Blind Cigar Review: Ventura | Archetype Initiation CoronaCigar Info

Ventura Cigar launched a new 5 cigar lineup at this years IPCPR, . Each cigar features stunning visual imagery of the “hero’s journey” mythology on the boxes and bands. Chapter 1 consists of three (3) blends; two (2) blends made in the Dominican Republic at Occidental Cigars and one (1) blend from Honduras made at the Laepe factory. Chapter 2 consists of two (2) Nicaraguan blends created in collaboration with Drew Estate that are extremely limited and initially allocated only to retailers carrying the full Ventura Cigar line. Initiation has an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and is available in Corona 5×46 ($9.99), Robusto 5×54 ($10.99), 6×52 ($11.99), and Churchill 7×48 ($12.99). Chapter 2 consists of two blends, both made at Drew Estate. Today we will be reviewing the cigar Ventura | Initiation Corona, part of Chapter 2 release.

This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed.

According to Jason Carignan, Chief Marketing Officer, “the brand is inspired by the work of psychologist Dr. Carl Jung and the writings of mythographer Joseph Campbell who defined ‘archetypes’ as the constantly repeating characters who occur in the dreams of all people and the myths of all cultures. Campbell discovered through his study of world myths is that the ‘Hero’s Journey’ is a common storytelling arc that has been retold in infinite variations since time began.” Cigar smoking is really no different; we gather and we weave our tales as we share a couple of sticks and a glass of fine whiskey.

Yesterday, Ventura Cigar Company announced that the Chapter 2 Cigars, Initiation and Axis Mundi, have been restocked, and will now be shipping to premium tobacco retailers nationwide. Initially available only at select tobacconists, the Chapter 2 cigars sold out almost immediately in July 2016, when demand surpassed the available supply. With inventory restored, these Drew Estate-produced cigars will be more readily obtainable for fans of the brand.

“The exceptional blends of the Initiation and Axis Mundi cigars are unchanged in this second release,” says Benjamin Winokur, Marketing Manager, Ventura Cigar Company. “We’ve updated the artwork on the bands, but have otherwise left the perfection of these smokes alone. The only real difference of this batch versus the initial Chapter 2 release is its wider distribution. Initiation and Axis Mundi will finally be easier for customers to find. And that’s something to be excited about.”

“We are pleased that Cigars have been so well-received,” says Jason Carignan, CMO of Kretek, parent company of Ventura Cigar Company. “We really looked at creating a unique experience for the smoker- from the tobacco blends to the design of the packaging and references to transcendental legend. Now that both Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 blends are readily available, we hope the collection continues to gain traction as people explore the breadth of the brand.”

Blind Cigar Review: Ventura | Archetype Initiation CoronaVital Stats:

Vitola: Corona
Length: 5″
Ring Gauge: 46
Country of Origin:
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Factory: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
Number of reviewers: 5 (Big Matt) (A Huge Nerd) (smalls29) (Jokey Smurf) (Zane)
Price: $10.00
Age: 2 Months
Release Date: July 2016
Contributed by: Ventura Cigar Company

Blind Cigar Review: Ventura | Archetype Initiation CoronaInitial Impressions

Appearance: 92

“Nice light brown wrapper with small veins. Nice Triple cap and very nicely rolled cigar.” – (Zane)

Aroma: 90

“The wrapper has a smell of cedar. The foot, however, has a sweet aroma, like honey and fresh cut hay. Cold draw is more of the same, and very open.” – (A Huge Nerd)

Blind Cigar Review: Ventura | Archetype Initiation Corona

Blind Cigar Review: Ventura | Initiation Corona

First Third

Flavor: 89
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“This premium cigar offering starts off very much like it smelled during the prelight experience. On the exhale we have peat, honey, floral notes, and unripened stone fruit. Cayenne spice tingles the tongue. This is delightful. As we approach the end of the 1/3 leather enters the mix on the exhale and it is working very with with the profile of this cigar. Strength and body are both medium. Complexity is high. Through the nostrils presents me with a sharp white pepper, honey and a semisweet cream.” – (Big Matt)

