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Villiger Export Maduro

In this review, Punch and Draw share thoughts about the Villiger Export Maduro, cats, Adobe Cloud, and…beer.

Punch: This is a stick given to me by Rob Kasperek, a Villiger rep I met at Big Sticks last month. He gave me this sample along with an Export Natural, and a Premium No 7 Sumatra of the same size. I was gone over the weekend so missed my regular weekly smoke, but Draw and I had an evening free so decided to try this smaller, less time consuming, stick.

Draw: I picked mine up a few weeks ago. These are dry-cured cigars which theoretically don’t require space in your humidor. I’ve just removed the paper wrapper from mine, and while it has a good spring to it, there isn’t a strong scent. However, I’m also sitting outside in 45-degree temps trying to stay dry this evening. That may be suppressing some of the volatile oils. It’s also another reason to have a smaller, less time-consuming stick on hand.

P: The pre-light sniff takes me back to the aroma of my grandfather’s cigarettes when I was a kid. It has a very uniform appearance, due to its mechanical creation. It is box-pressed, and looks like a squared cinnamon stick. The Villiger Export line are each 4” long, and a 37 ring gauge.

D: Sure …if your fingers are square-ish! My pre-toasting draw is modestly tight and, aside from rich tobacco flavor, it hints of chocolate.

P: I agree on both points… Now I just have to decide which end to light — a quandry I don’t usually find myself in with other cigars; this thing is two-footed.

D: I attempted to toast the foot, and ended up lighting one side. So here goes…there’s a definitive sweetness! I have obvious chocolate and cinnamon-graham, and a suggestion of sweet watermelon.

P: Definitely not mild: medium to full. I dunno if I’m up for this tonight. I’m not coming up with any words to describe the flavors. Just tobacco.

D: Really? What are you drinking?

P: Water! …I’m sure I can come up with something… There’s a little spice, otherwise smooth. Leathery. I’m going through it really fast, as I’m trying to figure out the flavor. This is not a problem with the larger cigars, but there’s not too much to waste on an Export. HEY! STOP BITING ME!! I guess the cat wants attention!

D: I’ve already dealt with my cats. They really don’t enjoy a cigar as much as I do. I’m enjoying another Negra Modelo. It’s a dark version of the “Corona alternative”. It tends to wash the sweetness of the cigar flavor away, leaving the toasted flavors. The sweetness of this smoke comes back quickly, though.

P: It is not complex, but not necessarily boring, either. Nice, just nice. Oops, there went the ash, at an inch and a quarter.

D: Agreed — with your flavor assessment. I’m wearing a nylon windbreaker, so I am dropping my ash very deliberately. I’ve recently signed up for Adobe Cloud through work. This is an upgrade for me personally from CS3, and from CS2 at work. So far, I’ve downloaded a couple of the Web apps, but have really focused on getting to know the changes in Dreamweaver.

P: Wow. That’s a pretty big jump up to CS6. You’ve got some learning to do! Let’s see how how this Villiger goes with a Kirkland India Pale Ale. Hmmm.… The bitter, floral finish of the beer mutes the cigar. You know, when I started this cigar, I really didn’t expect the flavor profile to change through the duration… and I don’t think it has. It may have grown stronger, maybe more spice, but otherwise it’s very uniform.

D: I agree with you there. I’m not getting the leather motes that you detect. For me, its like a visit to a chocolate shop, enjoying a cinnamon truffle. The intensity increases, but the flavor remains the same.

P: I do not recommend pairing with the IPA — it is too strong. I’m letting it sit until I finish the cigar. Ooh. Something has happened — it has softened up at the one-inch mark. Really mushy. Is yours?

D: It is. I’m burning across the 3/4‑inch line. There’s a touch of roasted chiles added into the mix, and of course with such a small nub, I run the risk of burning my lips on a strong draw, so I’m putting mine down and ducking inside to avoid the next rain-wave.

P: I’m starting to feel it so am trading the nub for a Peep, now. These Peeps are dry-cured, too — like Villiger Exports. I like them when they are firm-to-hard and chewy. I’m going to finish the package — just because I can!

Burn it or spurn it?

D: I love these little guys! For me, except for the difference in flavor, the Export Maduro has all of the other positive characteristics I enjoyed in the Export Natural. Both are what I would call a sweet cigar: the Natural a lighter caramel flavor, the Maduro a richer cinnamon-cocoa. I definitely recommend these for a quick, anytime burn.

P: Yes, burn it. I have nothing really bad to say about these little pups. I’ll keep a few around for when I don’t have time, or possibly the stomach, for a full size stogie. As Rob mentioned, with a burn time of around 20 minutes, it is the perfect size for walking the dog. I’m looking forward to comparing this to the Natural when I have one of those.

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