In 2017, Andre Farkas and Viaje celebrated ten years in the cigar business. It’s fair to say that Viaje has revolutionized the small batch cigar model throughout its decade in business. If we go back seven years ago to 2010, there were two releases that put Viaje on the map. One of those releases was the Viaje Oro Reserva VOR No. 5. That release shocked the cigar world, capturing Cigar Aficionado’s #2 Cigar of the Year (and #1 non-Cuban cigar) for 2010. The other was a small batch release called the Viaje Skull and Bones Daisy Cutter. The Daisy Cutter was the initial release in the Skull and Bones brand. The 4 x 54 Nicaraguan puro quickly became a cult favorite and to this day might be the most sought-after Viaje cigar made. While there have been many Skull and Bones releases, the Daisy Cutter has not returned. However this past year, Viaje released a maduro wrapped version of the Daisy Cutter. The cigar is called the Viaje Skull and Bones Daisy Cutter Edición Limitada. Recently, I’ve smoked through several Daisy Cutter Edición Limitada cigars. While it’s unfair to compare this cigar to the original that hasn’t been released in seven years, I think this might rank as the best of the maduro- wrapped Skull and Bones’ releases.
The Skull and Bones releases tend to be some of Viaje’s strongest and fullest cigars. Keeping to the bold theme of these cigars, many Skull and Bones releases are named after bombs. The Daisy Cutter is the nickname for a bomb known as the BLU-82. It’s a 15,000 pound conventional bomb that has been used in U.S. military operations in Vietnam, the Gulf War, and Afghanistan.
As for the “Edición Limitada”, these tend to be used for the most limited of Viaje releases. They have been seen across many Viaje lines. This is not the first Skull and Bones cigar to be released as an Edición Limitada. Other Skull and Bones releases receiving an Edición Limitada designation include: Viaje Skull and Bones Big Ivan (in 2013 and 2016) and the Viaje Skull and Bones Cloudmaker (2014). While the Viaje Skull and Bones Daisy Cutter Edición Limitada is not the first Skull and Bones maduro, it’s the first Skull and Bones maduro to receive that designation. Ironically, the original Daisy Cutter did not receive this designation.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Viaje Skull and Bones Daisy Cutter Edición Limitada.
The maduro wrapper of the Viaje Skull and Bones Daisy Cutter Edición Limitada is a San Andres maduro. The country of origin and factory have not been disclosed.
Wrapper: San Andres Maduro
Country of Origin: Not Disclosed
Each of the Viaje Skull and Bones releases tend to be blended to the vitola size and use different vintages of tobaccos from year to year. The Viaje Skull and Bones Daisy Cutter Edición Limitada keeps to the 4 x 54 petit robusto size of the original Daisy Cutter. The cigars are packaged in 25-count cabinet boxes.
Daisy Cutter: 4 x 54
The San Andres wrapper of the Viaje Skull and Bones Daisy Cutter Edición Limitada had a dark espresso color. Upon closer examination, there was some darker mottling that can be seen on the surface of the wrapper. There is a light coating of oil on the wrapper itself. The surface of the wrapper was slightly bumpy. There were some thin visible veins and thin visible wrapper seams present on the wrapper.
There are two bands on the Viaje Skull and Bones Daisy Cutter Edición Limitada. The primary band contains a black background and there is a white skull and crossbones prominently on the center of the band. Going around the circumference of the band are two rows of smaller white cross-bones. Inside those two rows are two white pinstripes.
The second band is located just below the primary band. This band features the text “Edicion Limitada” in maroon color on a silver background. There are two thin maroon pinstripes above and below the text. There are thicker maroon pinstripes across the top and bottom of the band.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up the Viaje Skull and Bones Daisy Cutter Edición Limitada, I chose a straight cut to remove the cap. After successfully detaching the clip, I commenced with the pre-light ritual. The cold draw delivered notes of coffee, dark chocolate, and a tingly cedar spice. Overall I considered this to be an excellent pre-light draw. At this point, I was ready to light up the Daisy Cutter Edición Limitada and see what the cigar had in store for the smoking phase.
The Viaje Skull and Bones Daisy Cutter Edición Limitada started with a mix of semi-sweet chocolate, earth, cedar, and mixed pepper. The chocolate notes became primary early on. The pepper notes were a close secondary note while the cedar and earth notes remained more distant. On the retro-hale, there was an additional layer of sharp red and black pepper.
During the second third, the earth notes joined the chocolate in the forefront. The pepper notes remained a close secondary note on the tongue and prominent on the retro-hale. I also found the pepper had a slight lingering effect on the tongue. Meanwhile, there still were some cedar notes in the more distant background.
Around the midway point of Daisy Cutter Edición Limitada, the earth notes displaced the chocolate as the primary flavor. The chocolate receded into the background. It was at this point where the cedar notes began to increase. Meanwhile, the pepper notes remained a close secondary note on the tongue.
By the last third, the cedar joined the earth in the forefront. As it had for the duration of the smoking experience, the pepper remained a close secondary note. There still was some chocolate in the background providing a touch of sweetness. This is the way the cigar experience of the Viaje Skull and Bones Daisy Cutter Edición Limitada came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
From both and draw perspective, the Viaje Skull and Bones Daisy Cutter Edición Limitada scored nicely. The cigar had no problem maintaining a straight burn path. There was a slight amount of jaggedness on the burn line, but this didn’t warrant even a touch-up. The resulting ash was firm with a light gray color. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal thoughout the smoking experience.
The draw to the Viaje Skull and Bones Daisy Cutter Edición Limitada had a touch of resistance to it – which is something that I like. This allowed me to enjoy this cigar at a slower pace – something I like on a petit robusto cigar.
Strength and Body
When it comes to Skull and Bones, this is a line known for strength and power. With the Daisy Cutter Edición Limitada, it certainly lived up to expectations. This cigar started out full strength and full-bodied and there was an increase in intensity along the way – with the strength increasing at a slightly more rapid rate
While the strength and body were relatively close out of the gate, by the second half, the strength had the edge.
Back when the Viaje Skull and Bones Daisy Cutter Edición Limitada was released, I did feel that this cigar needed some more time settling in my humidor. About six months later, this cigar has really come into its own – and it has become an outstanding powerhouse maduro. It’s been a while since I smoked a Daisy Cutter, and since the ones I still have have seven years of age on them, it wouldn’t be a fair comparison. What I can say is that this is one of the best maduro releases in the Skull and Bones line. It’s definitely a cigar for the more experienced cigar enthusiast. This is a cigar that I would smoke again. These are now becoming difficult to find as well, but if I could I would make a box purchase of these.
Key Flavors: Semi-sweet chocolate, earth, mixed pepper, cedar
Assessment: 4.0-Box Worthy
News: Viaje Skull and Bones Daisy Cutter Edición Limitada Releasing This Month
Brand Reference: Viaje
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted