“Of old was the age | when Ymir lived;
Sea nor cool waves | nor sand there were;
Earth had not been, | nor heaven above,
But a yawning gap, | and grass nowhere.
Then Bur's sons lifted | the level land,
Mithgarth the mighty | there they made;
The sun from the south | warmed the stones of earth,
And green was the ground | with growing leeks.
The sun, the sister | of the moon, from the south
Her right hand cast | over heaven's rim;
No knowledge she had | where her home should be,
The moon knew not | what might was his,
The stars knew not | where their stations were.
Then sought the gods | their assembly-seats,
The holy ones, | and council held;
Names then gave they | to noon and twilight,
Morning they named, | and the waning moon,
Night and evening, | the years to number.”
At a blót to Sunna yesterday to celebrate Midsummer, the next cigars for review were blessed in honor of the old gods (a blót is a Norse Pagan, or Heathen, ritual at which offerings are made to the gods and blessings sought; Sunna is the Norse goddess of the Sun).
I have previously reviewed the Viking Robusto, by Viking Cigars and E.P. Carillo. This cigar, the Nordic Warrior, is another of the company's three blends. I greatly enjoyed the Maduro Viking blend, and am excited to review this one, featuring another of my favorite wrapper leaves, an Ecuadorian Sumatra.
Like the Viking Maduro, these cigars are only marketed in central/northern Europe and Scandinavia (basically, in the Viking ancestral homelands), so I had to special order them from a shop in Germany that ships to the United States.
Cigar: Nordic Warrior by Viking Cigars and E.P. Carillo
Vitola: Robusto (5” x 52)
Origin: Dominican Republic (though Viking Cigars is based in Norway)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Rating (out of 10): 9.6
This stick features a kind of chestnut-brown wrapper with light veins and a light sheen of oil, as well as a tightly-curled pigtail cap. The black and gold band, which is made of tin, like the Maduro Viking Robusto, depicts a bearded Viking warrior (head only), in front of a pair of crossed axes. The words “Nordic Warrior” appear beneath each axe blade, and centered across the bottom, is the word “Norway,” which is the company's location (I put “Dominican Republic” above as the origin, since that's where the factory is located).
The cigar is perfectly constructed and capped, with no damage anywhere that I can see.
The barrel smells a bit nutty, with a hint of floral sweetness. The foot smells rich and earthy, with strong notes of fruit.
Lighter was a bit finnicky as I lit this thing, but I think I still managed to get a pretty even light. The initial draw is a little tight, and tastes of almonds and dried fruit. A slight bite on the end opens up the draw a bit. There's a bit of creaminess to the smoke, as well, that balances the nuts and the fruit. Bit of cedar on the finish, also.
The flavor is smooth, the smoke soft and silky. The burn line is even, only slightly wavy. The ash is white and mostly solid, with some flaking around the edges.
As it burns, it picks up more of a peppery spice on the finish.
The ash is still holding on as we roll into the second third; I've always been impressed by the Viking Cigars' solid ash columns, but I suppose it should come as no surprise, given their name.
After rolling the ash off into my ash tray (I'm always paranoid about dropping a hot column of ash onto myself), the burn becomes a bit uneven, but right before I was about to give up on it and give it a touchup, it suddenly self-corrected, a beautiful orange-red ember lighting up across the wrapper, and fading away again once the burn was corrected.
The flavor is pretty consistent, and doesn't change too wildly, nor does it need to. It retains a primarily nutty and fruity profile, and just subtle, nuanced variations to the faint undertones and the finish. In the second third, there's a bit of salt underneath the main flavors, and cracked pepper on the finish.
Oh, hey. Time to get this band off... stupid me, I forgot that metal gets hot when it's heated. So, uh... fair warning. If you manage to get your hands on these, remember that the band is made of tin, and then the heated cherry gets near it, it's going to get hot.
The last third is probably the spiciest, but it's not overpowering. I'm getting a bit more of that cedar again towards the end, also.
It finishes just as smoothly as it started, with a mostly consistent flavor throughout.
I'll be honest, between the two blends I've smoked so far, I still prefer the Maduro Viking. But that's not to say the Nordic Warrior is not a fantastic cigar in its own right. It's a wonderful medium-bodied stick that would pair nicely with either a fine honey mead or a medium-strength coffee.
Now, I'll have to put in an order for the last of the three blends, the Norseman, to see which of the three comes out on top!