|Viaje Cache Five Fifty-Two Box-Press|
The Viaje Cache is a new line introduced by Viaje Cigars in 2014. While the cigar was showcased at the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show, it was announced and shipped to retailers on the eve of the trade show. The cigar itself was positioned as a new San Andres maduro. From initially opening a box of the Viaje Cache, it reveals parejo-shaped robusto cigars, however there is one catch. While it was announced, Viaje had mentioned there was a hidden compartment in the packaging where a “surprise awaits”. The surprise turned out to be a box-pressed version of this new cigar packaged with the rounded cigars. Today we take a look at this box-press version called the Viaje Cache Five Fifty-Two Box-Press. Overall I found this maduro to be a little different than most. I also personally found it to be one of Viaje’s better releases – and a standout release from the trade show.
The name Cache refers to the rooms where Viaje ages their tobacco and this cigar pays homage to those rooms. The name also refers to the hidden compartment that houses the 5 box-press cigars. As for the name Five Fifty-Two it is the size of both the rounded and box-pressed vitolas. Each box of the Cache contains 25 cigars. There are 20 Five Fifty-Two rounded cigars arranged in two rows of ten. There are 5 Five Fifty-Two box-pressed cigars in the under hidden “cache”.
|Viaje Cache Five Fifty-Two Rounded|
|Viaje Cache Five Fifty-Two Box-Press
(Under the “hidden cache”)
The Viaje Cache along with the recently released Viaje Collaboration 2014 are significant releases for Viaje because these are the first cigars the company is making out of Casa Fernandez’s TABSA factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.
In terms of whether we can expect to see more batches of the Viaje Cache, Farkas told us at IPCPR that depends on how well this cigar is received.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Viaje Cache Box-Pressed and see what this cigar brings to the table.
As mentioned the Viaje Cache uses a San Andres Maduro wrapper – over Aganorsa leaf binder and filler from Nicaragua.
Wrapper: San Andres Maduro
Binder: Aganorsa Leaf, Nicaragua
Filler: Aganorsa Leaf, Nicaragua
As mentioned the Viaje Cache is available in a rounded and box-pressed size.
Five Fifty Two (Rounded): 5 x 52
Five Fifty Two (Box-Press): 5 x 52
As with all Viaje cigars, they are limited production, small batch. There have been 500 boxes of 25 produced of the Cache.
The Viaje Cache Five Fifty-Two Box-Pressed has a smooth chocolate colored wrapper. On both the rounded and box-pressed editions I found both of the wrappers to be much smoother than most San Andres wrappers. While I found the wrapper smooth, there still were some thin visible wrapper seams and thin visible veins. There was a slight amount of oil on the surface of the box-press. The footer to the Viaje Cache Box-Pressed was nearly covered. As for the box-press itself, it was more square shaped and had a decently firm pack.
The band is very different than any other Viaje. It features a wallpaper pattern of “ↃϹ” (antisigma and sigma) and “+” in silver font arranged on a white background. The bands are also designed to be put under a black light to reveal more information. We did not have such a device available.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I normally do, I started things off with a straight cut. After removing the cap, I moved on to the pre-light draw. I found the dry draw to deliver a mix of cocoa powder and earth notes. There also was a light spice that I couldn’t put my finger on – but it seamed to lean toward the floral side. Overall I found the pre-light draw of the Viaje Cache Five Fifty-Two Box-Press to be satisfying. At this point I was ready to light up my Viaje Cache Box-Press and see what the smoking stage would have in store.
The Viaje Cache isn’t going to have a ton of different flavor notes, but the ones it does produce are very good and seem to work together quite well.
Out of the gate, the Viaje Cache Five Fifty-Two Box-Press delivered notes of earth and white pepper. This was soon joined by some chocolate notes. I didn’t find the chocolate to be overly sweet, and it did also provide a creamy finish. I also detected the pepper on the retro-hale and at times it could be sharp.
In the first half the earth and chocolate notes pretty much settled in the forefront. Throughout the first half these notes varied in intensity, but I would give the upper hand to the chocolate flavor. The pepper still was prominent on the retro-hale and was a close secondary note during this time. I also picked up a slight metallic note. It was subtle enough to add a little intangible into the flavor profile and in a way was enough to be a differentiator on this maduro.
In the second half, I found the earth and pepper notes became the primary flavors with the chocolate notes now more of a secondary flavor. There still was a subtle metallic note in the distant background. This is the way the Viaje Cache Box-Pressed smoked right until the end. The cigar remained flavorful right to the nub. The resulting nub was a finger-burner – firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
This cigar simply performed stellar in the area of burn and draw. Both attributes scored extremely well. Viaje Founder Andre Farkas had told us earlier this year he would focus on consistency and quality and 2014 is living up to these expectations.
The burn line remained raze sharp from start to finish – requiring very few touch-ups along the way. The resulting ash was had a couple of minor points where it slightly flowered, but for the most part I found this ash to be tight and firm. The ash had a bright white color (although on the rounded version of the Cache, I found it to be darker). The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of the Viaje Cache Five Fifty-Two Box-Press|
I found the draw to perform quite well. It wasn’t too loose and it wasn’t too tight. I did find that the Cache Box-Press did have a nice amount of smoke production. Overall, this was a low maintenance cigar to puff on.
Strength and Body
Releases in 2014 such as the Viaje Plata and Viaje Zombie Antidote show that despite its reputation for powerful full-bodied cigars, Viaje can make a very good medium cigar. The Viaje Cache is going to also be dialed back. In terms of strength, I assessed this cigar as being medium. As for the body, the retro-hale did contribute to how I assessed it, so I did put this in the medium to full range. I did find that the Cache’s body will have a slight advantage over its strength.
While this cigar had some classic maduro flavors of chocolate, earth, and pepper, somehow the way these flavors meshed together gave this cigar a very different flavor profile than most other Viaje’s I’ve had. Perhaps that subtle metallic note was able to spin the whole flavor profile. Originally, I smoked the rounded version of the Cache – which also is an excellent cigar. It was when I smoked the box-press that I really felt helped this blend shine. This is a cigar I’d recommend to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast, but I also think this is a nice “bridge” cigar for a novice to graduate to something more fuller. As for myself, this is a cigar I would certainly smoke again – and it’s box worthy in my book.
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: 4.0 – Box Worthy
* The cigar for this assessment were given to Cigar Coop by Viaje Cigars. Cigar Coop is appreciative for the sample, but this does not influence this review