27th Mar2012

601 La Bomba Atom

by GoodFellasCigars

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Shape: Corona Extra

Size: 5¼” x 46

Country: My Father Factory in Nicaragua

Strength: Full

Production: Full

Price Range: $8.00

I’ve always enjoyed the Viaje Skull and Bones line due to the shear strength that these little guys pack. Recently someone told me about a cigar that was comparable to that line so I had to give them a try of course. This cigar is made by EOBrands Inc. which is the maker of the 601 brand. The 601 line was the original brand that the company lauched and currently its most successful. The cigar by 601 I picked is the La Bomba Atom and the name pretty much sums up how this cigar is, “The Atom Bomb”.

The Look:  Immediately upon seeing this cigar for the first time it reminded me of the Viaje TNT 2011 . It had an extremely long tail that went about half the length of the cigar like a bomb fuse. This further more just hints that this cigar is going to be strong! The construction on the La Bomb was excellent from the triple cap to almost no veins and a very smooth wrap. The pack was also nice and firm with no give which might mean the draw could be a little difficult but, we will have to see. The wrapper and foot had the same smell of rich sweet tobacco.

The Start: Now it’s time to begin and clip the cap. The pre-draw was very smooth even with the firm pack I noted from before and it had a light tobacco flavor. The initial draw on the other had was an intense warm spice. WOW! I can’t put in words how spicy the initial draw is. I can’t really compare the spice to any other cigar I have had either. It’s basically like a kick to the palate. But, it wasn’t all spice I also picked up a flavor of leather. The aroma was a musky burnt leaf smell.

The Beginning: The intense spice I encountered on the initial draw was only momentarily. For the first third it backed down to a red pepper that still gives a warm sensation and prickles the palate. Along with the red pepper are other flavors of leather, roasted coffee, and dark chocolate. The draw was very easy that took virtually no effort and the smoke that was coming off the cigar was a dark grey which produce alot of smoke when resting. I recommend taking your time on this guy since the draw is easy and also the strength on this cigar is pretty high. We don’t want anyone to have to stop due to nausea. The ash is a mix of white, grey, and black ad was also flaky and somewhat loose. The burn on the other hand is near perfect. Approaching the second third the spice continues to go down with earth tones coming into play along with the coffee and dark chocolate making a small amount of bitterness.

The Middle: The La Bomba is still staying strong as ever to say the least. I’m feeling it now. Thank the lord I ate something before smoking this stick. A sweet drink would go well with this cigar. Possibly a sweet tea? The flavors are the same for the most part compared to the first third except spice has went down a decent amount. The flavor profile as of now consists of a dark bitter earth with coffee and chocolate. The burn is basically razor sharp. Approaching the last third leather comes back in bringing tones of nuts and dryness. Also here the chocolate and coffee leave, never to be seen again.

The End:  I managed to drag my beaten body from this ass kicker this far. Everything through this part is consistent from what I last described just above with the final third’s flavor profile made up of spice, leather, and bitter semi-dry nuts. The finish was a bitter leather. Total time of the smoke was a little over an hour.

Final Thoughts: Overall this cigar was great if you want something that will challenge you and take you on a real journey. If you are a fan of the Viaje Skull and Bones line and have been looking forever to find a cigar that is comparable to them look no further this is it. My suggestion is make sure you take your time on the La Bomba because the draw can have you going too fast if you don’t watch it. Also don’t forget to eat something before smoking this cigar too. I’m going to have see what else EOBrands Inc. has to offer because the punch this Atom bomb packed has got me intrigued.

17th Mar2012

Andre Farkas Ventures into the Wine Business

by GoodFellasCigars

Andre Farkas, the owner of Viaje Cigas, recently announced that he is venturing into the wine making business:

“Andre Farkas
Back from Napa. It was an amazing few days. I met incredible winemakers that were inspiring and more than generous with their time. After years of dreaming I’m happy to say the wheels have finally been set in motion. Grapes will be crushed. Wine will be bottled. And all of you can look forward to partaking in the experience. My journey into the wine industry has begun. This is only the beginning.”

