Viaje Skull And Bones WMD
Yes, it’s that time of year again, when all the little Ghouls and Goblins stroll the streets begging for candy. In light of the upcoming Halloween Evening I decided to try and find a cigar that would instill some fear into the readers. At first I considered reviewing a White Owl Grape or something similar, that would be sure to scare off a few people! I later decided against that since I probably would have no discernible palate afterwards! 😀 So I settled on a Vieje Skull And Bones WMD.
Andre Farkas is the brand owner of Viaje and has been leading the brand into a successful time with a pretty large following. For the most part the Viaje lines are fairly limited so this results in a split opinion between a lot of people. Some cigar smokers are not fans of seeking out rare or limited cigars while other love the thrill of the hunt! Tony also reviewed a couple other Viaje’s recently including the Platino Lancero and the Oro Reserva #5.
One of the lines that Andre and Viaje have been releasing is called the “Skull And Bones”. We are into the 3rd iteration of the brand and each year the band and blend is changed. Tony reviewed last years release which was simply called the “Skull and Bones #2” and had a White on Black band with the “Jolly Roger” logo on it. In case you didn’t know, the “Jolly Roger” is the skull and cross bones symbol that was commonly flown by pirates. There are other variations of the “Jolly Roger” but this is the most common. Below this band you will find a thinner White on Black band that just says “Skull and Bones”. Oddly enough, there is no mention of Viaje on the cigars.
Now this years “Skull and Bones” carries essentially the same two bands with the exception that the White parts of the band are now Red. The look of the cigars is pretty interesting and I like the way the band looks. Another difference I noticed is that the foot of this cigar is clean cut while in Tony’s review of the #2, there is a closed foot. This release of the Skull and Bones series came out in March of 2011. As mentioned, this is the follow up to the previous “#2” and the first released “Daisy Cutter” and apparently this years blend should pack a heftier punch, I guess I’ll find out soon!
The names of the vitolas may seem odd to some people but there is a method to the madness. The original Skull and bones release was called the “Daisy Cutter”. A quick search shows that a “Daisy Cutter” is a bomb used to flatten forests into a nice helicopter sized landing zone. There are also 2 vitolas released for this years blend, the WMD (Short Robusto) and the MOAB (Short Torpedo). WMD stands for “Weapon of Mass Destruction” and MOAB is “Massive Ordinance Air Blast”, both of which keep the trend of bomb related names. So let’s see how explosive this cigar is and dive right into this review!
Cigar: Viaje Skull And Bones WMD
Drink: Creemore Springs urBock Dark Beer
Vitola: Short Robusto (3.75 x 54)
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun-Grown Criollo
Burn Time: almost 1.5 hours
• The Skull and Bones WMD has an awesome dark chocolate wrapper that is super toothy with a touch of oil
• There are some minor veins here and there that are visible but none seem large enough to pose and problems
• The entire length of the cigar has a nice give to it when squeezed, never too firm
• The foot looked to be very well packed and I’m not sure if the picture will get this but you can pick out two very distinct colors of filler leaves
• The cap is finished in a very clean triple cap and looks well composed
• Draw is a tad tight but nothing that will bother me through the cigar experience
• Toasting was even and slow, leaving me with a nice glowing foot
• The start of the burn is going a little wavy, I’m hoping it kicks itself back into line without a touchup
• Luckily, the burn did correct itself and although we’re still going a little wavy it’ more in control now
• I had a couple small touchups needed here and there but none were too major, it burned quite well for the most part
• A quick note, I think burn is EXTREMELY important on short vitolas like this so a poor burn would cost a lot of points so I’m glad it burned nicely for the most part
• The whole cigar burned surprisingly slow, good value for the dollar
Smoke & Ash:
• Each draw is giving me a very full mouth of smoke that is thick and billowy
• The ash has a bit of a medium grey tone to it and is showing signs of some flakiness early on
• The ash fell apart before even hitting a half inch
• The flaky ash continues but this time we got closer to an inch before falling off
• The ash continued to be flaky and a bit messy, falling off before reaching one inch each time
• Wrapper aroma is fairly light with just a hint of woodsiness
• The foot has a similar woodsiness with a hint of peppery spice that tickles your nose
• Pre-light draw is dominated by a nice light cedar
• Initial draws are very interesting, I’m getting a burning wood flavor that reminds me of a fresh campfire. I LOVE the smell of a campfire so I’m loving this start. (Note: I’ve never tasted a “Campfire” but if it were possible it would taste like this, lol)
• Aside from the campfire flavor, I’m getting some peppery spice and a bit of leather
• The retrohale has a nice medium bite to it but a bit of a rough woodsy finish
• So far through the first inch I’m getting a comfortable medium bodied smoke
• The woodsiness continues to be the most dominant flavor with some other spices sneaking in now, more like a strong nutmeg or close and a bit of earthiness
• Not too much change-up as I head into the last third, the whole cigar has been nicely balanced and smooth
• As I get to the nub there is a definite build-up in body to the full range but it’s not getting harsh, i like that
• Near the end, the main flavor was still cedar but I started getting some nice coffee and nutty notes
• Brought out the toothpick near the end to get that last bit of enjoyable cigar burned down without burning my fingers
I really enjoyed this cigar, especially for it’s size. I’ve been leaning towards larger vitolas lately but had a short timeframe this afternoon and went for a shorter cigar. There were enough favors to keep me interested and on my toes the whole time and it burned very well for the most part. I was a little worried about the cigar being strong after reading some reviews but it wasn’t as ass kicking as I was expecting. It is full but it didn’t give me a hard nicotine kick. the price for a cigar this size is also a bit high although it is actually cheaper than previous years releases. Luckily it burned a lot longer than I expected so I felt I got my money’s worth on it. The limited nature of these cigars (and most Viaje’s) make them harder to find but if experience is any indicator, most of Andre Farkas’ work is worth tracking down.
Creemore is actually a little town not too far from where I live. They pride themselves in making their brews with all natural spring water direct from their local spring. The Creemore Springs brewery mainly focuses on their Lager but they also brew a lot of other varities in smaller batches. The beer chosen today is a Dark Ale called an urBock. Bock beers began in Munich and can be traced as far back as 1612. It is actually a Ruby beer and not the darker chocolate color of some other Dark Ales. It’s also surprisingly fuller and thicker than the average Dark Ale with a smooth roasted malty flavor. It paired very well with the Vieje Skull and Bones WMD and is an excellent brew to pair with almost and strength of cigar. Other good pairings for this cigar would be coffee, a dark cola, or some Porto of course! lol (Are you tired of hearing that yet??)