As its name would suggest, Viaje’s Honey & Hand Grenades blend combines strength and sweetness in a Nicaraguan puro, according to company president Andre Farkas. This highly anticipated line made its debut at IPCPR 2012 in Orlando this past summer and has been turning heads ever since with its striking presentation and unusual shape. All four sizes of the HHG feature a rounded head and torpedo-style foot, a unique variation on the traditional Cuban Perfecto. This, along with a blazing red foil covering most of the cigars, makes the HHG tend to really stand out from the pack. This afternoon I pulled out a sample of the Rapier (6 ½ x44) for today’s review.

The Rapier’s near-flawless Criollo wrapper was dark, smooth, and had just a bit of a marbled look to it. In addition to its odd shape the cigar had one other unique feature, a tiny pinhole puncture in the cap that Farkas has explained as a way to assist in drying cigars with a closed foot. The closed torpedo-foot made pre-light tastes a little difficult, so I skipped right to toasting the pointed tip, which also felt rather weird.

The cigar lit up easier than I had expected, and immediately I was met with a hefty dose of red pepper spice, along with a tinge of malty sweetness. This stick was pumping out loads of dense, white smoke with each puff, and the burn was off to a pretty straight start with just a slight wobble to it. About an inch in a new note of cinnamon-like baking spice popped up and a neat, dark grey/black-striped ash was coming along nicely.

A little further in a cream note entered the fold, taking the edge off of the super-full flavors at play. By this point the red pepper spice had faded out of the profile, leaving rich cedar and leather as the dominant flavors. The malty sweetness from earlier had morphed into a thick molasses note that provided the spicy/sweet balance in this portion of the smoke.

In the final third I was treated to heavy leather and cocoa as the flavors climbed back up to full. The profile here was simultaneously robust and smooth, and the cigar stayed cool-burning with clean flavor until the end.

The Viaje Honey & Hand Grenades Rapier scores a lot of points with me for living up to its description. This cigar was equal parts strong and sweet, and is a testament to Farkas’ adept blending skills. The cool packaging and presentation works as a nice compliment to an interesting and well-thought-out blend. Like I said, the pointy foot is a bit strange, but it didn’t seem to effect the performance of the cigar, at least in this particular case. Based on today’s smoke I give the HHG Rapier a well-deserved A grade.  If you like em’ strong, smooth, and sweet, this one’s for you. Check out the video review here.

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