Normally, I'm busy on Friday nights and not able to do a review. Tonight, though, I happened to have my night open up, and figured, since it is “Freya's Day,” why not do a review of Emma Viktorsson's Freyja?
A bit of background: Emma Viktorsson and her husband Jose Blanco (a cigar industry veteran) launched their company, Las Cumbres Tabaco, in the Dominican Republic. Freyja is a cigar project spearheaded entirely by Emma Viktorsson, who wanted to release a product of her own. The cigar industry is still heavily dominated by men, so this was to be a project that would demonstrate that Emma was every bit as capable a cigar maker as her husband. Further, this project would emphasize her Swedish heritage. The blend was named for the Vanir Goddess Freyja, and each vitola further reflects the Norse mythology: Sessrumnir (Corona Larga), the name of Freya's hall, where half of those who fall in battle go in the afterlife (the other half go to Valhalla; but Freya gets first choice); Valhalla (Robusto); Thor (Toro); and Valkyrie (Pyramid). An additional box-pressed vitola, Mjölnir (named for Thor's Hammer) was released later.
I had a box of these, long before I launched this site. Tonight's stick is the last of those, and I've been holding onto it specifically for a night like this: a Friday evening that became available by chance. As it happens, I'm also currently reading Northern Mysteries & Magick, By Freya Aswynn. So the timing really works out nicely.
Cigar: Freyja, By Emma Viktorsson
Vitola: Toro (6” x 54)
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Dominican Criollo '98
Binder: Mexican San Andrés
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican
Rating (out of 10): 9.0
The Freya features a wrapper that's a nice milk-chocolatey brown in color, with light veins and invisible seams. There is a small hole in the wrapper about 3/4” up from the foot; I've been holding onto this stick for so long, though, it's impossible to say how or when the hole got there. The wrapper is quite oily to the touch.
The band features a blue-and-gold motif with a painting of the Goddess Freyja, one hand holding a flaming chalice in front of her, the other holding aloft a ritual blade. Freyja is the Norse Goddess most associated with feminine witchcraft mysteries, known as Seiðr. In addition to the primary image, the band itself which wraps around the rest of the barrel features a fleet of Viking Drakkar longships. The band is a glorious piece of art in and of itself.
With the exception of the damage to the wrapper I noted above, the construction on this is quite good. The cap is absolutely flawless, and cuts perfectly.
The barrel of the cigar smells strongly of leather, with a blast of dried fruit and cocoa at the foot.
Before lighting, I get notes of leather, citrus, and pepper on the cold draw. It's tasty even before starting!
Once I lit it, I immediately got a blast of citrus and cedar, with a bit of cinnamon on the finish.
I'm not seeing smoke billowing through that little hole; looks like it's just superficial damage.
Getting a bit of a cocoa aftertaste.
Some early struggles with maintaining an even burn, and I had to touch it up a couple of times.
As it burns, the cedar flavor takes on a slightly smokier quality. There are also some undertones of cocoa underneath the dried citrus notes.
The ash is a little loose around the outer edges, but holding together nicely in the center. It's almost pure white in color.
About an inch and a half down, the pepper and cinnamon spice has softened quite a bit. The flavor is still there, but the “zing” has toned itself down. The burn has also mostly evened out.
There's a subtle “meatiness” hiding in the flavor, almost like a smoked pork.
Rolling into the second third, the flavors have come into a wonderful balance, mostly citrus and pork with rich spices now. It's a solid medium body, with a wonderfully complex flavor profile.
The spicy kick on the finish starts to pick back up a little past halfway.
There's that smoky cedar again, too.
Really nice mix of sweet and spicy flavors.
The burn got a little out of control in the last third, needing some more touchups.
The citrus really comes through in the last third, with a nice sweetness to it.
Spicier and spicier as it draws down toward the end.
This one had some burn issues, which I do recall being a problem with the other sticks from this box before. Apart from that, though, it's got a wonderful flavor to it. I greatly enjoyed these cigars, and I'd love to pick up another box, but... I'm definitely going to need another humidor or two!