Viaje Full Moon Collector’s Edition 2016

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For four years now Viaje has been releasing a Halloween-themed cigar called the Full Moon.

Both 2013 and 2014 saw the same blend, while 2015 had both the regular blend and an Edición Limitada blend. All four versions stayed the same 5 x 58 size, up until 2016. Viaje decided to do the 2016 release as a Collector’s Edition, which means it’s a special, previously unreleased size for the line, using the same blend and is limited production. Viaje has previously done this with four other lines: the Viaje Oro Collector’s Edition 2012 Fuerza, Viaje Exclusivo Collector’s Edition 2013 Double Edged Sword II, and then in 2014 the Viaje Skull and Bones Ten Ton Tess Collector’s Edition and Viaje Skull and Bones Ten Ton Tess Gold Collector’s Edition.

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This will mark the fifth release in the Full Moon line:

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  • Cigar Reviewed: Viaje Full Moon Collector’s Edition 2016
  • Country of Origin: n/a
  • Factory: n/a
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 6
  • Ring Gauge: 56
  • Vitola: Toro Gordo
  • MSRP: $10.42 (Boxes of 24, $250)
  • Release Date: October 2016
  • Number of Cigars Released: n/a
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

The Full Moon Collector’s Edition has the same band as the regular release, with the addition of the “Collector’s Edition” band on the foot. It’s dark brown wrapper has a soft, oily feel to it. Three different samples give me three different results when squeezed, with one having many soft spots, another only having a couple and the third which has no soft spots at all and only a little uniform give to it. The wrapper doesn’t offer much in the way of an aroma, with only a little light cinnamon, spice and hay. Quite similar is the cold draw, with very mild flavors of spice and a touch of fruit.

Starting into the first third there is a blast of black pepper and some harsh spice – it’s quite dominating and I can’t really detect anything else at this point. On the first sample, the burn starts out perfect and continues impressively, while the other two experience wavy burn lines almost from the very start. SImilarly, the ash varies wildly, one quite dense, another that holds on but has some flakiness to it, and the third barely able to hold on to a quarter inch, practically disintegrating everywhere. After about an inch the black pepper and harsh spice have all but disappeared, instead leaving a warmer, pleasant spice note, with hints of hazelnut, cedar and a touch of worcestershire sauce.

02-copy

Moving into the second third the warm spice note continues, with cinnamon, hazelnut, cedar and a touch of the worcestershire sauce still hanging around. The burn lines of two samples continue to be quite wavy, while the third that was doing so well in the first third, needs a little touch up to keep it going evenly. A roasty coffee note emerges to add to the mix, pairing nicely with the cinnamon, hazelnut and cinnamon. The worcestershire sauce note hanging in the background has faded all the way out, which while an odd addition to the mix, does leave it somewhat less interesting. A slight bitterness is starting to show it’s head, which is an unfortunate development, but one that isn’t overly affecting the profile too much.

03-copy

The final third of the Viaje Full Moon Collector’s Edition 2016 starts with the bitterness having grown, drowning out the more subtle notes of hazelnut and cinnamon, enhancing the cedar note in an less than appealing way and mostly allowing the spice and coffee to continue as is. Again the samples vary, with two cigars needing more touch ups and the other sample performing almost flawlessly. Reaching the final inch of the cigar the bitterness hasn’t grown any more, but was persistent enough to make it somewhat of a relief that I’ve gotten to the end.

04-copy

 

Final Notes

  • This year’s release comes in new boxes of a more traditional shape, where before they shipped a limited number of round boxes along with additional cellophane wrapped bundles.
  • The pigtail cap was quite difficult to keep intact when removing the cigar from the cellophane. Two out of the three samples had it break off in the process. Not really a big deal as it was just going to be cut off anyway, but it just seemed like a weird decision.
  • Taking a look at Brooks Whittington and Charlie Minato’s reviews of the regular Full Moon blend, there were certainly some similarities in profiles, though the different size or vintage more than likely played into some slightly different flavors.
  • There was a lot of inconsistency in all three samples, so much so I couldn’t really average out the experience for the sake of readability in the review, forcing awkward sentences describing all three samples.
  • To expand on the differences in samples, one sample had almost perfect construction, producing the best flavors of all three. Another sample only had a couple of soft spots, mostly a good burn and ash, and all the flavors were mostly the same as the first one. The final sample was underfilled, causing an airy, open draw, lots of burn issues, terrible ash retention and a quicker burn, which in turn produced a harsher and more bitter profile.
  • Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time averaged around two hours.
82 Overall Score

This is my first experience with Viaje’s Full Moon release, and while it seems like the blend has the capability to produce a nice assortment of flavors, the construction differences caused enough issues that two of the sample’s profiles were noticeably affected. The Full Moon Collector’s Edition size is certainly one I would prefer over the robusto gordo size from previous years, but having said that I don’t think I will be getting any more of these just out of the sheer fact that it’s a crapshoot of whether or not you’ll be getting one that will perform well.

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Brian Burt
About the author

I have been smoking cigars since 2005 and reviewing them as a hobby since 2010. Initially I started out small with a 50-count humidor and only smoking one or two cigars a month. Not knowing anybody else that smoked cigars, it was only an occasional hobby that I took part in. In March of 2010 I joined Nublive and Cigar Asylum, connecting me with many people who also shared an interest in cigars. Reading what they had to say about brands I had never heard of, I quickly immersed myself in the boutique brands of the industry and it was then that cigars transformed from a hobby into a passion. Besides my cigar hobby and job in the IT industry, my wife and I love traveling, trying new restaurants and relaxing at home with our two dogs.

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