“This is a nice mild cigar. The flavors of sweet chocolate and rum are very pleasing to the palate. The flavor does leave a slight numbing sensation like a Sucrets lozenge that provides a nice after taste. The rum flavor is something I have never tasted before in a cigar. I am enjoying this one.” – (smalls29)

Blind Cigar Review: Ventura | Archetype Initiation Corona

Blind Cigar Review: Ventura | Initiation Corona

Second Third

Flavor: 90
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“Essentially, the flavor profile remains the same. It is still giving lots of smoke and burning quickly, but not burning hot. The smoke has a nice texture and the retrohale has a subtle vanilla and cinnamon mixture. The wrapper starts to split but the cigar still smokes fine.” – (A Huge Nerd)

“The second third starts off with a continuation of the sweetness from the first third as well as some faint wood notes on the palette and retro hail as well. Sweet wood notes through the retro.” – (Zane)

Blind Cigar Review: Ventura | Archetype Initiation Corona

Blind Cigar Review: Ventura | Initiation Corona

Final Third

Flavor: 89
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“As I move to the final third, the strength is growing. What started off as a sweet flavorful cigar is growing stronger and more robust. The chocolate and rum are still very good and the numbness left behind is awesome. It tastes like I have gone form a sweet mocha to a strong chocolate and rum based coffee. Still loving it.” – (smalls29)

“The final third of this cigar presented a bit more of the pepper to add to the baking spice that had remained since the beginning. I’m really liking the combination of power and flavor in this corona.” – (Jokey Smurf)

Blind Cigar Review: Ventura | Archetype Initiation Corona

Blind Cigar Review: Ventura | Initiation Corona

Overall Impressions

Draw: 89

“I got plenty of smoke output and no problems whatsoever from the draw on this cigar.” – (A Huge Nerd)

Burn: 92

“Great burn with a dense ash.” – (Big Matt)

Construction: 92

“I have absolutely no complaints regarding the construction of this cigar. The ash was strong and the burn was even and slow. Well done” – (Jokey Smurf)

Overall Strength: Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium
Experience Overall: 90

“This is a very good cigar in a great vitola. This cigar sported almost invisible seams and a nice triple cap. The wrapper was a gorgeous mocha brown with a touch of oil. The exhale exhibited: peat, stone fruit, honey, leather, and camp fire. The finish was lengthy but delightful with raw tobacco and various antique woods whilst the retro had a sharp white pepper and a powdery cream. Into the final third, complexity drops off as leather, peat and camp fire fully take over. Overall, I really enjoyed this cigar experience and I believe most will, my pairing of choice would be a fine bourbon. Bravo.” – (Big Matt)

“In general, it was a good cigar. Consistent flavors and good smoke production. The lack of complexity, uneven burn, and wrapper issues are dropping the score a bit for me, but it was a nice smoke.” – (A Huge Nerd)

“I found this cigar to be a sleeper. It started off very mellow but the strength and intensity of the flavors grew as time went on. The beginning flavors of sweet chocolate and rum were wonderful. I enjoyed how these flavors grew in intensity but never lost their touch. It definitely had personality. the flavors never tried to outdo the others and all balance very well. I was very surprised at the rum flavor. Something I have never noticed before. This is definitely one for the humidor.” – (smalls29)

“This was an excellent example of what can be done with a corona sized cigar. The flavors are excellent and varied. The strength was just right, and the variety was enough to keep me interested. I’d recommend this to anyone.” – (Jokey Smurf)

“Overall I really enjoyed this cigar. Some great flavor notes throughout that changed up enough to keep me interested. For me this cigar was a little on the mild side and I would not want to smoke it outside of my first cigar of the day.” – (Zane)

Smoking Time (in minutes): 74

  • Appearance 92% 92%
  • Aroma 90% 90%
  • First Third 89% 89%
  • Second Third 90% 90%
  • Final Third 89% 89%
  • Draw 89% 89%
  • Burn 92% 92%
  • Construction 92% 92%
  • Overall Experience 90% 90%

Total Score - Very Good - 90



To view the complete scores and notes, click here.

Blind Cigar Review: Ventura | Initiation Corona