A few years back I met a Norwegian guy, nickname Hawk, at the Intertabac trade show who had his own brands of cigars named Chess, Hawk and Amero. These cigars were Dominican made and for some reason his factory manager in the Dominican Willis Cabrera added me to Facebook. Now the last 2 years I didn’t see the owner of the brand Hawk at the show, neither did I see a booth and Willis disappeared from my Facebook friend list too, why I don’t know. Much to my surprise I saw Hawk again this year, not with Chess cigars but with a new brand: Viking Cigar. Now Hawk was busy so we didn’t have time to chat but I did get a cigar to try from his German distributer who told me all the Viking Cigar lines were made by the legendary Ernesto Perez Carrillo, who at that exact moment dropped by the booth.
I went to the Viking website to see which line of cigars I got, to get some details for this review but much to my surprise I couldn’t find details of the blend, just a story about Leiv Ericsson, a legendary viking around the year 1000 and according to the saga he discovered America almost half a century before Columbus did. I also googled Willis Cabrera and discovered he now has his own brand of cigars too but thats something for another day. What I did get from the website was that I got a sample of the Viking line, one of the three lines they have, the others are Norseman and Nordic Warrior. On the Viking Facebook page I found a short video where Ernesto explains a little about the cigar, it contains Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers with a USA broadleaf wrapper.
The first thing that you notice, except for the beautiful dark, thick, oily wrapper, which feels quite leathery, is the beautiful ring. Now its not a ring of paper but its made of tinplate, which makes it quite unique. The design has a viking helmet, the word Norway is on top and Dominican Republic is printed at the bottom. The band is just awesome and the coolest novelty i’ve seen at the Intertabac trade show this year. The cigar has a nice barnyard aroma, not too strong and quite pleasant. The construction feels good, the cigar seems evenly filled.
After i cut the cigar with the xikar xi2 I get a good cold draw with some pepper on my lips. The cigar tastes sweet with some coffee and earthy tones right after I lit it with a soft flame. The sweetness reminds me a lot of caramel, and it pushes the coffee completely away, I still taste some pepper on the background though. After an inch I taste more of an earthy flavor with some spices while the caramel just tones it down a little. After a third i feel the cigar in the back of my throat but that feeling disappears quickly too. After that I taste toast but still with a great caramel flavor. Slowly but surely I feel a nice pepper in the aftertaste with a little bit of earthy notes. The caramel slowly loses part of its strength while the pepper and spice slowly gains a little strength without becoming overpowering. At the end I taste a nice mixture of nuts, caramel and spices, so nice I grabbed my nub tool to enjoy every last puff.
The smoke is medium thick but I get plenty of it. The ash is light colored, dense and firm. The burn needed to be corrected once. The cigar is medium plus bodied but full of flavor, the balance is great. The draw is flawless. The smoke time is about an hour and twenty minutes.
Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, this might be the best cigar from the Perez Carrillo factory I’ve smoked so far.