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Viaje Skull and Bones M?stery (2015)

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October came and again we saw the expected releases from Viaje around that time, including another size in the Skull and Bones M?stery series. The M?stery series started in 2010, with a release in the Skull and Bones line that didn’t have any blend information given – some years even leaving out production numbers or factory information – shrouding the series in, well – mystery.

Since then there has been at least one new M?stery every year, though a couple of years have seen multiple sizes released. This will be the ninth M?stery release, and since it’s part of the Skull and Bones series, makes it the 26th release, continuing this series as the most extensive collection halfwheel has besides the Oliva Serie V collection at 38 cigars.

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Viaje Skull and Bones Collections

  • 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
  • Viaje Skull and Bones M?stery (2014) (4 3/4 x 54) — October 2014 — Undisclosed
  • Viaje Skull and Bones Ten Ton Tess Collector’s Edition (6 x 54) — July 2015 — 1,000 Jars of 19 Cigars (19,000 Total Cigars)
  • Viaje Skull and Bones Ten Ton Tess Gold Collector’s Edition (6 x 54) — July 2015 — 100 Jars of 19 Cigars (1,900 Total Cigars)
  • Viaje Skull and Bones M?stery (4 1/2 x 58) — October 2015 — 300 Boxes of 25 Cigars (7,500 Total Cigars)

Viaje Skull and Bones M?stery (2015) 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Viaje Skull and Bones M?stery (2015)
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory: Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L.,
  • Wrapper: n/a
  • Binder: n/a
  • Filler: n/a
  • Length: 4 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 58
  • Vitola: Robusto Extra
  • MSRP: $10.16 (Boxes of 25, $254.00)
  • Release Date: Oct. 15, 2015
  • Number of Cigars Released: 300 Boxes of 25 Cigars (7,500 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 2

The dark wrapper is smooth and has a rich, oily feeling to it. It has a firm feel with just a slight bit of give when squeezed. The wrapper’s aroma has light barnyard notes with some earthy undertones and just a touch of cocoa sweetness on the tail end. Cold draw has a lot of cocoa sweetness, along with more earth and a touch of rich dried fruits.

Starting out the first third, there are sweet notes of chocolate, some pepper, spice and fruits that continue from the cold draw into the lit profile. The burn starts off slightly wavy, but mostly even, while the draw is ideal and produces tons of smoke with each puff. Spice notes start increasing with lots of cinnamon among it, along with some wood and cocoa notes add to the existing dried fruit, pepper and chocolate. It seems to early to do so, but less than an inch in the burn already needs a touch up. Chocolate has shifted to cocoa, which along with the cinnamon continue to lead the pack. The pepper, dried fruit and wood notes have been pushed to the back, but they are nice compliments to the leading notes.

Viaje Skull and Bones M?stery (2015) 2

As I move into the second third, the burn is taunting me to touch it up again, but it isn’t necessary quite yet. The sweetness of the cocoa and cinnamon up front is fading slightly, though the flavors are still the primary notes. Ash retention is impressive, which along with the good draw slightly make up for the shortcomings of the burn that is already needing touched up again. The pepper is wanting to make its way back to the front as the sweetness continues to fade, landing somewhere in the middle with cocoa and cinnamon on one side and the wood and fruit notes on the other. Towards the tail end of this section one more touch up is required, as the burn seems to want to continue at a 45 degree angle no matter my intervention.

Viaje Skull and Bones M?stery (2015) 3

The final third continues the trend of the sweetness dying out to almost nothing now, leaving a dry baking cocoa note alongside the cinnamon and pepper. Dried fruit notes are mostly gone, with the wood notes turning into more of a dry cedar flavor. Another significant touch up is required, and with it the beginnings of some harsh notes covering up the profile. In the final inch it seems the burn wants to play nice, staying mostly even, but the harshness has increased enough that I go ahead and finish up the cigar there.

Viaje Skull and Bones M?stery (2015) 4

Final Note

  • Second only to halfwheel’s expansive 38-cigar Oliva Serie V collection, the Skull and Bones collection is now up to 26 cigars.
  • While it isn’t a Halloween themed release, the M?stery has shipped in October, more recently alongside the Viaje Halloween themed Full Moon and this year the Full Moon Edición Limitada as well.
  • Raíces Cubanas consistency has seemed to be a roller coaster the past few years. While it seemed like a constant complaint for a while, it seemed to shape up in 2014 with most cigars sporting fantastic construction and consistency. With the 2015 releases though it seems that we’re back to the same issues we experienced a couple years back.
  • The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time averaged right around an hour and 15 minutes.
85 Overall Score

The 2015 version of the Viaje Skull and Bones M?stery started out giving me quite high hopes for the experience. A delicious cold draw and a solid profile starting out immediately pulled me in and caught my full attention. The burn issues and number of touch ups needed were certainly an annoyance, but one that I could have lived with had the profile continued as is. Unfortunately it slowly seemed to go downhill, staying good enough in the second third but mostly falling apart in the final third. With the burn issues and the profile deterioration, it really put a damper on my initial excitement for the cigar and I probably won’t be seeking any more of these out to try. I can still suggest trying these out for yourself, especially if you’re a fan of the Skull and Bones line, but they aren’t something I would go out of my way to track down.

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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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