The 411: Viva La Vida Cigar

Viva La Vida Robusto with a Bottle of Monkey Shoulder

The goal of this blog is bring you what I examine to be the best. Through a series of tastings, trials, studies, and experiments I am able to do this. A lot of wine is tasted, several meals are cooked, and cigars are smoked frequently. The intention is to offer in my opinion, the best so you don’t have to waste your time or money.

Through Luxury Cigar Club I was exposed to the Viva La Vida Robusto. The robusto made it to number 14 out of the Top 25 of 2020 in Cigar Journal. It tells me there is something special about the little fellow.

Viva La Vida #14 of Top 25 in Cigar Journal

The Specs

Wrapper: Habano Oscuro 2000 (Nicaragua)

Binder: Corojo ’99 (Nicaragua)

Filler: Criollo ’98 (Nicaragua)

Factory: Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua (Nicaragua)

Production: Regular Production

Vitola: 5″ × 54 (Robusto)

Price: $10.50 (MSRP)


The backstory behind this little beauty is inspirational at the very least. Perhaps it is one of the many reasons I am sucker for Viva La Vida. As we launch further out, we will find ourselves beginning in Manhattan, New York. The creation of it all came from two brothers named Billy and Gus Fakih. A story of hope and vision is found within the wrappers of these cigars.

They originally owned two stores called “Cigar Inn,” but they didn’t settle there. Instead the two of them had a vision for something tremendous. Out of their vision came Artesano Del Tobacco. Having 23 years of retail experience and a crafted relationship with cigar maker and grower AJ Fernadez, these two brothers sold their shops and birthed the brainchild Viva La Vida.

Artesano Del Tobacco Logo

Viva La Vida cigars are fully Nicaraguan, made with a mixture of Nicaraguan leaves and the wrapper is by AJ Fernandez, who also produces and distributes the product. Viva La Vida is available in five sizes: the Diadema Fina, a 6 1/2 inch by 52 ring figurado; Gran Toro, 6 by 60; Robusto, 5 by 54; Toro, 6 by 54; and Torpedo, 6 1/2 by 54.

My Personal Review

While examining the outside of the cigar I found no major veins, which is always a plus. The wrapper was dark and the over all build of the robusto was constructed with excellence.

Viva La Vida and Monkey Shoulder

At the outset of the first section of the cigar the aroma was pleasing to my nose and even after it dwindled in the air. On the draw I was picking up on hints of pepper. The pepper was not an overbearing spice, but it was present. Subtle flavors of leather and caramel made their way through. I found the draw to be consistent.

Halfway through this luxurious smoke I still discovered the draw to be consistent. The peppery notes still remained. If you are not fond of a spicy cigar, there is no need to fear this one. The Viva La Vida robusto presents it well. The flavor of leather was still present, but as I smoked further I recognized a toasted flavor and again slight hints of caramel and sweetness. Due to these flavors it caused me to wonder if pairing chocolate and caramel would compliment this cigar.

I chose to enjoy this cigar with a dram of Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch Whisky. The spirit of choice came in handy during the final phase of the tasting. In the final stretch the pepper turned into a bitter espresso flavor followed up with a blend of earth and a little chocolate.

FInal Thoughts

I will definitely remember this cigar and I have added it to my re-smoke list. Sure my personal re-smoke list may sound silly, but it’s actually important. My personal rating on a scale of 1-5, is a definite 5 out of 5 and truly a noble smoke. Having a re-smoke, re-drink, or re-eat list is critical especially when you only want the best.

Me Enjoying the Viva La Vida Robusto Cigar

For me personally I choose to invest in quality cigars, wine, and food. Therefore I have lists surrounding those areas. The Viva La Vida Robusto will cost you anywhere between $10.00-$15.00 a cigar. I promise you will get every penny’s worth. About an hour or more of a smoke time.

Thanks to Luxury Cigar Club, I am able to enjoy luxurious cigars from smaller brands amidst the larger every day brands and companies. It then creates the opportunity to not only enjoy top cigars, but bring you the cigar reviews you deserve before spending the money.

Viva La Vida Wrapper and Leather Journal

Smoke well my friends!

Luxury Cigar Club:

Cigar Journal:

Looking for more delicious inspiration? Follow The Traveling Somm on: Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

One thought on “The 411: Viva La Vida Cigar

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: