Shape: Rounded cap with torpedo foot
Size: 5 1/3 x 44
Release Date: IPCPR 2012
Today we bring you a review of the Pre-Production Viaje Honey and Hand Grenades. This was given to us by Andre Farkas last spring, 2011. Only ten were handed out by him. This cigar is scheduled to be released this year and to be based off the Exclusivo blend. Will this be the next cigar from Viaje to rule them all? Will it be the next Viaje Oro Reserva VOR No. 5? Or just another excellent stick from Viaje? The name itself sounds pretty bad ass and unique, Honey and Hand Grenades. We won’t really know till it’s out on the market. Anyways enough of the talk lets dive into this review!
The Look: The shape of the Honey and Hand Grenades is very unique. If I’m correct this shape is going to be the first of it’s kind in the cigar industry. It consists of a rounded cap and a torpedo like foot. The size is similar to a Corona. The cap by the looks of it is triple capped and the wrapper is put on very smooth from head to foot. The wrapper has a light amount of veins and the pack is very firm with virtually no give. Lastly, the band has a glued on H & HG standing for Honey and Hand Grenades and has brass knuckles underneath it.
The Start: After inspecting the cigar I move to the pre-light aromas. The wrapper had light scents of manure and cedar, nothing too strong. As for the foot it also had a light smell of manure nothing too strong or anything, just average. Moving on to the pre-light draw it took some effort to draw and only had a small amount of sweetness. I couldn’t really pin point it to anything though. Now to begin the light up. Immediately received a strong red pepper spice that gave the tongue a good tickle and made the palate moist. It also had a dark, rich earth flavor.
The Beginning: The first third starts with the red pepper again which you can really feel on the tongue giving it a prickly feeling. As for the draw it becomes easier the farther you move into the torpedo foot. Sounds kind of weird saying torpedo foot. Making my way through the foot I picked up notes of a really dark flavor like a dark roast coffee. When letting the cigar sit it produces little wisps of smoke continuously and as for each draw they produce a great amount of voluminous white smoke that warms the mouth. Now once I get passed the torpedo foot the spice begins to smooth out and the dark flavors begin to come on more than before. The burn here is a little wavy but nothing too concerning. Pretty confident it should smooth out later because it probably waved out due to the torpedo foot light. I’m also really enjoying how it feels in the hand and mouth, good natural feel with the right amount of weight to it. Getting closer to the second third the flavor profile begins to change starting with a bitterness rising up and a tiny amount of burnt caramelized maple wood. With the aroma being of a sweet wood. Also by the start of the second third the burn evens out and the ash that is a mix of white, grey, and black stays firm up til this point.
The Middle: Now making my way into the second third the smoke begins to become more creamy adding more of that sweetness of a semi burnt maple wood. The spice isn’t completely gone thought it’s now more on the back burner to say the least. The profile transition so far has just been great; starting with the dark beginning and now entering the sweet middle. The draw at this point has become very smooth and producing more voluminous amounts of smoke. The burn also has improved just like the draw becoming almost razor sharp. Another plus with this cigar too is that you can let it rest for quite some time without it going out which is due to the smaller ring gauge. Now just before going into the last third I noticed a hint of manure which I’m saying I could have been picking up from the aroma itself.
The End: Lastly, I begin the final third of the Honey and Hand Grenades. The peak of the sweet and creaminess is right here and then it slowly begins to retract. The spice begins it’s ascend back up with it starting to tickle the tongue again. Along with the spice comes the bitterness again. It transforms into more of a barnyard type musk. For example when you go into an old barn and it gives off an old wet smell. The burn is still going steady and same with the ash. Getting farther into the last third the smoke begins to dry out more and inducing a very small amount of almond flavor and a bitter anise flavor on the finish but, still overall keeping that pleasant musky spice. I gave it a retro haul here and experienced a heavy amount of spice that made me tear up a bit. Then as for the finish it consisted of red pepper with an after taste of the musky barnyard wood.
Final Thoughts: Once all is said and done this smoke took me about 1 hour and 10 minutes. The Viaje Honey and Hand Grenades was superb! I was able to smoke it down to the nub without any complaints. I’m very excited for when this hits the market. It has a bad ass name and I especially love the new shape that Viaje tried to do here with a mix between your standard Parejo and Figurado. Hopefully this won’t be the last of this kind of shape because others in the industry could benefit from this idea and maybe even take it further. The Viaje Honey and Hand Grenades provides an excellent journey that any aficionado or beginner would be happy with. I look forward to when this is out and others can enjoy it just as much as I did. Lastly remember folks to check back when this cigar hits the market for our post production review comparison!