August 29, 2011

REVIEW: Viaje Skull and Bones Little Boy

The Viaje Skull and Bones Little Boy is the second release of the "red banded" blend in this line from Andre Farkas. The Skull and Bones line is a little confusing so here is the info as I understand it. There are two different blends in the line, one with a white and black band and one with a red and black band. Either of these could come in different shapes and sizes depending on the specific release. There is to be two releases a year in the Skull and Bones line, one white and one red. The red is the stronger of the two blends. Then there is the Zombie release, but I'll not even get into that.

If you recall, I was blown away by the first "white" skull and bones release, but after that this line hasn't impressed me. The second white release was, in my opinion, not even close to ready, and the red line I've had before were straight power without much balance. 

I still have high hopes for this line because of just how much loved the first release. Let's see how the Little Boy turns out.

Due to the size of this cigar, this review is only in two parts instead of the traditional thirds. 

Vitola: Petite Robusto
Length: 4.25
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price:  $9.20
Smoking Location: New Havana Cigars
Beverage: nothing

The Viaje Skull and Bones Little Boy had a very oily wrapper that gave off a nice sheen in the sunlight. It also had a lot of texture to it with little bumps and veins running around the leaf. The shape of the vitola is something that Andre seems to be really into with both ends of the cigar receiving a triple cap. I'm not sure if he expects people to light one end still capped, or to clip both ends. I went with the clip both ends which might have been an issue (see below.) The aroma coming off of the stick was very pleasant and smelled of well-cured tobacco. The cold draw was also very nice and tasted of raisins with some bonus sweetness added in. 

First Half  
I lit the freshly clipped end of my cigar with a soft flame and right away had some problems with the wrapper unraveling. Luckily for me it didn't pop off all the way, and the bands lower on the cigar seemed to hold the wrapper close enough to the core of the cigar that it still burned. Maybe it would have been better to just burn through the cap? The flavors I got from the start were very lovely with some anise and cocoa on the front, followed by a warm black pepper on the finish. It was not a "bitey" pepper, but it definitely had some spice that was most most prevalent on the roof of my mouth. About half an inch into the cigar, I hit what I described as the wall of strength. Holy hell this cigar went from medium to full in the first 10 puffs or so, to a giant of power well into full. I immediately started to feel my blood pressure go up and my head start to spin. At this point, it was still in my range of comfort, but wow. It was up there. As you would guess with the wrapper problems I was having, the burn was not stellar and needed a few touch ups.  Right at the half way point of the cigar, the flavors changed up and I started to get a lot of earthy and leathery notes both on the front and the finish.

Second Half and Final Thoughts  
The second half of the cigar continued similar to the first half on the front, with the taste profile coming up in rich leather notes but the finish changed up once again. The cocoa from the first half came back strong on the finish and made for a nice flavor left to linger on my palate. By this point in the cigar, though, my nicotine tolerance level was maxed out. I could feel my heart beating heavily and my head was in a daze. I did manage to stick with the cigar all the way to the end, but I'm glad it was a small sized stick or I would have had to put it down early. The burn had problems because of my wrapper issue, but it never went out.

My final thoughts on the Viaje Little Boy? I smoke a lot of beefy, full strength cigars and this one was even too much for me. By the time I got to the nub, I felt like I just went twelve rounds with a heavyweight. With that said, I think the flavors in this stick were, by far, the best and most-pronounced in the red band releases of Skull and Bones to date. If you are more beastly cigar smoker than I, you'll dig this one.

Would I buy it again? Like my last Viaje review (and the one to come) these are pretty much sold out everywhere, so it would be hard to find some even if I loved it. I, personally, would prefer to spend that time trying to track down the Daisy Cutter release.

Would I buy a box? See above



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