Cigar Review: Viaje Zombie Farmer Bill Hatchet (2016)
Viaje Cigar Company
Size: 5 1/4” x 54
Overall Rating: 6.9
It’s that time of year when Viaje releases it’s Thanksgiving themed cigars. This year the company is releasing a different take on the Farmer Bill Hatchet with a zombie story behind it. For some time Viaje has released several zombie themed cigars, but the Zombie Farmer Bill Hatchet takes it to a whole new level. Whatever happened to Farmer Bill to turn him into a zombie also did something to the cigar to turn it into something just as unpleasant.
Pre-Light: The Zombie Farmer Bill Hatchet is a good looking box pressed cigar with a dark soil colored wrapper. The of last year’s Farmer Bill Hatchet, while cartoonish, was still very appropriate for Thanksgiving. This year, the theme Zombie Farmer Bill leads to another cartoony band, but this one seems to be more appropriate for Halloween than Thanksgiving. The colors are all a bit darker this year with more greens, black, blues, and orange. The cigar’s wrapper (of undisclosed origin) is dark and smooth, with only minimal veins and a slight oily sheen. The cigar is very firm and dry to the touch.
From the wrapper and foot of the Zombie Farmer Bill Hatchet there are scents of earth, dark chocolate, barnyard and generic wood. Since the foot of the Zombie Farmer Bill has a tightly covered foot there is little no distinct aromas from that part of the cigar. The cold draw is very much on the firm side, mostly due to the covered foot, but flavors of cocoa and dried fruit notes come through.
Burn: The draw of the Zombie Farmer Bill Hatchet is a bit on the firm side, but not some much that it alters the amount of smoke coming through. The cigar is even burning from start to finish, though the burn line can be a bit wavy at times. The ask of the cigar tends to be a bit flaky, and can fall off with little warning.
Flavor: There is cocoa and cedar notes that come through right away, once the Zombie Farmer Bill is lit. A slight ammonia note occurs that appears then disappears rather quickly. An odd leafy unpleasantness occurs early in the first half inch of the cigar, and is carried over to the retrohale, but it quickly disappears into more traditional flavors. The first third Zombie Farmer Bill is very earthy with flavors of bitter cocoa, wood, and very slight green pepper notes. During the second third of the cigar there are flavors of earth, bitter cocoa, wood and milky coffee. At the halfway point of the Zombie Farmer Bill Hatchet there is a bit of black pepper that gains in strength on the palate and on the retrohale. On the retrohale earth, green peppers, wood and black pepper notes come through. The flavors continue much the same in the final third with earth, cocoa, wood and pepper leading the way. As the cigar nears its end, the slight ammonia note that occurred at the beginning of the cigar makes a brief appearance before disappearing back into earth, wood and pepper flavors.
Overall: In the past, I’ve described Viaje’s cigars as “hit or miss,” and after several hits like the Viaje 2016 Full Moon and Viaje Exclusivo Nicaragua, the Viaje Zombie Farmer Bill Hatchet can only be described as a miss. The story behind the Zombie Farmer Bill is unique, but the cigar just doesn’t have what made the 2015 Farmer Bill Hatchet a great cigar to enjoy post turkey dinner. There is an odd ammonia note that occurs both at the start and end of the Zombie Farmer Bill, that makes it seem like it is a cigar that is not quite ready. Basic earth, cocoa, wood and pepper notes don’t really stand out much. While the limited edition nature of the Zombie Farmer Bill Hatchet will cause it to quickly sell out, but I personally won’t be purchasing any more of them, and will be pulling out some 2016 Full Moons for my post-Turkey Day smoke. If you asked me what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving, my response would be not having to smoke the Zombie Farmer Bill Hatchet ever again.
Pairing: When it comes to a cigar that is this disappointing it is hard to pair it with a beverage that will enhance the flavor profile.
Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)