Back in April of 2011, Andre Farkas of Viaje Cigars attended an event at Tobacco Grove in Minnesota. Right before the event Charlie Minato broke the news that there would be a new cigar with a new blend and a new vitola that would be sold at the event.

Here is what I said about the Viaje Zombie in my original review:

Make no mistake, this is a strong cigar. In fact, it is the strongest Viaje I have smoked and easily one of the strongest cigars I have smoked this year. It started strong right out of the gate and stayed at a constant, almost overwhelming, level until the end. The flavors that were present were great, albeit not overly complex, but I really wish there was just a little more spice and pepper in the blend to set the profile apart. Is it better than the original Skull and Bones or the Tower 45th Exclusivo? No, I certainly don’t think it is at this point, it is not nearly as complex as the Exclusivo blend, and the profile is not as rich as the Skull and Bones, but the Zombie should age very well and I predict that with a bit of time, it will transform into an even better smoke.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Viaje Zombie
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L.
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 4 3/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Robusto
  • MSRP: $10.50 (Boxes of 20, $210.00)
  • Date Released: April 22, 2011
  • Number of Cigars Released: 100 Boxes of 20 Cigars (2,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Redux: 1

From the start, I could tell that there was not going to be much difference from when I smoked it to begin with. Still the same core flavors of very dark chocolate, espresso, leather and earth that kept getting stronger (flavor-wise) and stronger. I kept waiting for some spice, pepper or anything resembling the two, and nothing ever came of it. At this point, the Zombie is an almost pepper less smoke, even on the retrohale. Of course, that made the profile quite smooth, but also less complex.

Viaje Zombie Redux

However, the one big change I can report is the overall strength, which was toned way down from the first time I smoked it. While still strong (I don’t think 100 years would get rid of all the of the power in this smoke), it was not the overwhelming strength that it once was, and ended up a full minus. Construction was fine, as was the burn and the draw after I cut both ends — read the original review for the story on that.

89 Overall Score

As I said in my original review, I was really hoping that these extremely strong cigars aged well, but after more than nine months it seems that really the only thing that changed was that the strength diminished somewhat. That is a good thing and makes the cigar more enjoyable for sure, but I was really hoping for some melding of flavors, and I just did not get that. Still a good cigar, a little easier to smoke now, but the profile is almost exactly the same. Here is hoping that another eight months will be kinder to it.

Original Score (April 2011)
Redux Score (January 2012)

Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.