About two months ago, I started hearing that Viaje was going to be releasing three new and fairly limited cigars in the coming months. The Summerfest, the Double Edged Sword (DES) and the subject of this review, the TNT, which was released just in time for July 4th.
Viaje has become quite the marketers in the last six months or so and the TNT is no exception. However, it should be noted that both the inch-long pigtail fuse and the extremely interesting crate the cigars are shipped in—along with the name, obviously—more accurately portray a stick of dynamite as opposed to TNT.
There were only 50 crates released and each crate holds 75 cigars. They look like this:
Now, you may be thinking to yourself,“That cigar (and idea for that cigar) sure does look familiar…” Well, you would be correct. You see, a few years ago, El Rey de los Habanos released a cigar called the Don Pepin Garcia Firecracker for Two Guys Smoke Shop. Other than the obvious difference in size and the fact that one is supposed to resemble a firecracker and the other a stick of TNT, they have quite a few similarities to one another. Here is a photo comparing the two side-by-side.
And both have wrapped feet as well, (Firecracker on the left, TNT on the right):
- Cigar Reviewed: Viaje TNT
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L. (Raíces Cubanas)
- Wrapper: Sun Grown Corojo Nicaragua
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 6 1/4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 54
- Vitola: Double Robustoish
- MSRP: $9.50 (Boxes of 75, $712.50)
- Release Date: June 2010
- Number of Cigars Released: 50 Crates of 75 Cigars (3,750 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
The cigar itself is quite large in your hands, very dense, with a one-inch tail protruding from the cap. I have to say, the cigar does look quite a bit like a stick of TNT, albeit smaller, obviously. The wrapper is a smooth, reddish-brown color with a nice amount of oil present and very few veins are noticeable. It is extremely firm when squeezed, not quite hard as a rock, and the wrapper smells of chocolate, cinnamon and pepper.
The first third starts out surprisingly mild with flavors of oak and leather, but almost no spice or pepper. This changes about 20 puffs in, as the spice kicks in and when it shows up, it is quite prominent, but not overwhelming in any way. There is also an underlying sweetness that I can’t put my finger on, but I hope that it stays on.
Right after the first third was finished, I noticed that the ash was flowering. This does not happen that often with cigars in my experience, but I find it interesting that the last time I saw it was with a Davidoff Puro d’Oro. Not sure what causes it and it did not affect the smoke in any way that I noticed, but interesting nevertheless.
The second third changed a bit from the first, with the spice continuing to be a factor, but not even close to overwhelming, but with more of a slightly creamy coffee flavor interspersed among the spicy wood notes.
The final third was just an extension of the first two. While the spice was still present, it died down a bit and the sweetness that I noticed from the first third increased as well, but the creaminess from the second third disappeared, still notes of coffee, leather and oak. Just a nice, easy ending.
- The burn was not bad, but had to be touched up a few times. The Draw was great for the entire stick.
- This cigar had a very dry finish when I was done. In fact, one of the driest I have had in a while.
- One of the questions I have already been emailed is, “Is this better than the Skull and Bones or Holiday Blend?: The answer is no. While the TNT is a great cigar in its own right, the Skull and Bones and Holiday Blend are on another level taste and complexity-wise.
- I think this cigar is a prime candidate for aging, as the flavors that are present, as well as the spice and sweetness, will combine well over the long haul.
- This was a very slow burning cigar for the size, and the final smoking time was right at two hours.
Despite the very provocative name of “TNT” that this cigar has been given, anyone expecting an ultra powerful, overwhelmingly spicy and strong smoke, a la Tatuaje T110 or even the DPG Firecracker are going to be surprised. This is a medium strength cigar at best. In fact, while I was slightly disappointed in the lack of strength, the actual flavors that were present more than made up for me preconceptions. This is a prime example of a well-made cigar with a well thought out blend that is a joy to smoke. It did not blow me away with its complexity, but I will be buying more of them to see how they age. I am just sad they are so limited, as I think just about anyone who enjoys cigars would love this smoke.