened immediately with a bold coffee note; no doubt this was going to be a strong cigar. The first third showed lots of spice and enormous amounts of smoke on the draw. Very much a full-bodied cigar. Heading into the second third, earthy cocoa notes were present with an undertone that was somewhat bitter on the palate.
The second third again proved the cigar to be very powerful and bold. The ash was a smooth white tower and the burn wavy. In fact, near the end of the second third the burn was so lopsided I had to touch it up. This became the trend through the finish of the cigar.
The final third of my Viaje Fifty Fifty No.1 was not enjoyable. The strength in the smoke was very much overpowering the flavor, and this in my book is NOT good. For the cigar to have such a great draw the flavors were just overwhelmed by the power.
Smoking score: 5 pts.
Overall, I think the concept behind the Viaje Black Label is cool but completely missed in the smoking experience. Just as I stated early, the strength and power in the cigar completely covers the flavors and tasting notes. In order to have a “great” cigar these two characteristics must be in balance. The Viaje Fifity Fifty No.1 is very much out of balance and needs to be restructured. Don’t get me wrong, there were pleasant factors to the smoking experience such as the visual aesthetics and a great draw. But that is just not enough to make this a regular stocked cigar in my humidor.
Overall Experience score: 4 pts.
Viaje Fifty Fifty No.1 Black Label Rating
Pre-Light: 8 pts.
Smoking: 5 pts.
Overall Experience: 4 pts.