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Viaje Skull and Bones FOAB (2014)

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Four years ago Viaje released a new cigar called the Skull and Bones Daisy Cutter. With much hype leading up to the release and a very limited number the cigars were sold out quickly and became quite sought after by Viaje fans. This was the first release in a now very extensive limited edition line, Skull and Bones.

Over the years the line has taken on many names, shapes and sizes. As has become the case, many sizes have been released various times over the years and oftentimes the cigars ship in batches. This was the case at the end of May when the three most recent Skull and Bones releases headed to retailers. In total, the Skull and Bones line now stands at a whopping 22 retail releases.

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Viaje Skull and Bones

  • Viaje Skull and Bones Daisy Cutter (4 x 54) — May 2010 — 150 Boxes of 25 Cigars (3,750 Total Cigars)
  • Viaje Skull and Bones “?” (5 x 54) — October 2010 — 150 Boxes of 25 Cigars (3,750 Total Cigars)
  • Viaje Skull and Bones MOAB (4 1/4 x 54) — March 2011 — 100 Boxes of 50 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)
  • Viaje Skull and Bones WMD (3 3/4 x 54) — March 2011 — 250 Boxes of 25 Cigars (6,250 Total Cigars)
  • Viaje Skull and Bones Fat Man (4 1/4 x 56) — August 2011 — 125 Boxes of 25 Cigars (3,125 Total Cigars)
  • Viaje Skull and Bones Little Boy (4 1/4 x 52) — August 2011 — 125 Boxes of 25 Cigars (3,750 Total Cigars)
  • Viaje Skull and Bones “?” Box-Pressed (4 1/2 x 54) — October 2011 — 125 Boxes of 25 Cigars (3,125 Total Cigars)
  • Viaje Skull and Bones “?” (4 1/2 x 54) — October 2011 — 250 Boxes of 25 Cigars (6,250 Total Cigars)
  • Viaje Skull and Bones WMD (2012) (3 3/4 x 54) — March 2012 —300 Boxes of 25 Cigars (7,500 Total Cigars)
  • Viaje Skull and Bones MOAB (4 1/2 x 52) — March 2012— 300 Boxes of 25 Cigars (7,500 Total Cigars)
  • Viaje Skull and Bones FOAB (4 1/2 x 56) — March 2012— 300 Boxes of 25 Cigars (7,500 Total Cigars)
  • Viaje Skull and Bones M?stery (4 1/2 x 54) — October 2012 — Undisclosed
  • Viaje Skull and Bones M?stery BP (4 1/2 x 54) — October 2012 — Undisclosed
  • Viaje Skull and Bones M?stery Vintage (4 1/2 x 54) — October 2012 — Undisclosed
  • Viaje Skull and Bones Big Ivan (5 x 60) — February 2013 — Undisclosed
  • Viaje Skull and Bones Fat Man (4 1/4 x 52) — February 2013 — Undisclosed
  • Viaje Skull and Bones Little Boy (4 1/4 x 56) — February 2013 — Undisclosed
  • Viaje Skull and Bones M?stery (2013) (4 3/4 x 52) — October 2013 — 200 Boxes of 25 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)
  • Viaje Skull and Bones WMD (2014) (3 3/4 x 54) — February 2014 — 300 Boxes of 25 Cigars (7,500 Total Cigars)
  • Viaje Skull and Bones FOAB (2014) (4 1/2 x 56) – May 2014 – 300 Boxes of 25 Cigars (7,500 Total Cigars)
  • Viaje Skull and Bones MOAB (2014) (4 1/2 x 52) – May 2014 – 300 Boxes of 25 Cigars (7,500 Total Cigars)
  • Viaje Skull and Bones Cloudmaker (5 x 60) – May 2014 – Undisclosed

The third release of Skull and Bones was MOAB, which stands for mother of all bombs. Like much of Skull and Bones, it carries a bomb theme in the name. A year later, the company introduced FOAB, father of all bombs, a 4 1/2 x 56 cigar in the Skull and Bones White line.

