Last year Villiger made a strong push into the premium cigar market in North America with the release of its Colorado and Talanga lines. With various sizes and new lines added to Villiger’s portfolio over the last year, the big release this year was to celebrate the company’s 125th anniversary, appropriately named Villiger 125. The Villiger 125 was introduced at IPCPR 2013 in three sizes:

  • Villiger 125 Canton (4 1/2 x 56)
  • Villiger 125 Lucerne (5 1/2 x 56)
  • Villiger 125 Mondo (6 1/2 x 56)

Each size is limited to 500 boxes of 20, making for a total release size of 30,000 cigars.

The boxes look like this:

Villiger 125

Villiger 125 Lucerne 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Villiger 125 Lucerne
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Plasencia Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian 2009 Seco Habano
  • Binder: Nicaraguan Seco Habano Jalapa
  • Filler: Nicaraguan Viso Habano Jalapa, Esteli
  • Size: 5 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 56
  • Vitola: Robusto Gordo
  • MSRP: $9.30 (Box of 20, $186.00)
  • Date Released: August 9, 2013
  • Number of Cigars Released: 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3

The medium brown wrapper is soft to the touch and only the slightest bit oily. Overall, the construction is solid with only a couple of soft spots where the cigar could potentially be a little under filled. The wrapper has a strong, singular barnyard aroma note drowning out any other more subtle notes. Cutting the cigar and taking a cold draw brings strong pepper on my lips and a light barnyard note along with strong cinnamon and sweet fig playing over my palate.

The first third of the Villiger 125 brings a pure, rich, earthy tobacco taste. Black pepper and a bit of cinnamon accompany the rich tobacco to round it out to not a very complex beginning, but a very enjoyable one. The burn is about as straight and even as you could ask for and the ash holds pretty easily to about an inch. The draw is on the tighter side of ideal, though still within manageable limits. About an inch in a little milk chocolate note plays in and out with the rest of the profile.

Villiger 125 Lucerne 2

Moving into the second third the chocolate and cinnamon have mostly disappeared, though the earthy tobacco profile is still at the forefront of the Villiger 125. Towards the middle section there is some slight bitterness that dampens the enjoyment of the rest of the notes. The burn has gotten a little skewed, though not enough to require a touch up. The last part finishes up with the bitterness disappearing and the cinnamon coming back with a light fig note.

Villiger 125 Lucerne 3

In the final third of the cigar, the cinnamon, fig and chocolate continue to add to the earthy profile. The burn has managed to correct itself and is again burning quite evenly. Unfortunately the slightly tighter draw has required stronger draws and the Villiger 125 has started to burn a little hot with about an inch and a half remaining. Ending a little hot and bitter has, quite literally, put a little bit of a bitter taste in my mouth to what was otherwise a mostly enjoyable cigar.

Villiger 125 Lucerne 4

Final Notes:

  • Villiger was founded in 1888 by Jean Villiger in Pfeffikon, Switzerland.
  • Pfeffikon resides in the canton of Lucerne, which the middle size of the 125 line is named after.
  • There are conflicting reports from Villiger about the limited nature of this cigar. According to their website, production is limited to 30,000 cigars total. According to the press release that we ran from them, First production is limited to 30,000—insinuating that there will be more produced later down the line.
  • I smoked three of the Lucerne and one of the Canton. The construction was all over the place for each of them.
  • One of the Lucerne size burned crooked enough to require a few touch ups, while the other two burned almost perfectly even. Of the two that burned perfectly even though, one had quite a tight draw and the other had a tight, yet acceptable draw.
  • The Canton tunneled very bad and as a result did not taste very good either.
  • There will be another 125th anniversary cigar for Villiger, made for the European market at the company’s Brazilian factory.
  • For those with good memories, you are correct—Gurkha celebrated a 125th anniversary last year.
  • The following site sponsors carry Villiger products and so theoretically should be getting the 125 in stock soon: Atlantic Cigar Co., Best Cigar PricesMike’s Cigars and Tobacco Grove.
  • This cigar was provided to halfwheel by Villiger at the 2013 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show.
  • Final smoking time averaged a little over an hour and 45 minutes.
83 Overall Score

The Villiger 125 was an interesting blend that I wanted to like a lot. As we so often do, I’m very curious what the 125 blend would taste like reduced a little in ring gauge, possibly to a 48 through 52. The cigar suffered from inconsistency and I think overall affected the flavor too much. A smaller ring gauge and more consistent construction could bring this blend to all new heights. As it is, the flavors were for the most part quite enjoyable and the cigars that did have good construction were nearly flawless in their burn. The cons though make me hesitate to suggest even a five pack, though you might need to buy five to get two good ones. Those two good ones though just might make up for your trouble.

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Brian Burt

I have been smoking cigars since 2005 and reviewing them as a hobby since 2010. Initially, I started out small with a 50-count humidor and only smoking one or two cigars a month. Not knowing anybody else that smoked cigars, it was only an occasional hobby that I took part in. In March of 2010, I joined Nublive and Cigar Asylum, connecting me with many people who also shared an interest in cigars. Reading what they had to say about brands I had never heard of, I quickly immersed myself in the boutique brands of the industry and it was then that cigars transformed from a hobby into a passion.