Villiger Tobajara maduro robusto

Punch & Draw share their first impressions of the Villiger Tobajara. A Brazilian puro itself is a rarity. Let’s see if it is a worthwhile endeavor for them.Viliger Tabajaro robusto cigar

Punch: Tobajara (the J is pronounced hard) means “Lord of the Village”. The Tobajara debuted in Europe a year before being released in the States, and the US version has ligero added. It is made in Bahai using Mata Fina, and Bahiano tobaccos.

Today Brazil is the biggest producer of tobacco in the world (700K tons). The biggest quantity is produced in the south of Brazil, the best quality in Bahia. The Bahiano tobacco competes equally with the Cubans as the most aromatic of the world.” — http://www.brasilbar.com/blog/cigar

Draw: Coming out of the cellophane – I’ve not even raised the cigar to my nose – the aroma has raisins, elephant pen, tobacco and cocoa. The wrapper is dark (colorado maduro/maduro), smoothly constructed, and has a verrry toothy wrapper, almost pebbly, like an eggshell. Very tactile. It is a firm stick with few veins showing – very nice. There is a dense bunch of filler at the foot, with what to me looks like a clear demarcation of the binder/wrapper. The capping is invisible.

P: I punched this 5 x 50 with my regular large punch. The draw is just short of cheek-hicky tight – that’s real tight. The cold draw is fruity.

D: My stick had a “flat” head. This made cutting a challenge, and I bit off a big opening too easily. The cold-draw is straw, with what my brain says is, “meat” – like a visit to Famous Dave’s. I don’t know if it it’s pork fat or BBQ sauce components that I’m tasting. But I like it. My extra-wide cut is just comfortably tight.

P: Starting off, the Villiger Tobajara is quite mild, and with the tight, minimal smoke I’m getting it is hard to get a reading on the flavor. Fruit (melon?), leather and nuts.

D: Initial flavors: parmesan cheese, green chile or green pepper on the front/middle. It was difficult to light due to the dense bunch of tobacco. At a half-inch in, I’m getting toast. Garlic toast. Aged leather, some kind of spice, and champagne. Microsips reveal a volatile compound…like alcohol vaporizing. Strong tokes yield corn and a bunch of flavors I cannot identify. Very complex.

P: A half-inch in, the flavor is clearly up to medium and is quite complex and pleasant. I don’t want to put it down. It is medium bodied, with some sweetness, old leather, cream, coffee and hardwood.

P: Very dense tobacco – it has taken 45 minutes to get through an inch.

D: Agreed. Second third: very consistent. Still flavors I can’t identify. No lasting flavor. No aftertaste that I can distinguish. What IS THAT TASTE!?! It’s like summer sausage? Lets try pasta… there’s bay leaf, basil, …what’s the other? A sip of Pepsi hides the sweetness, and shows off some pine, the old leather, italian spices, and wheat straw.

P: Not a lot of change. Hard wood, hay, new leather, subtle melon sweetness. Not much finish at all.

At the halfway point the sweetness seems to have dropped out and allowed the green pepper to come forward. That is a disappointment for me, since that was contributing a lot to what I liked about this stick.

D: Agreed. I thought the Pepsi was masking the sweetness, but I’ve rinsed since then, and the sweetness has not quite come back. And, now that we’re talking about it, that green pepper is starting to linger in the throat. A hearty purge has brought back the sweet flavors, particularly – for me – the garlic toast. It’s a bread, yeasty sweetness.

P: Yeah, I can taste that now, too – bread.

D: Coming into the last third, I think the cigar is starting to turn. Again, we’re rating the total length of the cigar, but the last third is often not smoked – many stop at the band, or just after. At this point, I’m starting to get (very rapidly growing) cedar. More pepper heat, too, and this is clinging on the throat. A purge before each draw helps keep the flavor fresh. Still a consistent tight pull. Micropulls….PLUM WINE! that’s the volatile flavor… plum wine. It’s still in micropulls.

P: Part way into this third I’m feeling some nicotine. And I am only now getting some cedar, but it isn’t overpowering.

D: At around two-and-a-half fingers, the cedar is fading. The other flavors of the cigar are condensing and I don’t have to purge as often. Conversely, I am dealing with a lot of physical heat. Finally, a reason to let it rest between tokes, and this keeps the temperature tolerable.

Burn it or Spurn it?

Punch: The draw was too tight for my liking. If I smoke others of these I’ll try dry boxing for a few days and see if that helps. I’ve got to say that the first half of this Villiger Tobajara was excellent, but the second half was just another cigar to me. If you only get an hour out of this while smoking just the first half of this five incher it would still be a good value since they sell for only $6.25 to 6.75. Were it a little looser it probably wouldn’t last so long, but that would be an acceptable trade off.

Draw: The draw was tight. I made a generous cut, and while I lamented it initially, I think I’m grateful in the end; a big cut keeps the draw reasonable – to my likes, at least. This cigar was really dense with tobacco, and 90 minutes for the normal smokable length is a boon for a shorter vitola. As a Brazilian puro, there were some unique flavors here – very complex flavor. Sweetness, savory. Fairly consistent with a marked transition entering the final third. Full flavor, medium-to-full strength. Excellent construction, very sharp burn line, no burn issues whatsoever. If you’ve not tried a Villiger Tobajara, do so, and let us know what you think!

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