Wrapper: Criollo ’98
Size: 5.5 x 52
Today we take a look at the Viaje Throw Down Dojonation.
I want to thank a reader for gifting these cigars to me. He prefers to stay anonymous. I will abide by his wishes.
From the Cigar Federation Press Release:
“DENVER, CO (MAY, 21 2015) – Cigar Dojo, Cigar Federation, and Viaje Cigars have come together for an unorthodox cigar project, the likes of which have never been seen in today’s cigar industry. Combining the skill sets of two of the industry’s leading cigar communities, as well as the unique and highly sought-after characteristics of Viaje Cigars, Cigar Dojo and Cigar Federation have pitted themselves against each other in the cigar face-off of the century – introducing Throw Down.
“The epic battle officially begins May 21, 2015, with this press release and continues June 5th when the cigars go on sale. The concept is simple: each opponent has selected, in conjunction with Viaje Cigars, a unique cigar blend to represent their community. Purchasers of this unique project will then judge the outcome, receiving five cigars selected by Cigar Dojo and five cigars selected by Cigar Federation. Not only will consumers judge the victor, they’ll have a say in the outcome by voting.
“Cigar blends have been developed from the ground-up by Andre Farkas, the mastermind behind Viaje Cigars. After creating a handful of premium blends to be contenders for the final product, the cigars were then sent to both opponents – Cigar Dojo & Cigar Federation. Each brand then selected their preferred blend to represent themselves in the final throw down battle.
“Soft-packaged in bundles of 10 cigars, Throw Down will arrive with 5 cigars from each brand, using a 5.5” x 52 robusto vitola. Cigar Federation’s blend uses a San Andrés Mexican maduro wrapper over an undisclosed filler/binder blend. Cigar Dojo has chosen a Criollo 98-wrapped blend, using an undisclosed filler and binder. Coming in at $90 per 10-pack Throw Down cigars will be made available exclusively June 5th through the Cigar Federation online store.
“There is no doubt that the Dojo cigar will win this battle, after all… I am the Master Sensei.” stated Eric Guttormson, owner of Cigar Dojo. He continued, “I will let you in on a dirty little secret, both cigars are awesome and the real winner is the cigar smoker that buys a couple bundles of these.”
“Logan Lawler, owner of Cigar Federation, stated – “While I am really excited about both blends, we knew instantly the blend we wanted to represent us for Throw Down and I have no doubt it will win the battle.”
You can buy the 10 pack at the Cigar Federation Store.
The Criollo wrapper of the Viaje Throw Down Dojonation has a medium brown, caramel color. There is a light coating of oil on the wrapper. Despite the fact I found the surface of the Dojonation to be slightly bumpy, I still found the wrapper had well-hidden wrapper seams and thin visible veins.
AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
There is a creamy/fruity smell along the shaft. Along with a very earthy component. I can also smell spice, oak, and leather.
From the clipped cap and foot, I can smell spice, earthiness, heavy cream, a dash of baking cocoa, sweetness, and barnyard.
The cold draw presents lots of chocolate, maraschino cherries, cream, oak, earthiness, spice, and graham cracker.
The draw is just fine.
The stick is so solidly packed that this large robusto is very heavy and difficult to hold between my lips while I type. This could mean a long smoke time.
The first flavors are made up of black pepper, earthiness, fruit sweetness, and butterscotch. Or even better, a Lifesavers Butter Rum. Gramps always had a roll in his pocket and would share them with me. Isn’t it odd the small things we remember about loved ones?
The burn line starts off kind of hinky. So I attend to it and stop the problem in its tracks.
The black pepper keeps on getting stronger with a sinus clearing, nose burning intensity.
There is a meaty element along with a smoked element. Oak becomes mesquite.
The sweetness that came from something fruity begins to form something substantial. I can taste fresh fig and peach. I had never tasted fresh, sweet fig until I was in my 40’s. Went to a fancy, expensive Mother’s Day brunch at the fanciest hotel in Phoenix. Charlotte finally had to step in to stop me from filling up on friggin’ figs and go eat some lobster.
The butterscotch makes a dramatic change to gooey caramel.
So far, the flavor characteristics remind me of a Nic puro. But maybe with an Ecuadorian Habano binder and filler.
It’s taken 15 minutes to smoke ¾”. Nice.
The char line behaves itself.
The strength is a tick over medium body.
This is an excellent blend. It is warm and flavorful. Not complex yet. But a nice balance with a long finish.
I believe this is quite the coup that Cigar Federation, Cigar Dojo, and Viaje pulled off. Very inventive and creative. I’m impressed.
Now the mesquite disappears to be replaced by oak once again. The meatiness is still there matching the Viaje Throw Down Dojonation with both savory and sweetness.
The black pepper is on the wane now. It has moved way down the list of flavors.
So here they are: Caramel, earthy tobacco, summer fruit, meaty, toasty, graham cracker, and nuts.
The Viaje Throw Down Dojonation is very close to becoming a meat candy bar.
Just half an inch from the second third, complexity settles in. It now has a richer body with notes of baking spice, warm bread, and lemon citrus.
The Viaje Throw Down Dojonation is turning out to be a very pleasurable cigar. It has certainly earned the Viaje brand.
One of my wishes before I shed this mortal coil is to be able to blend my own cigar. That would be super cool.
The creaminess seems to be on the wane. I find that highly unusual. Once creaminess appears, it pretty much stays with the blend from that point onward. I can’t recollect a blend that lost its creaminess. (Something about that last sentence sounds dirty.)
Smoke time has been 40 minutes. Wow. That is a very long first third.
I forget that when I write a review, I do it in real time as I smoke the cigar. Which causes me to rant on too long with each third. Please pardon me for that.
