|Viaje Roman Candle – wrapped|
The Viaje Roman Candle is a new release for Viaje in 2012. It marks Viaje’s debut cigar in the Presidente or “A” vitola. It is a cigar that measures 9 inches in length and is the longest cigar that Viaje has released to date. The interesting thing about the Roman Candle is that it is a cross between contemporary and classic. From a contemporary standpoint, the red tissue paper that wraps this Presidente vitola helps give it the appearance of a “Roman Candle”. Once you unwrap this cigar it has a very classic look. As it is smoked, it also has some old school flavors. While it had some nice flavors, it did have some shortcomings in complexity and draw, and ultimately it hurt this cigar in our assessment.
The Viaje Roman Candle has been released with three other cigars that make it up its annual Summer release cycle. For 2012, this includes the third release of the Viaje Summerfest, the third release of the Viaje TNT, and the second release of the Viaje C-4. Viaje has not said if the Roman Candle will be an annual release or not.
Let’s unwrap the Viaje Roman Candle and see what this cigar brings to the table. As a disclaimer this assessment is based on a single smoking experience.
I don’t have much to report here. In typical Viaje fashion, the details of the blend have been kept under wraps. I’ve heard its a Nicaraguan puro (which is typical for a good chunk of the Viaje portfolio), however there has been no official information released.
The Viaje Roman Candle is available in a single vitola – a 9 x 50 Presidente vitola. They are packaged 15 to a box. The box says “Viaje Fireworks” on it.
As mentioned above, the Viaje Roman Candle is wrapped in red tissue paper. After the tissue paper is removed, it reveals a cigar that has a medium brown wrapper with a colorado red tint to it. There are also some dark spots on the wrapper. The wrapper itself has an oily complexion to it. There are some visible veins and visible wrapper seams. There is a short, thin pig-tail on the cap and the foot is covered. The Roman Candle has no cigar band.
|The Viaje Roman Candle – unwrapped|
|A view of the pig-tail cap of the Viaje Roman Candle|
|The Covered Foot of the Viaje Roman Candle|
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
While many cigar enthusiasts will often just pull off a pig-tail cap to enjoy the cigar experience, I opted to go with a straight cut on the Roman Candle. Given this is a 9 inch smoke, I especially felt this was important as I wanted as good a draw as possible. After I commenced with the pre-light draw, I was treated to a combination of cocoa and cedar notes. Overall, I considered this a positive pre-light draw. At this time it was time to light up the Roman Candle and see what the cigar experience would bring.
I mentioned a couple of things in the introduction. First up the Viaje Roman Candle not only had a very classic look (once unwrapped), but it provided a very classic smoking experience. In terms of flavors, this cigar was old school – and I considered that a positive. Secondly, this cigar did lack complexity. Yes there are some flavor nuances along the way, but overall this cigar pretty much was the same from start to finish of the 8+ inches I burned. This was more of a negative.
The Roman Candle started out with a combination of oak and pepper notes. There also was some natural sweetness that I was able to detect. As for a dominant flavor, I gave a slight edge to the oak notes The sweetness hung around during the first third of the smoking experience – which was about 3 inches of the smoking experience.
In the second third of the Roman Candle, the oak flavors remained primary with the pepper spice secondary. At times I did detect some mesquite notes along the way, but these tended to come and go. As the cigar experience reached the last third, the pepper notes did emerge some more. They would go on-par with the oak flavors. After 2+ hours, the smoke of the Roman Candle came to a close. The close to the cigar was a little rough. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and lukewarm in temperature.
Burn and Draw
If there was one major issue with this cigar, it was with the draw. There were many points that the Viaje Roman Candle had a tight draw. The problem is amplified in that this is a long smoke, and therefore it became more frustrating to smoke this. I was pleasantly surprised that with my struggles with the draw that I didn’t have equal struggles on the burn. The burn did require frequent touch-ups to keep the burn going straight, but these weren’t major burn issues. The Roman Candle produced a typical Viaje black-ish colored ash. The ash was firm throughout the smoking experience. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
Strength and Body
Since this cigar says “Fireworks” on the box, I expected a nicotine bomb. In the case of the Roman Candle, this was not the case at all. I assessed this cigar to be a medium strength cigar from start to finish. From a depth of flavor standpoint, the Viaje Roman Candle is going to have what I term “just enough depth in the flavors”. I assessed this cigar to be medium-bodied. The strength and the body of this cigar do balance each other well with neither attribute having an edge over the other.
I did disclaim that this assessment of the Viaje Roman Candle was based on a single smoking experience. That being said, it is possible the draw issues were isolated to this particular smoke. At some point, I will do an assessment update and see if this was indeed the case. However, while the cigar had nice flavors, the complexity is the other thing that hurts this cigar. For a cigar that is a long smoke, I really wanted some more variety and nuances in the flavors. This cigar didn’t seem to suffer from lack of aging, so I’m not sure if age would do the trick. In the end, this cigar is a “See What You Think” cigar, and one that will be revisited in the future.
Assessment: See What You Think
Source: The cigar for this assessment was purchased from Outland Cigars in Charlotte, North Carolina.