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Presmoke thoughts:

Viaje Zombie Antidote

Viaje’s scare me. They have a reputation of being total full strength powerhouses. I don’t have the greatest nicotine tolerance so I’ve been hesitant to give this, or any of the other Viaje’s I’ve managed to get my hands on, a try.

I bought a handful of these Viaje Zombie Antidotes for trades and figured I should try one myself so I knew what I was sending people.

2014-07-06 18.07.02

 

Construction:

I didn’t notice while it was in the cello but about an inch from the foot we have some cracks in the wrapper, but more problematic is a split in the wrapper about an inch above that. Not cool. Hopefully that won’t impact the smoke.

2014-07-06 18.07.09

Otherwise, I can totally appreciate the needle shape of this cigar, especially in light of its name and theme. It’s a nice perfecto meant to look like an antidote given in a syringe.

 

Prelight:

The cold draw is only slightly on the loose side. I hope it gets tighter once lit and not looser. The cracks are hopefully not the cause of the loose draw.

I get sweet tobacco in the cold draw. Not very sweet, only subtly.

The nose on this Viaje Zombie Antidote smells a little like a dirty pond. I am nowhere near a pond, let alone a dirty one. Weird. Even more strange is it’s not entirely off-putting. It is a dialed-down sensation of walking into a couple of the Asian grocery stores in this area, especially those with a large fish presence.

Stats:

  • Cigar Brand: Viaje
  • Cigar NameZombie Antidote
  • FactoryFabrica de Tabacos Raíces Cubanas S. de R.L.
  • Country of OriginNicaragua
  • WrapperNicaraguan Criollo ’98
  • BinderNicaraguan
  • FillerNicaraguan
  • VitolaPerfecto Lonsdale
  • Length6.25″
  • Ring Gauge44
  • Cost: $10.25
  • Where purchasedMain Street Cigars in Medford, NJ
  • StrengthFull
  • Smoked2014-07-06
  • WhereHome
  • When~6pm
  • OccasionN/A
  • MealSushi
  • WhereSumo Sushi
  • Drink PairingVenti Vanilla Iced Coffee with heavy cream
  • Linkhttp://halfwheel.com/viaje-zombie-antidote

 

First Third:

2014-07-06 18.24.50

This is a joke. The splits have increased as soon as I light it. I can hardly pull any air through and I’m having a hard time getting it fully lit as a result. The taste I barely get is a great graham cracker taste and I’m really bummed right now because I want more of that. I may have to cut the first third off.

I spend the first five minutes after lighting this cigar attempting to pull it to life and attempting to pull air through it. It’s not happening.

Yep, there’s no saving the bottom half. The crack runs all the way up. I cut it just above where the crack ends which is just under halfway up the stick.

2014-07-06 18.26.04

 

Second Third:

Funny enough, as soon as I light the remainder a small crack develops. Not enough that I’m worried or will have to cut again but this is getting old.

2014-07-06 18.26.57

The nose smells like buttered and toasted white bread at a diner. That’s really cool, and I genuinely like this smell. The graham cracker taste is nowhere to be found unfortunately, but there’s a tremendous amount of pepper on the retro. Wow that’s painful.

Unfortunately I don’t taste a whole lot here. I’m not sure if that’s the cigars fault or because my mouth is coated with heavy cream.

I picked up another iced coffee from Starbucks today, which I’m drinking as I smoke this. I get mine with heavy cream in it. I watched the woman make it today and saw she puts in a 50/50 split of coffee to heavy cream. I’ve never seen anything like that. All I could think was “has she never drank coffee before?”

2014-07-06 18.28.14

So I’m coated. Thankfully my nose isn’t. This is one of the most enjoyable cigars I’ve had from a smell standpoint. It’s amazing.

This coffee is going to kill me. I’m a fan of full fat foods. I feel when they strip out the fat – – aka the flavor – – they typically replace it with unnatural garbage to keep the flavor up. However, this much fat in one sitting will make me sick, just like eating half a container (4 servings) of macadamia nuts does. Learned that lesson the hard way recently…

Another fun surprise. While removing the band I find it’s glued to the wrapper and I get a slight rip in the wrapper. Come on, I can’t seem to catch a break on the construction with this guy. Oh well, it’s a handmade product. Some are going to be duds. I have a couple more so it’ll be interesting to see whether they are similar.

2014-07-06 18.41.57

Closing out the second third I’m still only tasting tobacco. The smell is still perfect. The retro has calmed to a less painful level of pepper.

I am starting to feel the strength through my body and I’m slightly happy I had to cut this one short.

2014-07-06 18.42.31

 

Final Third:

The final third turns the taste weird. It alternates between horrific burned bitterness and a mildly caramel tobacco taste. Back and forth, back and forth. My coffee is not caramel. I can’t figure out what’s going on, it’s switching every 3 or 4 pulls.

The nose is still fantastic. The retro has subsided into a very mild pepper balanced with a really nice nuttiness. It’s slightly like the toasted rice I used in making a Thai dish recently. I’ve stopped drinking the coffee for the last 20 minutes for fear of dying.

2014-07-06 18.46.55

I think I understand the name of this cigar. In the event of a zombie apocalypse you give these to the zombies when they have you cornered. They’ll be so confused and frustrated you’ll have time to escape.

Thankfully the last half of the final third gets rid of that strong bitterness and leaves only a mild but pleasant caramel tobacco taste. I still have the bitterness in my mouth, but it’s dissipating and being replaced by this pleasant taste.

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I get down to about an inch left and I call it quits.

2014-07-06 19.10.02

 

Burn:

The burn was ok and fairly even. It didn’t need for me to touch it up due to burning unevenly.

 

Final Thoughts:

Obviously this Viaje Zombie Antidote was a let down. I have two more I’ll smoke in the future as I don’t think it would be fair to totally write this cigar off due to, what I’m hoping is, a single poorly constructed stick. I’ll write another review in the near future and either confirm this poor construction is consistent, or dispel this as a single one off problem.

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