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Last month, Cigar Dojo and Cigar Federation announced that they would be partnering with Viaje to produce two different blends, each of which would be under the Viaje Throw Down moniker.

The Cigar Dojo website has more information on the concept:

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LET THE BATTLE BEGIN!!!!

The concept is simple: each opponent has selected, in conjunction with Viaje Cigars, a unique cigar blend to represent their community. Purchasers of this unique project will then judge the outcome, receiving five cigars selected by Cigar Dojo and five cigars selected by Cigar Federation. Not only will consumers judge the victor, they’ll have a say in the outcome; voting for their favorite blend at the new dedicated site – throwdowncigar.com.

Cigar blends have been developed from the ground-up by Andre Farkas, the mastermind behind Viaje Cigars. After creating a handful of premium blends to be contenders for the final product, the cigars were then sent to both opponents – Cigar Dojo & Cigar Federation. Each brand then selected their preferred blend to represent themselves in the final throw down battle.

Cigar Dojo and Cigar Federation have different versions under the Throw Down line, each in a 5 1/2 x 52 robusto extra vitola.

Cigar Dojo’s version incorporates a criollo 98 wrapper covering “secret” tobacco for both the filler and binder while Cigar Federation chose a Mexican San Andrés wrapper over undisclosed filler and binder tobaccos.

Viaje Throw Down Bundle 1

Viaje Throw Down Bundle 2

Both versions of the cigar were rolled at Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. (TABSA) in Estelí, Nicaragua and a total of 5,000 cigars were produced. Five cigars of each blend are being sold in bundles of 10 that retail for $89.95 each through the Cigar Federation store.

Viaje Throw Down

  • Viaje Throw Down Fed Head (5 1/2 x 52) — 2,500 Total Cigars — $8.99 (Bundles of 10, $89.95)
  • Viaje Throw Down Dojonation (5 1/2 x 52) — 2,500 Total Cigars — $8.99 (Bundles of 10, $89.95)

Viaje Throw Down Fed Head 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Viaje Throw Down Fed Head
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A.
  • Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
  • Binder: n/a
  • Filler: n/a
  • Size: 5 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Robusto Extra
  • MSRP: $8.99 (Bundles of 10, $89.95)
  • Date Released: June 5, 2015
  • Number of Cigars Released: 500 Bundles of 10 (5,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3

Covered in a dark espresso brown wrapper that is extremely toothy to the touch, the Viaje Throw Down Fed Head exhibits both a large number of veins as well as quite a bit of oil. The cigar is just short of rock hard when squeezed. It features two different bands: the main Viaje band which is black on white, and the secondary Throw Down band which is white on black. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of leather, cinnamon, manure, coffee grounds and spices, while the cold draw brings flavors of earth, hay, espresso and grass.

Immediately after lighting the Viaje Throw Down Fed Head, I am inundated with flavors of espresso beans, dark cocoa, gritty earth, hay and slight almonds. There is some very nice—albeit indeterminate—sweetness on the finish, which does its best to cut a very aggressive black pepper note on the retohale, as well as a touch of spice and cinnamon in the back of my throat. The draw is excellent so far, and the burn is non-problematic, while the smoke production is well within normal limits. Strength-wise, the Fed Head builds slowly, but ends the first third just short of the medium mark.

Viaje Throw Down Fed Head 2

The sweetness that was present in first third of the Throw Down  begins to recede noticeably during the second third, and although it does not disappear completely, it becomes a non-factor in the overall profile. Flavors of dark chocolate and earth are easily dominant, while lesser notes of leather, nuts, cedar, tobacco and slight popcorn flit in and out, and the black pepper on the retrohale remains quite strong. Construction-wise, the draw continues to impress, while the burn continues to zigzag a bit, forcing me to touch it up twice to stop it from getting out of control. The smoke production has increased noticeably and the overall strength blows through the medium mark, ending the second third just a bit above that point.

Viaje Throw Down Fed Head 3

The final third of the Viaje Throw Down Fed Head features the same basic profile as the second third: dominant notes of gritty earth and dark cocoa, with other flavors of cedar, leather, rice, almonds and hay filling in. One change is that the sweetness is back on the retohale, and although it is not nearly as strong as it was in the first third, it reminds me of a dark fruit of some sort, closer to plum than anything else. Both the burn and draw are a carbon copy of the second third, and the smoke production remains high until the end of the cigar. The strength does slowly increase a end up bit higher than it was in the second third, but still well short of the full mark by the time I put down the nub with less than an inch left.

Viaje Throw Down Fed Head 4

Final Notes

  • Both online sites are no stranger to collaborations with cigar manufactures: Cigar Dojo has previously worked with both Drew Estate on the Undercrown Dogma and Espinosa on Sensei’s Sensational Sarsaparilla while Cigar Federation collaborated with Ezra Zion for The Collective and Crowned Heads on The Buckingham.
  • Although the main Viaje band is one that is used for the company’s White Label Project series, this is not a WLP release. Yes, that is a bit confusing.
  • For the most part, construction was quite good, with the excellent draw being the standout in that regard. The burn was consistently wavy on all three samples, and each did need to be touched up a few times, but it was not bad enough to really affect the overall experience.
  • The smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 30 minutes.
  • The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • If you would like to purchase either of the Viaje Throw Down cigars, the only place you can find them is at the Cigar Federation store here.
85 Overall Score

While I did not get a chance to try the Cigar Dojo version, I did smoke three of the Fed Heads, each of which were remarkably similar to each other. While the blend was not overly complex, they were enjoyable and the construction did not give me any major problems. One thing I was surprised at was the lack of overt sweetness coming from the Mexican San Andrés wrapper. This, combined with the aggressive black pepper on the retrohale, held back the complexity of the profile in my opinion. A decent enough cigar, but I would be interested to see how it compares to the Dojonation.

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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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