Blind Cigar Review: Villiger | Celebration 125th AnniversaryCigar Info

This year marks the 125th anniversary of European cigar giant , and the company is celebrating with the release of a commemorative cigar made by hand in Nicaragua. The 125 will have three sizes. Roy MacLaren, president of Cigars North America, said the goal of the smoke was to “craft a premium cigar for the modern-day cigar smoker while honoring 125 years of tradition and heritage.”

This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed.

The smoke is rolled at Plasencia Cigars in Estelí, Nicaragua, from a blend of Plasencia-grown, Nicaraguan tobaccos and a Habano-seed wrapper leaf grown in Ecuador. The bunch of the cigar is comprised of two binders from the Jalapa Valley, in northern Nicaragua, and a mix of Jalapa and Estelí filler tobacco.

When finalizing the blend for 125, MacLaren opted to use Habano wrapper from Ecuador’s 2009 crop rather than the older 2008 crop. “The ’09 crop was better,” he said. He describes the blend as “flavorful and complex,” and “not earth-shatteringly strong.”

The cigar comes in three sizes, with suggested retail prices ranging from $8.80 to $9.80 per cigar. The first production run will be 500 boxes of each size, for a total run of 1,500 boxes, each containing 20 cigars. Expect them on sale in mid-July. The names of the 125 cigars honor the long history of . The Lucerne measures 5 1/2 inches long by 56 ring, and is named for the territory in Switzerland where got its start in 1888. The Canton, a fat, shortish robusto measuring 4 1/2 inches long by 56 ring, is named for the word used to describe regions dividing Switzerland. The third size, Mondo (6 1/2 by 56), is named for the German word for “world,” harkening to the global reach of the cigar brand, and the company tag line “world of cigars.”

Vital Stats:

Length: 6″
Ring Gauge: 52
Country of Origin: Undisclosed
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Jalapa
Filler: Jalapa Esteli
Blender: Roy MacLaren
Number of reviewers: 5—– (McGreggor57) (WyldKnyght) () (Djangos) (SosaCub4Life)
Price: $14.50
Age: 3 Months
Release Date: July 2015
Contributed by: Villiger

Initial Impressions

Appearance: 90

“This sized cigar had a bumpy and shiny wrapper. The color was claro, there may have been a green hue making it a double claro, but I can’t be sure as it may have just been the lighting. There were some thin to medium veins and a visible seam.” – (WyldKnyght)

Aroma: 89

“The predominant aroma is of dry grass and hay with some mild white pepper. The dry draw echoes these flavors and there is a slight pepper to the tongue as well.” – (Djangos)

First Third

Flavor: 89
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“The first inch or so is taken over by a strong char. Burnt oak, bitter coffee and scorched grasses. While not unpleasant, it does get my attention. Thankfully, some leather develops and mellows out the profile. A little tobacco, a little coffee, a little oak…a lot of happiness.” – (McGreggor57)

“Mild-to-medium in strength yet with noticeable nicotine, at least initially. A very good start, exhibiting flavors of freshly sawed wood, almonds and licorice, with hints of hickory smoke on the finish, making for a great pairing with Deschutes’s Fresh Squeezed IPA. Becomes more nutty as it nears the second third.” – ()

Second Third

Flavor: 91
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“The middle third continues in the same vein as the previous third with the predominant flavor being hay and grass. Towards the end of the third, there is a more prominent leather, and pepper also increased in intensity. For the most part, the cigar remained one dimensional but nonetheless a pleasant experience. The burn was slightly skewed in this third but no touch ups were necessary. The draw continued to be good with the prepunched orifice.” – (Djangos)

“The spice has faded into the background but is still there and enjoyable. There is a nice creamy side to the stick that I also enjoy. So far this has been a really good cigar. The wrapper has begun to crack up some, but it’s still smoking fine.” – (SosaCub4Life)

Final Third

Flavor: 90
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“The final third of this cigar had lots of spice, cinnamon and nut flavors. The burn was wavy but even.” – (WyldKnyght)

“White pepper notes (of young tobacco?) take the lead at the beginning of the final third, backed by Amaretto flavors on the finish, while acidity seems to have gone up a notch. Hickory smoke flavors then take over toward the end.” – ()

Overall Impressions

Draw: 94

“No problems with the draw.” – ()

Burn: 91

“No touch ups required, although the burn line got off track a few times.” – (McGreggor57)

Construction: 90

“The wrapper did crack up some during the middle of the smoke, but overall the cigar held a good ash and burned well.” – (SosaCub4Life)

Overall Strength: Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium
Overall Experience: 91

“The first third took a bit of time to settle in and was worth it once the charred overtones faded. The middle was the star, although not really wheelhouse flavors for me. Sadly, the bitterness at the end would make me think twice about trying this cigar again.” – (McGreggor57)

“I would have to say this cigar was excellent. It had a nice flavor profile with some subtle changes. The construction was good. This is a cigar I would like to try again.” – (WyldKnyght)

“A very good Claro, reminiscent of, yet a level above Fuente’s 8-5-8 Candela.” – ()

“Overall, this was a one dimensional cigar that was a pleasant smoke but not something that caught my attention. Will smoke again if I get a chance but may not go looking for one.” – (Djangos)

“Overall, I enjoyed this cigar. It started off with some stronger peppery spice but then turned more creamy as the smoke went on. Towards the end, when the cigar was nice and creamy, the spice would return to make a nice presence. It was a good smoke that I would try again.” – (SosaCub4Life)


Smoking Time (in minutes): 71

  • Appearance 90% 90%
  • Aroma 89% 89%
  • First Third 89% 89%
  • Second Third 91% 91%
  • Final Third 90% 90%
  • Draw 94% 94%
  • Burn 91% 91%
  • Construction 90% 90%
  • Overall Experience 91% 91%

Total Score - Very Good



To view the complete scores and notes, click here.

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