Many might know Villiger for their popular dry-cured cigars that come in those yellow paper packages, but they started making premium cigars a few years back and are added to their portfolio at this year's IPCPR show:
This was a nice looking cigar, presented with classy double-banding that was heavy on the gold foil. The wrapper was mildly oily but had no flaws that I could see. I couldn't find much information on what Villiger released at the show this year...basically the only outlet that paid them any attention was halfwheel.com and for that I applaud them...it's good that someone took the time to visit some of the less-trafficked booths. They report that this cigar uses fillers from Jamastra (Honduras), Esteli and Ometepe (Nicaragua), along with two Nicaraguan binders (Esteli and Ometepe again), the finish it off with a Nicaraguan Jalapa wrapper. I paired this cigar with a new whiskey purchase, Big Bottom Distillers' Port Cask Finished Bourbon (a full review on that will come in a few weeks).
The prelight draw on this was just about right...not too loose or too tight. I always go into a Nicaraguan-heavy stick thinking it will be earthy and spicy, but the cold draw on this was light and creamy with a sweet fruity note. The sweetness was a bit subdued after lighting, but definitely was still there. I did get some earthiness on the palate and a nice pepper bite on the retrohale.
The Villiger Colorado was a little less than typically Nicaraguan as I smoked through the first third and into the second. While the was definitely some earthiness and spice, there was a good deal of the dried fruit sweetness as well which definitely gave it something different. This was exacerbated by the sweetness of the spirit I was sipping. Overall I found this to be the best Villiger I had smoked to this point, but it maybe just missing the "great smoke" category by a little bit.
The Talanga is a more Honduran-biased cigar, with a Honduran Talanga wrapper and a Jamastran binder...but the filler is all Nicaraguan, from Esteli, Ometepe, and Condega. Presentation was again very nice, although this wrapper didn't look as oily and had more of a paper texture under the fingers. It had a faintly grassy aroma to it and the foot had more earth and a mild fruit note.
After lighting, I got a powerful pepper spice through the nose, and a little less spice on the palate. I got a little citrus and some sweeter fruit notes on the palate as well, showing the influence of the Honduran binder and wrapper, I would guess. Overall it began as medium bodied with some underlying earthiness from the Nicaraguan fillers, but so far the overall balance was unique and enjoyable.
By midway through, I could still say it was enjoyable, but I can't say I was head over heels for the Talanga. While good, it suffered from a muted flavor profile that I have found many times in Honduran-heavy sticks. If you love Hondurans, though, this may be right up your alley...medium-bodied, good flavor with a bit of Nicaraguan kick...but not too much.