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Villiger Talanga double robusto

Today the Nubbit brothers wax patriotic while enjoying a Villiger Talanga Double Robusto on the front porch of Americana.Villiger Talanga double robusto cigar

Punch:  I have been eager to try this cigar ever since I found it’s brother, the Villiger Colorado, so enjoyable.

Draw: And I’ve been eager to sit down beside my brother before we meet in a village in Colorado… so enjoyable. The aroma of the Villiger Talanga double robusto right out of the cellophane suggests barley and hops, a fine lager. A modest oily tan wrapper with dark drybrush look, accentuating the minimal veins. Construction appears solid, with a slight soft spot smack between the band and foot on mine.

P:  This one’s wrapper is called Talanga — a Connecticut seed grown in Honduras a Jalapa (Seco Habano) grown in Nicaragua, and the filler is a blend of three Nicaraguan tobaccos. What is that scent? Some kitchen aroma – vanilla.

D: Hmm, my dry draw yields some moldy funk! I’m sensitive to mold taste and smells, and this has the flavor from an aged sack of bread. It doesn’t dominate, and there’s a lot to like here, and I’m not saying it’s a moldy cigar – I’m just saying what I taste.

P: I’m not getting that, but you’re the taste in this outfit. I’m the good looks.

D: One of us has got to be. Let’s toast this puppy!

P: Mmm. Toasting brings out an initial hit of something nice, and then it turned into something sulfur. Baugh, I’m just going to smoke this.

D: Mine revealed more lager flavor, which faded quickly in this wind. I agree a thorough lighting is in order.

P: Hmm, smoked almond. some edge on the finish. I’m a little uneven, like I didn’t even get it lit on one side. Let me touch this up.

D: Mmm, beer brats on the grill! This is a patriotic smoke! Something sweet in the middle, suggesting fruited plains. With a touch of nutmeg or cinnamon. So here we are, sitting on the front porch of rural America, cigar in hand and Forever Glory fluttering on the breeze, what does America mean to you?

P: Well, there’s a lot in that. Having lived my years here, my current feelings are sadness and disappointment. Opportunists are pillaging the People with their selfish motivations, and tarnishing what it’s meant to me in the past. Creating…feelings of sadness and loss. It reminds me of the lyrics to Kansas’ Song for America: beauty has been tarnished.

D: I hear that, and I agree, for a large part. America has been completely corporatized, commercialized, turned into a cheap, Chinese-knock-off for the original: conveniently packaged for your passing consumption. And that’s a shame (no disrespect to China). People have largely forgotten the meaning of  this land, that we call America, and what kind of commitment it requires to maintain it.

P: True that. But all things considered, it is still the best damn country for me.

D: *laughs* Agreed. That’s what I love about today, the 4th of July. Today, 237 years ago, after several weeks of writing and debate, men from the colonies in a general Congress assembled, voted to accept this Declaration of Independence from England. Though it was not signed by all the members until formally engrossed in August, the beginning was marked.

As was written by John Adams, in one of many letters to his wife Abigail, “It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” Amen.

P: So it is with solemn reverence that I take another draw from this fine Villiger Talanga – even though it is a Swiss brand. I’m really liking this. I don’t know if its the trappings I’m surrounded in, or the accompanying Dr. Pepper, but there’s a fruity sweetness growing in the middle draw, here near the middle of the cigar. It has become more “earthy” with old leather, but still sweet.

D: Well said. For me, I’m tasting mango, and your vanilla from early on – maybe that’s a plum flavor? And I’m getting a little tingle on the tongue on the attack, maybe the start of a little jalapeno on the finish. My ash held for more than an inch initially, despite the wind. However it did drop off twice more since, and one of those times took the cherry with it.

P: Sitting here, listening to Hoe Down from the Rodeo Suite, I am given to wonder: are we conditioned to believe that Rodeo is the sound of Americana? Or, did Copeland have a gift for grabbing some etheric quality that is understood as truth, and translating it into music? Did the music make the country, or did the country make the music?

D: Excellent question! Copeland wrote the Rodeo Suite for a musical back in the 1940s, his second “cowboy” composition, so he had already established a genre. However, the music speaks something to me – not something I bring to it, but something it brings to me. I have my own sense of nationalism, my own sense of western values, and this music echos that.

In any case, while the Morton Gould orchestral version was made most popular by the Beef Council, its the Bela Fleck live version that says it best… in my opinion.

P: At an inch-and-a-half cedar is starting to creep in and the flavor has degraded to an unpleasant amalgam. Done.

D: You’re actually ahead of me for once in smoking length. I’ve about two to go. I’ve had to relight at least twice, as I head to the finish. I’m beginning to get significant physical heat, and yes, cedar is ramping up to mute the fruity middle, and the jalapeno is ramping up in the finish. Although I’m usually the nubber in the bunch, I’ve enjoyed the cigar and the morning and am good to let it go.

Burn it or Spurn it?

D: I’m all for burning this! A fine cigar, good breadth and depth of flavor, not overly strong, but a cigar you know you’ve smoked. I’ll certainly not pass up another Villiger Talanga, and will probably seek it out.

P: Burn it. This is nice, interesting, not overbearing, mild-medium – a real pleasant smoke. Except for the similar strength, it is quite distinctive from the Colorado – more earthy and complex in a different way. Still a bit higher priced than I want to pay on a regular basis, but one of my favorites in the next price-class up.

2015 March 9

Draw: On a fine and unseasonably warm early March afternoon in Kansas, I grabbed my last Villiger Talanga from my anytime humidor, to enjoy while doing computer work on the patio. At 724 days in my humidor, this gift from brother Punch was showing some age: its delicate Connecticut-seed wrapper having split about an inch at the foot. It is otherwise in great form – firm, no soft spots, same great construction.

Flavor notes are very consistent. Hint of vanilla on the cold draw, notes of barley and hops, and what to me suggests sausage-spice. Burn line tends to wander, but regular rolling keeps it in check. In the middle, it becomes more earthy with more pepper.

As it moved into the last third, flavors did become stronger, with more earth, pepper, and heat until cedar-munge creeps in. Still a great smoke!

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