This is the year of anniversaries.
For Villiger Cigars, it’s the 130th anniversary of the Swiss company. In celebration of that, the company said it wanted to “push the envelope and create a legacy cigar,” and that cigar is La Vencedora. It’s a three-size line using entirely Nicaraguan tobacco with a habano oscuro wrapper.
- La Vencedora Robusto (5 x 50) — $9 (Box of 20, $180)
- La Vencedora Toro (6 x 50) — $9.50 (Box of 20, $190)
- La Vencedora Churchill (7 x 50) — $10 (Box of 20, $200)
Production is being handled by Joya de Nicaragua.
La Vencedora is Spanish for The Winner.
- Cigar Reviewed: Villiger La Vencedora Toro
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaragua (Habano Oscuro)
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Toro
- MSRP: $9.50 (Boxes of 20, $190)
- Release Date: February 2018
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The wrapper smells of chocolate, cedar and oak; extremely smooth and medium. As for the foot, it’s sweeter with cocoa and some milder citrus at the medium-full level. The cold draw tastes distinctly of a brownie with just a touch of dark chocolate, right at medium-plus.
The La Vencedora Toro begins with earthiness, some sourness, pizza dough and a berry finish. At the start, it’s quite balanced with nothing standing out. That changes pretty quickly as earthiness jumps to the forefront, joined by a strong white pepper, lemon and some white bread. The finish also gets the bread flavor, along with a pork rib-like meatiness. Through the nose there’s quite a bit of earthiness, gingersnap cookies and some melon sweetness. Flavor intensity is medium-full, body is medium-plus and strength is medium. Construction is a bit all over the place, so I’ll save that for the final notes.
For the most part, it’s much of the same in the second third of the La Vencedora. The white pepper picks up slightly, the lemon is still there, but the earthiness becomes a bit more potent and at times metallic. At various points, the cigar turns rough, but after a few puffs it disappears. The finish retains the breads, with some watered-down bourbon and caramel. Flavor picks up to full, body remains medium-plus and strength is still medium.
By the final third, all three cigars have seen touch-ups and that’s not helping the flavor. The earthiness that has dominated the Villiger is now harsher with some citrus and a wasabi-like pepper. On one hand, the metallic flavors are no longer there, but I imagine that’s due to the harshness. It’s not as bad as it sounds, but it’s a worse flavor of what the first two thirds provided. The finish is earthy and predictably toasty, in large part due to the touch-ups.
- Villiger describes this as a follow-up to last year’s Flor de Ynclan release. I’m not entirely sure what that’s a reference to other than perhaps the packaging. The Flor de Ynclan is not made by Joya de Nicaragua, rather by ABAM Cigars S.R.L. in the Dominican Republic.
- When I went to go order these cigars a month or so ago, I found one larger retailer offering boxes of La Vencedora at nearly half off. That’s not a good sign and made me wonder about how well Villiger is doing in the U.S. I certainly cannot recall seeing it on any shelves at stores I’ve been to in the last six months, but I might have missed it here or there.
- While some companies like Padrón use two bands aligned next to, or over top of one another, to create the look of a singular band, this actually looks like two bands but is just one.
- Construction was quite different depending on the specific cigar, here’s how things went:
- Sample One — Draw was fine throughout, but there were a lot of touch-ups from the early parts of the second third until the end.
- Sample Two — The cap unravels upon cutting. The cigar felt great from a moisture standpoint, but needless to say, the draw was not great. Some additional touch-ups were needed.
- Sample Three — Only a single touch-up needed, the draw was fine.
- All three cigars had a lot of pepper on my lips.
- It’s been a long time since I’ve had a cigar with the same profile start to finish.
- Joya de Nicaragua advertises on halfwheel.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel. Villiger sent three cigars—one of each size—but none of those cigars were smoked for the review.
- Final smoking time was a lengthy two hours and 20 minutes on average.
- Site sponsors Famous Smoke Shop, JR Cigar and Thompson Cigar all carry the La Vencedora Toro.
While the flavor profile of the three La Vencedora Toros I smoked might have been consistent, my experiences were not. The first sample, despite a lot of minor touch-ups, was actually very good from a flavor-perspective: detailed, bright and certainly something I wanted to smoke again. The next two, particularly the cigar with the unraveling cap, were not as good. If I could have that first cigar experience without all of the touch-ups, I’d say Villiger has a—pun avoidable—winner on its hands. As it stands, I’m unwilling to make that call.