Team Cigar Review: Viaje Skull and Bones The Hulk

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Cigar Details: Viaje Skull and Bones The Hulk

  • Vitola: Double Robusto
  • Length: 5.25″
  • Ring Gauge: 60
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: TABSA
  • Blender: Andre Farkas
  • Price: $14.00
  • Release Date: April 2020
  • Source: Developing Palates

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper on the Viaje Skull and Bones The Hulk is medium brown with a network of black and slightly raised veins. The seams are smooth but easily visible as they have a darker edge to them. The head has a well applied triple cap and the foot is partially covered with folded over wrapper. The cigar is quite firm. The band is the traditional Skull and Bones design, but for this variation, the primary skull and crossbones are green while the upper and lower borders of crossbones are white. The aroma from the wrapper is a mix of damp earth and stone fruit sweetness. The foot brings musty and sweet cedar. The pre-light draw consists primarily of mustiness with a bit of cedar in the background.

Pre-light Experience

The Viaje Skull and Bones The Hulk is nice in appearance. The wrapper has a lovely marbled coloring to it and it is between Colorado and Maduro. There are veins throughout, small to large in size and the cigar is firm as well. I am getting an aroma of rich earth, manure and spices, with a touch of raisins and wood on the foot.

Pre-light Experience

The Viaje Skull and Bones The Hulk has a dark brown wrapper, very smooth in appearance. The band is fairly basic and caused some confusion between The Hulk and Bruce Banner. Additionally, the cigar has a covered foot as a complication. Aromas from the cigar included graham cracker, faint prune, cedar and baking spices. From the covered foot, I was still able to pick up sweet raisin and musty tobacco.

Pre-light Experience

The Viaje Skull and Bones The Hulk has a Colorado Claro wrapper shade. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even and head with a multi-layered wrap. Aromas from the wrapper and enclosed foot tell deep barnyard and roasted nuts. Cold draw reveals nuts, cedar and hay.

First Third

The cigar begins with cedar, mustiness and light black pepper. At a quarter inch in, the cedar is quite raw as the black pepper has increased and the mustiness has mellowed. The retrohale starts with some black pepper zing and then gives way to cedar and light mustiness. At an inch and a quarter, the cedar is not so raw and has a slight lead over the mustiness and black pepper. As the third comes to a close, the cedar, mustiness and black pepper are all even and the black pepper has a long finish. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.

First Third

The first third begins by delivering some soft earth notes and I am getting some manure qualities with that. There are touches of pepper present, mineral qualities as well and the finish is of damp wood. In terms of body and strength, I would classify the cigar as being medium.

First Third

My initial flavor impressions were sweet baking spices, graham cracker and a spicy cedar finish on the post draw. The spices linger at medium-full strength on the tip of my tongue and lips. The graham cracker and cedar finish medium-full as the baking spices sit at the back of my throat. By the 20 minute mark, the baking spices have come down to light plus in intensity. By the halfway point, every flavor is balanced. Post draw cedar is lingering between draws.

First Third

As expected from The Hulk, the opening has a kick, providing a slick red pepper spice. There’s also a meatiness to the cigar, along with burning paper and cedar. Retrohaling gives powerful nasal tingling red pepper spice. But there’s enough of a roasted creaminess that follows suit. The finish is cedar and red pepper spice forward namely sitting on the rear palate. Strength is medium plus, body medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the black pepper has a slight lead over the musty cedar. At a quarter inch in, all of the components are even again. The retrohale is an even mix of black pepper, cedar and mustiness. At an inch in, the black pepper has moved to the background but still maintains a long finish. As the third comes to a close, the musty cedar is up front and the black pepper is very light in the background. The retrohale is just musty cedar. The strength in this third remained at slightly above medium.

Second Third

The second third delivers a lot of the same flavors that were present in the first third and I am getting soft earth, manure, bits of mineral and damp wood. Also like before, the cigar is medium in strength and body.

Second Third

Moving into the second third, there is lingering cedar, baking spices, and bread on the retrohale. Tannins start to join the profile as the second third settles in. Coffee moves into the middle of the profile and takes on some roasted accents.

Second Third

For the first half of the second third, the red pepper spikes, especially on the finish, such that it irritates my throat. But towards the latter half of it, the profile smooths out, but it also loses depth being namely cedar, leather and lighter red pepper. Strength and body is still medium plus and medium, respectively.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the black pepper has left and the cedar has transitioned to oak and is even with the mustiness. At a half inch in, a light minty/menthol note joins the profile. The retrohale is musty oak with that light mintiness. The cigar wraps up with the same profile of musty oak with the light minty/menthol note. The strength in this third bumped up to medium-full.

