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Cigar Review: Villiger 1888 Robusto

21 Dec 2016

Villiger’s latest offering combines a nod to the past as the company continues its efforts to make new inroads into the premium cigar market. This 1888 line features bold new packaging for a blend based on a celebratory 2010 regional limited edition.

villiger-1888The first 1888 line—Villiger’s introductory hand-made long-filler cigar—was a limited edition that hit U.S. shelves in 2009. The 1888 name commemorates the tobacco giant’s founding year. Interestingly, one of the blends considered for the cigar included Cuban tobacco, but the company decided against using it in order to maintain access to the U.S. market.

The blend on this new incarnation, according to a press release by the company, is based on the Villiger 1888 Reserva 2010, which was issued to celebrate the Swiss-based company’s 100th anniversary in neighboring Germany. It combines a lovely Ecuadorian leaf over a Mexican binder and filler from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.

The Robusto, retailing for under $6, measures 4.875 inches with a 50-ring gauge. It comes in four other sizes, with prices ranging by size up to a Toro Gordo (6 x 60) at $8.20. They’re crafted in the Dominican Republic and come in boxes of 20. Rolled out to retailers at the end of 2016, the new 1888 follows Villiger’s successful launch of the San’Doro line earlier in the year.

I found the new 1888 to be a medium-strength cigar that starts a little dry with lots of smoke and a dead-even burn. Along the way, I tasted a bit of chocolate, clove, and a rich sweetness, particularly in the final third. Occasionally, I did get some of the dirt taste I associate with Mexican tobacco, but it was infrequent and never overbearing.

A little spice comes and goes, and is especially noticeable on the retrohale. The 1888 has a light, very pleasant finish.

With such a modest price, it’s a no-brainer to recommend you pick up a couple to see whether they suit your palate. For me, it easily rates three and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

–George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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