I really should read the book, How to Make Friends and Influence People. Every now and then someone or something comes along that gets under my skin. The result is I go off on a tangent, and someone gets mad at me. It leads to jokes about my brake lines being cut, and me having to go into damage control to save my ass. Today’s cigar is just that. Today’s company is just that.
For me Viaje is the most annoyingly frustrating cigar company out there. How many limited edition sticks will they release? At least with other companies, tracking them down is a bit easy. And at least those companies ideas are original. With Viaje, until recently no one I knew carried the brand. In fact I know of one shop that won’t carry Viaje because he considers the owner of Viaje to be a plagiarist.
Today’s review is the Viaje White Label Project Candela which follows up the the epic illusione candela. I guess having your stuff copied is a form of flattery, but a Louis Vuitton bought in Chinatown is still a knockoff. Did candela smokes exist before the illusione, yes. But when you have a bit of a reputation of copying others ideas, people question you. So it is safe for me to say, that today’s cigar is a cheap imitation of the illusione candela. Does this make it a bad cigar? Read on my friends!
Cigar: Viaje White Label Project Candela
Size: 5 x 50
Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
Appearance and Construction: It’s green. The Viaje Candela like many other Candela cigars has a split pea color to it. There are some veins present but none that stand out. The cigar features a perfectly placed triple cap, and is well rolled. Upon close inspection the wrapper has a rough feel to it, like fine sandpaper under the fingers. There are no soft spots and the cigar feels light in the hand.
Flavor & Notes: The foot of the cigar smells like fresh cut vegetables with some earth. The fact that I enjoy it so much would make my mother laugh. I never liked vegetables and still don’t to this day. Once I clip the cap I found myself admiring the contrast from the green wrapper and the brown inside. The cold draw serves up straw and hay and a touch of vegetal like notes. Once the cigar is lit there is some slight leather notes that pick up through the first third. There is a touch of spice present on the tongue and through the nose. As we enter the second third of the cigar it begins to develop some subtle coffee notes and develops some earth as well. The final third consists of notes of earth, coffee and some wood. While the cigar offers up some nice notes it remains a little harsh.
Smoking Characteristics: The cigars I smoked all burned well, never once needing to be touched up. They were slightly jagged at times, but never once got out of hand. The light color ash was weak and had some minor flake to it. I wound up with a lap full of ash on numerous occasions. The carbon line was amazingly thin which I would never expect from a candela cigar. The aroma had some vegetal components to it.
Conclusion:The Viaje White Label Project was OK, but considering it followed right on the footsteps of Dion’s release one has to wonder if Viaje saw the cigars in production while on a trip to the factory and decided to do the same. The question remains how would of this cigar been received if Dion had not made candela cool again. Regardless, it doesn’t come close to the illusione.