Team Cigar Review: Viva Republica Art of War Corona Gorda

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Cigar Details: Viva Republica Art of War Corona Gorda

  • Vitola: Corona Gorda
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 47
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Stalk Cut Connecticut Broadleaf and Dominican Candela
  • Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Filler: Colombia, Nicaragua and Dominican Republic
  • Factory: La Aurora
  • Blender: Jason Holly
  • Price: $9.50
  • Release Date: July 2016
  • Source: Viva Republica

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is a deep brown with a fair amount of lighter marbling. There are a couple decent sized veins that also have a lighter brown outlining them. At the foot of the cigar is close to a half inch of Dominican Candela that is a light tan color rather than green. The portion of wrapper also completely encloses the foot. The cap(s) are so nicely applied you can’t really tell there are any. At the top of the head is a pigtail rolled up into a bun. There is no band on my sample, but I believe they will have a band at the retail level. The aroma from the wrapper is a sweet barnyard. The aroma from the foot which is really just the candela wrapper is a very light hay. The pre-light draw is non-existent due to the sealed foot.

Pre-light Experience

The Viva Republica Art of War Corona Gorda looks rustic and banged up. The wrapper looks overly stretched with a couple unpressed major veins running down the extent of the cigar. The seams however are very tight and seamless. The cap is difficult to gauge as it appears there is just a single short cap. Pre-light wrapper aroma gives fresh barnyard and flowery perfume. Nosing the foot provides some nose tingling dry white pepper. Cold draw yields nothing as the foot is entirely enclosed.

First Third

Initial draws bring a spicy and slightly sweet caramel flavor. After a few draws, the caramel transitions into cedar and maintains some of the spice. At a half inch, some cream comes in to create a great blend of slightly spicy cedar and cream. The retrohale is a mild spicy cedar. Three quarters if an inch in, the spiciness goes away and even though the cream remains, the cedar becomes a bit drying. At an inch in, some sweetness becomes present on the retrohale to mix with the cedar. As the third comes to a close, it is a very mellow mix of cedar and cream. The strength in this third is slightly below medium.

First Third

Burning through the initial half inch candela portion of the wrapper, full flavors of toasted nuts, sweet bread and oak. Moving into the broadleaf portion of the cigar, in addition to the aforementioned flavors, leather and oily black pepper. Through the nose, amplified (and favorable) black pepper, toasted nuts and slight charred wood. The finish consists of faint charred wood mixed with black pepper. In terms of strength, the cigar starts out medium but by the end of the first third, ramps to a medium-full. In regards to body, medium to medium-full.

Second Third

As this third begins, the cedar and cream continue, but there is also a slight sweetness and saltiness that is present in the background. A half inch in, that sweet and spicy background note goes away and a little bitterness comes in to go along with the cedar and cream. At an inch in, the cedar transitions to oak and it has a slight char to it. At an inch and a half, the profile is charred oak, cream and a slightly spicy bitterness. The retrohale is a slightly charred oak. The strength in this third was right at medium.

Second Third

The second thirds complexities die down providing namely an interplay of toasted nuts and oily black pepper spice. Secondary flavors of charred wood and slight bread. Through the retrohale, still the same level of amplified black pepper, toasted nuts and faint grassiness. The finish lingers with faint charred wood and black pepper. Strength continues to be medium-full and body somewhere in between medium and medium-full.

Final Third

As this third begins, it’s charred oak and cream with a little bitterness on the finish. The retrohale is a light creamy oak. At a quarter inch in, a little black coffee joins in. At three quarters of an inch in, a spicy heat joins the mix of slightly charred oak and coffee bitterness. At an inch and a half in, the spicy heat goes away and the profile is a slightly charred oak with coffee bitterness. As the cigar finishes, the bitterness goes away and some cream comes back in to mix with the slightly charred oak. The strength in this this was slightly above medium.

Final Third

The last thirds flavor profile is one that is dominant with leather, oily black pepper spice and slight bread. Through the nose, the same level of amplified black pepper and toasted nuts. The finish is comprised of faint charred wood mixed with black pepper spice. Strength continues to be at medium-full. Body is between medium and medium-full.

Burn

This was the model for a razor sharp burn line the entire way. Ash held on is just over one inch increments.

Burn

The burn was overall good. Total smoking time clocked in at 1 hour and 50 minutes. Burn line was fairly sharp the entire time. Ashes held on tight but was quite flowery, averaging 1 inch increments.

Draw

The draw was perfect with just the right amount of resistance I look for.

Overall

The cigar started with a very interesting caramel note which I attribute to the small amount of candela wrapper at the foot. After that, there was a good mix of cedar and cream that transitioned to oak as the cigar progressed. While not a wowing flavor profile, it did present good flavors that followed a good transition level. This cigar would be approachable to any level cigar smoker and definitely a good entry point to people that may shy away from the fuller strength Viva Republica offerings. I recommend picking one up to see if it fits your flavor profile.

Aaron
Jiunn
Very Good Pre
Light
Poor
Good First
Third
Very Good
Average Second Third Good
Average Final
Third
Good
Amazing Burn Good
Amazing Draw Average
Good Overall Good

Draw

The draw started out great, but by the second half of the cigar, the draw became significantly loose for some reason. This heated the cigar and as such, required me to slow my draws.

Overall

This is a perfect example of never judging a book by its cover. The poor presentation of the cigar proved to be indirectly related to the smoking experience. I enjoyed the toasted aspects mixed with the sweet bread quite a bit. Not the typical chocolaty and dank iteration of Connecticut Broadleaf, but this is not one to be missed.

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.67

Cost/Point

$1.42

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.80

Cost/Point

$1.40

Scoring System

Aaron LoomisTeam Cigar Review: Viva Republica Art of War Corona Gorda

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