It is may be a fair assumption that the result of Andre’s partnership with a California wine maker will produce a wine that pairs with his cigars. With cigar companies looking to expand their offering, wine and other alcoholic beverages are a natural complementary products. Viaje is not the only cigar company to have either already ventured into the wine or are looking to. For example Marco V has has partnered with Chateau St. Croix Winery to produce the Marco V Cigars Vintage Port which pairs with the Platinum Grand Reserve V. Gigante Maduro. With the already competitive marketplace cigar companies operate in look for more cigar companies to expanded their offering into products complementary to cigars such as wine and other alcoholic beverages.

14th Mar2012

Viaje White Label Project Winter Classic

by GoodFellasCigars

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Shape: Rothschild

Size: 4/12 x 48

Country: Honduras

Strength: Medium

Production250 Bundles of 25 Cigars; 6,250 Total Cigars

Price Range: $8.00; $200.00 for a Bundle of 25

The Viaje White Label Project Winter Classic is the first of Viaje’s White Label Project for 2012 and the fifth installment for the line overall. Viaje created the White Label Project to give Viaje customers a glance at what may be to come from Viaje as well as test those cigars with customers. These cigars with their unique and sometimes unique sizes would otherwise not be made available to the public. So it is always a treat smoke a new White Label Project.

The Look: The Viaje White Label Project Winter Classic is 4/12 inches by 48 ring gauge Rothschild with a lightly veined light brown wrapper with some darker brown spots. The Viaje White Label Project Winter Classic like the previous White Label Project is fitted with a white band with the word Viaje printed in black. The pack is firm with some depressions. The depressions concerned me slightly as I didn’t know if that would be an bad omen for the quality of smoking enjoyment that I may get from this cigar.

The Start: The foot of the Viaje White Label Project Winter Classic had an aroma of light spice and barnyard and, the wrapper gave off an aroma of light musk. The pre-light draw had a flavor of light black liquorish. The initial draw contained flavors of dark liquorish, oak wood tones, and light spice.

The Beginning: Going more into the first third of the Viaje White Label Project Winter Classic the smooth flavor profile consisted of oak wood, dark liquorish and, creamy chocolate. Following the flavors that came shortly after puffing on this cigar, the finish was made up of semi-bitter caramelized sugar, light pepper, and an oak woodiness. The draw was great and the burn was very even. The ash had light to medium gray coloring and held well to the cigar. While I was enjoying smoking the Viaje White Label Project Winter Classic I was also outside enjoying the nice weather. As I was doing this I noticed the sun shine highlighting smoke white-blue that came off the cigar. This is not remarkable in any sense but it was nice to witness the sunny side of mother nature while finally getting to enjoy a cigar in the warm open air after months of smoking in doors. So far this was a great start to this cigar.

The Middle: In the second third of the Viaje White Label Project Winter Classic, the flavor profile shifted but only slightly. The oak was replaced by mahogany, the dark liquorish went away but, the creamy chocolate remained. On the retrohale spice and pink pepper were present. The finish had bitter caramelized sugar, sea salt, and a bit of tanginess that could perhaps be described as mango. The draw still quite good but the burn was slightly uneven. At rest the smoke that exuded from the Viaje White Label Project Winter Classic carried an aroma of warm wood .

The End: The final third saw the flavors become over all become bolder. The flavor profile here was still very smooth while the woody flavor of dark mahogany came to the forefront and a creamy dark chocolate was also present.  The finish was a bit spicy consisting of a spicy black pepper, and the slight tang from the second third. The draw was yet again still quite excellent, while the slightly wavy burn started to correct itself from the second third. Here in the final third ash seemed to be not as strong as it was in the first third. I stopped smoking this cigar nearly at the start of where the band was as starting to get harsh.

Final Thoughts: The Viaje White Label Project Winter Classic was overall a very enjoyable cigar with an interesting yet most smooth flavor profile. I would love to smoke this cigar in front of a fire place with a good beer or now that the weather is nice again, by a bonfire again with a good beer. I would not mind if Viaje produced this cigar again but maybe this time without the white band.

