Review: Viaje Skull and Bones MOAB 2012 (White Label)

The Viaje Skull and Bones MOAB (mother of all bombs) 2012 “White Label” came to me by way of a cigar pass in Canada.  It was on my list of cigars to try out and review, so when it showed up in the pass I was presented with a rare opportunity.  Only three hundred 25 count cigar boxes were released.

 

 

 

Nose:

A few strong smells coming off of the Skull and Bones.  Cedar, heavy fermented tobacco and white pepper.

Construction:

This Viaje release from 2012 measures  4 1/2” long with a 52 ring gauge which falls under the short robusto vitola.   The cigar is flawless and the wrapper is a very dark brown. 

 

 

Flavor:

First Third

My initial impressions are as if I bit into a sweet jalapeno pepper; tons of white pepper with a sweet after taste.  Each draw produces a deep complex flavor and loads of smoke.  As I start to settle into the first third I started to pick up some oaky undertones and what I would describe as toasted wheat.   This cigar already packs a nicotine punch even in the first third.    There’s a hint of earth at the end of each draw but it almost immediately dissipates.   Your mouth and tongue are absolutely coated with flavor here.

As the first third starts to wind down I recognize that even though the vitola is small, the strength of this cigar is not to be underestimated.

Middle Third

I found that the pepper, which was quite dominant in the initial third, starts to fade rapidly here.  There’s a strong leather after taste that coats your mouth after a draw.  The leather isn’t acrid or unpleasant but the taste is quite strong.  

At approximately the mid-point there’s some spices detectable post-draw.

Last Third

The leather dissipates here like the pepper did from the first to the second third.   The flavor profile is very similar to the first third but muted in intensity.   As I approach the end it becomes quite earthy and quietly goes out.

Burn/Draw:

The burn on this was great and the draw had no issues.  Generous amounts of smoke production with each draw.  Total smoking time was approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes, which is impressive for a short robusto.

 

Value:

Unfortunately the Viaje Skull and Bones MOAB was available only in limited quantities last year, so the likelihood of obtaining one is rather low.    At the time of release singles were going for about $10, with boxes of 25 going for around $220.  The price is a bit steep given the vitola, but not excessively so when you consider the super limited quantities produced.   I usually try to obtain a single or two before committing to a purchase of something very limited.  

 

Final Word:

It’s always great when you have a chance to try something out of the ordinary, especially if that particular cigar was a part of a rare release.  The only down side is that you’ll really enjoy it and be considerably past the point where you could still purchase them.  The Viaje Skull and Bones MOAB is a full flavored, full strength powerhouse packed into a short vitola.  Unfortunately I’m late to the party on the 2013 release as Viaje targeted February 2013 this year for the Big Ivan, Fat Man and Little Boy series.   I was fortunate enough to snap up a Fat Man from Casa de Montecristo’s aging room, while in Chicago for the 2013 Chicago Tweetup.    I’m looking forward to reviewing this down the road.

 


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