Who here likes transparency? I know that I do. More so than ever before, for several reasons, if you are interested in seeing your company’s cigar reviewed by The Tuesday Night Cigar Club hunks then you might want to contact us about submitting some samples. Over the years we have purchased far more reviewed cigars than we have received in the TNCC mailbox; however, this year is going to look a bit different for
better or worse. There, now you know something that you didn’t know thirty seconds ago.
Villiger Cigars was gracious enough to drop a few samples of their latest release in the mail and I’ve been waiting for a pleasant morning to light them on fire. This morning was relatively pleasant so here we go!
Size: 6 x 52 (torpedo)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Nicaragua & Pennsylvania USA
The promotional flyer that was included with this sample claims that the Villiger de Nicaragua both looks and tastes like a chocolate bar. I can confirm the first part of that right away, as the dark Sumatran wrapper does indeed look like a Hershey bar. There are aromas of lumber, wet grass, and a vegetal smell when sniffing the wrapper leaf which is damn near seamless and features no detectable surface oils whatsoever. The cold draw features more of that vegetal sensation and it’s not particularly pleasant…
After three quick clips of the cap, airflow seems to be ideal so I torch the foot of the Villiger de Nicaragua and I’m immediately greeted by a mild to borderline medium strength white pepper through the nose and a very faint black coffee note on the draw. After only a dozen puffs give or take, a well-worn leather note joins the pepper. At around the 1” mark, the Villiger de Nicaragua begins to take an ill-advised turn towards the bitter end of the flavor spectrum just as the burn line begins to grow uneven enough that I’m forced to take corrective measures. THANKFULLY that unpleasant detour through Bitter Town doesn’t last very long and we’re soon back to coffee, old leather, and spice.
Just before the second third begins, a warm Nica mineral component arises underneath the retrohale’s leather and gradually increasing spice. At this stage of the smoking experience, the retro is certainly the more enjoyable aspect of the Villiger de Nicaragua. Maybe I should just shove the cigar up my nose and skip the draw from here on out? No no, as I’ve been told by my “peers” many times before, that would be sheer lunacy. After that burn line issue was corrected early on, construction has been good with a smooth draw and an acceptable burn moving forward. When a graphite note arises on the retrohale right around the fifty yard line I’m tempted to put the cigar up my nose again but I resist the urge. I’m disappointed in myself honestly; I was once a rule breaker, a fucking risk taker, but alas that version of me is seemingly no more… dammit.
The Villiger de Nicaragua begins to fade out on me here at the beginning of the final act so I take my torch to it and that seems to resuscitate the cigar back to life easyily enough. The draw’s core flavor of muted coffee is nothing if not consistent as the song remains exactly the same in that regard. Sadly the leather and white pepper’s presence also fade away here towards the end leaving the mineral note all alone at the dance. I’m now thinking that I made the correct call in not sticking this cigar up my left nostril. The Villiger de Nicaragua’s finish is becoming a tad bitter with about two inches remaining and the flavors that are still present are having a hard time balancing it out. Ending things on a promising note (!), the draw’s coffee element transitions in to a more enjoyable creamier version of itself with only minutes to spare. Truth be told, remember that we like transparency around here, that unexpected creamy curveball kept me from calling it quits with this stogie prematurely.
I don’t know what the Villiger de Nicaragua is supposed to be. It doesn’t scream “Nicaragua!” at me, in fact it doesn’t scream much of anything throughout the 72 minute smoking duration. The Nicaraguan mineral aspect of the cigar works well with the pepper spice in the middle portion of the cigar (the best portion in my expert opinion) but the draw’s core profile is rather boring and the bitterness experienced certainly didn’t help matters any. While I have enjoyed several Villiger offerings over the years, I don’t see myself revisiting this blend any time soon.