Wrapper: Brazilian Arapiraca/Ecuadorian Habano (Barber Pole)
Size: 6 x 54 “Box Pressed”
Today we take a look at the Viaje Holiday Blend Candy Cane Edición Limitada 2015.
I only reviewed the 2012 version back in May of 2014. These sticks are hard to get if your wallet isn’t up and running.
Thanks to Miguel Castro for the samples.
A beautiful presentation. I didn’t bother researching this cigar because it was a last minute choice. I had picked, and researched the Viaje Friends & Family Cadeau but with the double white bands with silver lettering is now becoming impossible for my Fuji to capture without being totally awash in light.
This is the third or fourth in the line of the Holiday Candy Canes. The same red and white candy cane aluminum foil wrapper.
Inside is like Christmas. The three cigar bands start out with the main Viaje forest green and silver lettering. Beneath it is a festive white band with multi-colored words: Candy Cane.
And lastly, the footer band naming it the Edición Limitada.
The two barber pole wrappers have more of a matte finish than an oily one. Seams are obvious but properly and professionally placed. They have a leathery look to them.
Not many veins. And the triple cap is topped with the Arapiraca leaf.
And it has a semi-closed foot:
AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell spice, chocolate, coffee, cedar, a rich earthiness, some kind of mint, and fresh parsley.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell dark bittersweet chocolate, spice, barnyard, peppermint, and cedar.
The cold draw presents flavors of chocolate, spice, coffee, vegetal notes, cedar, mint, and earthiness.
The draw is spot on.
Big bold flavors start the parade: Chocolate, creaminess, spice, espresso, graham cracker, cedar, and a very rich earthiness.
Huge plumes of smoke flow through the cigar and the foot to make the room engulfed in what seems to be a police incursion with smoke bombs first.
This is a well packed cigar. Solid but not rock hard. Will be a long smoke. Almost 2 hours I bet.
I’m pretty much a sucker for anything Viaje. It is not always the case but it has pretty good odds in its favor.
BTW- I got a comment from a member of a certain cigar forum whose comments about me goes between high praise and pure insults. But the fella was right. I should have ignored the idiots who gave me a hard time and focused on the good. My bad.
I just get my feathers ruffled when inexperienced smokers attack me for my well defined palate. I learned from others to get that sensitive palate. Others should do the same.
This morning’s entertainment is David Gilmour’s latest album “Rattle That Lock.” I love Gilmour’s sensibility and incredible guitar playing….but I like Roger Waters’ voice better.
Something sweet appears. So far, very generic.
The black pepper was fleeting. Barely there now. Too bad.
Flavors are subtle as well.
Viaje goes to and fro from New Breed style of blending and Old School style of blending. Some blends are ready to go after just a few weeks. Others, take months.
I’m guessing that the Viaje Holiday Blend Candy Cane Edición Limitada 2015 is Old School. Now, this makes no sense. If you want reviewers to make pretty on your blend, give them something to review while it’s still within the realm of the Xmas season.
I’m pretty sure the Big Guys probably get theirs a few weeks or so before the release. But not us little guys. Oh no. But then, I don’t think Andre Farkas gives a fuck about reviews. He puts out a limited edition cigar and it is bought up in weeks.
But this one is still available from Cigar Federation. But also from CI, Cigar.com, Atlantic Cigar, and Small Batch Cigar. So this tells me something. This is a limited run. Yet some very big online stores carry them. Either the limited edition number is big (Which I cannot find the number), or they aren’t selling due to word of mouth. The blend isn’t that hot.
On top of that, Viaje has the temerity to sell special ashtrays commemorating their limited releases for $70!!!. These are the same cheap ashtray styles that every single brand uses. And they sell them for $25. What balls.
The cigar is clearly price controlled. Everyone is selling them at the exact same price.
So far, I’m not overly impressed. It is a nice cigar but, once again, methinks I will need to wait til the halfway point or the last third before it really kicks in.
Strength is medium/full at the 1-1/4” burned mark. It’s taken me 20 minutes to smoke that 1-1/4”.
I shall now wander the interwebs so as not to write too much meandering bullshit.
No transitions. No complexity. A half ass balance. A short finish.
It is much creamier now and more chocolaty.
So now I wonder if the cigar is a big letdown.
I check all the usual suspects of cigar news sources and not one mentions how many cigars were released. I’m guessing that Viaje doesn’t want anyone to know. But it clearly says “Edición Limitada 2015.”
Smoke time is 40 minutes.
Cracks begin to form on the dark Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper.
Here they are in all their glory: Creaminess, chocolate, spice, caramel, malts, graham cracker, espresso, and cedar.
Man oh man. You can get that flavor profile in any decent $6 cigar.
That little crack at the seam of the Brazilian leaf comes loose and I glue it back into place.
I’m sure; I hope that this is a very good cigar 4 months from now. I had no idea that it would need that time. I swear a petition should be passed around with about 10 million cigar smokers signing it. It will demand that manufacturers put a little piece of paper on the cello or box telling the buyer how long the cigar should rest before it is at its peak.
The burn line has been wavy throughout. But only needing a couple touch ups.
I’m an inch away from the halfway point and no sign of the Viaje Holiday Blend Candy Cane Edición Limitada 2015 getting ready to surge.
And while writing the bit about the char line, I get a major run that needs a big touch up.
I’ve had a few readers be very generous with cigars I could review in my last 24 days at bat.
Speaking of which. I went to my daughter’s birthday party at a drag club called Hamburger Mary’s. They had quite a show. The food was expensive and it really shitty.
The entertainment was something else. One of Katie’s friends took photos and video of a big black drag queen shoving my whole head in her augmented breasts. She shook till my long tresses were everywhere. Katie buried her face in her hands when I stuck a $10 bill in my mouth and the biggest queen came over to me. She bent over while I was sitting, licking her lips suggestively, and then grabbed the other end of the bill with her teeth. Then she leaned in and we kissed. The whole place exploded into an uproar.
Every single woman in that place then wanted me for their own sexual pleasure. Lots of birthday parties for young good looking women. Out of a couple hundred patrons, there may have been 5 men.
Methinks, the video will end up on Face Book.
Halfway point. Smoke time is over an hour.
What a huge disappointment. Clearly, Bryan bought these sticks when they came out in early December so that means they have had a month of humi time.
I fully expected a major change by now. Nope.
I am not sure if I’m getting blend potential or this is all there is.
I do you a disservice by not knowing the real truth about a blend. If I waited several months before reviewing, would it be better? Or would it be the same?
The Big Guys have not reviewed the Viaje Holiday Blend Candy Cane Edición Limitada 2015.
I read a review by Cigar Smoke and he mimics my review. Or should I say, I mimic his. He doesn’t recommend more than a 5 pack purchase.
Tapped That Ash feels the same way.
Those are the only two reviewers I trust. And then there are virtually no other reviews.
What does this say?
It says that the Viaje Holiday Blend Candy Cane Edición Limitada 2015 is a dud.
Jeremy Shaeffer asked if I would recommend it because he is thinking of buying some. I told him no.
Like Jeremy said to me, “Sadly it seems like Viaje is somewhat hit or miss…”
Bam. Right on, brother.
There is no surge as I see the end of the second third.
Murphy’s Law. I’m getting some of the best photos I can manage and it is a dud cigar. Fuck me.
And I added a nice story to the end of the review.
Smoke time is one hour 30 minutes.
And sure as shit, flavors kick in now. Sonovabitch.
The Viaje Holiday Blend Candy Cane Edición Limitada 2015 is getting my vote as a blend that needs months and months of rest. The benefit of the doubt. I want to like this cigar but I don’t.
So, I’m tasting, finally…what the cigar will probably taste like 6 months from now.
I can’t remember the last time the Big Guys didn’t review this seasonal cigar.
They’re not stupid. They don’t want to infuriate Andre Farkas with a truthful review. So they just told him they were too busy or said they didn’t want to write a negative review.
Man, this is fucking torture. A super slow smoking cigar that tastes like doo doo. I feel like I’ve been sitting here all day. Unless there is a giant surge in flavors, I will be putting the cigar down early.
Construction is half assed. Too many touch ups.
I was going to save this for my last day but now seems a good time.
I think the majority of manufacturers should be ashamed of themselves.
Their quality control is nil. They don’t give a shit anymore. You don’t read about blenders using #9 rollers anymore. All the new cigars over the last few years are slap dashed together. I get construction issues with 75% of my cigars. I get burn issues with 90% of my cigars.
The manufacturers are training us like Pavlov’s Dog. They are training us not to expect much. I have toasted the foot of every cigar I smoke every which way but loose. It doesn’t matter the style of lighting a cigar. You get burn issues if you don’t keep an eagle on the burn.
Cigars are a booming industry. They are producing more cigars since the boom in the 1990’s.
And the mandate is to get those cigars out to the public as quickly as possible. And bypassing serious quality control.
Of course, there are exceptions but they are few.
OK. I’m into the last third and it is super blah.
And now for something completely different (More to do with Knott’s):
The first Earth Day was on April 22, 1970. I was in my sophomore year at CSULB. This was a very big deal.
The school had arranged for a bunch of speakers but, for me, the star of the show was Mercury astronaut, Gordon Cooper. He was the last of the original seven to go into space in 1963. He flew around the earth for 34 hours and was the first astronaut to actually sleep while in space. He died in 2004 at the age of 77.
I was riveted as he spoke. He discussed climatology. But I was waiting for stories about the NASA program which came at the end of his speech.
Scott Carpenter was the first astronaut to go into space. And if you saw the movie, “The Right Stuff,” you will remember that there was delay, after delay, of the takeoff.
And Carpenter had to pee.
It wasn’t exactly as portrayed in the movie where he asked for permission to pee. Carpenter didn’t ask for permission. He just went because he was embarrassed. Lights and bells went off in mission control and everyone feared that he had died on the launch pad.
He told other stories and I spoke to him afterwards. A very nice, down to earth man.
On July 20, 1969, only 6 years after the last Mercury mission, Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon.
I was working part time at Knott’s Berry Farm as the steamboat captain of the Cordelia K steamboat. A small replica of a real boat. Paddle wheels and all. You can read a story about this on my review of the CAO Flathead Steel Horse Apehanger.
Unlike the Disney jungle ride, this boat was not on a track and was steerable.
It was 6pm PDT, on July 20, when I got word from a pal in the ticket booth who was monitoring the moon landing on the radio. I went ape shit when he told me Armstrong put feet down on the moon.
I nearly blew a gasket from being so excited and wished I was at home watching it live on TV.
I had a bullhorn on board the boat for yelling at people in row boats to get out of my way. I turned to the couple dozen people on board and announced we had landed on the moon.
Did they hear me?
I repeated it.
Even louder silence.
I just could not believe what I did not hear. No cheers. No applause. Nothing. Were these people aliens from some advanced civilization flying in space for millenniums?
I put the bull horn down.
And kept driving the boat.
The next day, it was front page news across America and the world.
We got the L.A. Times and I folded the front section of the newspaper and put it away safely for 19 years.
On Father’s Day, 1988, my wife and I decided to have it nicely framed and gave it to my father. He was thrilled. My evil step mother pish poshed it. But still hung it in a dark hallway leading to the second bedroom of their 2800 sq. ft. condo in Palm Springs.
I was heartbroken that my pussy of a father didn’t proudly display this gift. Back in 1988, we spent over $200 to frame it. This was a serious, and dear, gift. I had held on to it for nearly 20 years and it became an afterthought in my father’s condo because my step mother was a jealous, very evil person.
When my father died, she gave all his possessions to her son. I was the only blood relative my father had and she gave it to the step son. I’ve never gotten over it. Plus, I heard she threw away all the photos and home movies.
When my Dad was sick and on his way out, I told him I wanted the present back and to please put it in his will. Dad wasn’t doing so well. So, while the evil step mother went shopping. Something she was really good at, I nicked the time capsule and stuck it in my car.
My wife, daughter and I left for home not waiting for Cruella de Vil to return home and catch me.
Good thing I did that because after my father passed, I was told there was no will so Cruella got everything. She gave me a fancy ring my father made back in the 1970’s when the both of us were into making jewelry. And a wrist watch that didn’t work.
My dad passed in 2003. I have the framed L.A. Times newspaper hanging proudly in our living room. I always get comments when people visit.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS