The Viaje Zombie Biohazard is an off-shoot of Viaje Cigars’ mysterious Zombie line. While Viaje is known for its small batch and limited production releases, the Viaje Zombie is one of the company’s more limited ones. Viaje Zombie was a line that was introduced in 2011. For five consecutive years, it was extremely limited by Viaje standards, as the releases were made available for two to four selected retailers. In 2016, things changed as the Viaje Zombie was made available to a larger set of the company’s authorized retailers. Viaje didn’t totally abandon making some specials available to a small set of retailers. Instead, the company introduced two box-pressed versions of the Zombie and dubbed it the Viaje Zombie Biohazard. Viaje would follow a similar model in 2017, distributing the Zombie to a larger set of select retailers with the Zombie Biohazard going to two retailers. Consistent with more widespread Viaje Zombie release, the Zombie Biohazard was made available in two blends: Viaje Zombie Biohazard Green (Criollo wrapped) and Viaje Zombie Red (Maduro). Today we take a look at the Viaje Zombie Biohazard Red from 2016.
What exactly makes up the Zombie blend hasn’t been disclosed. Originally it was released as a double-capped cigar, but since 2013, it has been an inverted torpedo featuring a tapered footer. There have also been several blends released in the series (such as 2013’s “White Box”), but for the past three years Zombie has been released in the Green and Red blends.
There have also been several “offshoot” blends. These offshoot blends should not be confused with the actual Zombie Green and Zombie Red blends. Like the original Zombie, the details of these blends have been kept under lock and key.
- Viaje Zombie Super Shot (an offshoot of the Viaje Super Show)
- Viaje Zombie Antidote (a new line)
- Viaje Zombie Farmer Bill Hatchet (an offshoot of Viaje Farmer Bill Hatchet)
- Viaje Zombie Biohazard (an offshoot of the original Viaje Zombie)
Viaje Founder Andre Farkas has taken the Zombie concept and developed a storyline on how it connects some of his cigar releases.
The story starts out with the explosion of the Viaje WMD (Weapon Mass Destruction). Because of radiation from the explosion, people end up mutating into “Zombies“. In fact, recently one person mutated into a Zombie was “Farmer Bill Hatchet“. The Zombie Super Shot helps arm people for what Farkas calls the “Zombie Apocalypse”. Meanwhile, the only way to cure the infected Zombies is with the Zombie Antidote. While the Biohazard wasn’t quite explained by Farkas, one can assume it’s a byproduct of disposing of the Zombie Antidote.
As mentioned above, the Viaje Zombie Biohazard releases have been sent only to a handful of retailers. These are the recipients of the Viaje Biohazard in 2016 and 2017. Whether this cigar will return for 2018 is unknown.
- 2016: Cavalier Cigar Company (College Station, Texas), JR Cigar (Whippany, NJ and Paramus, NJ retail locations).
- 2017: Just for Him (Springfield, Missouri), R. Field Wine Company (Honolulu, Hawaii).
Since this is a cigar released in a single batch in May 2016, the cigars used for this assessment have nearly two years of aging to them. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the Viaje Zombie Biohazard Green and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Other than the incorporation of a maduro wrapper, most of the details of the 2016 edition of the Viaje Zombie Biohazard Red have not been disclosed.
Binder: Not Disclosed
Filler: Not Disclosed
Country of Origin: Not Disclosed
The 2016 edition of the Viaje Zombie Biohazard Green is a box-pressed cigar with a tapered footer that is open. The vitola measures 5 x 52. The cigars are packaged in 20-count elongated boxes.
The Viaje Zombie Biohazard Red’s maduro wrapper had a rich chocolate brown color to it. Upon closer examination, there was some darker mottling not the surface and the wrapper had a light coating of oil. The surface of the wrapper was on the smooth side. In fact, the wrapper’s surface was practically void of any significant visible veins. The dark color of the wrapper did a nice job at hiding the seams.
There are two bands on the Viaje Zombie Biohazard Red. The primary band is the same as what was on the Viaje Zombie Red. This band is black in color with the text “ZOMBIE” in a red haunted-styled font. Just below the primary band is a secondary band with a yellow biohazard logo.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
I commenced my experience of the smoking experience of the Viaje Zombie Biohazard Red by placing a straight cut to remove the cap. I then moved on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered a mix of cocoa powder and earth. While the dry draw was simple, I found it flavorful. At this poin,t I was ready to light up the Viaje Zombie Biohazard Red and see what the smoking stage would have in store.
The Viaje Zombie Biohazard Red kicked off with notes of chocolate, wood, and black pepper. It didn’t take long for the chocolate notes to move into the forefront. The wood and black pepper settled into the background where they were joined by what I term “maduro sweetness” (a fusion of natural tobacco and dried fruit). Meanw,hile the retro-hale delivered a mix of red and black pepper
By the second third, some earth notes emerged in the forefront. Simultaneously, I found the maduro sweetness increased in intensity and come close to the forefront. Meanwhile, the black pepper and wood notes were in the more distant background.
As the Viaje Zombie Biohazard Red reached the end of the first third, the earth notes took over as the primary flavor. The maduro sweetness remained a close secondary note. By this point, the chocolate notes had diminished greatly, but could still be detected. There were also still touches of wood and pepper. This is the way the Viaje Zombie Biohazard Red came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and slightly lukewarm in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The burn to the Viaje Zombie Biohazard Red was relatively straight during the early stages, but by the midpoint, the burn line got a little irregular and the burn itself was in danger of meandering. While touch-ups did the trick, I did find they became more frequent than I prefer. The resulting ash was relatively firm. This was an ash with a silver gray color with darker specks mixed in. Meanwhile, the burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to the Viaje Zombie Biohazard Red was ideal. For a box press, I like the fact it had some resistance to it. Yet at the same time, this was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
For a cigar with nearly two years of age on it, I found it had some nice firepower. This is a cigar that started out medium to full in strength and body. By the second third, both the strength and body moved into the full-range. I found the increase in intensity for both attributes leveled off toward the end. Throughout the smoking experience I found the body had a slight edge over the strength.
When it comes to maduros, I have always felt Viaje has done an excellent job with them. In fact, when the Viaje Zombie Red was released, I found it to be one of the better Zombie releases. The nice thing is that not only has the box-pressed Viaje Zombie Biohazard Red kept things at a high level, but it’s a cigar that has aged extremely well – keeping both its flavor and its firepower. In general, the reverse figurado is a shape that doesn’t get a lot of love – and it’s one that I enjoy. It was nice to enjoy a cigar like this in a box press. Given this is a stronger cigar, I’d recommend it to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again – and it’s worthy of buying multiples to keep in the humidor.
Key Flavors: Chocolate, “Maduro Sweetness”, Wood, Pepper, Earth
Burn: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Plus
Strength: Medium to Full (1st Third), Full (Remainder)
Body: Medium to Full (1st Third), Full (Remainder)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy Multiples
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop