Cigar Review: Viaje Stuffed Turkey (White & Dark Meat) 2015

Cigar Review: Viaje Stuffed Turkey (White & Dark Meat) 2015

Viaje Cigars
Country: Honduras
Wrapper (White Meat): Nicaragua (Aganorsa Criollo)
Wrapper (Dark Meat): Mexico (San Andres)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 5” x 58
Strength (White Meat): medium-full
Strength (Dark Meat): full
Price: $10.00

Overall Rating (White Meat): 8.9
Overall Rating (Dark Meat): 8.7

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so it seems only right to post a review of Viaje’s Stuffed Turkey cigars. There’s so many Halloween and Christmas themed cigars out there, so it’s kind of nice to see Thanksgiving get its own release. Like the turkey most of us have at our Thanksgiving feasts, the Viaje Stuffed Turkey comes in both White Meat (Nicaraguan Criollo) and Dark Meat (Mexican San Andres) versions. Both cigars are quite good, and make an excellent post-Thanksgiving smoke. Like all Viaje Cigars, the production of the Stuffed Turkey is quite limited, so they are bound to be very hard to find.

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Pre-Light: The Viaje Stuffed Turkey is celebrating its second year as a stand alone line since leaving the Viaje White Label Series. The new bands, introduced last year, feature a cartoon turkey and are in a standard fall/Thanksgiving color scheme. I have mixed feelings about the cartoonish band. It would be nice if the White Meat and Dark meat had different bands to them. Interestingly, the Nicaragua Criollo and Mexican San Andres wrappers of the cigars have a lot in common; both are bumpy, have a fair amount of oil and have visible construction seams. The difference between the two is that the Dark Meat’s Mexican San Andres wrapper is a few shades darker than the medium brown Nicaraguan Wrapper of the Light Meat.

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The wrapper of the Viaje Stuffed Turkey White Meat has a leather and wet leaf aroma to it. From the unlit foot there is a mix of cinnamon, earth and oak aromas.  An easy cold draw allows through just a bit of natural tobacco, earth and oak notes.

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From the Mexican San Anders wrapper of the Stuffed Turkey Dark Meat there is a mix of strong earth and barnyard aromas. Powdered cocoa, earth, leather and hints of dark cherries are the main scents from the unlit foot of the cigar. The cold draw of the Dark meat is very easy, letting through cocoa and wood notes.

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Burn: Both the White and Dark Meat versions of the Viaje Stuffed Turkey have a phenomenal draw, and allow through a good amount of smoke. The burn of the Stuffed Turkey White meat can be a bit uneven at times, and on one of the cigars smoked needed correction from a lighter. The Dark Meat has a much more even burn, although it can get a bit wavy at times. Each of the two cigars hold their ash quite well.

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Flavor (White Meat): The Viaje White Meat begins with a lot oak and walnut flavors. As the cigar gets going there is a mix of leather, earth and almonds that join the existing oak and walnut notes. On the retrohale there is a good amount of pepper, which is interesting since there is nearly none on the palate. The second third features a mix of earth, oak, leather, nuts and cinnamon flavors. From the halfway point on, there is an occasional note of something that reminds me of chicken (or dare I say Turkey) cooked on a Big Green Egg, that never seems to hang around too long at one time. During the transition to the final third of the cigar, a very small amount of pepper and powdered cocoa begins to occur. The final third of the White Meat is a pleasing blend of oak, cinnamon, leather, powdered cocoa and very mild pepper notes.

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Flavor (Dark Meat): Upon lighting up the Viaje Stuffed Turkey Dark Meat, dark chocolate hits the palate right aways. A bit of earth, dried leaves and roasted nut flavors occur just behind the dominant chocolate note. There is a lot of earth to the retrohale, while mild black pepper and dark chocolate occurs in the background. At the transition to the second third of the cigar there is a cherry note that begins to occur. The second third consists of dark chocolate, oak, roasted nut and sweet cherry notes. Some black pepper begins to occur at the halfway point on the Dark Meat. Chocolate remains strong during the final third of the Viaje Dark Meat. Earth, nuts, coffee and black pepper remain in the background of the last third of the cigar.

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Overall: Both versions of the Viaje Stuffed Turkey are quite good, and I personally think they’ve improved slightly over last year. The Light Meat tends to have a bit more complexity than the Dark Meat. The medium-full Light Meat and full bodied Dark Meat, both allow through a good amount of flavor. Personally, I am much more a fan of the White Meat than the Dark. The Stuffed Turkey White Meat is much more complex with flavors of nuts, oak, earth, leather, cinnamon, cocoa and mild pepper. While the Dark Meat is a good cigar, it tends do be fairly straight forward throughout the cigar. I picked up several of each to hand out and smoke with my family after turkey at my folks house.

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Pairing: The Viaje White Meat will pair well with an amber ale or full bodied Cabernet or Meritage. The scotch drinker will find the Macallan 12, Macallan 18 and Balvenie 12 DoubleWood pairs very nicely with the Dark Meat version of the Viaje Stuffed Turkey.

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On a side note: It’s that time of year where we give thanks, and although I hate when people go around the table saying what they’re thankful for, I want to share what I’m thankful for with our readers. First, I’m most thankful for my wonderful fiancée Blair, whom I met at a cigar bar years ago, and never complains about my cigar smoking or the time I spend running this site. I could not ask for a better person to spend my life with. I’m thankful for a family I love (even when they get on my nerves); Mom, Dad, Jason, Tori, Jen and Nick. I’m grateful to have such a great group of friends like Chris Sabino, Khristina, “Honest” Abe, Jorge “El Jefe”, Willy, Master Sensei, Coop, Seth, Loomis, “New” Dave, “Doc” Dave, Frank T., Bobby S., Mr. Art, “Brother” George, “Pops”, “Big” Jimmy, Carmin, “Chief” & “Mrs. Chief”, Jenny, Andrew, Lara, Tony, Robert Holt, Todd Vance, Erik Espinosa, “Young” Frankie, “Lady M”, Adam K, Armand & Eddy, Gary, Tim, Don, Steve, Howard (yes, even Howard) and the rest of my BOTL/SOTL. I’m thankful for the opportunity and ability to run this site, which was the first cigar media site I ever read. I’m thankful for our sponsors and advertisers (Smoke Inn, Rocky Patel Premium Cigars, Kiss My Ash Radio, Espinosa Cigars and Ortega Premium Cigars). Finally, I’m very thankful for all our readers; without you this site would cease to exist. Thanks you all from the bottom of my heart.

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Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)