Viaje Cigars is well-known for its seasonal holiday-themed releases. Over the years, the company has released small batches with themes such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, St. Patrick’s Day, and Independence Day. In 2013, the company introduced a Halloween-themed release known as the Viaje Full Moon. For the most part, the Full Moon has been released as a Nicaraguan puro in a 5 x 58 vitola. As with many releases, brand owner Andre Farkas has released offshoots of the brand. This has included a maduro version of the Full Moon (the Full Moon Edition Limitada in 2015 and 2017). In 2016, instead of releasing the standard 5 x 58 Nicaraguan puro, Farkas released a special 6 x 56 of the Full Moon known as the Viaje Full Moon Collector’s Edition. Today, we take a closer look at Viaje Full Moon 2016 Collector’s Edition.
The Collector’s Edition series is a horizontal line that was introduced in 2012 and was meant to provide a special cigar size for those who like to “collect” Viaje cigars. The Collector’s Edition releases have been “one and done” – meaning once the cigars are gone, they are gone. There have been six Collector’s Edition releases and the Viaje Full Moon 2016 Collector’s Edition was the fifth installment in the series. The six releases include:
- 2012 Viaje Oro Collector’s Edition
- 2013 Viaje Exclusivo Double Edged Sword II Collector’s Edition
- 2015 Viaje Skull and Bones Ten Ton Tess Silver Collector’s Edition
- 2015 Viaje Skull and Bones Ten Ton Tess Gold Collector’s Edition
- 2016 Viaje Full Moon 2016 Collector’s Edition
- 2017 Viaje Zombie Antidote 2017 Collector’s Edition
Without further ado, let’s explore the Viaje Full Moon 2016 Collector’s Edition
The components of the Nicaraguan puro version of Viaje Full Moon have pretty much remained the same. The difference is the vintages of the tobaccos that are incorporated into the blend.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Country of Origin: Not Disclosed
For completeness, we include the full set of releases of the Viaje Full Moon Series below. The Viaje Full Moon 2016 Collector’s Edition was made available in 24 count boxes. The Collector’s Edition is the only time the cigar has not been released in a 5 x 58 size.
* The Edicion Limitada releases of 2015 and 2017 utilize a San Andres Maduro wrapper over an all-Nicaraguan blend and have only been released to a small handful of retailers
The Viaje Full Moon 2016 Collector’s Edition features a dark Nicaraguan corojo wrapper that almost looks maduro-like. It had a roasted coffee bean color. Upon closer examination, there was some darker mottling on the surface. The wrapper had a light coating of oil. There were some thin visible wrapper seams. While there were some visible veins, this was a wrapper with a smooth surface. The footer of the cigar is covered and the cap is finished with a thick pig-tail. This was a well-packed cigar that had some weight when held.
Like the regular Full Moon offering, the Viaje Full Moon Edición Limitada 2015 has two band variations. Common to both bands is the band has a gray, black, brown, and orange Halloween-themed image. The difference is that one band has the text “VIAJE” in a large orange Halloween-style font. The other band has the text “FULL MOON” in the same style font. The two band options were packaged in each box and are strictly variations in the band, and not the blend.
The Viaje Collector’s Edition cigars also feature a secondary band. On the Viaje Full Moon 2016 Collector’s Edition, this band is on the footer. It uses the same black, silver, and white color scheme found on the other secondary bands of the Collector’s Edition series. Most of the band has a black background. The band has a semicircle section on its upper front part. On that semicircle is the text “Viaje” in white cursive font. On the lower half of the band (a traditional band stripe) is the text “Collector’s Edition” in a smaller white font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As opposed to pulling the pig-tail off the Viaje Full Moon 2016 Collector’s Edition, I opted to use a straight cut to remove both the cap and pig-tail together. I then moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw was quite simple as it produced a mix of coffee and wood notes. Overall, I considered this to be a satisfactory pre-light draw. I then removed the footer band, toasted up the footer of the cigar and moved on to the smoking phase.
The Viaje Full Moon 2016 Collector’s Edition continued with the combination of wood and coffee notes. Right out of the gate, there was a nice fusion between these notes. Early on I picked up some subtle baker’s spice notes. As the cigar experience moved to a slight orange rind note in the background. Meanwhile, there was a layer of subtle black pepper and wood notes on the retro-hale.
During the second third, some cedar notes emerged in the forefront with the wood notes. The coffee notes broke away from the wood notes and receded into the background. At the same time, the baker’s spice was replaced by a slight black pepper note on the tongue. I also still picked up some of the subtle orange rind notes.
The last third of the Full Moon 2016 Collector’s Edition continued with the combination of cedar and wood notes in the forefront. The pepper and orange rind notes remained in the distant background. The coffee notes had now been replaced by more of an earthy note. This is the way the smoking experience of the Full Moon 2016 Collector’s Edition came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Overall, the construction of the Viaje Full Moon 2016 Collector’s Edition was excellent and this was reflected nicely on the burn and draw. The Full Moon 2016 Collector’s Edition had no problem maintaining a straight burn path. The burn line had a slight amount of jaggedness. This was more cosmetic than anything and didn’t require any additional touch-ups. The resulting ash had a silver-gray color to it. This was an ash that was definitely on the firmer side. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both maintained an ideal burn rate and ideal burn temperature.
The draw to the Full Moon 2016 Collector’s Edition was also excellent. This was a draw that was not too loose, nor too tight. I found this cigar was a low maintenance in terms of delivering flavor.
Strength and Body
Given this was a one time release, the Full Moon Collector’s Edition cigars smoked for this cigar had a little over a year of age on it. This cigar started out as medium strength, medium-bodied cigar. There was a slight increase in the intensity of both attributes and by the last third, both attributes progressed to medium to full.
In terms of strength versus body, both the strength and body balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overpowering the other. There was a better balance between both attributes when compared to previous Nicaraguan puro versions of the Full Moon. Factoring in the tobacco vintages, aging, and the 6 x 56 size, I would say those variables are the reason why this happened.
I judged the Viaje Full Moon 2016 Collector’s Edition to be a solid cigar. I’m still partial to the 5 x 58 2013 release as being the best of the releases due to the variables of tobacco vintage, age, and the 6.x 56 size. I found this size still worked quite well with this blend. The only disappointing thing is that given this is a Collector’s Edition, we probably are not going to see this size again. This is a cigar I’d recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast, but one I would not discourage a novice from trying. Given this was positioned as one-time release, if you can find some of these, I’d recommend picking up multiples. Since I still have some in my humidor, I look forward to smoking it again.
Key Flavors: Coffee, Wood, Cedar, Black Pepper, Orange Rind, Earth, Baker’s Spice
Strength: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Last Third)
Body: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Last Third)
Assessment: 3.0-The Fiver
News: Viaje Full Moon Collector’s Edition 2016 Slated
Brand Reference: Viaje
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted