Last year marked the first time since the Viaje Holiday Blend debuted in 2009 that the company did not release a Holiday Blend to stores. This year, Holiday Blend is returning in two different formats and most notably with a new wrapper. Additionally, the company has shown off a new vitola for the Honey & Hand Grenades series.
Viaje has announced that the Holiday Blend (5 x 54) and Holiday Blend Christmas Tree (4 x 60) will begin shipping to stores next week. Both cigars will use a Nicaraguan corojo 99 maduro wrapper, replacing the Nicaraguan criollo wrapper that has historically been used for the Holiday Blend. The binder and fillers are also from Nicaragua. A spokesperson for Viaje told halfwheel that the Holiday Blend 2022 has an MSRP of $10.66 per cigar while the Christmas Tree 2022 will have an MSRP of $10 per cigar.
That spokesperson did not answer a question about where the cigars are made, but the corojo 99 maduro wrapper has been a popular choice of late for new blends coming from AGANORSA, a company Viaje has worked with in the past.
This year marks the first time since 2017 that there has been a Christmas Tree release. For those wondering, the company said on Instagram that it would not be releasing a Holiday Blend Candy Cane release, a baberpole version of Holiday Blend.
Additionally, Viaje’s founder, Andre Farkas, posted an image on social media showing a new Honey & Hand Grenades vitola.
The cigar is called The Katana, and it is a 7 x 48 double corona-esque vitola. It will use the same all-Nicaraguan blend as the other sizes in the Honey & Hand Grenades line, which is highlighted by a criollo wrapper. Production numbers have not been disclosed, but the boxes come with the Edición Limitada secondary band, which has been used to indicate that a particular vitola is getting a small production. In a Facebook post, Farkas called it a “micro production.”
The Honey & Hand Grenades line debuted in 2012 and has previously been offered in three sizes, all of which feature a rounded cap but with a tapered foot reminiscent of a salomon, a vitola known as a diadema. The majority of the cigar is covered in a red foil paper that is designed to evoke the image of blood, as each of the vitolas is named for a bladed weapon, such as a knife or sword.
- Viaje Honey & Hand Grenades The Shank (5 1/4 x 52)
- Viaje Honey & Hand Grenades The Shiv (6 1/4 x 50)
- Viaje Honey & Hand Grenades The Rapier (6 1/2 x 44)
- Viaje Honey & Hand Grenades The Katana (7 x 48)*
The line has had several releases, including in 2013, 2016 and 2019. In 2021, the company added the Honey & Hand Grenades Maduro, using a Mexican San Andrés maduro wrapper in place of the Nicaraguan criollo leaf, releasing it in the same three vitolas as the original line.
A Viaje spokesperson did not return an email seeking more details about The Katana.
Patrick Lagreid contributed to this story.
Images via Andre Farkas/Viaje Cigar Co.