|Viaje Zombie Super Shot|
The Viaje Zombie Super Shot is the third blend to be released in Viaje’s Super Shot line. It was in early 2012, when Viaje launched its Super Shot series. The name for the Super Shot comes from brand founder Andre Farkas and his interest in clay shooting. Farkas was hoping to create a short smoke while taking a break in between shooting. The cigars are shaped and sized similar to a shotgun shell. This particular release of the Super Shot has been most interesting to hard-core Viaje fans as it is based off Viaje’s famed Zombie blend. The Viaje Zombie is one of Viaje’s most limited cigars and has only been released to a handful of select retailers. As with all Viaje Cigars, they are done in small batch limited releases, and the Zombie is no exception. The Zombie Super Shot marks the first time that any known permutation of the Zombie blend has been released across the board to Viaje’s authorized retailers. Recently, I had an opportunity to smoke some of the Zombie Super Shots. This is a cigar that did not disappoint and becomes another great offering in this line.
In 2012, Viaje released a small batch Super Shot using a Nicaraguan Criollo wrapper. The cigar was made in two sizes modeled after a shotgun shell- a 10 gauge (3 1/2 x 54) and a 12 gauge (3 1/4 x 52). In 2013, the Super Shot made a return in the same sizes, but this time with Criollo and a Corojo wrapper versions. In addition, the recently company released a special version of the Super Shot in its White Label Project (WLP) series. This WLP version was a version of the Super Shot 2012 Criollo 12 Gauge, but with a length of 3 1/2 inches (1/4 inch bigger). The WLP Super Shot was included in the same shipments to retailers that contained the Zombie Super Shot.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Viaje Zombie Super Shot and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Zombie Super Shot still uses a Nicaraguan Criollo ’98 wrapper, but the blend composition is based on the Viaje Zombie blend. Consistent with the current offering of the Super Shot line, the Zombie Super Shot is a Nicaraguan puro.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo ’98
At this time, the Zombie Super Shot will be released in a single size – the 10 gauge. This is a 3 1/2 x 54 petite robusto. Currently there is no offering of the Zombie Super Shot in a 12 gauge.
The Viaje Zombie Super Shot has a coffee bean colored wrapper with a tint of colorado red to it. There is also some darker marbling that can be seen on the wrapper. The wrapper has a slight oily sheen to it. Consistent with the other Super Shot blends, the Zombie Super Shot has a covered foot. There are some visible veins, but the wrapper seams are well hidden. The cigar also has a tighter pack to it – something common to several of the other Super Shot blends.
|Covered foot of the Viaje
Zombie Super Shot
Like the other blends under the Super Shot line, the Zombie Super Shot comes unbanded.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my smoking experience of the Viaje Zombie Super Shot, I opted to use a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was clipped, it was time to begin the pre-light draw. Despite the fact that the footer was covered, I was actually able to get some good dry draw notes from the Zombie Super Shot. These flavors included mocha, pepper, and natural tobacco. Overall, I was quite pleased with the pre-light draw. At this time, it was time to light up my Zombie Super Shot and see what the cigar experience would bring to the table.
The start to the Viaje Zombie Super Shot provided a strong shot of pepper. The pepper quickly subsided and still remained a primary note. Some coffee and cocoa powder flavors joined the pepper in the forefront while flavors of earth and natural tobacco became secondary notes. The coffee notes tended to linger on the tongue as part of the after-draw. Meanwhile the pepper was prominent on the retro-hale – and could definitely be detected through the nasal passages.
By around the midway point the natural tobacco notes had diminished and were replaced by some cream notes – which also were a secondary note.
The second half saw the coffee, earth, and pepper notes become the primary flavors. At times the coffee notes took on a bit of sweetness with almost an espresso syrup quality. The cream notes continued to be a secondary note. The earth notes in the forefront really helped balance a “tobacco feel” versus some of the sweeter notes. This is the way the flavor profile finished up at the close of the cigar experience. On pretty much each of the Zombie Super Shots I smoked, the resulting nub was firm, but had a slight lukewarm feel to it.
Burn and Draw
Overall, the burn performed well on the Viaje Zombie Super Shot. The burn line remained relatively straight from start to finish requiring minimal touch-ups along the way. The resulting ash was firm, but I wouldn’t categorize it as a tight ash. There was some occasional flaking along the way. The ash had a salt and pepper color that was skewed more toward the darker colored side. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal for most of the cigar experience. As I mentioned above, the nub of the cigar did have a lukewarm feel to it, but this didn’t occur until the final puffs, and did not have an adverse effect on the overall experience.
Typically the draw of the Super Shot series has been tighter than most cigars. At the same time, I think a little resistance on the draw is a good thing – especially on a short smoke as it prevents you from smoking fast. This was the case of the draw of the Zombie Super Shot. The draw did have a little resistance, but it didn’t have too much resistance. In other words, I thought is was ideal for this smoking experience.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, the Zombie Super Shot will pack a punch. This was definitely the strongest cigar I’ve had in the Super Shot line. I assessed this cigar to be full strength from start to finish. It will be interesting to see if time mellows this cigar a bit like the aged Viaje WLP Super Shot did. Even after the smoking experience, I still felt a little of the strength linger on.
The flavors to the Zombie Super Shot are on the deep side. I assessed this cigar to also be a full-bodied cigar. I do feel the strength works favorably in this cigar. This is because the strength is countered by the full flavors. In other words the strength and body have a nice equilibrium between the two of them.
I was quite pleased with the Viaje Zombie Super Shot. Overall while I’ve never found the Super Shot series to be the most complex in terms of flavor, the Zombie Super Shot did have more flavor nuances than any of the other releases in this series. From a strength perspective, this is going to be one of Viaje’s fullest offerings. In the case of the Zombie Super Shot, it is countered by some full-bodied flavors. To add icing to the cake, the flavors are quite good. As I said above, I am curious to see if time mellows this cigar. Since it is a very strong cigar, the Zombie Super Shot is going to be a cigar I recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast. Specifically this is going to be geared for a cigar enthusiast who wants a short, full strength, full-bodied smoke. As for myself, this was an excellent cigar – and one I would consider a box purchase of. I sincerely hope we see this cigar in future Viaje small batch releases.
Source: Cigars for this assessment were purchased from multiple retailers: Outland Cigars in Charlotte, Pipe and Pint in Greensboro, Tobacco World in Marietta, Georgia, and Corona Cigar Company in Orlando, Florida.