Villiger Cigars, a company that has been selling tobacco products since 1888 when Jean and Louise Villiger started a small cigar manufacturing facility in their home in Pfeffikon the canton of Lucerne, Switzerland. We have seen the company in just the short time in the current century grow in the face of tobacco regulations worldwide. The company established Villiger North America Corp.” as a distributor for the USA and most recently, in 2016, Heinrich Villiger appointed industry veteran Rene Castañeda as President of Villiger North America.
It should also be noted that while the company has grown they have also released a notable number of new cigar blends in the last few years that have made top 25 lists across cigar journals and websites. Now let me say, the blends that have been released were fine additions to the Villiger portfolio, but this year Villiger has reached for a new bar with their latest release the La Vencedora.
Billed as the boldest blend yet to bear the Villiger name, the La Vencedora is a celebration of the company’s 130th anniversary. The name itself translates to “The Victor” and according to the company’s press release:
Villiger Cigars begins 2018, which is the 130th year anniversary of the company, with the announcement of the newest Villiger Cigar brand, the Villiger La Vencedora. The Villiger La Vencedora is the follow-up blend to the Villiger La Flor De Ynclan which attained a top 10 ranking in Cigar Aficionado Magazine’s top 25 Cigars for 2017. The Villiger La Vencedora which translates to “The Victor” is the first ever full-bodied Villiger cigar, and carries a special meaning to Villiger Cigars chairman of the board, Heinrich Villiger.
“The Villiger La Vencedora or “The Victor” represents to Heinrich Villiger the arrival of Villiger Cigars to the premium handmade cigar segment. It was time, in his opinion, to push to the envelope and create a legacy cigar that will serve as a proper follow-up to the acclaimed Villiger La Flor De Ynclan brand.”
I am a fan of the Flor De Ynclan and noted in my review, that is was an amazing cigar with consistent full flavor, perfect construction, and an incredible ash. I described as their best cigar in years. Well now we are here one year later with a promising new release that takes on the challenge of now being the best.
To start with, the Villiger La Vencedora appeals to the very discerning palate of the US consumer, as they regularly search for the Nicaraguan flavor in their cigar selections. The Nicaraguan puro blend, of the La Vencedora, is described as:
- Wrapper – Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro,
- Binder – Nicaraguan
- Filler – Nicaraguan
The company has selected the oldest cigar factory in Nicaragua, Joya, de Nicaragua to craft this new blend and they are available in 3 popular vitolas:
- Robusto (5×50)
- Toro (6×50)
- Churchill (7×50)
Pricing has been set between $9.00 to $10.00.
I have to thank the Villiger marketing agency for sending out a sample box containing the three vitolas and like the Flor de Ynlclan they included a recommended spirit to pair it with. This time it was a bottle of Jack Daniels – Gentleman Jack, nicely engraved with the the Villiger logo and the words La Vencedora. We will talk about that later. For this review, I sampled all three vitolas with the toro providing the core set of notes. I did pair the churchill with the whisky and I have to say it brought out some more sweetness in the cigar.
Now without further adieu I present my review of the Villiger La Vencedora.
The Villiger La Vencedora should attract your eye easily with its dark, shiny brown, wrapper that has a hint of marbling throughout. It is a solidly packed cigar regardless of the vitola chosen. There was minimal veins noticed and it was finished with a simple cap. Looking at the foot, you will notice some serous black leaf threaded through the packing.
There is one band that adorns the cigar and it uses a black, grey, silver and red motif. The silver Villiger logo is centered on top of the band on a grey background and the bold all capital silver words “LA VENCENDORA” is proudly displayed on the bottom in a filed of black. The band pops on the dark background of the cigar wrapper.
There was a delightful aroma off the foot that I would express as a mixture of sweet baking spice and cocoa. I am thinking chocolate chip cookies here. The barrel exuded a lightly spiced fermented leaf. I had to go back to the foot again to smell it again, I wanted to sink my teeth in it but I refrained, of course. It is such a fresh aroma. One more time, smell the foot of this cigar, fill your nostrils with that aroma….
I used a punch on the toro to open the cap and sliced the cap on the robusto and churchill. Regardless of the opening the cold draw had a restriction to my liking and offered some light red pepper wrapped in a cream sweetness along with that baking spice.
This is one of those cigars you “date”, for quite a while, before you decide to fire it up. Of course dating is nice, you get to know things about the cigar but it was time to take it to the next level, so I warmed the foot with the soft flame of a cigar spill I had lying around the lounge.
Cigar Review Notes
- Early pepper on nasal – bold and savory to start
- Medium grey ash evolves on a straight medium char line
- Excellent volume of smoke
- Pepper ratchets back a notch giving way to a toasted bread
- Touch of citrus and some spice wrap the bread firing up the palate
- Earthiness and savory notes enter
- Smooth on the nose after an inch of burn
- Dry orange citrus and honey spike near the end of the first third
- Thick and creamy smoke volume moves up a notch
- Sweet nut aroma
- Spice maintains
- Ash fell close to end of first third with a flat centered cone – as hard as i tried, none of the vitolas were able to hold the ash that the Flor de Ynclan did.
- Vanilla enters start of second third
- This is a unique cigar for sure!
- Spice increases and the strength is gradually increasing
- Citrus moves forward
- Fruit aroma midway
- Burn is pristine
- A dry fruit enters again
- Smooth smoke even with the light spice
- Final third saw an increase of spice with an overarching savory sensation
- Ends with close to full strength
- Smoking times on these range 1 hour and 20 minutes for the robusto up to an hour and fifty for the churchill
Overall, the Villiger La Vencedora certainly hit the mark being the boldest and strongest cigar I have smoked from Villiger. There is no doubt this is a Nicaragaun puro with its bright flavors and aromas throughout the pristine burn The Gentleman Jack brought a touch more syrupy sweetness to the pleasure.
As Heinrich Villiger said, “We are grateful for the opportunity to use our 130 years of experience to create what I feel is a very special cigar in the Villiger La Vencedora.” Very Special Indeed!