Wrapper: Ecuadorian
Binder: Mexican
Filler: Dominican Republic and Nicaraguan
Vitola: 4 7/8 x 50 (Robusto)
Brand: Villiger
Factory: ABAM Cigars S.R.L., Dominican Republic
CigarNoise Price Range: $5 – $7
Availability: Regular Production
Source: IPCPR 2016

Villiger 1888 Robusto – Initial Observations

Eight years ago, the first offering of the Villiger 1888 landed in shops in the United States as a limited edition cigar. In order to make this new blend available in the United States, Villiger decided against a blend containing Cuban tobacco.  The blend of this cigar is based on a blend released in 2010, the Villiger 1888 Reserva.

My cigar arrived from the 2016 IPCPR. The chestnut colored wrapper had visible small veins and was expertly applied.  My Villiger 1888 Robusto was firmly rolled, teasing with sweet tobacco and hints of raisin from the wrapper.  The foot smelled of bran cereal, cinnamon and dry hay.  After I applied a shallow v-cut to the cap, the Villiger 1888 responded with an easy draw of the same raisin and and hay detected from the foot.

Villiger 1888 Robusto – First Third

Cedar, Citrus, Earth, Floral, Caramel, Black Pepper

Carefully torching the foot of the Villiger 1888, smoke billowed from the cigar.  Cedar and citrus greeted my palate initially.  The cedar finished quickly with the citrus portion lingering longer than I appreciated.  The middle of the profile held strong notes of earthiness, eventually giving way to a floral finish.

The retrohale, medium in heat, contained the same floral note experienced on the palate.  The arrival of sweet caramel and black pepper provided a welcome change.  While full and flavorful, the smoke left my mouth feeling very dry.  After experiencing this with other cigars, I’ve attributed this to Mexican tobacco – at least in the way it affects my palate.

Smoke production remained great throughout the first third, accompanied by a wavy, but crisp burn line.  The ash held solid right to the end of the first third.  The end of the first third arrived unexpectedly at seventeen minutes in length.

Villiger 1888 Review

Villiger 1888 Robusto – Middle Third

Earth, Citrus, Leather, Cream, Cedar, Caramel, Pepper

Beginning the middle portion of the Villiger 1888, citrus notes accentuated a strong earthy profile.  For some inexplicable reason, the harmony they found worked very well.  As the duet faded into the background, leather, cream and a warm cedar finish coated my mouth.  The dry mouthfeel experienced in the first third was thankfully absent.

Even with the flavor profile improving, the retrohale remained the highlight of the middle third.  The retrohale smoke was like caramel drizzle over cream with just a sprinkle of fresh ground pepper.  Amidst this medley, a near perfect burn and perfect draw spoke to the construction quality.

The burn rate of the middle third seemed to slow down a bit, finding nearly twenty-five minutes passing as I moved through the section.

Villiger 1888 Review

Villiger 1888 Robusto – Final Third

Charred Cedar, Floral, Caramel, Pepper, Spice

My expectations for a strong finish with the Villiger 1888 began to grow after a truly enjoyable middle third.  In quick fashion, this cigar proved I wasn’t going to be disappointed.  The profile began with a flavor of slightly charred cedar and a floral note short finish.  With the floral tones melting into the past, the familiar caramel sweetness arrived.  On cue, the peppery essence followed the sweetness in perfect compliment.

The perfect balance in retrohale continued into the final third as well.  Void of harshness and without too much heat, sweetness and spice were constant right to the end.  The enjoyment of the retrohale and the flavors of the final third provided a perfect finish to the Villiger 1888.

Villiger 1888 Review

Cigar Reviews: Villiger 1888 Robusto
8.1 Reviewer
0 Cigar Noise Network (0 votes)
Pros

Good Flavors In Final Two-Thirds

Great Burn

Near Perfect Draw

Cons

Fast Burning First Third

Overbearing Floral Notes

Summary
The middle and final thirds of this cigar defined my experience. The sweet caramel goodness emphasized by the subdued pepper notes in both the profile and retrohale made the first third nearly unforgettable. Unfortunately, the combination of the overpowering floral notes, dry mouthfeel and fast burn of the first third caused my overall rating of the 1888 to suffer a bit. This is a cigar I would have enjoyed very much had I been able to skip the first third. Having to discount a third of this cigar is the only question mark on whether or not I would smoke it again. Two-thirds of the 1888 were nothing short of enjoyable.
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Ted

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