While Tatuaje’s Monster Series has become arguably the best known Halloween cigar release in recent years, there have been other cigars released around the holiday as well, including Asylum Cigars’ Devil’s Night, Tatuaje;s own Halloween cigar and CAO’s Rider’s Revenge.
While Viaje has released a Halloween cigar before—the Full Moon—the most recent entry for the holiday is the GP 10.31, a 4 7/8 x 50 perfecto made entirely of Nicaraguan tobacco with a “dark” corojo wrapper. While the new blend seems to be a sequel to Viaje’s other two food themed releases like the Jalapeño and Ghost Pepper, this cigar has specially been marketed for the Halloween holiday.
“Keeping with the Halloween tradition, a special edition GHOST PEPPER will be shipped to all authorized Viaje retailers,” reads a post on Viaje’s Instagram page. “The cigar features a new blend and very spooky packaging.”
The Viaje GP 10.31 retails for $8.80 packaged in boxes of 25, and has a total production of 300 boxes. In addition, a spokesperson of the company told halfwheel that the red foil-wrapped Ghost Pepper “will no longer be made.”
This is the third Viaje release with a pepper theme.
- Viaje Jalapeño (4 7/8 x 51) — 2015 — $8.56 (Boxes of 25, $214)
- Viaje Ghost Pepper (4 7/8 x 51) — 2017 — $8.56 (Boxes of 25, $214)
- Via GP 10.31 (4 7/8 x 50) — 2017 — $8.80 (Boxes of 25, $220)
- Cigar Reviewed: Viaje GP 10.31
- Country of Origin: n/a
- Factory: n/a
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 4 7/8 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Perfecto
- MSRP: $8.80 (Boxes of 25, $220)
- Release Date: October 2017
- Number of Cigars Released: 300 Boxes of 25 Cigars (7,500 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The Viaje GP 10.31 looks like it was literally dipped in oil before being packaged, with a dark espresso brown wrapper that is slick to the touch. Once I remove the white paper wrap that covers the back half of the cigar, there are a few veins visible running down the length. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of earth, peanuts, manure and oak, while the cold draw brings flavors of creamy cedar, nuts, hay, black pepper and strong cherry sweetness.
Starting out the first third of the Viaje GP 10.31, there is a dominant flavor of freshly brewed espresso sprinkled with other notes of creamy cedar, earth, hay, leather, cream and toast. However, an aggressive black pepper note quickly becomes apparent on the retrohale, along with a slight—very slight—cherry sweetness, but there is no spice to be had at all. Construction-wise, the draw is excellent so far, and the burn is quite good, although I have to touch it up once to keep it from running away. The overall strength is just not an issue so far and ends the first third well below the medium mark.
Thankfully, the black pepper on the retrohale gives a little ground in the second third of the Viaje GP 10.31, although it is still a very dominant note in the profile. Other flavors of creamy cedar earth, leather, cocoa nibs, hay and slight meaty steak flit in and out, and I actually pick up a touch of salt on my lips just after the halfway point. In terms of construction, the draw continues to impress and the burn has evened up nicely, not needing a touch-up for the entire second third. Strength-wise, the Viaje GP 10.31 continues to struggle to hit the medium mark, but comes very close before the start of the final third.
Unfortunately, both the espresso note and cherry sweetness in the profile of Viaje GP 10.31 are finally overwhelmed by the black pepper on the retrohale in the final third. The other flavors in the profile remain similar to the second third: leather, hay, cocoa nibs and lactose along with salty note from the second third that comes and goes. Both the burn and draw are excellent until the end of the cigar and the strength does finally reach the medium mark by the time I put the nub down with about an inch left.
- Viaje has referred to this cigar as both the Ghost Pepper—in this post on Instagram—and as the GP 10.31 in the packaging on the box.
- In addition to the above, the box also features both the band and the logo of Viaje’s White Label Project, although other than those points, there is no indication that this release is officially part of the series.
- One sample was quite a bit different than the other two: while the black pepper was still a dominant note, the creamy cedar and espresso had more room to shine through, and it was a touch more sweet on the finish as well.
- The paper wrap and the band are attached together, but I pulled off the wrap and specifically left the band behind so that I would have something to make the smoking photographs more interesting.
- The cherry sweetness that I tasted so distinctly on the cold draw had carried over more to the actual profile, the score would have been quite a bit higher.
- As with just about every cigar that is rolled with a nipple foot I have ever smoked, the draw was extremely tight for the first five puffs or so before opening up to what I would consider normal. That proved tone the case with the Viaje GP 10.31 as well, and the construction gave me very few problems after that.
- Each of these took a bit longer to smoke than I expected looking at the size, with the final smoking time averaging one hour and 13 minutes.
- The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- If you would like to purchase any of the Viaje 10.31, site sponsor STOGIES World Class Cigars has them in stock.
Do you like black pepper on everything you eat? Then this is the cigar for you. The Viaje GP 10.31 is full of it, to the point where it overwhelms the profile at points, especially in the final third. There are other flavors in the blend—most notably a slight cherry sweetness, creamy cedar and bitter espresso—but they are never able to get enough of a foothold to really change the overall profile. Both the burn and draw are better than decent, and while the strength does increase noticeably in the final third, it is well-balanced for most of the cigar. There is no doubt that Viaje has impressed me with some if its recent releases, but the Viaje GP 10.31 is just not on par with those.