Companies are certainly handling the Coronavirus in different ways, whether it be with empathy and solidarity, irreverent humor, or some combination of both. Leave it to the folks at Warfighter Tobacco to come up with something designed to give people both a few minutes of solace and peace, as well as hopefully a little chuckle: the “Vaccine” Cigar.
Founded in 2015 by a group of retired soldiers, Warfighter Tobacco is a company that caters to those on the pointy end of the spear. Their branding, packaging, and product line names are designed to appeal to people like them — “warfighters” looking for a good cigar.
Based in San Antonio, Texas, the company partners with manufacturers in cigar producing countries and imports their finished products into the United States.
Since these are only coming directly from the factory, it seems like Warfighter is going all out on the box.
The cigars come in a sleeve that’s designed to look like the box magazine on a Barrett M82, with the cigars as the cartridges. It’s a great touch for a brand devoted to military and veterans, and definitely gave me a smile when I first saw it.
The cigars themselves sport the company’s “Field Grade” style band, but with a twist. Their usually cigar smoking warfighter is pictured wearing an added gas mask, and there’s biohazard symbols on either side. The rear of the wrapper sports the product name “vaccine.”
And yes, that’s a direct reference to the ongoing COVID health crisis. Personally, I appreciate the tongue-in-cheek humor here; this is somewhat of a vaccine (while not for COVID itself, certainly for the perpetual stress of 2020). All in all, much appreciated levity.
The Vaccine is a pretty standard cigar for the most part, with a slight twist. The filler and the binder are primarily Nicaraguan in origin, but the wrapper that’s on the outside is Brazilian Mata Fina. That’s one I don’t see very often, and I was very much looking forward to giving it a try.
The cigar itself is only available in a Robusto size, roughly 5×50 for those trying to be exact. According to Warfighter, this is a one-time limited run, so they’re only doing the one size.
It’s well constructed generally — the wrapper is clean and tight, and the cap doesn’t show any warning signs that it might start unraveling. Taking a straight cut across the cap the tobacco inside is beautiful and clean, with no debris coming out and definitely no floor sweepings anywhere to be seen.
When I first pulled it out of the wrapper, I could swear I caught some floral notes coming off this thing. In general, the cigar smells like a pretty standard Nicaraguan medium bodied affair with cedar and some earthy tobacco in there, but that Brazillian wrapper was giving me something more like the pollen coming off some Texas wildflowers.
Taking a pre-light draw through the clipped cap, I noticed that there was some nutmeg notes starting to come through in addition to the traditional cedar and tobacco. Those flavors continued throughout the entire smoke, with the addition of a bit of saddle leather at one point joining in.
In general, the cigar had a good draw and hit the nail on the head for medium bodied.
What we have here is an excellent medium bodied smoke that won’t let you down. It’s a solid offering and definitely worth the price. I’d say this is almost, but not quite, on par with the Romeo y Julieta Reserve, the only difference being that there’s a little more complexity in the other cigar’s taste.