As part of its spring 2018 releases, Viaje introduced a new extension to its series of pepper-themed cigars, while bringing back a line it originally introduced in 2014. The former is the Viaje Carolina Reaper, a Nicaraguan puro using only AGANORSA tobacco, while the latter is the now two vitola Cache line
Cache was originally offered in a single 5 x 52 size, though that debut contained 20 round versions and five box-pressed versions, which were stored in a separate compartment at the bottom of each box, and which provided the tie-in to the name. At the time of Cache’s launch, Viaje’s Andre Farkas said that the line might return if there was enough positive feedback, which apparently there was.
There are now six vitolas in the line.
- Viaje Cache BP (5 x 52) — 2014
- Viaje Cache (5 x 52) — 2014
- Viaje Cache Five Fifty Two Robusto (5 x 52) — 2018
- Viaje Cache Six Fifty Toro (6 x 50) — 2018
- Viaje Cache Five Fifty Two Robusto BP (5 x 52) — 2018
- Viaje Cache Six Fifty Toro BP (6 x 50) — 2018
This time, Cache is offered in two sizes, a 5 x 52 robusto and a 6 x 50 toro, both of which get round and box-pressed versions in the same box. The blend stays the same, with a Mexican San Andrés wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan fillers, with Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. (TABSA) in Estelí, Nicaragua handling the production. Additionally, the split between round and box-pressed variants is repeated, with five of the cigars in each box being box-pressed.
Pricing for both sizes is set at $10.56 per cigar and $264 per box of 25.
- Cigar Reviewed: Viaje Cache Six Fifty Toro (2018)
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. (TABSA)
- Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 6 Inchces
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Toro
- MSRP: $10.56 (Boxes of 25, $264)
- Release Date: March 2018
- Number of Cigars Released: n/a
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The 2018 version of the Viaje Cache Toro is a firmly rolled cigar with a bit more of a rounded head than the average, a visual highlighted on the first sample by a small crack in the cap and just enough visual contrast in the leaf to make it sit like a yarmulke or zucchetto. The wrapper is a dark, earthy and almost fudge-colored brown, with just enough variation on the first sample to give it the cigar a barber-pole effect. It also has a fairly dry texture to it, with a bit of fine grit for the fingertips, while veins are generally small and minimal in quantity.The foot of the cigar has prominent amounts of slightly sweet pizza dough and pepper on first sniff, the latter dominating subsequent inspections. The cold draw is just a touch firm, with a bit of chocolate brownie, earth, coffee grounds and pepper.
The Viaje Cache Toro gets underway with varying intensities of earth and pepper, the latter starting off as typical black pepper before evolving into more of a red chili pepper or hot sauce expression, mainly due to its lingering finish. It’s a fleeting flavor but one that makes a memorable introduction. On the fuller-bodied samples, there’s fresh brewed coffee to be found, as well as just a bit of dark chocolate, sans any bitterness. As the cigar mellows, the first clump of ash breaks off near the one-inch mark, and I find a bit of mildly sweet cocoa powder emerging in the increasingly complex and refined profile on the palate, while a retrohale still packs a blunt, peppery punch for the nose. The gradual decline in flavor intensity continues through this section, though the cigar continues to offer plenty for the palate, picking up a bit of rocky earth ahead of the next section beginning. The burn and draw have both been quite good, while smoke production is sufficient.
The second third of the Viaje Cache Toro stays fairly mellow, something I don’t generally don’t associate with Viaje blends, but I still find a good deal of favor. Earth, cocoa and coffee continue to mesh beautifully together through the midpoint, none becoming dominant and the profile staying in the medium range as far as strength and body. There is some return to vibrance towards the end of this section, as the pepper reemerges and the overall flavor perks up on the palate, though other than suggestions at some thick chocolate and earth, the flavors still come across as a bit introverted.
The final third of the Viaje Cache Toro starts with an interesting and complex mix of tree bark, chocolate and black pepper, and while the profile feels a bit damp and muddled, it is one of the more complex that the cigar has offered to this point. There’s also a bit of burnt orange peel in the aroma, a newfound note that only further enhances the profile, and the relatively little amount that makes it to the palate is certainly welcomed. The home stretch of the cigar sees it get a bit rougher, quickly shedding its earlier nuanced complexity for a more robust earthiness that gets highlighted by black pepper from time to time. At its most extreme, the smoke heats up and brings the cigar to a close with about one-inch left, while mellower expressions enable the cigar to be smoked down to a much smaller nub. It’s an abrupt departure from the finish the cigar seemed to be setting up, and one that has me putting the cigar down with a bit of disappointment.
- Brian Burt reviewed the Viaje Cache BP in September 2014, while Charlie Minato reviewed the original Viaje Cache in the round variant in October 2014 and reduxed it in February 2018.
- In that redux, Charlie said that “In the encyclopedia of Viaje releases, there should be a special section devoted to the company’s unique packaging styles from the decade of Andre Farkas’ time in the cigar business.” It’s a sentiment I’d support, as Viaje has no shortage of distinctive and impressing packaging.
- While the word cache is used appropriately in describing the packaging of this cigar, I find it interesting how it has come to be more associated with Internet browsers as the storage of your browsing activity.
- I’m still a bit surprised to see no mention of the Viaje name on the band, though I do like the design and would be interested to see it something reflective, as it could take on a diamond plating aesthetic.
- Up until the final inch or so, there’s not a lot of strength to be found in the Viaje Cache blend, though once it sets in, it has a quick and immediate impact that sticks around after the cigar has been put down.
- I’m also a bit surprised not to have gotten more sweetness out of the blend; while I never think of Viaje as having a portfolio known for sweetness, the use of a Mexican San Andrés maduro leaf led me to think there’d be at least some. Additionally, fuller blends that are rich in pepper often having a sweetness to balance them out, though I rarely found that in the Viaje Cache.
- It’s also intriguing that the two sizes are priced the exact same, something not commonly seen in the cigar industry.
- Casa Fernández, which is the parent company of Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A., the factory that made the Viaje Cache, recently changed its name to AGANORSA Leaf.
- Final smoking time was two hours and 20 minutes on average.
- The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar, Cigars.com and Serious Cigars carry the 2018 version of the Viaje Cache.
I'm not exactly sure how many cigars reside in Viaje's portfolio, though I'm inclined to say that Cache ranks in the upper half of them. While offering plenty of full-bodied puffs, the cigar spends a good amount of time in medium-bodied territory, which allows the more intricate flavors and aromas in the blend to shine, and which shows some nuances of the blend as opposed to just being an attack of all-out strength. The one thing I'd love from the Cache is a better finish out of the cigar, as the first two thirds seem to not only call for it, they deserve one, as opposed to the quick ramp up to full strength and the accompanying earth and pepper, which while not harsh, are still a bit rough on the senses. That said, the 2018 version of the Viaje Cache is a very enjoyable cigar in nearly every aspect.