Back in April of 2011, Viaje released what was then the seventh incarnation of the Exclusivo line to celebrate Tower Pipes & Cigars in Sacramento, CA 45th year in business. The box-pressed Viaje Exclusivo Tower Cigars 45th was released on April 5, 2011 with only 100 boxes of 20 cigars produced. The same vitola with the same blend was released again in 2012 and there are still plans for more Tower 45th cigars in the future.

Here is what I said in my original review, just a little more than two years ago:

I think the Exclusivo blend is the best blend that Viaje puts out. Every cigar made with this blend is at the very least very good, and some are great, the Tower 45th is no exception. It embodies everything that I have come to expect from one of Viaje’s top releases: complexity, strength, great flavors and wonderful construction. Is it better than the original Robusto? In my mind, yes, but they are pretty close. Is it better than the Corona Gorda? Maybe. I think I enjoyed them about the same, but for different reasons.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Viaje Exclusivo Tower Cigars 45th (2011)
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L. (Raíces Cubanas)
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo
  • Binder: Nicaraguan
  • Filler: Nicaraguan
  • Size: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Box-Pressed Robusto
  • MSRP: $10.50 (Boxes of 20, $210.00)
  • Date Released: April 5, 2011
  • Number of Cigars Released: 100 Boxes of 20 Cigars (2,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Redux: 1

The Viaje Exclusivo Tower Cigars 45th is an obviously well-made cigar with a honey brown wrapper that is smooth to the touch. The cigar has a slight, but obvious, box-press to it and seems a bit spongy when squeezed. Aroma coming off of the wrapper is of sweet cedar, cinnamon and chocolate.

The Viaje Exclusivo Tower Cigars 45th starts out immediately after lighting with very distinct notes of oak, creamy leather, toast, bitter espresso and dark chocolate. At around the halfway mark, a strong note of cinnamon barrels in and remains in place until the end of the smoke. There is a nice sweetness in the background that I can only describe as honey for most of the cigar, but the strength of the flavor ebbs and flows, and is strongest in the final third, where it combines extremely well with the aforementioned cinnamon note. A strong black pepper is also noticeable on the retrohale, although there is very little spice on the tongue or lips.

Viaje Exclusivo Tower Cigars 45th  2011 1

Construction wise, the draw is quite a bit more open than I usually like, but there is enough resistance to smoke and not feel like it is affecting the flavors. The burn is excellent for the entire cigar, and the smoke production is absolutely insane with a huge amount of white, billowing smoke flowing effortlessly off of the foot in a never ending cloud. The overall strength has been dialed down noticeably, but it still has no problem getting close to the full mark by the end of the cigar.

92 Overall Score

While the popular mantra for Viaje cigars has been: just give them some time, and they will age well—the more I smoke them, the more I am starting to believe that for most of its releases, this is just not the case. Thankfully, that seems to be the case with the Viaje Exclusivo Tower Cigars 45th, which has aged very well in the last two years since its release. A little bit of the strength is gone, but the flavors and still very noticeable black pepper on the retrohale still work together in almost perfect harmony with the rest of the profile, and the construction is very good overall. Is it as good as it was when it was first released? I would say it is close, although I think that the loss of strength did hurt the profile somewhat.  Easily one of Farkas' best releases, and I only wish I had more to smoke.

Original Score (March 2011)
Redux Score (April 2013)

Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.