When my cigar journey began it started in a local shop and while it served it’s purpose you are locked into what that shop feels fit to order and many of times that is the industry standard. I first began learning about the boutique cigar companies when I made my way to the cigar boards. On my favorite board which is now defunct I managed to make a bunch of friends some of which i stay in touch with that are local to me. A perfect example is Jitzy who I got together with at a local jaunt for a cigar. As cigar board customs would have it we traded some sticks and one that he gave me was todays review which I will be basing on one stick.
The Viaje Skull and Bones batch 1 was almost impossible to obtain from what I hear and this is version #2. What is the difference between the 2, I couldn’t tell you but I know this small batch production is heavily sought out by collectors and people with an obsession such as myself.
Cigar: Viaje Skull and Bones #2
Size: 4.5 x 54
Wrapper: Nicaragua Criollo
Facebook: Viaje Cigars
Appearance and Construction: First a disclaimer, I know the first batch of these were advertised as 4″ but when I took a ruler to this second batch the measurement came in at 4.5 inches. The wrapper of the Viaje Skull & Bones has a dark wrapper with some nice oils and one vein of note that seems to run the “belly” of the stick. The wrapper itself has a silky smooth feel too it and shows some nice oils to it. The cigar is rolled well, firm to the touch with no soft spots and I really took time to admire the perfect cap and the closed foot. The dual band has a nice touch to it as it glows in the dark, just barely.
Flavor & Notes: After I cut the cigar the cold draw offered up cedar notes and a bit of a tartness while the foot offered up some notes of oats and cedar. People told me that this cigar was strong and that I should be careful but to be honest from the prelight ritual it does not come off as such. Once lit the cigar is a completely different story as the strength hits you full on with some spices that are joined by dominant notes of cedar. As we work into the second third the cedar and spice continues but the are also joined by a sourness as well. Around the transition point of the final third the cigar leveled out and the cedar notes became dominant with a slightly tart finish.
Smoking Characteristics: The Viaje Skull and Bones provides the answer to why I like to burn more then one on a review. The burn on this was jagged and uneven and need to be retouched twice. Now I don’t know if it had to do with storage, or the creation of the cigar so it is hard for me to offer an opinion on this. Other then that the cigar burned well and the dark ash while fairly weak in the first third held on strong the rest of the way. The draw was ideal, and it produced a fair amount of smoke.
Conclusion: The cigar failed to live up to the hype for me and the sour type notes i got kind of turned me off. For me I would not go crazy trying to track these down but in all fairness I will smoke another and revisit this cigar and give it a second chance due to the hype surrounding it but I won’t go crazy looking for one.