- Vitola: Robusto
- 5” x 50 ring gauge
- MSRP ~$9.00
- Samples provided by Villiger
2016 was the first time that I have seen Villiger land a cigar in the Cigar Aficionado Top 10 list…still one of the most influential lists of great cigars, no matter what myself, other bloggers, and more cynical consumers think of the list. Following up La Flor de Ynclan is no simple task, but as they celebrate 130 years in business, Villiger decided that La Vencedora was the cigar to do it.
La Vencedora translates to “The Victor” and is billed as “the first ever full-bodied Villiger cigar.” After several halting introductions to the premium cigar world, the company is determined that it was time to “push the envelope.” To that end, Vencedora is a Nicaraguan puro with a Habano Oscuro wrapper. The company worked closely with Dr. Alejandro Martinez Cuenca of Joya de Nicaragua to create this blend and it is made in that company’s factory.
Villiger sent out care packages to all three of the reviewers here at Leaf Enthusiast, featuring 3 sticks, one in each size available (Robusto, Toro and Churchill), as well as a bottle of Jack Daniels’ Gentleman Jack. I do want to take a moment to thank Villiger for the chance to try the cigars (the Robusto I am reviewing is the second of the 3 that I’ve smoked…the other being the Churchill). And also thank you for the whiskey, which will be appreciated but will not have any bearing on the final score received (though I may save the last cigar to do as a pairing with the whiskey for some point in the future).
The band is a handsome black and silver foil design with a minimal amount of red accents. The red is so minimal, in fact, that it really stands out and adds a lot to the look.
If you saw news stories of this cigar’s release, you probably saw photos that made the cigar seem much lighter than they are in reality. It appears the same photos are used on Villiger’s website and on several other sites that reported the release…and being a Photoshop expert, I can say that someone definitely lightened these too much. This cigar’s is a dark-roast coffee bean brown with an oily touch and an aroma that mixes dark, rich earth with espresso beans and leather. The foot of the stick was super-earthy with touches of coffee bean and cocoa powder mixed in.
After clipping the head, I had a very good draw that had flavors of cocoa powder and earth, with touches of cedar and coffee bean.
Right from the first light, La Vencedora is full-bodied and fairly strong, producing a thick, oily smoke that featured flavors of earth and dark chocolate, leather and wood, along with a little bit of pepper spice toward the finish. The retrohale had more cocoa powder and coffee notes, with a little more pepper than I experience on the palate, but still a small pepper burn compared to a lot of other Nicaraguan blends.
In the second third, the coffee flavor came on a lot stronger on the palate, joining the full-bodied earthiness. There was enough sweetness to provide a pretty good balance to everything. The pepper spice just faded away completely on palate and nose before the second third was finished.
The last third saw cedar flavor coming up in the mix with the coffee fading away. There was still a good amount of earth and unsweetened cocoa, as well.
Throughout, I had a very good draw, solid ash and even-enough burn line.
Price point is reasonable on these, right in line with other offerings from Villiger.
I wanted to like this cigar more than I did. I feel like it’s an exceptionally well-made cigar, and definitely fulfills the “full-bodied” mission that the company was aiming for. But…it just tasted too much like other stuff from the Joya de Nicaragua factory for me. It had notes in the profile in common with the Dark Antaño and Dunbarton’s Todos Las Dias…which are two cigars that I “like” but don’t “love.” This cigar falls into that same category. But if you love those blends, you may find that La Vencedora is right up your alley.