Cigar Review: Viaje Satori Zen 2014

Cigar Review: Viaje Satori Zen 2014

Viaje Cigars
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexico (San Andres)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 6 3/4″ x 52
Strength: medium-full
Price: $10.95

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Overall Rating: 9.0

Every year since 2010, Viaje Cigars has released the limited production Satori cigar that is only available to attendees of the IPCPR Trade Show. The current version features a Mexican San Andres wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and filler. There are some extremely unique spices and chicken broth flavors that I’ve never encounter in another cigar. The Satori is the type of cigar that you add to you collection when you see them, because Viaje’s rabid fans will snap them up pretty quickly.

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Pre-Light: The Satori Zen is a great looking cigar. Its super dark San Andres wrapper makes it near impossible to find any seams. A brightly colored band with Buddha on it really stands out against the extreme darkness of the wrapper. (The Viaje name does not appear on the band.) Despite feeling dry to the touch there is a nice oily sheen to the wrapper. I personally think the band is kind of cool, but my friend Jara (@htowncigarbabe) is of the opinion that it’s a bit cheesy looking.

The mild earthy aroma comes from the dark wrapper of the Satori. A sweet chocolate scent can be picked up of the unlit foot. The cold draw is on the tight side letting through flavors of chicken soup and brown rice.

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Burn: Once passing the perfecto tip, the draw on the Satori Zen opens up from tight to just about right. The burn is mostly even, but feels like it could get out of hand at any minute. The ash clings very well to the cigar.

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Flavor: Cocoa, earth, hay and black tea mix with a flavor that can only be described as egg drop soup in the first inch or so of the Satori. There is a pleasing spice to the retrohale. As the cigar gets going a bit past the perfecto tip flavors of chocolate, hay, cinnamon and Asian powdered spice seem to blend together. The second third sees a bit more spice join existing cocoa, hay and earthy notes. An interesting Oolong tea flavor occurs at the halfway point. In the transition final third a mild black pepper emerges. The chicken broth flavor comes back in a big way in the final third to mix with strong pepper and spice.

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Overall: The Satori is a good medium-full to full bodied cigar with some very weird (but pleasing) flavors. During the first two thirds of the cigar the flavor changes are subtle, while the final third sees pepper and spice come on with a vengeance. What’s really interesting is the way the flavors seem to fit perfectly with the theme of the cigar. The construction is top notch. Medium and full bodied smokers that enjoy a San Andres wrapper will want to give this limited edition cigar a try. The Satori Zen is a cigar that I picked up a few of to add to my collection.

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Pairing: A strong drink can overpower some of the subtle flavors in the early stages of the Satori Zen. I personally prefer a bottle of sparkling water or Diet Coke. If you’re looking for something a bit stronger a vodka tonic or martini should do the trick without canceling out the more interesting flavors the cigar has to offer.

Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)