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Cigar Review: Viaje Summerfest 2013

9 Apr 2015

I recently came across a newly opened box of Viaje’s Summerfest 2013 at my local B&M and, naturally, couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try the nearly two-year-old blend.

Viaje-Summerfest-13Wise move. I didn’t smoke one when it was a new release–in fact, I don’t recall seeing it then–but I can say that, right now, it’s terrific.

With its long shaggy foot, bright red band, and reddish wrapper, Summerfest 2013 is a standout on the shelf and in the hand. For a Nicaraguan puro, it is lower on the strength and spice scales than you might expect. But it is absolutely full of flavor with thick, rich smoke.

My biggest initial concerns were groundless. The shaggy foot did not drop bits of ash and tobacco, and the draw, while a tad loose at the very start, was good throughout, as was the burn.

Summerfest began as an annual release in 2010, with a pause last year. (My colleague  wrote about the 2012 edition here.) A Summerfest 2015 is planned with a new blend and manufacturer, according to Viaje.

The 2013, released in June of that year, was a 5.25-inch fat robusto with a ring gauge of 54. The wrapper is a Corojo ’99. They were sold in boxes of 30 with 6,000 total sticks rolled. MSRP was about $9.50 each.

The Summerfest 2013s I’ve smoked were medium strength and remarkably smooth. Whether that’s from age or not I can’t say.

As the binder/filler burned first, the predominant flavors were wood and fairly mild pepper. When the burn line hit the wrapper, a bit of cinnamon and sweetness came to the fore. Most of the flavors were subtle and shifted quite a bit throughout the cigar, with coffee among the others that came and went.

Enjoying these smokes reminded me that when you visit a tobacconist you might want to occasionally ask, “What’s old?” instead of making the far more common inquiry, “What’s new?” I have found quite a few gems this way, and you can, too. I think of it as something of a bonus when the shop ages cigars for me.

If you happen to spot the Summerfest 2013 don’t miss the opportunity. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I know I wasn’t. I look forward to smoking this year’s incarnation and rate the Summerfest 2013 a solid four stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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