November 18, 2011
Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Toro
Size : 5 x 56 (box press)
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Corojo ‘99
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Price : $10.50-$11.00
It seems as if you would think Andre Farkas would run out of bomb themed cigars this year. But yet again, here comes another one, the “C-4.” At this point in the year, I have been pretty disappointed in a lot of the Viaje releases. Some felt as if they were released too young and some were just plain terrible. But Andre has a way of keeping his followers’ eyes peeled for that diamond in the rough. Every once in awhile he hits a homerun and I was hoping to find it possibly in this cigar.
The C-4 was released back in mid-June along with some other annual Viaje summertime releases: the TNT and Summerfest. Only 3,750 total cigars were made. As much of you all know, Andre only specializes in small batch, hard to find cigars.
Appearance : [rating:4/5]
The C-4 has a very oily, might I say juicy, looking wrapper. Oils just seem to drip from the wrapper. It is a very dark mahogany colored wrapper. The veining is very thin and shows no signs that it will pose a burn problem. Each end of the cigar is closed and allows the smoker to choose either end to smoke from. The intended look is for the box pressed, closed cigar to resemble a block of C-4 plastic explosive.
Construction : [rating:3/5]
I clipped each end off with my guillotine (my personal preference), but I have heard a slurry of different approaches to smoking this stick. The dry draw was a little tight on my samples but nothing too annoying. The C-4 was very difficult to light most of the time and took extensive toasting to cherry up the foot. Once lit the C-4s produced good amounts of thin smoke, but were plagued with burn problems. Most of my samples only wanted to burn down one side or the other. Dry boxing these well might solve a lot of these burn problems.
Flavor : [rating:3/5]
In the 1st third I get a whole lot of leather flavors after getting past some initial spiciness. Almost all I can taste is that bright saddle leather that characterizes many Viajes. In the background I can detect a little soured grass and some cinnamon spice. Flavors transition slightly in this 1st third into leathery, woodsy, and grilled meat flavors.
The 2nd third definitely picked up some heft and now the C-4 is more meaty than leathery with flavors of coffee bean in the background. It has hit full bodied in my books at this point. The amount of meat and leather seems to mute out any other secondary or tertiary flavors and I am starting to get the feeling that this stick is pretty one dimensional. The spiciness has been turned up a notch and clings to my tongue and back of my throat.
A lot of flavor is lost at the end of the C-4. Simple flavors of wood with hints of leather close out this cigar. It seems that this particular stick was more about power and less about finesse (probably why it’s called the “C-4”). It’s full bodied through most of the stick but it lacks flavor is my mind. Bitter finish.
Value : [rating:2/5]
If you buy a lot of Viajes, then the C-4’s pricetag will not scare you. The $10+ mark is the norm now for Andre’s releases, but I will only give them value if they deliver for the pricetag. This is not the case here.
Overall Rating : [rating:3/5]
The C-4 brings a lot of power and some decent flavors to the table in the first part of the stick, but seems to fold its cards later on in its life. If you like leathery, meaty cigars, then this is the cigar for you but it just doesn’t cut it for me. This is definitely one of those gimmicky cigars along with the “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” that I don’t ever need to smoke again. I was probably asking for much thinking that this stick would have any kind of balance, but even in its attempt to be a powerhouse of flavor, it fell short. I’ll reach for a Tatuaje M80 when I want some explosiveness next time.
December 3, 2012
It’s an odd shape really, closed at both ends. I cut the foot a little before I light it. First few puffs and it reminds me some of the Skull & Bones blend, but it seems to not have as much punch.
It is nice and leathery, with a little pepper on the tongue. As it heats up there are a few off notes, but they fade, giving way to more leather and some coffee notes.
Overall I enjoyed it, as it had some great flavors, but it may need some time to come around.
Rating: 83 (B)
It is extremely difficult to find the limited release Viajes (which equals approx 90% of all Viajes). It is usually the same stores that always get the limited releases though. Tower Cigar gets the best ones though. When Andre makes a good cigar, it is incredible, but I got the feeling that most of the releases this year need about a 6mo to a year to really come around to good smoking sticks. Probably the best cigar of 2011 is from Viaje- review coming soon.
November 18, 2011
I’m lost with those Viaje releases. Not only I can’t find most of them, but it appears (from your reviews) that they are not really worth chasing. I think something like a “best boutique cigars” guide must be released 🙂
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