Team Cigar Review: Villiger La Meridiana Toro Box Press

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Cigar Details: Villiger La Meridiana Toro Box Press

  • Vitola: Toro Extra
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Joya de Nicaragua
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $10.60
  • Release Date: March 2019
  • Source: Villiger

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The cigar has a soft box press that is covered in a reddish-brown wrapper with some slightly raised veins. The seams are smooth and slightly visible while the head is finished off with a triple cap that has the top cap showing some raised edges. There are two bands with the primary having the traditional company design with the company name and logo up above and the line info below. The color combination is various shades of orange along with gold and black. The foot band is various shades of orange with gold. The aroma from the wrapper is a mix of hay and stone fruit sweetness while the foot brings wood and stone fruit sweetness. The pre-light draw is a light mix of hay and wood.

Pre-light Experience

The Villiger La Meridiana Toro Box Press has a lovely press to it and sports some medium sized veins throughout. It has a great triple cap and it has a coloring that is between Colorado and Maduro overall. It does not have that beautiful marbled coloring, but still solid. The foot is giving off aromas of chocolate, raisins and barnyard while the wrapper has some wood, earth and spices.

Pre-light Experience

The Villiger La Meridiana Toro Box Press has a rounded soft box press vitola format. The wrapper is quite dark, with a double length primary band, along with a footband. The style of the bands is a gold on black lettering, gold accents and a red and brown background. The wrapper has aromas of cedar, and an intense leather as medium plus. The foot has sweet raisin and hay.

Pre-light Experience

The Villiger La Meridiana Toro Box Press has an attractive rustic Colorado Red wrapper shade. Veins are very well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even and firm, triple wrapped head. Aromas from the wrapper tell some faint traces of dry red pepper and cedar. Foot aromas tell amplified dry red pepper and easily identifiable ripe plums. Cold draw gives aged cedar and dried persimmons.

First Third

The cigar starts off full throttle with white pepper and creamy and musty wood. At a quarter inch in, things begin to mellow, but the white pepper is still up front. At three quarters of an inch in, the white pepper went from the lead to very faint while a rich wood is up front followed by some mustiness as the cream has dropped from the profile. The retrohale has a fuller version of the white pepper to go along with the rich wood and mustiness. A slight char joins the profile at the inch and a quarter mark. The third wraps up maintaining the musty and charred wood with faint white pepper. The third started with the strength at medium-full, but by a half inch in, the strength settled in at slightly below medium.

First Third

The first third begins with some sweet spices and it is showing some Asian spice qualities to it. There are some herb and woody qualities present as well, and with that is some dry earth and leather. I would classify the cigar as being between medium and full, and it is a nice body and strength level for the cigar.

First Third

The cigar opens with chalky cocoa, and a cedar finish. Light baking spices, creaminess on the retrohale with a dirty cedar finish. There’s lingering leather post draw as the cigar settles in. Later, I get an intense medium minus pepper on the roof of my mouth as the baking spices move up to medium minus. Evolution continues as sweetness mixes in with the pepper at the end of the draw. The cedar and baking spices begin to harmonize. By the halfway point of the first third, cocoa is half the flavor profile, the chalky component that started the cigar is absent. Post draw pepper is at a medium minus, with a light plus leather coating my palate.

First Third

The first third’s profile is fairly nuanced with balanced flavors of cocoa, cedar and minerals. Retrohaling the cigar gives more minerals and toasted nuts. The finish has a soft lingering cedar and mineral combination. Strength and body is medium.

Second Third

The second third starts off with an increased char ahead of the musty wood while the white pepper has also increased. At an inch in, the char and white pepper ease up into the background as the mustiness moves to the front with the wood right behind. The retrohale carries a mirror image of the same profile. As the third comes to a close, the wood becomes more defined as oak and has the mustiness ahead of it with a slight char. The white pepper has left the profile. The strength in this third bumped up to medium.

Second Third

I am in the second third of the cigar now and it is delivering some dry earth, leather and stronger Asian spice notes. I am picking up those dry wood and herb qualities, similar to that of the first third, and it is a solid smoking experience. It is still smoking at a level between medium and full, and the flavors are pairing well with the body and strength.

Second Third

Earth and pepper are the defining flavors going into the middle third, with chocolate coming in at the mid palate. Post draw leather moves to medium strength. Earth bleeds into the post draw as the cigar settles in. There are some baking spices present at the front of the palate, but the intensity of the earth and pepper drowns it out almost immediately.

Second Third

The second third has an overall uplift in the depth of flavors. The cocoa turns into a pronounced sweetened milk chocolate and cedar, mineral increases in intensity. The same happens to both the retrohale and finish. Strength is nearing medium-full while body remains medium.

