Double Edge Sword 2 Review by Bryan Valentine

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Cigar: Exclusivo Double Edged Sword II by Viaje
Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $16.00
Vitola: Perfecto
Drink: Sam Adams Oktoberfest
Appearance and Construction: The appearance of the DES2 is a light brown color.  The perfecto appears to be rolled perfectly.  There are no visible cracks or anything.  The band is the classic Viaje logo, classy.  There is also the foot band which says collectors edition.  Overall this is a great looking cigar.

Pre-Light:  It is a very distinct barnyard aroma.  I also picked up on a very subtle earthy manure scent.  Not in an unpleasant way either, if that makes sense, kind of reminds me of being in a barn … minus the animals.  There is also some fruit in the mix, maybe a date flavor.
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First Third: I cut the cigar with a guillotine cutter and lit it with a Bic, because that is all I have with me at the moment, as I’m currently vacationing in Maine this week.  Even with the cheap lighter I had no issue getting it toasted up nicely.  Again, the cigar construction is great.  There has been a lot of talk about this cigar regarding quality control.  While I do feel that packaging on the DES2 could have been better, this particular review cigar is flawless.  The draw is just how I like.  Good smoke output as well.  First couple of draws I get lots of deep earthy flavors.  Even picking up on a rubber taste.  The earthy notes linger into a long finish.  Very, very subtle peppery note in the back of the throat.  Near the end of the first third, the rubber flavor has gone away.
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Second Third: The cigar is burning perfectly.  Great smoke and awesome draw.  I was glad to leave the rubber taste behind, although it really did not last too long.  Now, the earth flavor on the DES2 is more like dirt.  The pepper in the back is still there but even less now.  A lot of people notice that some Viaje cigars really are not ready for prime time right off the truck and benefit from a little rest.  I agree with that, but not in this case.  Normally, I would already be fighting to keep it lit and an even burn.  This performance for only a month or 2 old cigar is surprising.  And as most Viajes the ash is a nice dark almost black color in parts.  Near the end of the second third I see another transition.  The flavor went to earthy dirt to now a rich leather and woodsy.  The finish is very long.  Almost too long, I found myself washing it down with some lager.
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Final Third:  The draw on the DES2 is getting more and more tight.  I’m concerned the head of the cigar might be taring up a bit which could make the cigar much stronger.  Up until this point the cigar has been medium in strength.  False alarm.  I squeezed the torpedo tip and the draw loosed right back up.  The flavor has changed a bit again.  I’m no longer getting wood flavors.  And the leather flavor has gotten sweet tasting.  The finish has shortened as well.  Still the performance of this cigar has been great.  It really has burned flawlessly.  I was even able to put it down for several minutes to take a phone call.  The final flavors were the same as mentioned before except that the pepper flavor has come back a bit.  It lingers on the tongue for a few seconds.
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Body: The body of this cigar is a solid medium.  The strength is also medium.  Normally, I find Viaje cigars to be pretty strong in strength.  It was a nice change.  I think with this cigar a good lager or ale will pair nicely.
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Overall Smoking Experience: While I did enjoy this cigar, my expectations were higher.  When you pay $16.00+ for a cigar it should not only perform perfectly, it should also taste very good.  The rubber flavor I came across was not very good.  Total smoking time was about 2 hours.

Bryan’s Rating: If you know me, you will know that I am a Viaje fan to say the least.  With that being said I was not overly impressed with the DES2.  It seems to me that marketing as taken hold of this line.  For the price you might be better with a Liga or Padron.  On a positive note I was very pleased the cigar performed well with little age.
I’d give the Double Edged Sword II a 6.6 out of 10, where 10 being damn near perfect.
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Buy Again:  I would buy a couple more of these simply because they are rare.  I would also imagine they would age well.

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