27 Jul 2016
For quite some time, Villiger, a big player in the machine-made cigar realm, has been attempting to gain a foothold in the premium, hand-rolled market.
And it hasn’t focused solely on sticks on the shelves. The 128-year-old Swiss-based firm blew up its North American operation, named a new president, ended a brief relationship with Sutliff Tobacco, and relocated its U.S. corporate headquarters to suburban Miami. (Hopefully, Villigar will get its “coming soon” website up and running.)
On the tobacco front, Villiger has introduced cigars, such as Trill and Cabareté, that didn’t feature the Villiger name. And it’s tried with cigars that do, like the Villiger San’Doro.
The three-cigar San’Doro line was introduced at last year’s International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers show and began shipping late in 2015. The maduro comes in a single vitola, a 6×50 toro, with an $8.50 price tag. It’s a Brazilian puro that’s also rolled in Villiger’s factory there. (The other two San’Doro lines — Claro and Colorado — are produced for Villiger by Oliva in Nicaragua.)
In a June interview with Cigar Snob, Villiger North America president Rene Castaneda said 2016 production for each of the lines will be about 25,000 for U.S. sales, with a focus on Florida, California and the New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania market.
The San’Doro Maduro features a mata fina wrapper, mata norte binder and mata fina and mata norte filler. I smoked three samples, which were sent to me by Villiger.
The cigar makes a strong first impression, with an oily wrapper and a heavy feel. That denseness made me wary of a tight draw, but that proved not to be the case. The cigars did, however, start with fairly airy smoke that gradually gained substance.
It also burned very slowly, making the 6-inch smoke last as long as most cigars an inch or more in length.
Villiger promotes the maduro as the strongest of the San’Doro lines. I’d put it as medium strength and body.
There are many of the typical maduro flavors, such as coffee and chocolate. It also has a pleasant mix of sweetness and a little spice, with some nuttiness and some wood and leather. The flavors mix and mingle throughout, keeping it interesting along the way.
If you haven’t tried a Villiger cigar, this is a good place to start. I rate the San’Doro Maduro four stogies out of five.
[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]
photo credit: Stogie Guys