The Viaje Throw Down is a collaboration between Viaje Cigars and two leading cigar media entities Cigar Fedaration and Cigar Dojo. Under this collaboration, Cigar Dojo owner Eric “Master Sensei” Guttormson and Cigar Federation owner Logan Lawler, each selected a blend from a group of “contender blends” that were provided by Viaje owner Andre Farkas. The concept was for each brand owner to select a blend that best represents his brand’s community. The cigars would then be produced and packaged together in ten count bundles containing 5 cigars of each of the blends and made available as a shop exclusive for the Cigar Federation Store. These cigars would become known as the “Viaje Throw Down – Fed Head” (Lawler’s blend) and “Viaje Throw Down Dojonation” (Sensei’s blend). As an added twist, consumers would then be able to “vote” for their favorite blend making this a collaboration a competition. Today, we take a look at the one of these two blends – the Viaje Throw Down Fed Head. While one can certainly say there is some level of gimmick with this concept, one can’t argue about the blend – it’s a very good one.
The Viaje Throw Down might be the first time two cigar media brand members have come together for a collaboration. Not only are Cigar Federation and Cigar Dojo two of the larger cigar media brands, but they also have a strong social community. Both Cigar Federation and Cigar Dojo have been involved in multiple exclusive cigar releases with manufacturers. Cigar Dojo has been involved with the Drew Estate Undercrown Dogma and Sensei’s Sensational Sarsaparilla by Espinosa Cigars. Cigar Federation has been involved with The Buckingham by Crowned Heads, The Collective by Ezra Zion, and Racks on Racks by Lost & Found.
On a recent episode of Cigar Chat, Farkas, Lawler, and Master Sensei stated that this a one time limited release project. A web site – www.throwdowncigar.com has been setup for consumers to make their final vote.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the Viaje Throw Down Fed Head and see what this cigar bring to the table:
For completeness we list both blends. Most of the information on the tobaccos as well as what factory Viaje used for this cigar have not been disclosed. The blends do use two staple wrappers found across Viaje lines – San Andres Maduro (Fed Head) and Criollo ’98 (Dojonation).
Viaje Throw Down Fed Head
Wrapper: San Andres Maduro
Binder: Not disclosed
Filler: Not disclosed
Country of Origin: Not disclosed
Viaje Throw Down Dojonation
Wrapper: Criollo ’98
Binder: Not disclosed
Filler: Not disclosed
Country of Origin: Not disclosed
Both the Viaje Throw Down Fed Head and the Viaje Throw Down Dojonation are available in one size – a 5 1/2 x 52. Five cigars of each blend are packaged in a ten count bundle.
The San Andres Maduro wrapper of the Viaje Thrown Down Fed Head has a dark chocolate color to it. There is some oil on the surface of the wrapper. There are some thin visible wrapper seams and a few thin visible veins. Overall I found the surface of the wrapper to be quite smooth.
There are two bands on the Viaje Throw Down Fed Head. The primary band is the one found on the Viaje White Label Project (WLP) series – namely a white background with “Viaje” visible boldly in black font. There is a thin black pinstripe at the top and bottom of the band.
The second band has a black and white color scheme. Most of the band has a black background. At the center of band is the text “THROW” with the text “DOWN” below it – both in white font. There are two brackets that surround the text. To the left of the text is the Cigar Federation logo in white. To the right of the text is the Cigar Dojo logo in white. There is a white stripe toward the bottom of the band with the text “FED HEAD” in black font – surrounded by black stars.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Before lighting up the Fed Head, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was successfully clipped, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. On the cold draw, I detected some notes of earth, cocoa, and what I term a “cherry spice”. Overall I considered the pre-light draw of the Fed Head to be very good. At this point, I was ready to light up the Fed Head and see what the smoking phase would deliver.
The start of the smoking experience to the Fed head pretty much picked up where the pre-light draw left off. I detected notes of chocolate, earth, white pepper, and a slight cherry sweetness that provided a mild coating on the palate. As the Fed Head moved through the first third, the chocolate notes became the primary flavors. The earth and cherry notes were secondary. I also found the white pepper to be secondary, but a little more prominent on the after-draw. The retro-hale had more spice – delivering a mix of red and white pepper throughout the smoking experience.
Later in the first third, the earth notes started to mix in with the chocolate notes in the forefront. The white pepper was a close secondary note while the cherry sweetness was more distant. This continued throughout the second third.
The last third still saw the chocolate and earth notes in the forefront, but the white pepper now was closer to the forefront. While there was some spice at the end, the Fed Head demonstrated no harshness. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
In the past 18 months, I’ve seen the construction of Viaje Cigars to be much improved on a consistent basis. The Fed Head is one of those cigars that falls into this category. Overall I found that this burn took a straight path. There was a slight jaggedness on the actual burn line itself, but this was more cosmetic and was easily remedied with a few touch-ups. The resulting ash was a silvery gray color. It wasn’t an overly firm ash, but it wasn’t loose either. The burn rate and burn temperature proved to be ideal.
The draw had a touch of resistance to it – which is something that I view as a positive. This gave the Fed Head an ideal draw and made it an enjoyable smoke.
Strength and Body
For the most part, I found the Viaje Throw Down Fed Head to be a medium strength smoke. By the last third, I found there was a gradual increase in strength and it was enough to push it into the medium to full strength range. Meanwhile I found the flavors of the Fed Head to have some depth to them – falling into the medium to full-bodied range. Like the strength, there was a gradual increase, and by the last third the Fed Head was in the full-bodied range.
When looking at strength versus body, I found the body had the edge throughout the smoking experience.
Viaje has an excellent track record with its San Andres Maduros, and the Viaje Throw Down Fed Head is no exception. I found this to be a cigar that has great flavor and excellent construction. Perhaps the only drawback with this cigar is I didn’t find it to be the most complex of smokes. However the pluses far outweighed the minuses here.
Overall I found the Viaje Throw Down Fed Head to be a cigar I would recommend to a seasoned cigar enthusiast, but I also found it a nice cigar for a novice to graduate to something a little more fuller. As for myself this is a cigar I’d easily smoke again. At press time the Throw Down Dojonation had not been smoked yet. However considering the Fed Head alone, this is worthy of a box purchase – and its certainly worth checking out.
Strength: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Last third)
Body: Medium to Full (1st 2/3), Full (Last third)
Assessment: 4.0 – Box Worthy
News: Throw Down by Viaje to be Collaboration with Cigar Dojo and Cigar Federation
Price: $90.00 (Sold in bundles of ten, five Fed Heads and five Dojonations) / $9.00 per cigar
Source: Cigars Provided by Retailer
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