|Viaje Full Moon (2013 release)|
In terms of 2013, Viaje’s focus has mostly been around line extensions and follow-up small batches to many of their existing releases. It was back in May when I talked with Viaje president Andre Farkas about his 2013 plans. He mentioned he had something special in the works for Halloween. Fast forward to the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show, and Farkas was still tight lipped in terms of what was being planned. While Farkas always likes creating an element of surprise, with this particular release he wasn’t throwing any hints. It turns out that the release would be the Viaje Full Moon. Farkas definitely kept the element of surprise going because, nobody knew what the cigar even looked like until it appeared on retailer shelves. In this case, this was a cigar worth the wait. This one is a home run for Viaje.
While Farkas kept the cigar and the banding under wraps until they showed up at retailers, he did show off the packaging. It features a lacquered circular-shaped box with a Halloween jack-o-lantern design on it. The circular box is shipped in a cardboard carrying case with a similar design on it. Bundles were also distributed with the idea that a retailer can refill the circular box.
|Circular Viaje Full Moon 2013 Box|
|Outer box for Viaje Full Moon|
Without further ado, let’s break down the Viaje Full Moon and see what this cigar brings to the table:
As with many Viaje releases, the Full Moon 2013 is a Nicaraguan puro:
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
The Full Moon 2013 will come in one size – a 5 x 58 gordo. There will be 24 cigars packaged per box and a total of 400 boxes are being allocated. The price will be $11.40 per cigar.
The Nicaraguan Corojo wrapper is probably one of the nicest ones I have seen. The color is a cross between dark wood and coffee bean. Upon closer examination of the wrapper there is some darker marbling. I would not categorize this wrapper as being oily. There are some visible wrapper seams and some visible veins.
The band has a black background. On the band is a gray, black, brown, and orange halloween themed image. In large orange font is the text “FULL MOON” in which I can best describe as a halloween styled font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my smoking experience of the Viaje Full Moon, I kicked things off with a straight cut. Once the cap was removed, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The dry draw provided a nice mix of wood, pepper, natural tobacco, and a touch of citrus. Overall I considered this to be an excellent pre-light draw. At this point, I was ready to light up the Full Moon and see what the cigar experience would deliver.
The start to the Viaje Full Moon continued with the flavors from the dry draw – wood, pepper, natural tobacco, and orange citrus. As the flavor profile took form, the natural tobacco and citrus notes moved into the forefront. The pepper and wood notes became secondary notes. The pepper was also more prominent on the after-draw. The retro-hale had some pepper notes, but they I could also detect some sweetness through the nasal passages.
In the second third, the sweetness from the natural tobacco diminished, but the citrus was still providing a nice amount of sweetness. The pepper was still a secondary note. The wood notes had transitioned to more of an underlying creaminess.
The last third saw the natural tobacco and citrus meld into more of a fused flavor between the two. The pepper increased slightly, but the Full Moon never became overly spicy. The resulting nub was outstanding – firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
In terms of burn and draw, this cigar scored extremely well. The burn line remained relatively straight. There were a couple of points where the burn line was a little jagged, but this was nothing I would consider abnormal. The ash was much lighter than what I’ve seen on many Viaje cigars. I’d describe it as white colored with some gray and black streaks. For the most part the ash stayed firm with only some minor flaking. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of the Viaje Full Moon|
The draw was practically perfect to me. It had a touch of resistance to it – which is something that I like. This was a very enjoyable cigar to smoke from start to finish.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, I did not find the Viaje Full Moon to be a nicotine bomb. Overall I had the strength on the upper end of medium strength, but a little short of what I would term medium to full strength. As for the flavors, they were bold and you I definitely felt the weight of the flavors on the pallet. This is a full-bodied smoke. As for strength versus body, I definitely give the edge for strength over body.
Overall this seems to be a blend that works real well with the 58 ring gauge. At no point during this cigar did I question if this cigar should have been rolled in a thinner format. The Viaje Full Moon delivers some great flavors, has some outstanding construction, and has a nice amount of complexity to it. While this is a medium strength cigar, the flavors are still heavy on the pallet, so I’d probably still steer this to a more experienced cigar enthusiast. At the same time I wouldn’t discourage a novice from giving this a try. While it probably is going to be difficult to get a box of, it is still a box worthy one in my book. It’s definitely a cigar I recommend.
Assessment: 4.0 – Box Worthy
Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Outland Cigars in Charlotte, North Carolina.