Viaje Skull and Bones FOAB  2014 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Viaje Skull and Bones FOAB
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L.
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown Criollo
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 4 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 56
  • Vitola: Petit Robusto
  • MSRP: $9.36 (Boxes of 25, $234.00)
  • Date Released: May 29, 2014
  • Number of Cigars Released: 300 Boxes of 25 Cigars (7,500 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3

The dark brown wrapper has some black spots that almost look like they were dry-brushed on top of the brown. It’s slightly rough and a little bumpy giving the cigar a slightly rustic appearance, though there is some nice oiliness to the wrapper. It’s quite firm without any soft spots. The wrapper has your typical barnyard aroma, along with some cocoa powder and a surprising black pepper undertone that I can’t remember picking up off just the wrapper. The cold draw immediately hits me with a rich, silky smooth milk chocolate note, along with a very minor black pepper note and a touch of lemony citrus.

First third starts out with some more of the chocolate, though not as refined. Notes of sweet peppers, creamy cedar and a general earthiness really rounds out the cigar’s profile. The draw is a tad loose, but still well within the acceptable range and the smoke production is quite significant. Whitish brown ash tinged with specs of black holds on to about an inch, though is quite flaky. Burn is a little crooked but it seems to be self regulating. The profile continues to grow in sweetness and creaminess, really highlighting the cedar and chocolate.

Viaje Skull and Bones FOAB  2014 2

Moving into the second third the distinct lack of a black pepper kick is noted, but the sweet pepper note is still in the background. The chocolate note has started to subside a little, though the cedar and earth notes are really coming into the foreground strong. The burn has continued to be a little wavy and one section needs a small touch up to catch it up to the rest. It’s about halfway through this third that I notice the strength of the cigar has quietly snuck up on me.

Viaje Skull and Bones FOAB  2014 3

The final third continues with more of the same notes – mostly sweet peppers, chocolate, cedar and earth. Once the strength appeared it hasn’t appeared to grow any more, putting the cigar in the medium-full range. The cigar burns nice and even the last third of the cigar and smokes cool without getting harsh all the way to the end.

Viaje Skull and Bones FOAB  2014 4

Final Notes

  • With the latest three releases, our Skull and Bones collection is now tied at 22 releases with our Tatuaje Fausto collection, closely followed by the Foundry Compounds, Elements & Musings collection with 20 cigars.
  • The 2014 release of the FOAB was almost identical to the 2012 release. The blend, size and release numbers were all the same, the only difference between the two being the 2012 version had a secondary Skull and Bones band.
  • Brooks Whittington noted where the FOAB name came from in his 2012 review: “Much like the Viaje MOAB (“Mother of all Bombs”) release, the FOAB (“Father of all Bombs”) is the nickname for a specific bomb. In in this case, it is the Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power, a Russian made thermobaric weapon, i.e. a “fuel-air bomb. There’s a fuller Wikipedia explanation, here.
  • The samples for this review were purchased by to halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time averaged right around two hours.
  • Site sponsor Atlantic Cigar Co. has the FOAB in stock.
90 Overall Score

While Viaje releases have been hit and miss for me, this was one of the releases that I really enjoyed. The flavor profile, while not overly complex, had some really delectable notes that played very well off each other. The construction was mostly great, with only small touch ups here and there needed. Having smoked some of the other Skull and Bones releases I think this is my favorite release so far. Some people think the price point of Viajes are a little high, but for what I got I think it was a good value. If you can find these at your usual Viaje retailer, I wouldn’t hesitate in purchasing them.

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Brian Burt
About the author

I have been smoking cigars since 2005 and reviewing them as a hobby since 2010. Initially I started out small with a 50-count humidor and only smoking one or two cigars a month. Not knowing anybody else that smoked cigars, it was only an occasional hobby that I took part in. In March of 2010 I joined Nublive and Cigar Asylum, connecting me with many people who also shared an interest in cigars. Reading what they had to say about brands I had never heard of, I quickly immersed myself in the boutique brands of the industry and it was then that cigars transformed from a hobby into a passion. Besides my cigar hobby and job in the IT industry, my wife and I love traveling, trying new restaurants and relaxing at home with our two dogs.

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