I have a bundle of both and your review was spot on. They were just blah and makes me wonder what the blender was thinking. The vitola was wrong, the blend was wrong, the cigar just missed. I'm praying they come around with some age, but I'm not holding my breath.
Review: Viaje White Label Project Stuffed Turkey White Meat
In November of 2011, Viaje released the WLP Stuffed Turkey, a cigar created based on a conversation with Stogie Review’ Jerry Cruz. The Stuffed Turkey is officially part of the White Label Project series, which has had multiple releases this year and last. However, while the cigar was supposed to be sent to retailers in November like last year, the shipment was delayed until December.
Viaje has announced the 2012 release of the WLP Stuffed Turkey has been delayed until “Christmas.” A message on Facebook blamed a “shipping delay.”
Stuffed Turkey is the Thanksgiving release for the WLP series, inspired by a conversation with Stogie Review at the 2011 IPCPR and was expected to add a second release with brand owner Andre Farkas hinting there would be “white meat” and “dark meat” versions for 2012.
The message read:
UPDATE – Due to a shipping delay, WLP Stuffed Turkey will be released for Christmas this year opposed to Thanksgiving as originally planned.
A December release of Stuffed Turkey would mean a roughly nine month gap between Viaje White Label Project releases with the most recent release being the WLP St Patrick’s in March.
As Andre Farkas, owner of Viaje Cigars, explains the idea behind the “White Label Project”:
WLP is the vehicle by which we will release experimental blends, shapes, mash ups, factory errors, etc. It’s a peek behind the factory curtain. This is WLP’s purpose. Blends, shapes, etc. that would normally never get released will be available under this label. We will also be listening to your ideas. If we hear something suggested that might make a good cigar you might see it released under WLP.
As I explained last year:
The story behind how this Stuffed Turkey got it’s name is as unlikely as it is amusing. Apparently, while Jerry Cruz and Brian Hewitt were interviewing Farkas for the blog, Cruz joked that since Viaje was big on specific holiday releases (i.e. St. Patrick’s Day, 4th of July, etc) the company should release a cigar for Thanksgiving called the Stuffed Turkey. Well, apparently Andre took it to heart, as the joke has now become a reality.
Jerry Cruz describes it:
In the video we were joking around with Andre about all of the Viaje seasonal releases and I made a comment about how he was just missing a Thanksgiving themed release. That was July. Fast forward to today and I get an e-mail from Andre as well as a mention on his Facebook page confirming Charlie’s post and our inspiration for theViaje WLP Stuffed Turkey.
Unlike last year, there are two different cigars released under the Stuffed Turkey name: White Meat and Dark Meat. Here is a photo of them together:
The 2012 renditions of the Stuffed Turkey are the seventh and eighth incarnations of the White Label Project. In order of release, they are:
- Viaje White Label Project (OR) (5 5/8 x 46) — January 2011 — 50 Bundles of 25 Cigars (1,250 Total Cigars)
- Viaje White Label Project St. Patrick’s (5 x 50) — March 2011 — 100 Bundles of 25 Cigars (2,500 Total Cigars)
- Viaje White Label Project Fifty Fifty Red (6 x 48) — June 2011 — 200 Bundles of 25 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)
- Viaje White Label Project Stuffed Turkey (5 x 60) — November 2011 — 150 Bundles of 25 Cigars (3,750 Total Cigars)**
- Viaje White Label Project Winter Classic (4 1/2 x 48) — February 2012 — 250 Bundles of 25 Cigars (6,250 Total Cigars)
- Viaje White Label Project St. Patrick’s (2012) (5 x 52) — March 2012 — 150 Bundles of 25 Cigars (3,750 Total Cigars)
- Viaje White Label Project Stuffed Turkey White Meat (2012) (5 x 60)— December 2012 — 150 Bundles of 25 Cigars (3,750 Total Cigars)
- Viaje White Label Project Stuffed Turkey Dark Meat (2012) (5 x 60) — December 2012 — 150 Bundles of 25 Cigars (3,750 Total Cigars)
** The number of bundles was misprinted as “200″ in the original release of the Stuffed Turkey.
The packaging the Viaje Stuffed Turkey White Meat come in look much the same as last years release with newspaper wrapped bundles with a turkey stickeron the front. It looks like this:
(Image via Viaje/Facebook.)
But enough of that, lets get down to business, shall we?
- Cigar Reviewed: Viaje White Label Project Stuffed Turkey White Meat
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L. (Raíces Cubanas)
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 60
- Vitola: Robusto Gordo
- MSRP: $9.80 (Bundles of 25, $245.00)
- Date Released: December 2012
- Number of Cigars Released: 150 Boxes of 25 Cigars (3,750 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 2
The Viaje Stuffed Turkey White Meat is large and heavy in the hand with a reddish brown wrapper slightly toothy to the touch. There is some oil present, but just enough to be noticeable. The cigar is fairly hard when squeezed, but it doe have a bit of give, and I can feel two soft spots. Aroma coming off the wrapper is chocolate, coffee, earth and oak.
The Viaje Stuffed Turkey White Meat starts off the first third creamy with strong notes of leather, creamy wood, bitter espresso and earth. There is some nice black pepper on the retrohale that thankfully sticks around for the entire first third and just a tad bit of spice on the lips, which unfortunately does not. Smoke production is way above average, white and billowy. The burn is a bit wonky, but not even close to problematic, and the draw is perfect for such a large ring gauge. The overall strength ends the first third at a solid medium, and while it does seem to be on the upswing, it is going nowhere very fast.
Coming into the second third of the White Meat and the profile is a bit less creamy and a bit sweeter, but sadly not enough to really place a specific flavor. Other notes of earth, coffee, chocolate and tobacco dance in and out, never really sticking around long enough to make a huge impression. The black pepper from the first third remains noticeable on the retrohale, but is reduced a bit, and I am wondering if it will actually stick around until the end. Thankfully, the burn has really evened up and the burn line is razor sharp for the entire second third. The draw continues to be wonderful and the strength continues to increase, ending the second third slightly above the medium mark.
The final third of the WLP Stuffed Turkey changes very little from the first two thirds, both in flavors and construction. Still a bit of generic sweetness, still a bit of pepper on the retrohale, still a bit creamy, but the flavors—while distinct—are still fairly boring. The burn is perfect to the end, and the draw has not issues whatsoever. The strength continues to increase until the end, and finishes the cigar smack dab between medium and full.
- Last year’s release of the Stuffed Turkey was 150 bundles of 25 cigars. Each version of the 2012 version is a similar 125 bundles of 25.
- There have been eight separate releases in the White Label Project line. All were released in newspaper wrapped bundles, but the two that were released for specific holidays each have an added sticker on the outside of the bundle: a shamrock for the WLP St. Patrick’s and a Turkey for the WLP Stuffed Turkeys, which was released for Thanksgiving last year and Christmas this year.
- Despite the fact that the production numbers printed on each bundle of the original release of the Stuffed Turkey say “200″ (bundles), the actual number of bundles released is 150 due to the fact that the “factory labeled the bundles incorrectly.”.
- As has become the case with almost every Viaje release this year, Farkas decided to ship multiple different cigars to accounts at the same time. Along with the two versions of the Stuffed Turkey, this shipment included the 2012 Holiday Blend, the 2012 Holiday Blend Candy Cane and another release of the Friends and Family.
- Visually, this year’s White Meat and last year’s Stuffed Turkey are almost identical.
- Interestingly, while there is a difference, the difference between the wrapper colors of the White Meat and Dark Meat versions are not as striking as I thought they would be.
- Viaje has been—largely rightfully—vilified for burn problems, but I have to say, after just a bit of a wonky start in the first third, the burn on both of my samples of the Stuffed Turkey White Meat were almost picture perfect:
- Pure speculation: considering the above, I wonder if at least one of the reasons for delay on the release this year was to give the cigars a bit more time to dry out.
- The samples smoked for this review were sent to us by site sponsor Tobacco Grove.
- The final smoking time for both samples averaged one hour and 40 minutes.
- If you would like to purchase some of the Viaje Stuffed Turkey (or any of the new Viaje releases), site sponsors Atlantic Cigar and Tobacco Grove both have them in stock as of this moment.
The Bottom Line: As you may remember, I was not overly impressed with last year’s inaugural release of the Stuffed Turkey.This year’s incarnation is a bit better, but it is still too big, too dull and too monotonous profile-wise. Having said that, the construction on both of my samples was spot on, even the burn, which has given Viaje trouble in the past. This was a decent cigar with decent flavors and well worth trying if you like the size, but if you are looking for a cigar to astound you with its complexity, keep looking.
Final Score: 83