Villiger Kiel (Export)

Saxjazzman

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Dec 30, 2006
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This thread will review:

Name: Villiger Kiel (Export)
Size: 4 x 37
Wrapper: Sumatra Natural
Binder: NLT (Natural Leaf Tobacco)
Filler: NLT
MSRP: 50 cigars in a BOX for $46.50
Price Payed: $31
Stated Strength: Mild
Comments: With smoking restrictions the way they are and when the weather gets cold it is good to sometimes have a short smoke. These machine made cigars are made in Switzerland and are box pressed. They also come in Maduro but we will only be reviewing the Natural. These cigars were purchased 3 months ago and have NOT been in a humidor.



For original thread discussion see Start Up Thread


To keep it standard, we would rate the cigars in three categories.

A) Appearance--How the cigar looks, how the pre-light smell is, the wrapper, etc.

B) Taste---How is the taste? Spicy, strong, bland, airball, etc. How did the taste progress, etc.

C) Construction---How did the cigar perform in terms of draw, burn, ash, etc.

To rate the cigars we would use a number from 5 to 10, 5 being one you would not even give Fidel to smoke and ten being a damm good cigar. The final rating number would be determined by the following:

A + B + (1.5)C divided by 3.5. This is similar to how Cigar Magazine does it but it is a little different. I realize that this is not perfect and there may be better ways but this would work also. Thanks for the reviews!!
 

Ginseng

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Oct 2, 2005
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Can't wait to read the reviews. I've smoked a couple of these and I found them to be...interesting.

Wilkey
 

Saxjazzman

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Dec 30, 2006
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Can't wait to read the reviews. I've smoked a couple of these and I found them to be...interesting.

Wilkey
Interesting is a good word!! I only wished I could have latched onto some of the Maduro for a comparison. It will be be good to see what the other BOTLs think about it. :)
 

Kingantz

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Oct 6, 2007
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A) Appearance: Box press with a pale brown wrapper, which is quite smooth and open at both ends. Not much by way of oils, quite dry looking. As I was drawing cold through this thing, I was getting a flavor that was really hard to pinpoint. At first I was thinking of a new tire smell, which to me was quite close. However, after a bit a the cold flavor brought back a memory of when I was a little kid. My Mom would take me and my sister shopping with her and one of the places we always went was Sears. This really reminded me of the smell you were hit with as soon as you walked in the door. There was always a small concession type stand as soon as you walked in that had roasted nuts, candy, popcorn etc. The aroma of that stand mixed in with the new product smell (appliances, that tire smell…). I’m not sure if I like that flavor in a cigar. :D (7.5)

B) Taste: First draw once lit was mild, however the flavor wasn’t as bad as I was expecting from the pre-draw tasting. Strength picked up a bit after the first couple of draws and became a close medium. I detected a good bit of woodiness with tastes of black licorice mingling in. After the first ¼ in, the black licorice really kicked in and the smoke began to strengthen a bit. A really deep, dark woodsy flavor came through, possibly a really dark Mahogany. At the half-way point, the strength really began to build and was quite full. Lots of powerfully aromatic smoke flowed out. This was really reminding me of when I was very young and would sneak my uncles unfiltered Camels. Whew, head rush! Okay, I’m breaking out in sweat, even my palms are sweaty. Time for some ice cold Dr. Pepper. Bits of tobacco started coming off in my mouth, so with about an inch or so left, I put it down. (7.5)

C) Construction: The cigar felt good with a bit of sponginess and a perfect draw. Burn was good throughout with only a slight issue at a ¼ in. The ash was a nice whitish gray, dropping off after about an inch. Lots of smoke poured from this little thing for about 30 minutes. (8)

Overall this wasn’t too bad a little smoke. I did like the medium to full strength and the flavor wasn’t all that bad. I’d have to say I wouldn’t go looking to buy a box at any point.

(A) 7.5
(B) 7.5
© 8

Total 7.71







 

Saxjazzman

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Dec 30, 2006
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Thanks for the great review. This may be a good alternative to a cigar when you need a quick smoke due to time or cold weather. Great pictures!!
 

punk_lawyer

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May 6, 2008
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I have smoked lots of small cigars and I currently have at least four tins of the little cigars in my humidor. I have had my share of Villigers over the years so this is one that is not all that new to me. In fact, I smoked them for exactly the reason that SJM said: they are small and quick in the winter. I sparked both of these to check for consistency (they were, by the way, totally identical).

