Gotta try one! Looks like it would bring out the "Bad Boy" in me. Great choice in size as well being a Petite Robusto!
Review: Viaje Skull and Bones Daisy Cutter
For those of you that don’t know.
One of the hottest new releases in recent months is from Viaje, the Skull and Bones Daisy Cutter. Released with much fanfare last week, only 150 boxes of 25 were produced, and most Viaje retailers received no more then 5 boxes each (in fact, quite of few of these were sold by said stores before they were even put for sale online). I managed to get my hands on a box (thanks to Dan over at one of the best cigar retailers on the planet, NHC), and wanted to get my review online as soon as possible. So, after waiting impatiently for a week, I sparked one up.
But first, a note about the packaging of the Viaje Skull and Bones cigar. There has been a trend by manufactures in recent years to put more of an effort into cigar packaging and the overall look of specific brands, not just with non Cubans (see Tatuaje or the King of Cigar Packaging, Gurkha) but with Cuban cigars as well (the Cohiba Gran Reserva box is a sight to behold). I actually love this trend, as I think it only enhances the look and feel of each cigar. Having said that, there is always a point at which the marketing and “Look” of the brand can overwhelm the quality of the cigar, and while I don’t think that is the case with Viaje, other manufactures have fallen pray (I am looking at you Gurkha!).
The Viaje Skull and Bones Daisy Cutter takes this trend in an interesting direction with it’s box and label art, a Skull and Bones, obviously is the main look, another in a long list of uses for the infamous “Jolly Roger” (and there is a very interesting article here about the history of it). It is a striking look to a cigar, instantly recognizable, and as far as I know unique in the cigar business (at least for now). The box and packaging look like this:
The Skull and Bones has been compared to the Tatueje T110, but as you can see from this photo, the T110 is a bit taller, and the differences in the color of the wrapper are immediately apparent.
But enough of that, let’s get down to business, shall we?
- Cigar Reviewed: Viaje Skull and Bones Daisy Cutter
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L. (Raíces Cubanas)
- Wrapper: Nicaragua Sun Grown Criollo
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 54
- Vitola: Petit Robusto
- Est. Price: $9.00
- Year Released: May 2010
- Number of Cigars Released: 150 Boxes of 25 (3,750 total cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The cigar itself is a very nicely constructed stick, with a slightly oily reddish brown wrapper. It is quite firm when squeezed, and it also has quite a bit of heft to it when held in your hand, especially considering the vitola. The wrapper smells of spice and cinnamon, a great combo. Pre-light draw has notes of a sweet tobacco and pepper.
The First Third starts with the perfect amount of pepper up front, not too little, and not too much as to overwhelm. Dominant flavors are a sweet wood note, along with tobacco and just a bit of leather. The cigar has a great luscious quality to the flavors, very rich.
The Second Third starts out quite a bit more mild then the 1st third, with the pepper fading down to almost nothing (although still in the background). The cigar got quite a bit more creamy, with notes of leather, sweet chocolate and that same wood flavor from the first third. I was hoping the pepper would stick around to provide more of a contrast, but alas, that was not to be.
At this point, I have to mention the construction of this cigar. The ash held on until the band (easily) and I have a feeling it would have gone longer without a problem. Really great draw and burn.
The Final Third is where I really started noticing the strength of this cigar, it sneaked up on me, (even though I had been warned) and while I did not start sweating or anything, it is definitely noticeable. The actual flavors of the cigar did not change much from the 2nd Third, still creamy and sweet, with the woody note being dominant. It also had a great, long finish.
- Due to the marketing of the cigars, people are already talking about how strong the Skull and Bones is. Well, I am here to tell you that while it has some strength, especially in the last third, it is really more of a refined strength, rather then an “In your face” strength like the Tatuaje T110, for example. Two totally different cigars and experiences.
- The Draw and Burn were amazingly good, no problems at all with either for the entire smoke.
- The Final Smoking Time was 1 hour and 30 minutes (I was smoking slow).
The Bottom Line: This cigar is a perfect example of how great quality tobacco can enhance a smoke. You can taste the quality in every puff, and while the cigar is not the most complex in the world, the flavors that are present are so velvety smooth and refined, it is hard to find fault with it, add the great burn and draw, and this ended up being an incredibly pleasing smoke. This is definitely the best (and strongest) Viaje I have smoked, and while I wish the pepper had stayed on a bit longer, that is a fairly minor quibble in the grand scheme of things. It was a really great cigar.
Final Score: 91