Villiger Talanga Corona
Villiger has been around for 125 years and sells 1.5 billion cigars annually (according to their website) so why haven’t you heard of them? Well most of that 1.5 billion are small, dry-cured cigars, very popular in Europe and other markets outside the U.S.. That’s not to say that they haven’t been successful here. When I started in the business 30 years ago Villiger Export was on nearly every tobacconist shelf and that odd little yellow 5-pack of square pressed, tissue wrapped, dry cured smokes is still a great seller for me today. It is the premium, hand-rolled cigars segment that they have struggled to gain traction in.
The Villiger Colorado and Villiger Talanaga hope to change that. Selecting Plasencia S.A. to manufacture the cigar seems like a good start, then loading the blends up with Nicaraguan tobacco seems wise. Now, if the packaging, marketing, distribution, ratings etc… all fall into place and the word of mouth is good, the bloggers and tweeters and facebookers show you some love, you might have a hit!
Now to see what this blogger thinks about the newest size in the Villiger Talanga line-up, the corona.
Wrapper: Talanga Connecticut Seed (Honduras)
Binder: Jalapa Seco Habano (Nicaragua)
Filler: Esteli, Ometepe, Condega (Nicaragua)
The wrapper is a beautiful golden-brown with moderate sheen and only the smallest of veins. The nose off the wrapper was intensely floral while the foot had notes of wet hay, tea and milk chocolate. The cold draw showed just the right amount of resistance while giving forth some ammonia and more wet hay.
The smoke was thick but cool and smooth with white pepper, oak and a subtle sweetness through the first third. The ash was a light grey and dropped without much coaxing. In the second third the pepper and oak intensified while the sweetness subsided to be replaced by a saltiness and some classis Nicaraguan spice. The flavors don’t change much throughout the final third although the pepper and oak intensified even more! An earthy presence came into the picture toward the end and the heat picked up as can be expected, but not to an annoying degree. The strength started at mild plus and steadily built to a solid medium by the end.
All in all, a solid, consistent smoke from start to finish with excellent construction and a nice mix of flavors. For a guy like me who generally prefers a beefier blend, the Villiger Talanga makes for a pleasant smoke earlier in the day.