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Entries in Viaje (7)

Monday
Jul252011

Skull and Bones MOAB

Here we are with another limited edition cigar (that I am a little late reviewing) from Viaje. This time it's another Skull and Bones release called the MOAB (mother of all bombs). This cigar is from the third release in the Skull and Bones series, but with a red and black band instead of the red and white. There were two vitolas for this release and I am reviewing the 4 1/4 X54 torpedo. 100 cases of 50 were produced earlier this year. This Nicaraguan Puro has a Sun Grown Criollo wrapper. 

This short fat cigar has a dark wrapper with a deep red hue to it when held under the sunlight and an overall even feel to the roll. There is a really pungent smell coming off of the wrapper and the foot and the prelight draw is on the loose side with flavors of leather and dark chocolate. Once lit the MOAB starts out with tongue tingling spice, leather, earth and some dark coffee flavors. The spice slams into the back of the throat for the first few minutes of this cigar but seems to be backing off as I get a little further into it. After just a few minutes into this cigar the burn is already starting to get really wavy. Half an inch in and the earth and leather has suddenly been replaced with a woody core flavor. This is a very full flavored and full strength cigar as I reach the halfway point. 

As I enter the final third, the wood flavor is still at the core of the flavor profile but with that black pepper spice returning in full force with some dark chocolate behind it. The burn is still all over the place, needing to be corrected more than I would prefer. This is burning much faster than I would like as well, due to the looser draw and having to touch it up so often. At least it isn't burning hot though. This is a powerhouse of a cigar with a long spicy finish. 

Overall the Skull and Bones MOAB was a tasty cigar, but the burn issues took away from the smoking experience a bit. This cigar isn't for the faint of heart, it is very full bodied with plenty of strength. I think some age would round this cigar out nicely and hopefully correct some of the burn issues. The size of this cigar isn't one I really like smoking, especially at the almost $10 pricetag. In my opinion this is overpriced for what it is. I have no problem dropping a little extra money for some limited editions, this just isn't one of them. That being said, I was happy to have the chance to try it and I did enjoy the flavors it delivered. I found it to be better than the Skull and Bones ? release but not as complex as the original Skull and Bones Daisy Cutter

Monday
Mar212011

Viaje WLP Candela

This week's review is of the new Viaje White Label Project Candela. The WLP Cigars are Andre's medium where he can can test out blends that he doesn't want to do a full release of, but wants people to still be able to try. Only 100 bundles of 25 were released to Viaje accounts over the past few weeks to celebrate St. Patricks Day. This 5x50 Robusto features a bright green Candela wrapper and a Nicaraguan filler that is supposedly based off the Summerfest blend. I have recently reviewed a few other Candelas (from Illusione) that just happened to be made in the same factory. There has been a lot of chatter about this on the internet. Once side of the arguement being that Andre is stepping on Dion's toes by coming out with a Candela right after Dion made them popular again and out of the same factory to boot. The other side being that Dion isn't the first person to use Candela on a cigar, so its not really copying. My personal feelings is that Dion made Candela cool again. His blends worked really well with a wrapper you rarely see anymore. While I don't feel that Dion should be the only one allowed to come out with a new Candela, I think that Andre coming out with one right after Dion did and out of the same factory is a very riding the coattails move. If you are a part of any cigar board I am sure you are seeing plenty of debate on the whole Andre is copying everyone (Mainly Pete Johnson from Tatuaje and now Dion).  Even though I have an opinion about the background of this cigar, it deserves a fair shot and it will get an honest review, reguardless of the controversy surrounding it. OK, I'm coming down off of my soapbox now and its time to review the Viaje Candela!

This is a well made robusto without any wrapper flaws or soft spots. The prelight draw shows a perfect draw with some herbal/grassy flavors. Once lit this cigar starts out with some grassyness and green tea flavors with just a little bit of peppery spice. There is an earthy core flavor to this cigar. The flavor is on the lighter side starting out with a rather thin finish. The burn has been very strait and the ash held on for around an inch. As I reach the halfway point not a lot has changed as far as flavor goes. The spice is gone and the grassy/herbal flavors are still there with the earthy core. The finish is still really short. 

Entering the final third of the Viaje Candela has brought more vegetal flavors with some dark coffee added to the profile. I would say this is a medium bodied cigar that started out mild/medium strength but at the end has moved up to more of a solid medium strength. The grassy flavor has become just a little bitter, but not bitter enough to make me want to put it down. Honestely, I am getting a little bored with it though. It just doesn't grab your attention. 

The Viaje WLP Candela was an Ok cigar. The grassy/vegetal flavors were a little too up front for what I like in a cigar. It wasn't a bad cigar, just not one that wows me. The construction was top notch though, the burn never wavered and the ash held nice and firm. Comparisons to the Illusione Candela line seem mandatory at this point. The Illusione had a richer flavor profile and the vegetal flavor from the Candela wrapper aren't as strong as they are in the Viaje. The Viaje has thinner and simpler flavors. The Illusione is much more complex and enjoyable to me. I am glad I had the opportunity to try this cigar (thanks paul!) but if you had to choose between this and the Illusione Candela, my money is going to Illusione. This sells for about the same as the Illusione (if you can find it) which is between 8 and 9 bucks.