Final Third

The final third is identical to that of the first and second third to begin with, and then goes downhill. Earthy, manure, damp wood and pepper. Medium in strength and body.

Final Third

Baking spices, cedar, and tannins that finish the retrohale as the cigar moves into the last third. Toasted earth quickly sets up in the middle of the profile. By the halfway point, some mild citrus has joined.

Final Third

Final third is the same as the latter part of the second third. Smoother and less complex with cedar, leather and lighter red pepper spice. Strength and body finishes medium plus and medium, respectively.

Burn

The cigar went out once in the first third and required a re-light. A touch-up was needed at the end of the second third to keep everything burning in unison. The ash held on in two inch increments.

Burn

The burn throughout the cigar was decent, but it did get wavy here and there which required touch-ups.

Burn

The burn was relatively straight to start, with the ash holding on up to 1-1/2 inches at points. The burn becomes offset by the halfway point of the first third, necessitating a touch-up. The burn is offset again, this time in the second third, requiring another touch-up. Cigar goes out in the last third, requiring a re-light.

Burn

The burn was near atrocious. I lost count of how many touch-ups and re-lights throughout the entire cigar. The cigar suffered from having a thick cherry on 1/4 of the cigar due to tunneling issues.

Draw

The draw was quite tight. A draw tool provided short relief at times but the cigar tightened back up each time.

Overall

The cigar began with cedar, mustiness and light black pepper. The second third saw the black pepper fade as it went along. In the final third, the pepper dropped out and the cedar transitioned to oak. A slight minty/menthol note joined in. The construction was just OK as the draw was quite tight and there was a re-light and touch-up necessary. Strength was slightly above medium most of the way. The Viaje Skull and Bones The Hulk had a nice start but dropped to average from the second third on. I was a bit surprised to see the black pepper play less of a role in this cigar than the Bruce Banner as I was expecting this to be a much more in your face cigar based on the name. The cigar provided an immensely long smoking time of 4 hours, which might have been aided by the tight draw. I might be interested in revisiting this to see what a better drawing version would provide, but the high price point might temper that a bit.

Draw

The draw was solid throughout, but a little loose for my liking. Overall though, good draw.

Overall

I was incredibly disappointed with the Viaje Skull and Bones The Hulk. Has Viaje lost their way on their travels? Not only does this cigar not even represent “The Hulk,” it lacked complexities and flavors. There was no depth, transitioning, etc. It was a bland cigar and a bad bland at that. The construction was good, but that won’t get you anywhere with smokers. If you care for and like AGANORSA tobacco, don’t smoke this cigar.

Draw

The draw is absolutely picture perfect.

Overall

The Viaje Skull and Bones The Hulk was an overall good experience, with the best portions coming in the first and second thirds. Flavors were complex and included baking spices, sweetness, graham cracker, spicy cedar, bread, coffee and tannins. The draw was perfect, but the burn struggled with multiple touch-ups and a re-light required through the review. The natural comparison will be The Hulk versus Bruce Banner. Between the two, I prefer The Hulk as I found the flavors to be more complex and balanced. Total smoking time was 2 hours and 5 minutes.

Draw

The draw however was fantastic.

Overall

I found the Viaje Skull and Bones The Hulk to be marginally more enjoyable than Bruce Banner, but only if we’re talking about the initial third or so of the cigar. Within that third, it was a powerhouse of spice with meatiness and cedar. But the overall impression was mediocre, sharing similar faults as the Bruce Banner, lacking in depth and plagued by burn issues. With all that said, it doesn’t get a recommendation from me.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Good
GoodFirst
Third
AverageFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Good
AverageSecond
Third
AverageSecond
Third
GoodSecond
Third
Average
AverageFinal
Third
SubparFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
Average
GoodBurnGoodBurnAverageBurnSubpar
AverageDrawGoodDrawAmazingDrawAmazing
AverageOverallSubparOverallGoodOverallAverage

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.45

Cost/Point

$2.57

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

4.53

Cost/Point

$3.09

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

6.52

Cost/Point

$2.15

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

5.70

Cost/Point

$2.46

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Viaje Skull and Bones The Hulk
John McTavishTeam Cigar Review: Viaje Skull and Bones The Hulk

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