While many people refer to her as the wife of Jose Blanco (Senorial); Emma Viktorsson had has a lengthy career in the Premium Cigar industry with over 10 years on the European side and now she brings her knowledge and passion for the industry to the shelves of humidors around the world.
Freyja which is made by Las Cumbres in the Dominican Republic is named after the head of the Valkyrie, and is the Viking Goddess of beauty, love and fertility. The cigar is available in 4 sizes, and today we look at the robusto.
Cigar Review: Freyja
Size: 5.5 x 50 (Valhalla)
Wrapper: Dominican Republic (Criollo ’98)
Binder: Mexico (San Andres)
Filler: Dominican Republic (Criollo ’98, Piloto Cubano), Nicraragua
Source: Las Cumbres
The Look: The artwork that adorns the band of the Freyja lacks clarity, and I think it could have been sharper with more detail to really pop on the shelves. The colors of blue and gold are dominant but they don’t draw my eye to the cigar. You can’t smoke the band, so lets look at the cigar itself. The Criollo ’98 wrapper has a nice amount of oils visible and some brindle like coloring. In the hand the cigar is firm with a nice weight to it.
The Notes: The cold draw of the Freyja serves up notes of molasses and caramel, and comes across as very familiar to me and very Dominican Republic. The foot of the cigar has some subtle maple and spice. Once the cigar was cut and toasted the first notes of the cigar were nutty.
As we smoke into the first third of Freyja the dominant notes are nuts and earth that take hold within the first few puffs. There is some pepper through the nose and as the first third comes to a close some coffee notes and a subtle sweetness begin to emerge as the aroma becomes woody.
The second third of the Freyja from Las Cumbres sees the sweetness define itself as the maple experienced on the cold draw. There are also some notes of chocolate and cedar, with a continued coffee on the finish. The retrohale has elements of rye which is different then the pepper experienced in the first third.
The last third of the Freyja changes significantly and becomes darker in my opinion with notes of leather, strong espresso and an increase in pepper of the cayenne variety. The finish is earthy and all the sweetness has left the cigar.
The Burn: The slow burning Freyja has a burn line that is slightly off-center. The thick combustion line reveals a flaky but firm ash that holds on for a third at a time. The draw was perfect and the cigar never needed to be relit or touched up.
The Finish: I was really enjoying the smooth medium bodied cigar that made up the first two-thirds of the Freyja when the cigar through me a curveball by changing things up dramatically in the last third. If I was a batter in a baseball game my knees would have buckled and I would have been out on a called strike three. It’s hard to rate a cigar that changes so much because your mindset suddenly changes. Continuing with a baseball analogy if a pitcher has a shutout through 7 innings and gives up a home run, what do you remember the most? The answer would depend on who you were cheering for and thus the conundrum for me. For me the change hurts the cigar slightly, but the cigar still remains strong for a rookie candidate.
(Random Thoughts While Smoking)
- This is my first cigar of the day. Over my vacation last week I smoked a total of 5 cigars, down from the 4-6 I smoke per day.
- I often say you can’t smoke the band, but when a new cigar is on the shelf it can help sell the cigar. That being said, if I didn’t know the people behind this cigar I would most likely skip it based on the look.
- If you ever took part in a Jose Blanco seminar he always talks about how important the aroma is, and it appears that Emma has taken note as the aroma was as enjoyable as the cigar itself.
- I expected the San Andres binder to over-power the Criollo ’98 wrapper but that was not the case.
- Total smoking time was 1 hour 55 minutes and the cigar was paired with water.