Viva Republica Guerrilla Warfare Petit Corona
So, you guys should all be familiar with Jeff by now. He’s our honorary Casas Fumando writer, and he kicked out tons of great reviews. If he keeps this up we are going to force him to join us full time. Until then, enjoy his newest “Guest” review.
I have previously reviewed the Viva Republica Propaganda Disinformation, and have been anxious to get around to this review of the Guerrilla Warfare for a while now. The Guerrilla Warfare was the second line to be released by Viva Republica, following the Rapture. This line comes in two vitolas, a 5.25×43 corona and a 4×41 petit corona, and is made at La Aurora’s E. León Jimenes factory in the Dominican Republic. Although small in stature, this cigar packs an impressive five country blend into its makeup, including a double binder.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Double binder – Dominican Republic, Mexican
Filler: Brazilian, Dominican Republic, Nicaraguan
Size: Petit Corona 4×41
Price: $4.00 ($200/box of 50), slightly more for singles
Smoking time: 50 minutes
Pairing: Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) Rise Up Red India Red Ale (6.1% ABV)
The Viva Republic Guerrilla Warfare carries a mottled brown wrapper with a bit of tooth and a fair amount of oils. It is well packed and pretty solid down to the foot where it shows a little give when squeezed. There are a couple of minor veins leading up to the double cap, which is not the prettiest of things. I guess this is somewhat fitting for a cigar that bears this name. The band features a two-toned black background with a green clenched fist and lettering – nothing fancy, but defiant as a guerrilla should be. Because the stick comes un-cellophaned, the time spent in my humidor has probably robbed it of much of whatever wrapper aroma might have been there to begin with. As it is, it shows a very slight bit of earthy and musky tobacco, while the foot displays a peaty tobacco scent with a slight hit of pepper. Just a slight snip of the cap reveals an open draw and sweet spice.
The small size of the Guerrilla Warfare makes for a quick toasting of the foot and I am greeted by a good dose of pepper along with the sweet spice, earth and some leather. The pepper imparts a strong sting on the retrohale, and some oakiness and powdery sweetness show themselves as well. A ½” long crack opened up on the wrapper, but it appears that it will burn through it without a problem, and the ash so far is pretty solid with just a bit of flaking. About ½” in, the Guerrilla Warfare has abruptly gone out on me, and I had to knock off the ash for a re-light before I could get a photo, but after the re-light and a couple of puffs, things are back on track. The pepper has become smoother on the palate (but not so much on the retrohale – beware!), and light bread and deep musky tobacco have emerged to mingle with the other flavors in a medium-full package with little, if any, nicotine kick.
By the beginning of the second half of the Viva Republica Guerrilla Warfare, the pepper has backed off a bit more on the entry, but continues its strong presence on the retrohale. The light sweet spice, oak, and earthy tobacco continue to drive the flavors, and a bit of savory char has joined in. Although the burn line has wavered a bit throughout, I have not had to make any corrections and the ash taps off at ¾” intervals. The Guerrilla Warfare smokes nearly full-bodied and cool all the way down to a small nub, with just the slightest bit of harshness at the very end.
After smoking through three of these Guerrilla Warfares, I have to say that I am really impressed with this little guy. Great flavors, with a pretty good amount of complexity (albeit without a lot of obvious transitions), solid construction, and a surprisingly long smoke time for such a small cigar add up to a great value. I plan to keep at least a few of these around at all times, and will also check out the corona size for those times I want the same experience in a longer time frame.
This my first time with this beer, but what better drink to pair with the Guerrilla Warfare than a brew named Rise Up Red? The Rise Up Red India Red Ale is a seasonal red IPA from Portland, Oregon brewer Hopworks Urban Brewery aka HUB. Clocking in at 6.1% ABV, it displays a smooth medium bodied malty base with some grapefruit and nuttiness against a nice bitter finish. A good match, but the Viva Republica Guerrilla Warfare has the fullness of body and flavor to stand up to much stronger brews as well, such as a barley wine or a sweeter stout. Other suitable matches would include a sweet rum, tawny port, or a cup of strong coffee.