Villiger 125th Anniversary Lucerne

Today Punch and Draw check out the new Villiger 125th Anniversary cigar and chatter about music and Combat Arms.Villiger 125th Anniversary cigar

Punch: I’ve been looking forward to this cigar for a month now. We got these from Rob, the regional Villiger rep, at the Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival last month. It was just released at this year’s ICPCR. The Villiger press release for this one says, “First production is limited to 30,000 cigars, each hand-crafted in Nicaragua.”

Draw: It is hard to believe it has only been a month since the RMCF. I still haven’t finished an inventory of all of the cigars, and yet, I’ve been buying new ones! This one I’m looking forward to… hmm…is one to which I have been looking forward.

P: The Villiger 125th Anniversary has a 2009 vintage Ecuadorian Seco Habano wrapper, which is a mottled light brown with small veins and hard to see seams. It appears to have a double cap. The binder is stated to be “Seco Habano Jalapa x 2”, meaning it has 2 binder leafs? And the filler is Viso Habano Jalapa and Esteli.

D: Matte or flat-finish to this wrapper. I agree, it is well wrapped. My stick is extremely firm construction. The ones we are smoking this evening are called Lucerne – a 5.5 x 56. This is also available in two other vitolas — Canton (4.5 x 56) and Mondo (6.5 x 56).  The aroma overall is of alfalfa to me. Some “processed” alfalfa, and tobacco.

P: The aroma is unremarkable – faint tobacco/alfalfa hay. Whoa there, boy – when I plugged this, it cut nicely, but upon removing the cutter, the plug remained behind as if I hadn’t cut it. After a bit of picking at it I got a plug to come out yielding a nice medium draw. Tonight, I think I’ll light this using a cedar spill.

D: On the dry draw, I’m getting a mild mint, and faint menthol, plus green tea and hay. I agree, the draw is about medium with my smaller punch. It’s too dark for me to toast it safely, so I’m moving to ignition!

P: Hmmm… creamy, leather, a slight spice on the attack, and there is a dryness – like tannins or black tea, on the finish. The retrohale reveals mostly woodiness, pine.

D: Yes, well said. I’m also getting leeks – the vegetable, not the engineering problem – or steamed brussel sprouts. Or even cabbage; a vegetable sweetness. Very subtle, very nice. It shows up on the attack and carries through, fading in the finish. I’m noting the dryness in the residue in my mouth: this isn’t a juicy smoke, instead it’s desiccating.

P: Good call, although the fact that your mind so readily conjures up vegetable references is a bit disturbing. After the first few puffs there is a sweetness – cane sugar – on the draw.

D: Hmm, now that’s a little different. For me, I taste the out-and-out sugar on the aftertaste. It’s like…cotton candy.

P: …a DRY cotton candy. The press release also describes the Villiger 125th Anniversary as, “a medium-bodied cigar with a distinctive color and oil content that delights the senses with a creamy finish and a hint of cinnamon on the retrohale.” Hmm, I’ll keep looking for that cinnamon.

D: This is both savory and sweet for me, and creamy is definitely the way the flavors are coming together. My draw seems to be tightening up a bit. My burn line is slightly wavy, but properly maintaining. So, Punch, what is the topic du jour?

P: Well, we can talk music, or we can talk Combat Arms. Or, I suppose, we can do both.

D: I can talk up Combat Arms. Since my connection here is so slow, my laptop spent most of Friday evening downloading the update to this free-to-play, para-military multi-player FPS. I had not been on the game for awhile; the interface has changed – again – but the improvements seem pretty worthwhile. Most shocking, though, is the addition of a gaming calendar, which shows your in-game achievements during special events, maintenance dates, and so on. Not the sort of thing I’m used to seeing in a personal-combat sim.