Appearance: For a machine made and box pressed cigar these look really good. The wrapper is consistent and smooth, they are firm enough to know there is a good amount of tobacco rolled in. It is similar in size to the CAO Daggers but seemed to me to be considerably larger than the Partagas Miniatures (I didn't compare the sizes but I smoke both of those in the winter to avoid frost bite). It is larger than the Hoyo de Monterrey Miniatures (that can be smoked in less than 2 minutes). The paper wrapping is a nice touch. There is no particular sheen or other highlight to the wrapper. Better than average. (7.8)

Taste: As soon as I lit it up there was one word that came to mind: CIGARETTE . I have only smoked about ten cigarettes in my life but this tasted just like them. I did not find much complexity to the flavor at first and for the first inch or so, I just kept thinking that this was probably a bigger version of a Camel Light. After about an inch the smoke became stronger and came back to more of a cigar feel. For a moment or two I thought someone had dumped a tablespoon of pepper in my mouth. Really the taste was pretty solid and I liked it.

By way of comparison on taste, for small cigars you just cannot beat the taste of the CAO Daggers - pick your flavor and they are good (I like the MX2). Partagas Miniatures are good enough and the little tiny Hoyo de Monterrey Miniatures are good but far too small. I think those small Dominican Cohibas are a joke. I would put the Villiger a step or two below the CAO Daggers, just a notch below or even with the Partagas Miniatures but probably a bit ahead of the Hoyo Miniatures (again, those things are just too small). Villigers are miles ahead of the Cohiba small varieties. A good step above average in taste. (8.5)

Construction:
This is machine made and ultimately it winds up feeling like a King Edward. When lit it was pretty solid but the more that it was smoked, the more flimsy it became. I can't say that I expected more than this but again, for its size class, the CAO Daggers are just miles ahead on construction. I think that the overall size of the cigar may be the best thing about its construction. Some of the small cigars can be just too small and this one is right in there in good shape.

Another attractive point to the construction is that this cigar does just fine if it is kept out of a humidor. SJM had not put them in a humidor and neither had I. Owing to their cigarette flavor, they can survive outside of good storage for a long time... in many ways that makes them attractive for purchase (I have been known to let them ride along in my fishing gear for months and then pick one up to smoke with no apparent breakdown of the smoking experience). I am yet to see a machine made that made it above average in my book. This one is decent and has some good features but it is still pretty average. (7.5)

One other point worth mentioning is that Villigers can often be found at your local B&M being sold individually and for less than a buck. I have not been able to find a B&M that sells CAO Daggers outside of its tin of five. I have not seen Partagas Miniatures outside of their box of eight. Clearly if you need just one small cigar, then buying one Villiger is a good thing and it is worth the cost.

Overall:

Appearance: 7.8
Taste: 8.5
Construction: 7.5

Total: 7.87
 

JLAudio

Mareva, Lancero, and Minuto Whore!
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Jun 26, 2008
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good review guys...I've wondered about these little smokes for a while.

It just looks like a candy bar in the wrapper!
 

The Green Monkey

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Apr 5, 2008
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I didn't read any of the earlier comments before smoking one and making my notes, but I do agree--this was a funny and interesting smoke. I must admit--I have noticed these in the "gimmick" section of cigar shops and on the "odds and ends" pages in catalogs. I was fully expecting some sort of ridiculous novelty.

Appearance/Initial Impressions: The narrow-width wrapper was almost reptilian looking somehow. Tight box press and a neat, tidy looking bunch. It smelled to me like a mildly fragrant head shop in a pleasant way, not overpowering like most of them tend to be. Draw was a tad tight.

Taste: Obviously no cut was necessary, but prelight draws tasted a bit like coffee with lots of cream. I lit it at 7:24 PM this evening. My first thoughts were that it was pretty tasty, with a sort of roasted quality. I got a quick taste that reminded me of some strange Celestial Seasonings tea--an orange flavor perhaps. I found it to be heartily medium-bodied. Towards the end of the first third, I got a distinct beer-like flavor. I'm not enough of a beer snob to be able to articulate it much further than that, but it was definitely a taste I associate with beer. Hops? Yeast? It was a craft-beer flavor, not something typically found (at least in noticeable amounts) in mainstream domestic lagers.

