|Viaje TNT 2011|
The Viaje TNT release in 2011 is the second release under this label. Viaje has targeted this as a summer release to coincide with Independence Day. As with most Viaje releases, these are done in extremely limited micro-batch releases. In the end, this pretty much results in about 1 to 2 boxes per authorized retailer per year (although the TNT cigars are packaged 75 to a box). The end result is that these cigars fly off the shelves rather quickly. Although the Viaje cigars are in high demand, the end result is how good the smoke is. I’ve found some Viaje cigars better than others. With the Viaje TNT 2011, this probably is a cigar that falls in the middle of the pack in terms of how good the cigar is.
As I’ve discussed on this web-site, I’ve found many Viaje cigars to be a little green when they arrive on the retailers’ shelves.With Viaje I’ve seen this reflected in the ash (often more black) and the flavor profile. My rule of thumb now with Viaje has been that it has to go through an 8 to 10 week aging process in my humidor. One can argue that by that time, a limited run cigar is off the shelves and it’s not worth reviewing, but part of what I want to do here is share my perspectives on the cigar. With my Viaje TNT, I did go through this aging cycle, thus the reason why I am reviewing it almost three months since it was released.
Usually I cover this after the blend profile, but I thought it was important to cover this up front. The Viaje TNT 2011 is available in a single vitola – a 6 1/4 x 54 toro. It contains a covered foot and a pig-tail on the cap. This vitola size and design is identical to the initial Viaje TNT 2010 release.
|Pig-tail cap of the Viaje 2011 TNT|
|Covered foot of the Viaje TNT 2011|
As typical with Viaje, not a lot of specifics have been released about the TNT 2011 blend. On the surface, it does seem as though the Viaje TNT 2011 is a similar or same blend to the Viaje TNT 2010. However, I do not have an official confirmation on this.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo 99
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my smoke of the Viaje TNT 2011, I placed a straight cut into the cap. Even though this cigar had a pigtail, I find a straight cut to be a better smoking experience as opposed to pulling the pigtail out. I commenced with the pre-light draw. The dry notes provided me flavors of leather, earth, and a tiny bit of pepper. I didn’t find the pre-light draw to be the most exciting, but I still felt it was satisfactory. It was now on to light the cigar and see what it would bring to the table.
After lighting the Viaje TNT 2011, much of the flavors from the pre-light draw continued on the initial draw. The difference was the spice on the cigar had more of a cedar-spice feel as opposed to the pepper on the pre-light draw. The cedar spice moved to the forefront rather quickly. One surprise I got early on was the emergence of some floral notes. The floral notes didn’t have an infused feel to it, but a natural tobacco feel. At the same time, on a cigar called TNT, the last thing I expected were floral notes – good tasting or not.
The floral notes moved to the forefront for the first half of the cigar experience. As the smoking experience reached the second half, I detected the emergence of cocoa notes. The cocoa notes complemented the floral flavors very nicely. Finally, as the smoke of the TNT 2011 reached the final third, the cedar spices transitioned to classic pepper tones. The finish to the cigar wasn’t the smoothest, but it did not have harsh notes. The nub was cool, but a bit soft.
Burn and Draw
The fact I gave my Viaje TNT 2011 a couple of months to age did not hurt things. The burn to this cigar was outstanding – providing a straight burn throughout. The burn produced a nice white and gray ash. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal throughout the smoking experience. The draw was outstanding as well.
Strength and Body
The Viaje TNT 2011’s reputation is that it is a full-strength cigar from a nicotine standpoint. I found the TNT 2011 took about 1/3 of the way to reach full strength as it started as more to medium to full. As for body, the flavor notes were robust. They are not quite full-bodied, but easily fall into the medium to full range of the spectrum. The strength never eclipses the flavor of the cigar despite the fact the strength has the edge over the body for the majority of the cigar.
The biggest issue I had with this cigar is that it wasn’t the most complex cigar from a flavor transition standpoint. This cigar has a lot of tobacco and I would have liked to have seen more complexity to the Viaje TNT 2011. As for the flavors it did produce, they weren’t bad, but they did not “wow” me either. On the positive side, the TNT 2011 is a well-made cigar. This is a cigar I would not give to a novice and would recommend this to the more seasoned enthusiast. From a personal standpoint, I wouldn’t mind smoking this again.
Strength: Full (Medium to Full to Start)
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: This cigars in this assessment were purchased from Outland Cigars in Charlotte, North Carolina.