Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Filler: Nicaraguan (100% AGANORSA Tobacco)
Size: 5 x 58 “Robusto Gordo”
Price: $13.92 MSRP
Today we take a look at the new Viaje Full Moon 2015.
A shout out and thank you to Bruce Cholka for sending me a couple of sticks for review. This is one of 10 cigars for review I received from three readers.
Factory: Raices Cubanas Danli Honduras
From Cigar Aficionado’s web site:
“This cigar was a couple of years in the making,” said Farkas. “The boxes are by far the most elaborate packages I have ever put together.” Only 400 boxes of Full Moon were produced.”
200 boxes of the original Full Moon 2015. And 200 boxes of the Full Moon Edicion Limitada with a San Andrés wrapper. Only 5 retailers received the Viaje Full Moon Edición Limitada 2015. And Andre Farkas is not disclosing who they are.
The Viaje Full Moon 2015 is a gorgeous cigar. A very oily, mottled coffee bean colored wrapper. Virtually invisible seams. Few veins and what can be seen are mostly hidden by the dark wrapper. The triple cap is impeccable are artsy.
The cigar band is Halloween themed with pumpkin skull with a background that director, Tim Burton, would be proud to claim his own. And “Full Moon” is written in “scary letter font.”
I also notice something I missed when I received the cigars. They either come in pairs or they are just different from one cigar to another. My two sticks have different bands. One says “Viaje.” And the other says “Full Moon.”
The Viaje Full Moon 2015 is rock solid with just the right amount of give.
The cigar has a closed foot.
AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I can smell aromas of cocoa, spice, dried apricot, and raisins.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I can smell cocoa, dried fruit, and spice.
The cold draw presents flavors of spice, cinnamon, dried fruit, nutmeg and a touch of cocoa and coffee.
There is a substantial plug right around the cigar band. I used my cigar awl and only got an inch or so down the shaft when I heard a crack. Drat and double drat. So I shoved, carefully, the awl up the cigar from the foot. That remedied the plug but I hope I haven’t created a wrapper issue at some point.
The draw is superb with large billows of smoke surrounding me like “Pigpen” in the “Peanuts” cartoons.
First flavor is SPICE! A whole lotta love. This is a major spice bomb to start me off.
Right behind that is a lovely bunch of coconuts: Cream, caramel, lots of malt, chocolate, coffee, baking spice, and some flavors out of my palate’s reach for the moment. But a wholly delicious, delectable cigar flavor profile.
The Viaje Full Moon 2015 is blowing my yarmulke right off my head. It is spinning in mid-air. Like those phony UFO photos from the 1950’s.
You can see in this photo the crack from the cap to the cigar band I caused with the cigar awl.
So far, the char line is spot on.
Let’s take a look at the malts: Chocolate Malt, Cara Vienna Malt, Chocolate Rye Malt, and Honey Malt. (See Malt Chart).
Strength has been medium/full from the get go.
I’m a big Viaje fan. But I can’t keep up with all those limited editions. Not once have I been able to swoop in and snag one when they come out. Bad timing. And of course, they are gone in a blink of an eye. Yet I’ve managed to review 27 Viaje blends. And to my surprise, a lot of the limited editions are included. (Foggy brain).
I do believe that Andre Farkas stepped things up a bit with this blend. With ¾” burned, it is super complex, has a gorgeous balance, and a magnificent long finish.
Maybe it’s all due to the fact I haven’t smoked a cigar in a while. Empty Humidor Disease. And a wide open, fresh palate.
I was going to hold off until Monday but I couldn’t wait. I needed to smoke a cigar. The review is merely a secondary motive.
I’m glad this stick isn’t longer than 5”. At a 58 ring gauge, this is one chunky cigar.
Other flavors break on through to the other side: Raisins, cappuccino, charred oak, black licorice, and cherries.
The blend on the Viaje Full Moon 2015 keeps on keeping on. I am very impressed. But then I take a look at the price and it should goddam well taste like a million bucks because it ain’t far off from that price point.
Farkas could have produced and sold this cigar for $9-$10 and still make a healthy profit. $14.00 a stick. Ptooey. I’m sick to death of these train robbery prices. The Padrón Dámaso No. 17 was fucking $17.50 and a dog turd. So high price points don’t even guarantee you a decent cigar anymore.
At least the Viaje Full Moon 2015 is a killer blend.
Smoke time is 35 minutes.
The Viaje Full Moon 2015 is a damn fine cigar. Since it is an extremely limited edition, you won’t find discounts and will probably find a few stores jacking up the price out of greed. Supply and Demand.
I tell you right now that if you have the dough lying around, snag a couple sticks. Although, endorsing a $14 cigar sticks in my craw.
OK. Second third flavor line up: Creaminess, malts, caramel, sweetness, fruit, dried fruit, spice, licorice, nuts, toasty, cocoa, coffee, and charred oak.
Surprisingly, the spice has tamped way down almost disappearing. Not good in my book.
Even the strength has settled back down to classic medium body.
The chocolate, along with the coffee and creaminess, make a big surge right to the front of the line. The nuttiness is right behind.
The spiciness is barely there. I do love my spicy cigars. And the beginning had me falsely believing that it would, at least, maintain a very spicy length. But, alas, not to be so.
I stare at the cigar and see that damn crack I caused and worry what happens when I remove the cigar band. Which will be soon.
I’m able to slide the cigar band down a bit and can see that the crack stops at where the middle of the band was. I fear the end of the cigar will look like a blossoming flower.
New flavors erupt: Cedar, a meaty element, Worcestershire sauce (molasses, sugar, onions, salt, garlic, tamarind concentrate, and cloves.), peanuts, pistachio, and a musky note.
The Viaje Full Moon 2015, by far, is one of the most complex and interesting cigar blends I’ve tasted in many moons. No pun intended.
The Viaje Full Moon 2015 needs its first char line touch up.
I’ve been keeping a journal for about a month or so. I just keep it nearby and write whatever comes into my mind. It will document my slide into insanity. You never know, the doctors might find it useful.
I’m really digging it. I am happy that I managed to not smoke the other one that Bruce sent me even though I have no cigars to smoke. Now that’s discipline. If I had smoked one of them, I would have missed out on noticing the difference in cigar bands.
So now, I have one Viaje Full Moon 2015 left. I will smoke it tonight during the Packer’s game.
It seems that Wisconsin has been the only state in the Union that hasn’t been hit by horrific weather. It is getting colder but no giant storms. No snow yet. And the temps are in the high 50’s. Almost like summer. LOL
Smoke time is one hour 20 minutes.
Strength is still medium body. The cigar is advertised at medium/full but except for those few minutes early on, not happening yet.
Some of the flavors have slid off the radar screen.
Here is what’s left: Creaminess, chocolate, nutty, malts, peanuts, molasses, cherries, raisins, caramel, and spice.
Here’s hoping that the Viaje Full Moon 2015 makes a big exit.
And here is hoping that crack doesn’t ruin the end of the cigar.
As I close in on it, the cigar is beginning to bulge where the crack is. And I can’t glue it. But I do anyway. I just lay a welder’s line of glue on top of the crack. And then let it dry.
Since I didn’t smoke one prior to the review, I have no idea if the tight plug is common to the Viaje Full Moon 2015.
Well, as I mosey on close to the end of the cigar, two things don’t happen. First, it doesn’t reach medium/full. And second, the flavor profile doesn’t explode in one last volley. If it had done the latter, I would have rated it higher.
With only an inch to go, the Viaje Full Moon 2015 makes its move. Medium/full body. And an explosion of flavors. Including a big, fat dose of spiciness.
I’m hard pressed to recommend an expensive cigar like the Viaje Full Moon 2015. I believe that releasing a total of 400 boxes is a rip off. Why couldn’t Farkas have released a few thousand boxes? I’ll tell you why. Greed. And keeping the mystique of a limited edition cigar holy. Strictly a PR game. There are too many manufacturers pulling this stunt. And I refuse to believe they only had enough tobacco to make 400 boxes. That’s bullshit.
If you’re flush, then buy away. But it keeps cigar smokers, on a budget, from ever having the chance to try the blend. It’s just not right. Or moral.
An ode to Birthday Girl (65 on Oct. 30) Charlotte:
It was 1984. May, of that year, to be exact.
My Eddie Munster project collapsed due to Rocshire Records getting caught embezzling $15 million from Hughes Aircraft where the owner’s wife worked. The F.B.I. swooped in and shut the place down.
I had a production deal with Rocshire. I provided finished product: song, video, and artwork for the 45 single. Their responsibility was to press the single, distribute it, and promote it.
So I got 25¢ with the sale of each record from the first record sold. My first quarterly check was $900 for selling 225 singles. After that, sales took off. 181,000 units sold. That meant in the next quarter, I was to receive $45,250.00. This would have paid off everything I forked up for upfront. I was behind in my mortgage payment and my car payment.
Never saw that check. The FBI stopped it cold. So now I was wiped out. Lost the house. And found myself homeless because my partner at the recording studio was embezzling. He actually was selling off equipment to feed his habit while I was on the road promoting the Munster project.
I found myself going from one friend to another to sleep at night. After a while, these friends didn’t care for that arrangement. Luckily, a good friend put me up in his spare bedroom.
One night, I found myself at a club listening to a band whose leader I went to high school with. We talked between sets and hit it off.
They had one roadie who also did their sound. And did a terrible job at it.
We got together a couple times and then one night I did their sound. Their roadie was pissed off.
They had a big fan base. And the fans couldn’t believe who good they sounded. Concert quality. Even the roadie gutted out a compliment to me. And then he was let go.
So I got hired as the fifth member of the group. All earnings were split five ways.
The band, after a few months, went home to South Lake Tahoe. They played a number of clubs there. The guy’s wife had a beautiful cabin in the woods. It was summer and just a gorgeous place to decompress. I took long walks. I had a favorite place where I could sit on large boulders that overlooked the entire lake. I’d bring a book and a doobie and just enjoy the solitude.
The whole band stayed at the cabin; plus a couple of stray women friends.
I ended up sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag. Probably why I had a bad back 5 years later. I had spent months sleeping on the floor at friends’ houses. So it was no big deal. And I tried not to think of myself as homeless.
We were opening at an “in” club called Rojo’s that weekend.
It was a balmy afternoon. We were done setting up. And boy was it a hassle. The band played in the basement. And getting all the gear downstairs was a life and death struggle.
We were all sitting together in a big half circle booth when she walked in.
Tall, brunette with a fast gait.
Everyone yelled, “Charlotte!!”
She gave everyone a hug and a kiss.
And then I was introduced to her.
She sat down with us. This broad cracked me up. Very funny lady.
Then she started talking like a teamster. It was fuck this and fuck that and What the Fuck? All in a German accent.
I was told my jaw dropped when she began the litany of profanity.
But there was a plan.
The boys in the band wanted to play matchmaker. But more of a joke than a serious proposition.
She was born and raised in Germany and a Catholic. I was a Jew. A member of the Tribe her people tried to wipe out four decades earlier.
They knew it would never work. But it would be fun watching.
But then Charlotte and I started talking at the gigs. Then she asked me out. Charlotte swears it was the other way around.
The day before our date, I had to cancel because the band was going into the studio.
She took it well but I knew she was dying inside.
We finally went on our date and I got schnockered. I don’t drink. Charlotte was German and could drink a sailor under the table. So I tried to keep up and got sick as a dog.
As the summer passed, I re-thought what the fuck I was doing with this band? I realized this was merely a vacation. A Band-Aid for losing everything. Some time off for my stressed out brain.
As summer turned into fall, I told Charlotte I wanted to go back to Long Beach. This band thing was beneath me. And a waste of my time.
She agreed to come with me.
We moved into a bachelor apartment. No bedroom. And no fridge. For 3 months, we kept our food in a Styrofoam cooler.
We got married on February 8, 1985. Three months later, she got pregnant. I remember my health insurance denying the claim and said she was pregnant before we got married. My doc sent off a nasty letter to them how is it possible that she got pregnant prior to February? Was she an elephant with a 12 month gestation period? The health insurance relented and the pregnancy was paid for.
So we’ve been together for almost 32 years.
Some joke fellas.
Love you woman.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS