Null
Null

Viaje Skull and Bones Ten Ton Tess Collector’s Edition

Null

Earlier this year, Viaje announced that it would begin making cigars in the Dominican Republic at Abe Flores’ PDR Cigars. It started with the company’s summer releases moving to the factory and over the summer, the company announced that the latest entries in the Skull and Bones line would also be made at the factory.

Ten Ton Tess continues the Skull and Bones theme of naming cigars after bombs with this reference to a World War II era British bomb. It also continues the lines theme of relatively dark cigars and some mystery in the form of undisclosed details.[ref]The cigar I’m reviewing doesn’t have any details undisclosed, the Gold version didn’t have an MSRP or a disclosed blend.[/ref] Viaje Ten Ton Tess is actually two different cigars, packaged in three different manners.

Null

Both blends measure 6 x 54, but the internals are different. A blend of Mexican San Andrés wrapper, Dominican binder and fillers from Brazil, the Dominican Republic and the United States is the regular version of the cigar, the one I’m reviewing. It’s packaged in jars of 19, which are available in both white and black form.

Viaje Skull and Bones Ten Ton Tess White

Each of the black and white jars is limited to 500 units, although the cigars are the same between them.

Viaje Skull and Bones Ten Ton Tess Black

There’s another version, which features a gold skull and bones on the band and is packaged in a gold on black jar. That cigar uses a different, but undisclosed blend, and is limited to just 100 jars of 19.

In total, the two different cigars bring the number of Skull and Bones releases to 25.

Viaje Skull and Bones Vitolas

  • 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)

This also marks the third and fourth entry into Viaje’s Collector’s Edition Series, which was launched in 2012.  The series was launched not just to identify even more limited versions of Viaje products, but also as a way to denote that the cigars would only be released once, something that isn’t true for many of Viaje’s limited editions.

Viaje Collector's Edition

Viaje Skull and Bones Ten Ton Tess Collector’s Edition 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Viaje Skull and Bones Ten Ton Tess Collector’s Edition
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: PDR Cigars
  • Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Brazil, Dominican Republic & United States
  • Size: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Vitola: Toro Gordo
  • MSRP: $14.47 (Jars of 19, $274.93)
  • Release Date: July 28, 2015
  • Number of Cigars Released: 1,000 Jars of 19 Cigars (19,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3

Without the different color in the bands, trying to tell the Ten Ton Tess apart from one another is going to be pretty challenging. Both feature a slick dark espresso wrapper that has some roughness, but is extremely uniform in color. The cold draw is odd with a lot of herbal flavors, some barbecue sauce and a touch of salmon. That being said, it’s big enough where it actually has a sort of finish: sourdough bread and medium dark chocolate.

It starts with a mixture of toastiness and cocoa with creaminess, some sourness and a meaty finish. There’s no pepper to speak of, but towards the end I get a mild blend of spices on the finish of the Ten Ton Tess. The cocoa flavor goes to a more aggressive dark chocolate over toastiness, a generic earth, some pepper and a bit of lemon. Most of the flavor is through the mouth, which I find a bit odd. Speaking of odd, strength is barely over medium, although it’s definitely a full-flavored cigar. Construction is phenomenal with more than inch of ash easily staying on and ample smoke production.

Viaje Skull and Bones Ten Ton Tess Collector’s Edition 2

There’s an uptick in pepper in the second third, it’s hotter and has a taste like a serrano pepper, although it’s far from eating a pepper raw. The toasty and dark chocolate mixture continue to be a force, although it’s much more of a level playing field between the two instead of a dominating chocolate. The retrohale has changed quite a bit with a defined sourdough bread flavor now present, although I still find the vast majority of flavors on the tongue. Construction remains excellent on two samples, although one of the three Ten Ton Tess I smoke needs a touch-up.

Viaje Skull and Bones Ten Ton Tess Collector’s Edition 3

With an inch and a half left, I get my first real change in strength, now medium-full, although it doesn’t have much of a punch and I don’t have much left to go in the Ten Ton Tess, meaning it doesn’t have much effect on me. While the dark chocolate has receded to near oblivion, the toastiness becomes even stronger, overwhelming the pepper. There’s still meatiness and creaminess, with the latter providing a bit more sweetness to the Viaje’s profile than at any other point of the cigar. The finish also takes a slight turn, now becoming earthier.

Viaje Skull and Bones Ten Ton Tess Collector’s Edition 4

Final Notes

  • I believe this is the first time Viaje has used—or at least disclosed—that it is using Dominican tobacco. This also appears to be the first Viaje to not contain Nicaraguan tobacco amongst blends where the company has disclosed tobacco origins. I remember the days when the company using anything other than Nicaraguan tobacco was a big deal.
  • The packaging for the release, particularly the detail and presence of the cardboard box around the jar, is impressive.
  • I’m not a trained photographer, but the main band is definitely one of the more challenging things to shoot at night. I eventually gave up on trying to even worry about how it looked given the highlights I was getting from the lights.
  • The jars are invoiced separately to retailers at a price of $25. This is done so that in states with high tobacco taxes, consumers aren’t having to pay additional taxes on cigars just because of the jar.
  • I found the strength to be medium for most of the cigar, but it does end at medium-full.
  • For those wondering, I smoked the Skull and Bones Ten Ton Tess Gold and generally agree with Patrick Lagreid’s assessment. One thing is for certain, it’s the stronger of the two cigars not just in nicotine levels, but also in body.
  • As to which I prefer, it’s probably the Gold version, but the difference isn’t by a ton despite the fact the cigars smoked rather differently flavor-wise.
  • Construction was great throughout the cigars with just the one aforementioned touch-up to note.
  • It’s interesting that this Collector’s Edition release is 10 times the size of another.
  • While there wasn’t an MSRP for the Gold version of Ten Ton Tess, given the wholesale pricing, it should be about $4.50 more expensive per cigar than the Black/White version before any local taxes are applied.
  • Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time was two hours and 10 minutes.
  • Site sponsors Atlantic CigarCigar Hustler and Serious Cigars have the the Black/White version of the Ten Ton Tess in stock.

Update — The original version of this post incorrectly stated that Exclusivo production had moved to PDR Cigars, it has not.

85 Overall Score

With Viaje moving production to different factories, not just PDR Cigars, it’s interesting to see how blends are changing. While something like the Summerfest 2015, which was moved to TABSA, isn’t perhaps the most drastic example given that Viaje used a lot of AGANORSA tobacco at Raíces Cubanas and is presumably using it at TABSA, this is a much different case. From the outside, this looks like a Skull and Bones, but the three cigars I smoked were far from the powerhouse blend that I’ve encountered so many times. There have been a lot of different tastes to Skull and Bones, this one for me is an outlier. It was missing the nicotine punch that I expect from Skull and Bones, but, it was by no means a bad cigar. There’s definitely a premium for the packaging—and probably the name—but you aren’t getting a bad cigar in Ten Ton Tess.

Null
Charlie Minato
About the author

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.

Related Posts

Null