05th Mar2012

Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge

by GoodFellasCigars

Wrapper: Nicaraguan

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Shape: Nub

Size: 3 1/2 x 54

Country: Honduras

Strength: Full

Production:  300 Boxes of 25 Cigars; 7,500 Total Cigars

Price Range: $6.40 per cigar; $185.00 for a Box of 25

The Super Shot line of Viaje cigars was dreamed up by Andre Farkas while clay shooting and of course enjoying some cigars. The only problem with tying to enjoy both clay shooting and a cigar at the same time was that the cigars were not short enough to smoke during the breaks between rounds of shooting and so went out when during the rounds.

“I recently took up clay shooting and I noticed something… The cigars I brought weren’t short enough to enjoy between rounds. I’d start smoking and before it was finished it was my time to shoot again, so the smoke kept going out… But it isn’t just for a day out shooting clay. It’s designed to be smoked when time is a factor or while doing any sort of work.” – Andre Farkas speaking with Cigar Aficionado

Andre decided to fix this problem by creating a cigar short enough to smoke between rounds and dubbed his creation the Super Shot. The Viaje Super Shot is available in two sizes the 3 1/2″ by 54 ring gauge “10 Gauge” and the 3 1/4″ by 52 ring gauge “12 Gauge”. These names and sizes are aptly themed for the clay shooting and and shot gun shell theme. Topping off the this theme is the card board box these cigar are packaged in. The box is very similar to the size of an actual shot gun shell box and is styled in the vintage style of past shot gun shell boxes (See Below).

The Look: The Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge is a nub sized cigar measuring 3 ½ inches by 54 ring gauge with a dark brown slightly gold toned wrapper. The wrapper extends almost over the entirety of the foot which adds to the look of the Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge being a shot gun shell. Also adding to the look of this cigar being a shot gun shell are the veins which heavily covers the wrapper and to a smaller extent the small raised bumps which also cover the wrapper add texture to the cigar like the grooves of the plastic exterior of a shot gun shell. Finally the pack of the Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge is firm with hardly any give.

The Start: The foot of the Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge had an aroma of dark country liquorish and the wrapper also had an aroma of dark country liquorish. The pre-light draw had spiciness and had some earthiness to it. The initial draw had showed to have heavy spice, lots of power, and pleasantly bitter dark chocolate.

The Beginning: The first third of the Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge had of flavor profile that smoothed out from the initial draw that was dark, creamy, and spicy. The finish had more defined flavors of bitter dark chocolate, leather, and wood tones. The draw was great and the burn was unfortunately uneven. While the ash produced was gray with spots and streaks of darker gray. During the first third I experimented with pairing the Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge with Wild Turkey American Honey. This pairing was simply great as the sweetness of honey of the Wild Turkey American Honey added a great complementing element to the flavors of the cigar.

The Middle: In the second third of the Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge again, the flavors were not incredibly complex yet, were quite smooth for a cigar that was such full bodied and strong. Wood tones and spice were the predominate flavors. The finish on the other hand again had more discernible flavors of dark chocolate, wood tones, and leather.  The draw was again very good and yet again unfortunately the burn was still uneven so I decided to correct it. Here in the second third the cigar went out and the burn had to be corrected. At rest the aroma that wafted from the Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge was nice a burnt chocolate. Besides the drawback of the burn issues that the cigar experienced the flavors though not incredibly complex were a great balance of flavors.

The End: The final third of the Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge had the flavors come out more as the flavor profile consisted of vanilla, pleasant creamy dark chocolate and leathery tones. The finish consisted of vanilla, chocolate, and leather at the end. The draw was good and the burn after the correction in the second third was finally even.

Final Thoughts: The Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge was a very strong cigar though definitely not as strong as any of the Viaje Skull and Bone series. Still for anyone not used to smoking full bodied cigar this may not be for you and if you do decide to take on this cigar don’t plan on doing anything too physical it may not turn out well. This cigar had a nice balance of flavors but was not very complex. Water was the primary pairing while smoking this cigar as to get a more accurate reading of the flavors that composed the Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge but in the first third I experimented with pairing this cigar for a short while with Wild Turkey American Honey. This pairing worked surprising well as the sweet honey flavor of this liqueur blended with honey and bourbon brought a sweetness that took the edge off that made smoking the Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge considerably more enjoyable. Over all Viaje Super Shot 10 Gauge was a solid cigar and minus the burn issues is something a cigar aficionado with preferences for stronger cigars would enjoy.