Last week, it became known that Andre Farkas was going to be at an event at Tobacco Grove in Minnesota. There were rumors at the time that Viaje would have an exclusive and obviously limited cigar at the event with a unique shape, but the exact details were few and far between.

While some people thought that the special cigar would just be the release of the new VOR and VPR Reservas, which had been rumored to be due to be release for about a month now, it turned out that Tobacco Grove was getting a unique blend.

The Viaje Zombie s a release that was always meant to come right after the WMD & MOAB cigars. The storyline Farkas has put forth is unique. “The name comes from peoples transformation into Zombies after being exposed to radiation from the WMD release.”

There were only 100 boxes of 20 produced for the events. One event is at Tobacco Grove tonight, and the other is at BURN Premium on Saturday night.

Each store received 50 boxes of the Zombie to sell, and while BURN has already sold their allotment online, Tobacco Grove is putting aside 20 boxes to sell online today at 6pm CST.

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  • Cigar Reviewed: Viaje Zombie
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L.
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 4 3/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Robusto
  • MSRP: $10.50 (Boxes of 20, $210.00)
  • Release Date: April 22, 2011
  • Number of Cigars Released: 100 Boxes of 20 Cigars (2,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2

The first thing you notice about the Zombie is the unique vitola. It is about the size of a robusto, but it is triple capped on both ends, making it look like a large pill. As far as I know, this is the first cigar to have this done. The wrapper is an extremely dark and extremely attractive, lightly red espresso brown and has enough oil on it to give it a nice sheen. It seems to be very well constructed and has a nice give when squeezed. The wrapper smells strongly of coffee, barnyard and leather.

The first third starts with some strong flavors of dark chocolate, espresso, hay, leather and earth. A great combination, but surprisingly there is almost no spice or pepper on the tongue at all, although there is a touch of black pepper on the retrohale. Halfway through the first third, I can feel the strength already building.

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The second third has many of the same flavors, but in different amounts. It’s more earthy than anything else with notes of leather and dark chocolate and the same bitter espresso. Spice and pepper amounts are about the same, i.e. almost nonexistent, but the strength is really building by the end of the third and I can tell this is going to be a kicker.

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The final third did not change much flavors wise, but the strength kept trucking along. This is a full cigar, not to be trifled with — surprising for a cigar so small. It never got hot at the end, and I was able to finish it, but please do not smoke this on an empty stomach.

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Final Notes:

  • There have been some rumblings on some of the boards that Andre Farkas took the idea of the Zombie from the Tatuaje Monster Series. Honestly, I don’t buy it in this specific instance. Farkas obviously had this idea a while ago, as he has linked the storyline of the Zombie to two of his previous releases, the WMD & MOAB.
  • As before with the WMD & MAOB releases, the cost is somewhat of an issue, especially at the size that it is. It is about three dollars too expensive for the cigar, but that has been Viaje’s standard operating procedure lately, so I don’t think it will come as a surprise to anyone.
  • The cigar is triple-capped at both ends, and while some people at Viaje mentioned the best way to light is just to light the end without cutting it, I tried that on one of the samples I smoked and it just caused burn problems. I would just clip both ends and light like normal. I did it this way with my second sample, and it had no problems whatsoever.
  • I think the band and logo of the Zombie, while distinctive, is a little cartoonish and there is no denying the obvious similarities the font has with Monster Energy Drinks.
  • The final smoking time was one hour and 35 minutes.
89 Overall Score

Make no mistake, this is a strong cigar. In fact, it is the strongest Viaje I have smoked and easily one of the strongest cigars I have smoked this year. It started strong right out of the gate and stayed at a constant, almost overwhelming, level until the end. The flavors that were present were great, albeit not overly complex, but I really wish there was just a little more spice and pepper in the blend to set the profile apart. Is it better than the original Skull and Bones or the Tower 45th Exclusivo? No, I certainly don't think it is at this point, it is not nearly as complex as the Exclusivo blend, and the profile is not as rich as the Skull and Bones, but the Zombie should age very well and I predict that with a bit of time, it will transform into an even better smoke.

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Brooks Whittington

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.