Off subject as the cigar burns, Charlotte and I had a near death defying incident. On Friday, we went to my doctor in Mequon. About a 35 minute freeway drive from Milwaukee. Then we drove another 20 minutes to Charlotte’s job interview. And then another 15 minutes on the freeway home.
The next day, Charlotte drove over to our daughter’s house. Maybe 5 minutes away. She got two houses away from Katie’s and the front axle broke in two.
The Cosmic Muffin was looking out for us because if that had happened on the freeway at 60mph, I doubt we would still be here.
Back to the Viaje Throw Down Dojonation.
The cherry flavor surges. The creaminess returns. A candy nougat flavor emerges. The earthy tobacco element is heavy and flavorful. The pepper is completely gone now. Bummer.
Yet, the cigar continues to be interesting and flavorful.
I am going to veer from my usual habit of not scoring a cigar because we, the consumer, are supposed to vote on each blend. I probably should have smoked both blends prior to the review but too late. Had I done that, I may have been able to do a better comparison rating. So it is what it is.
Bam. I hit the sweet spot. I’ve smoked over 2”.
The flavors brighten. They tend to glisten. If that’s possible.
I’m very impressed with the construction of the Viaje Throw Down Dojonation. It is packed beautifully. No wrapper issues. No burn issues. It is cool as a cuke. And as firm as a kielbasa.
I will review the Viaje Throw Down Dojonation’s partner: The Fed Head; tomorrow.
I like the choice of double cigar bands. The simple black and white is very classy. The three parties could do a fine job of designing better cigar bands for a lot of manufacturers.
“Sweet Jane” is on the cable TV radio. Who didn’t love Lou Reed?
The oak disappears and becomes a generic wood flavor. Very strong now.
This is not a big booming flavor blend. It is mostly subtle and nuanced. I know I said the flavors brightened when it hit the sweet spot but that was in comparison to the earlier flavor profile.
Instead, the Viaje Throw Down Dojonation is a very pleasant combination of complex flavors that seem to swim just beneath the surface.
Flavors come and go like a spinning roulette wheel.
Smoke time is an hour.
This blend is the type you can enjoy while relaxing with friends or by yourself. One never loses interest in the flavor profile and its transitions. Due to the subtlety of the flavor profile, it is not an intrusive blend. It does not having you go “Wow” with each puff. Instead, it is an easy going, even keeled blend. I can’t wait to see how it smokes with 4-6 months of humidor time.
The sweet spot surges at this point: Creaminess returns, nougat, warm bread, caramel, wood, earthy tobacco, sweetness, summer fruit, cherry, baking spices and lemon citrus.
I now have no idea what the blend is.
I expected a spicier cigar. That’s a shame. Big lover of pepper in my cigars.
This is one of the most relaxing cigars I’ve smoked.
The char line remains perfect.
Oh cool Daddy-O. Now I’m listening to “Rocky Mountain Way” by Joe Walsh. This song came out in 1973. I remember watching a concert on TV and Walsh played the song live. It was a huge stage and the bass player was on this high riser all by his lonesome. The man grooved while he played a very simple bass line. But what caught my eye was that he was playing a beautiful fretless. It clicked in my brain forever. It was then I decided I must own a fretless. And fretless became my way of life from that point forward. Both in the bass guitar and stand-up bass.
Did you know that Joe Walsh is married to Ringo Starr’s sister in law: Marjorie Bach.
I am truly digging the cigar experience that the Viaje Throw Down Dojonation provides.
If the Fed Head is a totally different cigar, it will be nearly impossible to compare the two and my ratings will mean nothing.
The caramel looms large now. So does the creaminess. The black pepper returns and nearly makes it to the front of the pack. A lot of flavors have disappeared.
Still, this is a very enjoyable experience. It is more the sum of its parts rather than a few flavors standing out.
The main cigar band has too much glue forcing me to cut it off and in the process, nicking the wrapper.
I’m worn out. Smoke time is 90 minutes. That’s about my limit. And I have a full third to go.
Viaje is hit or miss with me. Farkas is such a huge blend machine that it sometimes seems he puts out too many blends instead of taking more time to focus on fewer blends.
I find that the best blenders only put out one or two cigars per year. I recently reviewed four blends from Pierson Geoffreys. Jeff Pearson spent years on those blends and it shows. Each one was brilliant. Not cheap but worth the high shekel count.
With less than 1-1/2” to go, caramel, sweetness, fruit, earthiness, graham cracker and creaminess kick into high gear.
I’ve virtually ruined the cigar by cutting the cigar band off instead of just tearing it into pieces. Drat.
Excellent cigar. Not a hint of harshness or heat.
The Viaje Throw Down Dojonation is a fine entry in the competition.
I highly recommend this cigar. I’m sure months of humi time will make the blend bolder.
$9.00 has become the new $6.00 cigar. With cigar prices escalating out of control, this is a very fair price point.
Several months ago, I pre-ordered the Viaje Skull and Bones Collector’s Edition – Ten Ton Tess 5-Pack – Maduro (6 X 54). $72.35. Or $14.47 per stick. I still have not received them. I used the dough given to me by one of my sponsors. I didn’t tell Charlotte. I expect these cigars to be better than a BJ for that price. I don’t know what got into me. I use my platform to rail against the high pricing of current releases and then, like a schmuck, I go out and buy some. I blame it on the Alzheimer’s. LOL.
What a clever idea. Two monsters in the cigar industry competing on a level field.
I can’t think of a better blender than Andre Farkas to do the heavy lifting.
Construction was perfect. Only one touch up to the char line was necessary.
I like that a few of the flavors boomed at the end.
Now…the rating. This is a tough one. I have to give it a 90. It might be higher with months of humidor rest. But for now, a 90 suits it.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS