|Viaje Roman Candle 2014|
The Viaje Roman Candle 2014 is the second iteration of what is the longest cigar that has made by Viaje Cigars to date. The Viaje Roman Candle made its debut in 2012 introducing a 9 x 50 Presidente or “A” size vitola into Andre Farkas’ line. After a one year hiatus, the Roman Candle returned in 2014 returns in the same size. Like the original Roman Candle, the cigar comes wrapped with red tissue paper, thus helping to give this cigar a look of a Roman Candle firework. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the Viaje Roman Candle 2014. Overall I found this version to deliver an impressive cigar experience, and one that was much better than the 2012 debut.
Back when I first looked at the Roman Candle in 2012, I noted how this cigar was a nice cross between classic and contemporary. Specifically, I wrote: “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.”
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Viaje Roman Candle 2014.
Like the original Viaje Roman Candle 2014, the details of the blend have been kept under wraps. There has also been no disclosed information if this is a modified blend than the 2012 edition. It is believed this cigar is a Nicaraguan puro.
As note above, the Viaje Roman Candle 2014 is available in a single vitola – a 9 x 50 Presidente vitola. They are packaged 15 to a crate-like box.
|Packaging for Viaje Roman Candle 2014
Photo Credit: Viaje Cigars Facebook
As mentioned above, the Viaje Roman Candle 2014 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 a slight oily coat. There are some visible veins and visible wrapper seams. The footer to the Viaje Roman Candle 2014 is covered. The 2014 edition differs from the 2012 version in that there is not a pig-tail on the cap.
Also like the 2012 version, the Viaje Roman Candle 2014 has no cigar band.
|The Viaje Roman Candle 2014 – unwrapped|
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up my Viaje Roman Candle 2014, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. After clipping the cap, I moved on to the pre-light draw. There were some parallels between this dry draw and the 2012 draw as I detected a combination of coffee and cedar sweet-spice. Overall, I considered this to a positive pre-light draw experience. At this point I was ready to light up this Roman Candle and see what the smoking phase would deliver.
Like the pre-light draw, I saw some parallels between the 2012 and 2014 edition of the Roman Candle. The difference is that with the 2014 edition, I found a better developed flavor profile and one that showcased more complexity.
The Viaje Roman Candle 2014 begins with more of the notes of coffee and cedar notes from the pre-light draw. As the flavor profile developed, the primary notes became a combination of oak, cedar and coffee. Meanwhile in the background I detected a slight black pepper note as well as some natural tobacco sweetness. At the same time the pepper was much more prominent on the retro-hale.
Throughout the first third, there was plenty of action in the flavor profile. I found the primary notes to contain the oak, natural tobacco, and cedar – with each note varying in intensity. Meanwhile the coffee notes floated back and forth between the forefront and background. The pepper notes were more distant in the background.
As the second third began, the natural tobacco notes eventually overtook the cedar and oak notes and took over as the primary flavor. The cedar, pepper, oak, and coffee notes were now secondary notes. These background flavors did diminish throughout the second third.
Toward the end of the second third, the natural tobacco took on more of an earthy profile. Much of the sweetness was now gone. There was an increase in the spice, but it was more of a pepper note. On each smoke of this cigar I had, I did pick up some harshness in the late stages. This is the way the Viaje Roman Candle 2014 came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Overall I found the burn to perform well on the Viaje Roman Candle 2014. The burn line remained straight throughout the cigar experience requiring few touch-ups along the way. The resulting ash was a charcoal gray color slanted on the darker side. This wasn’t an overly firm ash. It had some looseness and was prone to some minor flaking.
|Burn of the Viaje Roman Candle 2014|
The draw was not too loose and not too tight. While I wasn’t rushing or overdrawing this cigar, t did have to ease up on the draw as I sensed an increased in the burn temperature. This did prevent the cigar from burning hot, but on a 2 1/2 hour smoke it did increase the smoking time. I also believe this was a prime contributor to some of the harsher notes.
Strength and Body
From both a strength and body perspective, I found the Viaje Roman Candle 2014 to be on par with the 2012 edition. This cigar delivered a medium strength, medium-bodied experience from start to finish. Both the strength and body balance each other with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
I remember when I smoked the 2012 edition, I was surprised by the medium profile. This is because the box said “Fireworks” and I was expecting a nicotine bomb. With this blend, I believe this medium profile helped showcase some of the complexities of this blend.
There definitely were parallels to the 2012 and 2014 editions, but the 2014 edition of the Roman Candle delivered a much better overall experience. One shortcoming I had with the 2012 edition of the Roman Candle was I thought it remained pretty much the same smoke for 2+ hours. With the Viaje Roman Candle 2014, I got much more in the way of change-ups in the flavor profile. The only shortcoming was the harshness that developed toward the end of this cigar. As I also mentioned above, I just found the flavors were much better developed. This is a cigar I’d recommend to either a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, I’d easily smoke this again – and it’s worthy of a fiver.
Assessment: 3.0 – The Fiver