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Viaje Skull and Bones Red WMD (2014)

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In May of 2010, Viaje released the first in what has become one of the largest lines in its portfolio, the Skull and Bones Daisy Cutter.

Named after a nickname of a bomb used in various conflicts called BLU-82, the 4 x 54 Daisy Cutter gained much acclaim and quickly made Skull and Bones one of the company’s more popular lines. Since that time, the line has grown to 19 different releases under multiple names—most named after some sort of military bomb or explosive device—and sizes, all of which share the ubiquitous skull and crossbones logo.

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The Viaje Skull and Bones Red WMD, which stands for weapon of mass destruction, has been released three times: once in 2011, again in 2012 and more recently last month. All three releases have been the same 3 3/4 x 54 petit robusto vitola, although the number of cigars produced for each one of them rose from 250 boxes 25 in 2011 to 300 boxes in 2012 and 2014.

We had the details on the 2014 release of the Viaje WMD in a news story back in February:

Andre Farkas of Viaje announced via his personal Facebook page on Monday that the company is preparing to ship the latest installment in the Skull and Bones WMD line sometime this month, though a specific dates has yet to be announced. A company representative confirmed that it will be shipping alongside the recently announced Viaje Exclusivo Leaded.
The Skull and Bones line has been a part of Viaje’s catalog of annual limited edition releases since May 2010 and the Skull and Bones Daisy Cutter. The WMD first appeared in March 2011 with a return in March 2012, though it wasn’t released in 2013. Despite the absence of the WMD last year, it returns in the same size and with the same price as the 2012 edition, a 3 3/4 x 54 petit robusto with a price of $8.96 per cigar and $224.00 per box of 25, according to the company.
The 2014 release of the Viaje Skull and Bones WMD will be the 19th release under the Skull and Bones banner.
Farkas indicated “free swag” would be shipped to authorized retailers, a move that will be a welcome change for Viaje dealers.

Farkas showed off the boxes of the cigars shortly before they shipped. 

Viaje Skull and Bones Red WMD  2014 Box

(Image via Facebook/Viaje-Cigars)

There are now 19 different releases in the Skull and Bones lineup.

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 Red WMD  2014 1

  • Name of Cigar Reviewed: Viaje Skull and Bones Red WMD (2014)
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory:  Fábrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L.
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 3 3/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Vitola: Petit Robusto
  • MSRP: $8.96 (Boxes of 25, $224.00)
  • Date Released: February 18, 2014
  • Number of Cigars Released: 300 Boxes of 25 Cigars (7,500 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2

A mottled dark reddish brown wrapper covers the Viaje Skull and Bones WMD contrasting well with the dominant red and black band colors. The cigar has just a little resistance when squeezed and while the cap seems sloppily applied, the rest of the wrapper is spotless and quite rough to the touch. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of strong earth, leather and black pepper, with just a hint of nuttiness.

Right off the bat, a combination of flavors including a deep earthiness, dark cocoa, bitter espresso and strong leather dominate the profile of the Skull and Bones WMD, along with an indeterminate sweetness that lingers on the tongue but is not strong enough to identify as of yet. There is a strong black pepper note through the nose from the beginning, but it begins to recede a bit as the first third continues. Even though I v-cut the cap, the draw is still on the looser side, and the burn is quite wavy. Strength-wise, the WMD ends the first third quite close to the medium mark and does not seem to be letting up anytime soon.

Viaje Skull and Bones Red WMD  2014 2

The main flavors remain pretty much the same during the second third of the Viaje WMD with a gritty earth and dark, bitter espresso fighting back and forth for dominance. Other notes of leather, cocoa, and cedar flit in and out in the background, along with the sweetness on the finish that is still not strong enough to place. The black pepper on the retrohale has receded quite a bit, but is still noticeable and the smoke production has remained constant. The burn and draw are identical to the first third, and while the strength has not increased as much as I thought it might, it still easily hits the medium mark by the end of the second third. 

Viaje Skull and Bones Red WMD  2014 3

The final third of the Skull and Bones WMD features mostly the same notes as the first two thirds, although in different amounts, as the leather in the profile becomes dominant and stays that way until the end of the smoke. Other notes include dark espresso, cedar, earth, slightly creamy nuts and just a tad more sweetness on the finish. The retrohale still features some black pepper, but it is not even close to as much as was in the first third. The draw never tightens up, and the burn never evens up, while the strength increases to fall right in the middle between medium and full. The nub does get a bit hot at the end, forcing me to put it down with a little less than an inch left.

Viaje Skull and Bones Red WMD  2014 4 

Final Notes

  • There are two sub-marcas within the Skull and Bones line: Red and White, which is signified by the color of the logo. 
  • The other two WMD releases in 2011 and 2012 featured a black secondary band with red type that said Skull and Bones, while the newest incarnation shipped without said band.
  • While the overall construction on both samples was not great, the draw had enough resistance to smoke, and the burn was never bad enough that it negatively affected the flavors or overall experience of the cigar.
  • The Skull and Bones Big Ivan is named after the AN602 hydrogen bomb, which is still the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated, and has the largest ring gauge of any of the Skull and Bone releases thus far, which makes sense given the name.
  • As has been the case for the vast majority of releases in the last 18 months or so, Viaje shipped more than one different blend at once. The Skull and Bones WMD (2014) shipped this time with the Viaje Exclusivo Leaded.
  • I have smoked quite a few of the Skull and Bones releases over the years, and I have never had one that even comes close to the balance that the original Daisy Cutter exhibited. 
  • The final smoking time for both samples averaged just over one hour.
  • Samples for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • If you would like to purchase any of the Viaje Skull and Bones WMD, site sponsor Superior Cigars has them in stock at this moment.
87 Overall Score

I have found the vast majority of the Viaje Skull and Bones releases to be harsh, bitter, one dimensional nicotine bombs (no pun intended), and while the newest release of the WMD echoes all of those attributes, it also has some positive attributes that past releases do not. There is a nice—albeit indeterminate—sweetness that lingers on the finish and the harshness in the profile never gets to the point that it overwhelms the other flavors that are present. Yes, it is still a bit too strong for the size, and yes, it is still not overly complex or exciting profile-wise, and yes, the construction is not anything to write home about, but even with all of those issues, it is still superior than most of the Skull and Bones so far. 

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Brooks Whittington
About the author

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.

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