Into the middle third at 7:37. This is a spunky little stick. Like I said, I was prepared for nonsense. I'd go so far as to say that it's trending more towards a full flavor than a medium at this point. At 7:41 I hit the halfway point, and at 7:44 I got to about the last third.

The last third tasted like a rum-soaked maraschino cherry for a few minutes. I mull the flavor over while I ponder the mechanics of how a cigar managed to knock up a Camel short. The rummy cherry flavor intensifies and reminds me specifically of the cherry served in a Pain Remover #3 at Monty's at the South Beach Marina.

I figure what the hell and decide to spear it and smoke it down a little further, although I think most people would have put it down at about the 7:51 mark--making this a 27 minute smoke. It gets a little bit harsh the shorter it gets, and I start to get bits and bites in my mouth so I put it down at 7:57 with about 1/2" left.

Construction: Not much to say beyond machiney. The ash was cigarette-like (besides the shape and size, of course), it got a little soft at the 1.25" remaining mark, and it didn't seem to care for my nubbin' stick. I had to be careful spearing it, and it ended up unravelling a tad and feeding bites to me towards the end.

Grades:
Appearance: 8.0
Nice and uniform. The scaly, reptilian effect on the wrapper would have seemed odd had this stick not been odd anyway.
Taste: 8.0 I somehow have a hard time believing that my other Villiger will taste just like the cherry from a Pain Remover #3, so while I liked this one, I feel like this is a sort of throwaway rating. I did also like it when it wasn't cherry-ish too though, so who knows.
Construction: 8.0 Held up nicely until beyond the point where it should have been put down anyway. Johnny Five and R2D2 make a decent little cigar here.

Total: 8.0 I'm not sure whether the surprise that this wasn't an obvious gimmick caused me to overcompensate and "overenjoy" this more than I would had I not had any preconceptions, but this was a nice little stick. It was very difficult for me to not smoke it like a cigarette--especially since today is my one-month mark from having quit cigarettes. It was a trifle awkward at times, but I did manage to make it. It also felt like the world's smallest and most uniformly rolled blunt. I was pleasantly surprised by this little guy, and if I didn't find it to be so closely similar to smoking a cigarette, I'd probably pick up a tin to have around for when time is an issue.
 

jnknzz

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Jan 13, 2008
Messages
949
Short smoke...short review.

Name: Villiger Kiel (Export)
Size: 4 x 37
Wrapper: Sumatra Natural
Binder: NLT (Natural Leaf Tobacco)
Filler: NLT

Appearance) I loved opening this cigar...it reminded me so much of the ice cream sandwiches granny always gave me as a kid!! Once open I was surprised to see I didn't need my cutter...I usually f*ck that up anyway. Quick sniff reminds me of a fresh-opened pack of Marlboro's. Good construction with few noticable veins and somewhat spongy to the touch. Could have potential...(8.0)

Taste) Prelight draw showed not much of anything. Maybe a light wood taste, but mostly faint tobacco. Lit up easily and confirmed the loose draw. I gagged on the smoke right away not expecting that much smoke volume. After wiping the tears and a sip of BB 10, I pick up on some very heavy butter flavors. Might be the scotch...who knows.
Half-way through and the flavors meld to a nutty (toasted) flavor. This is supposed to be mild; it's medium at least. With the wide open cut I find myself chiefing this thing pretty hard so I give it a rest and a quick purge. BTW, my better half walked out here to "communicate" and mentioned this was the worst smelling cigar she's ever been around. Upon further investigation, she was right (what's new).
Into the final third and the main taste is overly woodsy. Not the good kind like mahogany, but like a damp forest or swamp. I'm not that thrilled. As it starts to get bitter and poo in my mouth, I chuck it. My stomach starts to get upset as it does when I get a really young cigar. It's hard to describe... (7.0)

Construction) This is one of my favorite sizes and a nice break from the Cubanitos and Esquires I frequent. Although a little flimsy and loose, this guy burned great for the whole 25 minutes. These seem like they'd do pretty well in higher humidty (I kept these at 65% for a few months). Decent ash and no runs. There sure was plenty of smoke...maybe a little too much smoke. Better than average...(7.5)

OVERALL: 7.5

This is a great stick for a short drive to/from work or those chilly/rainy days when you just gotta have a cigar. Still not as good as my RP 2nds or 5 Vegas shorty's...but a great deal given the price. I wouldn't turn one of these down...


Derek
 
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