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Last January, Villiger announced it would be embarking on an 80–event promotional event schedule that would feature something that has started to become a staple in the cigar industry: the event only sampler.

Joining the likes of Oliva, STUDIO TOBAC, La Flor Dominicana, My Father Cigars and others, Villiger announced that customers who came to their “Discovery Tour” events and purchased a box of the new Villiger Talanga or Villiger Colorado would receive a Villiger Unreleased Sampler, which would contain five vitolas not available via the company’s regular production offerings.

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When the announcement about the event sampler was first made, we showed off the cigars in a cellophaned pack.

Villiger Unreleased Sampler

And contains the following cigars, from left to right:

  • Villiger Talanga Corona Selecto (5 x 46)
  • Villiger Colorado Toro Especiale (5 3/4 x 52)
  • Villiger Colorado Diadema (6 1/2 x 54)
  • Villiger Talanga Lancero (7 x 40)
  • Villiger Colorado Closed Foot Torpedo (5 1/2 x 52)

What ended up at stores was much nicer and formal

Villiger Unreleased Sampler 1

Villiger Unreleased Sampler 2

According to Roy MacLaren, president of Villiger Cigars North America, the Discovery Tour was meant to “introduce the Colorado and Talanga lines as well as give a sneak peak of what is yet to come from Villiger Cigars North America for 2013.”

Villiger Talanga Corona Selecto 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Villiger Talanga Corona Selecto
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Plasencia Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Connecticut Talanga Shade Grown
  • Binder: Nicaragua (Jalapa)
  • Filler: Nicaragua (Estelí, Condega & Ometepe)
  • Size: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 44
  • Vitola: Corona
  • MSRP: n/a
  • Date Released: Jan. 11, 2013
  • Number of Cigars Released: 2,500 Samplers of 1 Cigar (2,500 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

The first thing I noticed on the Villiger Talanga is that a few glue spots creep out from the wrapper’s seam and add another level of color to the cigar’s appearance, though not a particularly good one. The wrapper is an earthy, leathery brown with a fair amount of variation. It’s dry to the touch with a bit of velvety texture and toothiness, and the veins are very small. The cap is applied well, almost seamlessly, especially when looked at from the slightest distance. The pre-light aroma is marked by a note of bread crust, in particular wheat or the whole grain variety with the bits attached, while backing notes of cinnamon and other baked goods could be picked up, along with a touch of hay and just the slightest bit of spice. The cold draw is firm but not particularly challenging, with a bit sweeter note than the what was found on the foot and a slightly doughy note that mimics the bread note found on the foot.

The Villiger Talanga starts at a medium-minus level of strength, as a predominantly dry note kicks off the first third with just a bit of woody tang and a touch of sweetness. There’s not much pepper to be found in the first puffs, though there is just the slightest bit there. What is there is a fairly bright, dry wood note that slowly becomes less and less intense and in turn becomes creamier while still providing a thick smoke. By the end of the first third, it seems that the cigar is starting to one-track itself flavor-wise, save for a slightly sour note that creeps in at times. The ash hangs on well and the burn line is predominantly straight through the first third. There are points where the cigar warms up a bit and seems to add a bit more fragrance, but by and large it seems to have established what it’s going to do fairly early on.

Villiger Talanga Corona Selecto 2

By the time the second third of the Villiger Talanga comes along, there is some back-of-the-throat harshness developing, though the cigar seems to mellow in its flavor intensity. There isn’t a lot going on in this section, and the flavor and strength dial down to medium-minus or just north of mild. There is a return to pepper past the mid-point mark, though it does get mixed in with the harsheness at times; had it not been for a bit of front of the tongue tingle, it would be easy to confuse the two. The flavor base stays smooth and creamy however, and the burn remains sharp with a fairly easy draw with plenty of bright white smoke coming off the cigar.

Villiger Talanga Corona Selecto 3

In the final third of two of the Villiger Talangas I smoked, there is an increase in the sharpness before dropping down just a bit, while in the final one it just didn’t show up, instead putting off a warm smoke that had a bit of mild earth and a damp wood bark note, which was by far the most enjoyable of the three. Likewise, in the first two the finish is acceptable but leaves a fair amount to be desired thanks to a building bitterness that starts to overshadow the otherwise enjoyable flavors, and a distinct note of orange peel creeps in that just doesn’t blend with what else is going on flavor-wise, while in the final puffs the body of the smokes builds up a few ticks and tries to envelop and mask the sharpness, but never fully succeeds before it’s time to put the cigar down for good. The third cigar smoked didn’t show nearly as much harshness and was taken down to less than an inch before finally being set down.

Villiger Talanga Corona Selecto 4

Final Notes:

  • This review was written in June 2013.
  • I was very surprised by how quickly I got through this cigar, particularly in the first half. The burn line almost races through the first third before finally slowing down to what I would consider a normal pace.
  • Villiger-Stokkybe was in the news in February 2012 when it named Roy McLaren as its new president.
  • According to McLaren, stores who participated in the Villiger Discovery Tour events had the opportunity to purchase a limited quantity of the event samplers.
  • Villiger North America is undergoing a significant rebranding, as well an overhaul to its U.S. salesforce.
  • When thinking of how to describe the second third, I was tempted to use the term mild-plus, though it just didn’t sound right to me.
  • The bands were applied just snug enough so that they didn’t slide around too much, but just loose enough that they were able to be slipped off without damaging the wrapper.
  • Brooks Whittington reviewed the Villiger Talanga Selecto Lancero from the sampler pack here. While I noticed some of the same things he did, it was interesting to see the differences and what the ring gauge affects and how two different palates pick up different things.
  • He mentioned being impressed that the sampler contains a wide variation of sizes and ring gauges, nothing that only the 60 ring gauge crowd was left out. I don’t feel that bad about that.
  • Villiger celebrated its 125th anniversary last year with a cigar.
  • While I don’t smoke a lot of them, I’ve always been impressed by the Villiger Export line whenever I’m looking for a quick cigar.
  • The cigars for this review were supplied by Villiger Cigars.
  • Final smoking time is about 55 minutes.
84 Overall Score

The Villiger Talanga Corona Selecto is a decent cigar, and the Corona Selecto certainly shows more than the other larger vitolas I've smoked. It's a bit milder than I like, though the third cigar had me rethinking that statement just a bit. Like the Lancero that Brooks Whittington reviewed, I'd recommend this for a morning cigar or for those smokers who prefer a bit milder cigar that still delivers a decent flavor

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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