Viaje Circa ’45 Nicaragua
This week’s treats are the Viaje Circa ’45 Nicaragua paired with a bottle of Bottle Logic’s Roll for Initiative barrel-aged imperial stout beer.
The Good Stuff:
Originally released as a European exclusive, the Viaje Circa ’45 Nicaragua has made its way to the United States. This release serves as Viaje’s owner, Andre Farkas’ tribute to Cuba. The all Aganorsa lead makeup is composed of a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler. Produced at the Aganorsa Leaf factory in Nicaragua the Viaje Circa ’45 Nicaragua comes in three sizes: No. 1 (5 x 52), No. 2 (5 1/8 x 58), and the No. 3 (6 x 54) running between $12 and $14 a stick. I purchased mine over from our good friends at Cigars International
- Size: 5 x 52
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Body: Medium/Full
- Strength: Medium/Full
- Price: $12
- Pairing: Bottle Logic Roll for Initiative 2018 (Imperial Stout 13.8% ABV)
The Viaje Circa ’45 Nicaragua starts out with a really rustic, messy looking wrapper. The wrapper is mostly medium brown in color with lots of yellow-tinted areas along with darker brown areas. The wrapper’s texture is pretty thin and delicate with a decent amount of tooth and a whole mess of oils coating it. The body of the cigar showcases quite a few larger veins running their course through the cigar’s body up to the round, double-wrapped cap. The cigar is then polished off with a Cubanesque red, white and gold band with the Circa ’45 crest embossed on the front.
The wrapper on the Viaje Circa ’45 Nicaragua gives off a sharp spice and cashew aroma with some light citrus while the foot of the cigar carries a much more organic mixtures of hay, grass, and natural tobacco. The Viaje Circa ’45 Nicaragua cut clean and easily using my Xikar XO double bladed cutter. The cold draw produced bold notes of cashew and spice over natural hay aromas.
Right of the bat the Viaje Circa ’45 Nicaragua hits you with a ton of cayenne pepper. This pepper bomb lasted quite sometime before fading slightly allowing the cigar to release some strong cashew, orange, oak and light ginger over a mixture of very earthy flavors. The draw is perfect as each little puff kicks out a huge cloud of thick, white smoke. The burnline was thin and even leaving behind a trail of tightly compacted white and light gray ash which held on for almost an inch before giving way.
The pepper is still a dominant force in the Viaje Circa ’45 Nicaragua’s flavor profile until about the midway point of the second half. At times, it was almost overwhelming. Now that the pepper has calmed the cigar can really release some bold cashew and light wood notes over spice, hay, ginger, and vanilla. The retrohale immediately brings that pepper back to the front of the taste so I stopped that right away. I close out the second third with a minor nicotine kick.
Into the final third of the Viaje Circa ’45 Nicaragua and not a lot has changed. The cashew leads the way backed by wood, vanilla, spice, and hay over some of the that citrus that I picked up in the preflight. I suspect the pepper was suppressing a lot of that. It took me about an hour and a half to smoke this down to the nub. I experienced no harshness nor any extended heat. I did however feel quite a bit of a nicotine hit towards the end of the experience.
The Viaje Circa ’45 Nicaragua isn’t a bad cigar by any means, but the pronounced and at times, overwhelming pepper flavor that dominates the experience didn’t exactly cater to my personal profile. I felt the flavors underneath were very Cubanesque, but that dominant pepper flavor isn’t one I encounter very often in Cuban cigars. While this is all subjective the construction and burn were all flawless. The price is alright, however I think it may be a bit pricey for me. That is also based off of the flavor profile not matching my subjective choice.
Roll For Initiative is a 13.8% ABV Imperial Stout brewed by Bottle Logic Brewing in California. The base beer is their famous Fundamental Observation (bourbon barrel aged vanilla stout) which is then aged with even more Madagascar vanilla beans and then finished with cassia bark. The result is delicious. The beer leads with a huge splash of sweet vanilla (still going strong after a few years), dark chocolate, cinnamon, black licorice and some dark cherry with a very heavy mouthfeel before finishing with even more sweet vanilla, toffee, cinnamon and a great bourbon barrel bite. This beer is incredible and really helped add some sweetness, complexity and dimension to the Viaje Circa 45.