This week, I started working smoking a few cigars that were sitting on the shelves in full boxes. Cigars that I haven’t had, cigars I hadn’t heard much about, cigars that I needed to smoke so that I could tell people about them.
Viva Republica is a small boutique cigar line being rolled by La Aurora–you know, the oldest tabacalera in the Dominican Republic. Between Viva Republica’s Jason Holly (owner of Pennsylvania’s El Humidor) and La Aurora’s Guillermo Leon, a few different blends can now be found on the market. The nice thing that I am seeing in my research is that Viva Republica is not jumping out into the world of cigars with a full line up of different blends. In fact, it looks like they’re release about one new blend per year. They are definitely taking time to make sure they get the blends just they way they want before going into production and release.
Viva Republica Rapture Harasha (gordo). Black cherry prelight draw. Medium bodied from the start with sweet nut flavors. Moves quickly into creamy wood, nuts, and kitchen spice. Brown sugar sweetness comes and goes. Ash held well, and was quite firm. Finishes fuller flavored Burn was great. Good smoke output.
Viva Republica Guerrilla Warfare petite corona – no Petite Cazadores, but quite reminiscent. Full flavored, earth, leather and wood. Slight sweetness after halfway. Ash held fairly well and was tight. Med-medium full body. I LOVE petite corona sized cigars, and more manufacturers need to make these little fire crackers.
The one downside that I’ve seen with Viva Republica cigars is variance in the appearance of the cigars. A box of 50 Guerrilla Warfares had cigars that were a pale colorado, and others that were dark like maduros. Some had quite thick veins in the Sumatran wrappers, and others did not. I picked one out that was dark and had as little veinage as I could find. I really enjoyed my Rapture, but I’ve heard from others that the ash does not hold strong, and found that they were tapping the ash every half inch or so.
The Rapture is also available in Maduro, which I’ve still not been able to try. 2014 will bring the fourth blend, Insurrexion or Thrice (depending on who you ask), to the market. From what I’ve seen, it sounds quite tasty and very full strength. I look forward to seeing it.