Last month, Villiger Cigars announced they will be bringing to the American market a cigar that has been in the European market since 1998 – the Villiger La Meridiana. The company notes that this particular cigar gained a loyal following among European full flavor cigar enthusiasts and it was time they brought it to the USA.
The Villiger La Meridiana bases its historical roots, in a long forgotten Cuban factory named “La Meridiana”. The factory owned by Pedro Murias, was once of the largest and most well-known cigar factories, which determined the cityscape of Havana at the end of the 19th century. Sadly, Murias was forced to sell La Meridiana factory due to unrest in Cuba during the Cuban war of Independence. The sale went through shortly after the war ended in 1898, and just like that, Pedro Murias along with the original La Meridiana cigar factory became a fading memory
The Villiger La Meridiana, which is manufactured at El Mundo Del Tabaco, is a Nicaraguan puro that includes a wrapper which is aged four years using a special aging process.
Each of the 5 available vitolas in the Villiger La Meridiana line is elegantly packaged in 10-count boxes:
- Corona (5.5 x 42) MSRP: $6.50
- Robusto (5 x 50) MSRP: $7.50
- Torpedo (6 x 52) MSRP: $8.00
- Churchill (6 7/8 x 48) MSRP: $8.50
- Toro Box Pressed (6 x 54) MSRP $10.60
For this review my Stogie Press associate, Alton Otto, and I sampled the Box Pressed Toro which I received for the purpose of reviewing on Stogie Press.
The Villiger La Meridiana Box Pressed Toro is a gorgeous dark brown cigar that has a nice marbling to it and barely noticeable veins. It is silky smooth, has a fine oily sheen, and is expertly capped. As far as the box press, I would describe it more as a soft press as opposed to a crisp sharp edge press. I would also like to point out the swirl of dark leaf in the foot, looks tasty to me.
There are two band adorning the cigar and before even describing them I want to point out the pride of the worker who applied the band. If you look closely, you will see that the gold lines are perfectly aligned on the back of the band. This is certainly a cigar the workers have great respect for. As far as the bands, the primary uses a red, gold, and black motif with the Villiger logo on top and the phrase “La Meridiana” below. The secondary footer band uses red and gold and proudly declares the factory “El Mundo Del Tabaco”
Well Alton and I certainly like the looks of the Villiger La Meridiana by reviews need to go deeper than just looks, so we moved on to the aroma examination. The first thing noticed is the touch of curing barn aroma and mild citrus floral along the barrel, but the foot aroma is to die for, with notes of chocolate, nut, and malt. Just take my word for it and smell the foot of this cigar even if you don’t get what we got it will be pleasing to the nose.
We progressed to opening the cap and taking some cold puff draws. I went with my standard straight cut and Alton opted for a punch. We both agreed the cold draw was spot and offered notes of raisin fruit, a sprinkle of pepper, and a nut component. Alton also picked up dates. Like the aroma off the foot, the tastes are swirling – just cold puff this beauty for a while and enjoy it before igniting it up.
Well as we say here at Stogie Press, we gotta turn it to ash! We both used torches to get things going and agreed the initial puffs were full of rich and silky smooth smoke with a bit of back pepper.
Cigar Review Notes
- Silky smooth smoke with notes of citrus and black pepper to start
- This has one of the better aromas like a nice spiced incense
- Pepper moves back after a few initial puffs
- Alton is picking up a citrus zest and keeps talking about the aroma and the pepper on the tongue
- Flavors are well balanced – not over powering
- Profile is getting creamy
- Draw is perfect as is the growing white ash that rests on a medium char line
- I start to pick up the citrus zest and a woody note
- We both think for a moment and declare it is like an orange creamsicle
- Herbal butter notes move into the profile near the start f the second third.
- Pepper dances back in
- Getting more savory moving through the second third
- This is a well packed cigar and is burning slowly, but the smoke volume has ratcheted down to medium
- I should note, the first one of these I smoked, I had to help my wife with something and let it lay for 10 minutes, when I returned is was still lit – impressive!
- Touch of sweetness joins the profile along with a floral fruit aroma, much akin to an orange grove
- Cinnamon spice enters just shy of the band
- A nut element starts to mix in with the cinnamon
- Vanilla and cocoa join appear after the band is removed
- Flavors start to get more muted moving into the final
- Sadly it gave pretty much all it can as it now is just a blended tasty smoke
- Medium in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 30 minutes
Overall, the Villiger La Meridiana Boxed Pressed Toro was a stellar flavor bomb that had an excellent draw and burn qualities. I can see why this cigar was a hit in the European market as it never overpowered you and offered a plethora of flavors. It get some what muted in the final third but not with out tasty and aromatic smoke. Smoke this near someone who is not a cigar smoker and I would bet they will compliment you on the aroma. I am looking forward to trying some of the other vitolas. This is worth a box buy for sure. We rate this a 93.
I will also say that the bottle of Orange Liqueur that came with the samples was an excellent pairing that enhanced the cigar’s citrus notes and aroma.
Point Deductions: (-1) Flat Burn Cone; (-2) Flavor Fades (muted) in Final Third; (-1) Medium volume of smoke
Bonus Point: (+1) Buy a Box