P: I have another couple of weeks of battling to do to level-up to my next rank. I’m motivated to stick with it in order to be eligible to “buy” and use an M4A1 CQBR. I have been able to try one out and it stays dead on target while holding the trigger down – a significant difference from the G36E which is my go-to assault rifle of choice, as it is really powerful and accurate, but wicked muzzle rise is the price you pay.  Whoops! At three-quarters of an inch, the ash surprised me by jumping for my ashtray.

D: GAH! …yep, mine, too. My draw is also progressively tighter.

P: I think the sweetness is diminished, maybe moving toward radish, and not necessarily the taste of the radish, as much as the earthy, dry, aftertaste.

D: Though he uses different words, that’s pretty consistent with the experience reported by Brian Burt over at Halfwheel.com. I had a bit of a peninsula forming; rather than wait to see if it corrected, I impatiently touched it up.

P: If I draw very slowly, I get more sweetness on the palette, which is helpful to compensate for the radish bitters.

D: Oh, well said again. If I pull hard, I definitely get more radish. I don’t find it offensive, though. It is the dominant flavor here in the middle third, but it’s a clean flavor to my tastes.

P: And a rather novel flavor to find in the Villiger 125th Anniversary. I just cued up some Porcupine Tree to play in the background while I’m smoking this bad boy. They are technically astute, and the writing is musical, mature, and complex, sometimes moody, with catchy licks, syncopated rhythms, and strictly album oriented – there is no pandering to be “commercial” to get radio play. A few of my favorite albums of theirs are Signify, Fear of a Blank Planet, and Up the Downstair. The album I chose tonight – my newest acquisition of theirs – is In Absentia.

D: Urban funk?

P: No, I would call it progressive rock. Unless, are you asking about the cigar? Then the answer is still “no”. I am having a burn problem now, too. I’ll give it a moment and see how it handles it. My bad. I let it tip down and the foot was touching the bottom of the ashtray.

D: Well played. Musically, I spent some time Saturday strolling through the ‘80s with some obscure favorites from Saga, Chilliwack, and a whole lot of Eric Clapton from a variety of decades. I was specifically sorting through my iTunes looking for those lost one-hit “oneders”. It set me up for a rocking Saturday afternoon.

P: Well, starting into the last third, the finish includes some green pepper, and it is bringing along a harshness with it. I think the flavor is increasing in complexity, and…it’s getting chemical-ly. Cedar is starting to creep in.

D: Yeah, the sweetness has never left, but I’m getting some green chile on the attack, and your description of green pepper on the finish is excellent. The flavor is definitely building here near the end. Still no cedar for me, yet, but I do taste some black walnut on the finish and aftertaste. Cigar Craig reports having had one of these at IPCAR on July 19, and he comments on it having a “nice sweetness”.

P: Yes, black walnut, and some form of astringency – not the Pine-Sol I’ve described with a couple of previous cigars.

D: I would note that I’m getting a little gastric distress here in the last third. I’m (uncommonly) not sipping a beverage this evening while I’m smoking, and perhaps that’s a bad choice on my part. I’m a couple of fingers from the end, and think I’ll call “finished” on this Villiger 125th Anniversary.

Burn it or Spurn it?

D: This is a pleasant, generally sweet cigar. It’s not overly complex until the finish, having some savory notes throughout. To my tastes, the references to cinnamon are overrated, but a nice flavor nonetheless. The lucerne gives a good 90+ minute burn time. A couple of touch ups…there’s really nothing to dislike about this smoke, unless you have a dislike for radishes. I’d burn it again, definitely. But not often; there are other cigars which more strongly strike my fancy.

P: Sweet and earthy. I found this Villiger 125th Anniversary to be medium to full bodied, and medium strength. I didn’t notice the cinnamon, but so what. Is it bad? Absolutely not. Is it good? Yes – the dryness is not something that I crave and want all the time, but good for variety. Burn it when you get tired of your regular routine and count on it to break you out of the doldrums. I have a couple more of these, and am looking forward to seeing what some age does to them, as I suspect after a few months the harshness will diminish, resulting in a very nice and distinctive smoking experience.

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