I have never done a machine made cigar review. Mainly due to the fact that not too many, if any, are worth doing a review. A few weeks ago I came across the Brasil line of Villiger Cigars Export line of cigars. Villiger has been in the cigar business since 1888. If I am not mistaken, they are one of, if not the, top producers of machine made cigars.
I had tried the maduro and natural lines of the Export back in 2010 when I went to the IPCPR Trade Show in New Orleans, LA. I was given a handful of each while visiting the Villiger booth. I had basically shrugged the cigars off and put them in my humidor. One day I figured, why not give them a try. I did, and enjoyed the maduro line for a quick lunch break cigar. A few friends tried them, liked the maduro as well and we dubbed it “the little candy bar cigar.” The natural was “ok”, but nothing to write home about.
I am not sure how “new” the Brasil line is, but a local shop started carrying Villiger and the Export lines. I saw they had the Brasil line and figured “Why not? Its only $1.75!” I figured why not do a small write-up on what I experienced in the cigar.
Wrapper: Brazilian Arapiraca
Binder: Natural Leaf Tobacco
Filler: Natural Leaf Tobacco
The first thing is pretty obvious that this is a short cigar with a green paper wrapper with the “Villiger” name all over it. Once it is unwrapped, you see a modest looking cigar. Its no beauty winner, but it is fairly smooth, tight seams, and little or no wrapper discoloration. There is an overall firm feel to the cigar with a matching firm cold draw. From the cold draw I got done dark bitter sweet chocolate and some straw notes. The “foot” had an aroma similar to the bitter chocolate I tasted on the cold draw.
I also noticed, there is not defined head or foot of the cigar. Both ends look identical with a squared off cut. It almost looks like the cigars are made in one long cigar, then cut into the 4″ sections. I am not 100% sure that’s how they do it, but it is just an observation. No cap on the “head” is a good thing if you forgot your cutter.
For being a machine made cigar, it was fairly well constructed. They must have the process and machinery down pat when it comes to making machine made cigars. There should be no reason to not be, seeing how long Villiger has been in business! The draw stayed consistently firm, but not firm enough to cause me not to like it. The ashes were of an off white and more grey color and lasted about 1/2 to 3/4″. I never had to relight or touch up the burn as it stayed pretty good and even.
After the short toasting, I got a spicy peppery note that didn’t last long and was overtaken by a caramel sweet-like note. About 3/4″ in, a stronger nutty note takes charge in the smoke. Around half way, a nice coffee flavor appeared and added nicely to the nuttiness from before. The coffee flavor was very pleasant, but not too strong in strength. The coffee reminded me of a Sumatra coffee; not too bold, but had a hint of a sweetness to it. During the last 1 1/2″, the spiciness crept back up and eventually mingled well with the coffee and nutty flavors. Turned out to be a decent mild bodied and medium flavor strength smoke for $1.75!
Approximate smoke time of 27minutes. Mind you, I was also jotting down notes and taking pictures. So, I would assume you could finish this cigar in around 20 minutes.
After I nubbed this short smoke, I got to wondering how this cigar was actually composed. So I took what little I had left and deconstructed it and labeled the parts. It was interesting the binder leaf, looked like your typical binder leaf on the outside. But on the back side, it resembled a “processed” leaf. The binder leaf on the left is backside facing, the right is front side facing. The backside of the binder was similar to the “wrapper” on like a Black & Mild, Swisher Sweet etc… The filler was of course, short filler; which is basically scraps of other cigars.