Early in 2020, Viaje released a cigar known as the Viaje Zombie Farmhand Andre. If you have followed Viaje Cigars for the past decade, you will know that Viaje Cigars’ founder Andre Farkas creates themes, narratives, and storylines among his releases. Viaje Zombie Farmhead Andre ties two of these concepts together – Viaje’s Thanksgiving themed cigars with Viaje’s “Zombie Apocalypse” themed cigars. Today, we take a closer look at the Viaje Zombie Farmhead Andre.
Over the years, the Thanksgiving story with Viaje has evolved. First there was a Stuffed Turkey (white meat) which was followed by a Stuffed Turkey Dark Meat offering. Because you need a way to get a Stuffed Turkey to the table, you call a Hatchet Man – and that’s Farmer Bill Hatchet. Farmer Bill Hatchet needs an assistant – and that’s where Farmhand Andre comes in. The narrative crosses into Viaje’s Zombie theme when Farmer Bill Hatchet and Farmhand Andre are affected by radiation – transforming them into Zombie Farmer Bill Hatchet and Zombie Farmhand Andre. Finally, there are Thanksgiving Leftovers. The Thanksgiving themed cigars are listed below. The ones indicated by (*) were not released during the Thanksgiving season, and Viaje Zombie Farmhand Andre is one of them as it was released in May 2020.
- Viaje Stuffed Turkey White Meat
- Viaje Stuffed Turkey Dark Meat
- Viaje Farmer Bill Hatchet
- Viaje Zombie Farmer Bill Hatchet 2016
- Viaje WLP Thanksgiving Leftovers (*)
- Viaje Farmhand Andre
- Viaje Releases Zombie Farmhand Andre (*)
There is also a whole narrative with the Zombie theme when it comes to several Viaje releases. The story goes that Viaje Skull and Bones WMD (Weapon Mass Destruction) explodes. Because of radiation from the explosion, people end up mutating into “Zombies.“ The Zombie Super Shot helps arm people for what Farkas calls the “Zombie Apocalypse.”. The only way to cure the Zombies is with the Zombie Antidote which has resulted in Zombie Biohazard. As a part of this story, Farmer Bill Hatchet, and later Farmhead Andre have been infected with radiation turning them into Zombies.
With the narratives out of the way, let’s get into the Viaje Zombie Farmhead Andre cigar itself and see what it brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
There is virtually no information released about the blend or origin of the Viaje Zombie Farmhand Andre. What makes this more complicated is that like all of the other “Zombie” blends, what makes the cigar a “Zombie” is unknown.
Wrapper: Not Disclosed
Binder: Not Disclosed
Filler: Not Disclosed
Country of Origin: Not Disclosed
Factory: Not Disclosed
The Viaje Zombie Farmhand Andre is a 5 1/2.x 54 box-pressed vitola (the same dimensions as Zombie Farmer Bill Hatchet). The cigar is packaged in ten-count bundles. As with most Viaje releases, the 2020 inaugural edition was a single small batch release.
The wrapper of the Viaje Zombie Farmhand Andre had a roasted coffee bean look to it. There was a very light sheen of oil on the surface of the wrapper. There were some visible veins and visible wrapper seams. The cigar has a soft Cuban-press style to it and is finished with a covered footer.
The band has a similar design to the original Viaje Farmer Bill Hatchet release, but with a different color scheme. The upper portion (approximately 2/3) of the band has a black background and the lower portion of the band has a pale green background. The upper portion is highlighted by a character that looks like a “mutated” Andre Farkas – complete with a checkered shirt, beige overalls, a severed hand, an eye poked out, and a pale-green face. To the left and right of the image are a series of white cross-bones. The lower portion of the band has the text “VIAJE” logo text in white font. Below that text is the text “FARMHAND” in larger white font – sitting on a black background that looks like a piece of wood.
Prior to lighting up the Viaje Zombie Farmhand Andre, a straight cut was used to remove the cap. From that point it was on to the pre-light draw ritual. The cold draw delivered a mix of chocolate, cedar, and floral notes. Typically I am not a fan of floral notes, but somehow on this pre-light draw things clicked and I found this experience to be satisfactory. At this point it was time to toast the footer of the Viaje Zombie Farmhand Andre and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Viaje Zombie Farmhand Andre started out with notes of chocolate, nut, cedar, and citrus. The chocolate and nut notes moved to the forefront quickly.The citrus and cedar notes settled in the background. The chocolate and nut notes soon started to dissipate and were replaced by earth notes. Of the background notes, the cedar notes emerged as the most prominent. Later in the first third, a small amount of black pepper surfaced on the forefront. The retro-hale had a more prominent layer of black pepper.
During the second third of the Viaje Zombie Farmhand Andre, some metallic notes emerged in the background. There were still notes of cedar, citrus, and pepper present in the background. There was a gradual increase in the pepper throughout the second third.
By the final third, the earth notes were still grounded in the forefront. The pepper notes closed in on the forefront, but did not make their way there. Rounding out the flavor profile were the citrus, cedar, and metallic notes. This is the way the Viaje Zombie Farmhand Andre came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch, but cool in temperature.
The Viaje Zombie Farmhand Andre required several touch-ups along the way to keep a straight burn path and straight burn line. The touch-ups did the trick, but there were slightly more touch-ups required than I prefer. The resulting ash was silver-gray with some dark streaks mixed in. This wasn’t an overly firm ash, and at times on the looser side. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw of the Viaje Zombie Farmhand Andre was ideal. Many times a box-press cigar has a more open draw than I like. In the case of the Zombie Farmhand Andre, there was a pleasant touch of resistance. At the same time, this cigar provided a low maintenance experience to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, the Viaje Zombie Farmhand Andre was a solid medium from start to finish. There was little in the way of variance of the intensity levels of both attributes. At the same time, both the strength and body balanced each other with neither attribute having the edge over the other.
There were definite parallels between the Viaje Zombie Farmhand Andre and the regular Viaje Farmhand Andre. The flavors started out promising, then turned quite ordinary and failed to hold my interest. The flavor profile of Zombie Farmhand Andre also had parallels to Farmhand Andre – a nice sweetness and richness to start, but then turned flat – particularly once some of the metallic notes surfaced. In the end, while this may be a difficult cigar to find, I suggest trying a sample before deciding whether or not to purchase one.
Key Flavors: Chocolate, Nut, Cedar, Citrus, Black Pepper, Metallic Notes
Burn: Very Good
Finish: Very Good
Value: Try a Sample
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted