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Cigar Review: Viaje Skull and Bones (FOAB)

21 Mar 2012

Viaje has made a name for itself creating extremely limited production cigars. In fact, Viaje’s cigars are made in such limited quantities that they often sell out in mere days.

Since chances are the Viaje cigar you have your eye on will be sold before you have a chance to sample one, purchasing many is pretty much an act of faith. Maybe Viaje’s small batches are a brilliant marketing strategy (some might call it a gimmick) but the incredibly small size of the release drives demand for these rare cigars.

That is certainly the case with the Skull and Bones series, of which the three new editions of only 300 boxes of 25 (7,500 total cigars) were released. Two of those were a second edition of a cigar released a year ago: the WMD “Weapon of Mass Destruction” (3.75 x 54) and the MOAB “Mother of All Bombs” (4.5 x 52). A third, the FOAB “Father of All Bombs,” was a new addition to the Skull and Bones line.

FOAB is slightly fatter than the MOAB with a 56 ring gauge and the same 4.5 inches in length. Like all Viaje cigars, it is made at the Raices Cubana factory in Honduras, which also produces cigars for Illusione, Padilla, Alec Bradley, La Palina, and others. The Viaje FOAB is an all Nicaraguan blend with a dark sun-grown criollo wrapper. The cigar sells for $9.20 each ($230 for a box of 25), a substantial price for a cigar you might call a petite robusto.

With a name like Father of All Bombs, you’d expect a full-bodied a bomb of a cigar, and while FOAB is definitely full-bodied (no matter what your definition is), it isn’t overwhelmingly so. Perhaps that’s why Viaje owner Andre Farkas says he doesn’t include the FOAB (or MOAB) in the Skull and Bones red line, because MOAB and FOAB aren’t nuclear but conventional weapons.

The cigar features charred oak, chocolate, and dark coffee. There’s also bready and roasted nuts present, notes you wouldn’t usually identify with a full-bodied smoke. It’s surprisingly well-balanced, though the flavors don’t change much throughout.

Construction was excellent for each of the three cigars I sampled with a solid gray ash, firm-but-not-difficult draw, and straight burn. Given that this little cigar costs almost $10 each, it would have been very disappointing if it weren’t well-constructed.

I only picked up a five-pack (it cost me $46), and there are very few left so I look forward to seeing how my remaining cigars deal with a bit of age (and I should note that I smoked these within days of receiving them). Ultimately, though, I really did enjoy the FOAB. I was pleasantly surprised to find this cigar not overwhelmingly strong. It may not be a cigar for beginners, but it has enough balance to be enjoyed by a seasoned smoker. That earns the Viaje FOAB (“Father of All Bombs”) a rating of four stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

9 Responses to “Cigar Review: Viaje Skull and Bones (FOAB)”

  1. Rocky Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    Please add the FOAB, MOAB, and WMD to George's list of cigars with stupid names.

  2. Eric Scism Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    I dont like that Viaje always makes small batches of cigars. I'll see if I'm able to pick up a couple of these guys around town though.

  3. Jermaine Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    I had a Viaje 50-50 awhile back. Can't remember exactly which one. Thought it was OK but nothing special for the price. This makes me disinclined to go out of my way to find any of these goofy-sounding sticks mentioned above, or to pay $10 for a petite robusto.

  4. dmjones1009 Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    Mr. Farkas' marketing scheme has pretty well run it's course. My local shop started carrying Viaje about a year and a half ago. For the first 8 to 12 months, most "limited releases" would show up and be gone almost the same day…maybe 2 or 3 days at most. As of today, they still have several boxes of Late Harvest and the last release of S&B Red (who can remember what silly names he called them) from last year (September? October?) as well as Stuffed Turkeys, Holiday Blends, etc.

    The problem he has now, as I see it, is that when he comes out with some spectacular (which I am led to believe that "Friends & Family" is), it's very difficult to imagine spending the money on it (especially at $16 or so per stick). I've had several S&Bs and won't spend any more money on any release of them as none of them have lived up to the hype. That's just my opinion, though.

    • cdj Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 7:00 am #

      I agree with this for sure! My local carries the line and so far the only one for worth a dime is the $10 reserva from a year ago. It was very good, and I guess I will try the F&F now as well. I walk right past viaje stuff to pick up a casa fernandez or emilio!

  5. Peter Glad Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    Loving the names of the the lines. I agree that small batches can be annoying, recently had an issue trying to get a box of a cigar i fell in love wtih,

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Quick Smoke: Viaje Skull and Bones (MOAB) | The Stogie Guys - Sunday, March 25, 2012

    […] “Mother of All Bombs” (the 2012 edition) is a slightly smaller version of the Viaje Skull and Bones FOAB (Father of All Bombs) I reviewed earlier this week. The MOAB is 4 1/2 inches by 52 RG while the FOAB is 4 1/2 inches  by […]

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    […] Cigar Review: Viaje Skull and Bones (FOAB) Maybe Viaje's small batches are a brilliant marketing strategy (some might call it a gimmick) but the incredibly small size of the release drives demand for these rare cigars. That is certainly the case with the Skull and Bones series, … Read more on Stogie Guys Online Cigar Magazine […]

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    […] few weeks back I reviewed the new Viaje Skull and Bones FOAB (Father of All Bombs), and shortly after took a look at the 2012 MOAB (Mother of All Bombs). Today […]