Final Third

The final third continues on with the musty and slightly charred oak. At three quarters of an inch in, the cigar begins to heat up which brings a toasted note to the oak. The retrohale consists of just toasted oak. The cigar gains some heat as it wraps up, increasing the toast level. The strength in this third bumped up to slightly above medium.

Final Third

I am in the final third of the cigar now and finding the cigar is delivering a consistent profile with the first and second third. I am picking up some rich earth and sweet spice notes, and with that on the finish is some leather, dry wood and herbal qualities. The body and strength are smoking at that similar level, between medium and full, and the flavors are working well with the body and strength.

Final Third

Baking spices and pepper lead the profile moving into the last third. Post draw leather is still present and continues to coat my palate at a medium minus strength. As the cigar settles in, some citrus joins at the end of the draw, then gives way to post draw earth.

Final Third

The last third is the same as the second third. Still the same sweetened milk chocolate, cedar, minerals and cedar. Strength is still nearing medium-full and body finishes medium.

Burn

The burn was slightly wavy throughout. The cigar really struggled to stay lit in the second third, requiring three re-lights. The first ash drop occurred at a half inch in, then the ash held on in about one inch increments.

Burn

The burn on the cigar was not fantastic. At points it was good and at other points it was below average. The inconsistency was irritating, and while it never presented a major problem, I did have to put some work into the smoke at times.

Burn

The first third burns uneven, eventually resulting in a canoe that requires a touch-up. The burn eventually becomes uneven again requiring a second touch-up. The burn is straight through the rest of the way.

Burn

Aside from some uneven burn and slight flakes in the ashes, the burn was great. Cool burn, solid ash marks and ample smoke production.

Draw

The draw was slightly tighter than I prefer but didn’t cause any issues with the smoking experience.

Overall

The first third provided a nice flavor profile, then things fell apart in the second third with constant re-lights required, which I’m sure took a toll on the flavor profile. I’d be interested in revisiting this down the road in hopes of a better burn to see what the overall flavor profile looks like. I really like Villiger’s recent releases in that the flavor is at full throttle from first light. I can’t really recommend the cigar at this point until I can revisit it to see if it burns better.

Draw

Despite some issues with the burn, I liked the draw throughout the cigar. It might not be to everyone’s liking, but I felt the resistance really made for a great smoking experience.

Overall

The Villiger La Meridiana Toro Box Press is a solid cigar and one that delivers an enjoyable flavor profile from start to finish. It has a nice body and strength level with that, solid medium-full, and it really plays off of the earthy and Asian spice qualities. The burn was a little off throughout, but nothing major that would cause problems in the smoking experience. With that being said, there was something missing from the cigar. I felt that it was lacking some complexity and further flavor profiles that would take the cigar to another level. Even if that lessened the body and strength, I do not think it would have been a bad thing. I will say this about the cigar; this is one cigar that I would not smoke on its own, but focus more on pairing with a whiskey of sorts. To me, it is not a cigar that delivers on its own, but works incredibly well as a pairing. I usually don’t think about that when it comes to a cigar, but with the samples I smoked, I felt it would do much better as a pairing.

Draw

The draw had approximately 1 to 1-1/2 notches of resistance. The resistance didn’t seem to impact smoke production or the flavor profile.

Overall

The Villiger La Meridiana Toro Box Press was balanced, enjoyable and provided consistently good flavors all the way through the smoking experience. I tasted components of cocoa, cedar, baking spices, creaminess, earth, leather, chalkiness, pepper and citrus. Villiger has been putting out good cigars consistently for the past few years, and I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up and smoke more of the La Meridiana. My total smoking time was 2 hours and 21 minutes.

Draw

The draw was perfect, giving the ideal air flow.

Overall

I think I can confidently say after three successful years of having good new cigar releases (year one the La Flor De Ynclan, year two the La Vencedora and this year the La Meridiana), Villiger has proven to be serious contenders in the premium hand rolled cigar industry. Speaking strictly about the review, I enjoyed the interplay of cocoa to milk chocolate, minerals, cedar and toasted nuts of the Villiger La Meridiana Toro Box Press. Having smoked two samples for review, one sample had a considerable ripe plum note whereas the other had none of it. Regardless, both samples were good and worthy to be checked out.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
Very GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Good
GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Good
AverageSecond
Third
GoodSecond
Third
GoodSecond
Third
Good
AverageFinal
Third
GoodFinal
Third
GoodFinal
Third
Good
SubparBurnAverageBurnVery GoodBurnVery Good
Very GoodDrawGoodDrawVery GoodDrawAmazing
AverageOverallAverageOverallGoodOverallGood

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.55

Cost/Point

$1.91

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

6.20

Cost/Point

$1.71

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

6.92

Cost/Point

$1.53

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

7.07

Cost/Point

$1.50

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Villiger La Meridiana Toro Box Press
Jiunn LiuTeam Cigar Review: Villiger La Meridiana Toro Box Press

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