September 23, 2011
Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Robusto
Size : 4.75 x 50
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Connecticut
Filler : Proprietary – Multinational Blend
Binder : Dominican
Price : $7.70 each
Cigars by a pipe tobacco company you ask?,… well yes it is. Trust me, I had my doubts about this cross over attempt as many of you out there may have had also. My first thought was that I was going to get a cigar that smelled of Black & Milds and tasted of,… well,… cheapness. But Villiger Stokkebye doesn’t do cheap or bad tobacco, they usually go all out.
Weeks ago I was sent a variety pack by the company that included the La Libertad (Honduran) line and the “Fuerte” version of the same Villiger 1888. After smoking them all, I have to lean towards the regular Villiger 1888, their top of the line regular production cigar. So here goes,…
Appearance : [rating:5/5]
The Villiger is a beautiful cigar specimen harkening back to cigars made in that island south of Miami somewhere. The 1888 is wrapped with a thinly veined, satiny, basically flawless tan tobacco leaf. The cigar is perfectly cylindrical, tightly packed and solid, and tightly seamed. The double cap is precisely placed atop the head. The only thing that takes away from this excellent representation of a cigar is that simplified band. But that may be a little too nit-picky.
Construction : [rating:5/5]
The head cut clean with my guillotine cutter and then I sparked the foot. The combustion is good in this cigar and performed quite well considering slight breezes in the Texas outdoors. The draw was simply flawless with that perfect amount of tug to draw out creamy, thick amounts of smoke. Burn line was razor sharp all the way to the nub. Each cigar exploded near the nub with the wrapper busting- I contribute this to dreadful heat (103+ degrees) and high humidity weather.
Flavor : [rating:3.75/5] (3.75)
Starting off, the cigar is sweet, creamy, with vanilla, musk, and a touch of Cuban “twang.” No bitterness is noticed at all through the first third. My initial thoughts are that it is a smooth and approachable stick for any type of smoker. The retrohale throws in nuances of lemon-lime meringue.
Into the second third, the cigar loses some of its polish. A slight amount of bitterness appears and wood notes come out. It is now not as complex as the first inch or two, although the fragrance of smoke is intoxicatingly unique.
The last third has the spice ramped up a bit as well as well as the body into solid medium territory. Flavors are now hay, musk, and wood notes. The Villiger remains very smooth and balanced which is very surprising. It still does not seem “complex” though. Closer to the nub, the cigar goes into a cruise control of milk chocolate flavor.
Value : [rating:3/5]
$7.70,… is pushing the envelope of what I would pay for this cigar. It is a good balanced cigar but $7.70 is a very competitive price point. This cigar has many similar flavor and price competitors including The Griffin’s, Quesada Espana, Davidoff, Panacea, E.P. Carrillo, among others. All in all, the value is at the high end of what I would pay.
Overall Rating : [rating:3.75/5] (3.75)
This cigar is good, but not exceptional. It is nice to see companies making cigars in the more traditional Cuban style than the recent trend of blenders trying to stop your heart with a ligero-laden nicotine beat stick. The Villiger 1888 is a nice addition to the many new lighter bodied releases (especially Connecticut shade leaf). I wouldn’t go out and buy a box of these personally, but I think they are box worthy for those that smoke medium bodied sticks, Davidoff products, or Cuban cigars. These come in cartons of three stick sampler packs which I could easily see flying off shelves in high end cigar joints. Down here in Texas, there aren’t too many B&M’s carrying these cigars, but if there were, I would be picking up sampler packs of these quite often. I heard there was even a “Reserva” line of these cigars that I would love to get my hands on some day.
Many thanks go out to VSI for sending these samples for this review. Cheers!
March 22, 2019
Just tasting Robusto, bought them in Vietnam, been humidor, very nice, me like lot
December 22, 2017
You gave it so many 4,5, stars and yet you thought $7.00 was to high? Any way I just smoked a 7 year old 1888, and it’s worth every bit of the $7.00 I paid for it.
July 23, 2014
Picked up a box of short robustos in a sale and after resting for a couple of weeks have tried a couple of sticks. Hint of Cuban tobacco and good medium body. Very enjoyable for the price I paid.
September 26, 2011
Nice review, I was completely shocked what you said in the 1/3 of the cirgar, because it didn’t look like it would be a good smoke (I know judging a book by its cover), but then as i read more my belief came true…..however, I would still like to try this stick.
Thanks for the review.
September 25, 2011
Very interesting! I am surprised that there are good Villiger cigar out there to be tasted. From what I see in the picture, it is a very well constructed stick, and also good looking. Need to try one!
September 23, 2011
Aren’t these available for like 5 bucks each if bought by box? Considering what you said they become pretty good value at this price point. Great review, thanks!
I agree. Dallas is very far behind in experiencing and knowing boutique brands or “out of the norm” cigars. Houston would be a better bet, or Amarillo (Good Karma). I smoke alot of boutiques but have a hard time finding them in Dallas.
September 23, 2011
Great review Aaron. I’ll have to see about getting my hands on some of these. Texas certainly is a difficult place to get smokes “out of the norm”. Even here in Dallas.
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