At this point, Viaje is very much a company of seasonal releases. For the most part, these releases change slightly each year with tweaking to the size and occasionally blend, like in the case of the most recent Holiday Blend.
One release that has changed very little is the Viaje C-4. It’s still a 5 x 56 cigar capped on both ends, sold in crates of 75. The cigars appear to be virtually unchanged with only two slight changes made to its appearance since introduction.
C-4 is created as one of Viaje’s companion cigars, meaning that it accompanies TNT—another summer release from the company. There is actually a way to tell the cigars apart: the original release does not feature the pinhole in the bottom cap—the 2012 and 2013 do—and the third release reads “Viaje Demolition Company” on the back of the band, unlike the first two.
The three releases look like this:
- Viaje C-4 (5 x 56) — 2012 — 50 Crates of 75 Cigars (3,750 Total Cigars)
- Viaje C-4 (5 x 56) — 2012 — 125 Crates of 75 Cigars (9,375 Total Cigars)
- Viaje C-4 (5 x 56) — 2013 — 150 Crates of 75 Cigars (11,250 Total Cigars)
- Cigar Reviewed: Viaje C-4 (2013)
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L. (Raíces Cubanas)
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo 99
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 56
- Vitola: Robusto Gordo
- MSRP: $10.40 (Boxes of 75, $780)
- Release Date: June 20, 2013
- Number of Cigars Released: 150 Boxes of 75 Cigars (11,250 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
Straight-on, there’s no way to tell the releases apart. Each features the signature white band in the middle cigar and the double triple-cap on a slightly red dark Nicaraguan wrapper. There’s little aroma left after six months without cellophane, but I pick up a slight barnyard. From the cold draw, the C-4 is medium-plus with some sweetness, barbecue and a grain cereal and vanilla on the finish.
It’s an equally unexpected start from a cigar I associate with strength. The C-4 begins with toasty notes, some chalkiness and a touch of sweetness. It’s barely over the medium level in both strength and flavor with a noticeable lack of pepper and strength. At times, the sweetness morphs to a caramel, but it’s not consistent. The toastiness adds dimension becoming chewy and nuanced, but the first third does not feature drastic change. Construction is good, with the draw being great from the first puff.
Somehow there’s more smoke in the second third, easily into the Liga Privada range of smoke production. I get a wonderful orange peel note for the first half of the middle part, after it disappears a coffee note emerges from the toastiness. The flavor is now full, and the C-4’s strength is now into the medium-full range. It’s still a combination of sweet and toastiness and bitter coffee, and now with a slight pepper.
Unfortunately, the pepper does not make it into the final third, which would have been a good thing. The sweet caramel and toastiness remain on display for the Viaje. At one point I get a cayenne pepper note through the nose, but it lasts no more than two puffs. Construction remains good until the end with one touch-up needed.
- This is by far the lightest—in strength—C-4 I’ve smoked. It’s medium-full, at times somewhere south of that, not the powerhouse cigar I remember.
- I really appreciate that Viaje made some way to tell the difference between the releases, even if they are tiny changes that most people would never really pick up on.
- C-4 is by far my favorite of Viaje’s annual summer release which also includes TNT and Summerfest. To me, this is the shipment I look forward to the least, but that’s a personal thing.
- Andre Farkas added the pinhole in response to complaints about the draw, something I never really had issue with. Overall, the construction of my samples were great: smoke production was near overwhelming for smoking inside, draw was spot on and I only had to touch-up two of the samples in the final third. Not perfect, but nothing worth picking at.
- The Viaje Zombie is largely the same format as the cigar with the double triple caps.
- For all that was rightfully said about Viaje’s construction issues in 2011 and 2012, I think the company has fixed most of the burn issues that were plaguing releases.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 50 minutes.
Recently, Andre Farkas suggested that waiting a bit to smoke Viaje’s cigars would improve their performance. Maybe? I do subscribe to the theory that says if there are inherent problems with the tobacco or roll, waiting won’t improve. There is no question some cigars ship too early and I have no clue if that’s the case with the C-4, because I did not smoke it when it first showed up at the office. I’ve had plenty of Viajes that were great when they first arrived, plenty that didn’t improve with time. Regardless, the C-4 is smoking quite well right now, it’s not the cigar the name suggests, but it’s well worth the price of admission.