Villiger’s La Libertad brand is one that has undergone some significant changes. The brand was simply known as La Libertad when it was launched in 2010. In 2017, Villiger Cigars introduced new packaging for the U.S. market. As a part of those changes, the Villiger name was added to La Libertad’s packaging for the first time. Two years later, the banding was changed to make it more consistent with some of Villiger’s other premium cigar lines. When the brand was first introduced in 2010, it was a Peruvian tobacco-forward brand highlighted by a Peruvian wrapper. Somewhere between 2010 and the 2017 re-packaging, the blend was changed and the Peruvian components are no longer socialized as a part of the blend. Today we take a closer look a Villiger La Libertad in the Robusto size.
La Libertad is not the first brand made by Villiger where the Villiger name was added to it. Back in 2017, when the packaging was changed to add the La Libertad name to it, the Cuellar Connecticut Krēmē also had its packaging changed to add the Villiger name. However, the banding of the Cuellar Connecticut Krēme had not been modified.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Villiger La Libertad Robusto and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
As mentioned above, at one time this was a Peruvian-forward blend. The current incarnation of Villiger La Libertad sold in the U.S. market is a three-country multi-national blend highlighted by an Ecuadorian wrapper. Construction is handled out of the ABAM factory located in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
There are currently four sizes of the Villiger La Libertad offered in the U.S. Each size is presented in 20-count boxes.
Robusto: 5 x 52
Torpedo Box Pressed: 5 1/2 x 52
Churchill: 6 1/2 x 50
Masivo: 6 x 60
The Ecuadorian wrapper of the Villiger La Libertad Robusto had a medium brown color. There was a light coating of oil on the surface. The wrapper had some well-hidden wrapper seams, but there also were some visible veins.
The upper part of the band has a black background surrounded by gold and red trim. The center portion of the band has a semi-circle shape to it. Sitting on that semicircle is the Villiger coat of arms – and just below that is the text “VILLIGER” in gold font. The lower portion of the band has a red tartan pattern. Sitting on that portion of the band is the text “LA LIBERTAD” in gold font. Just above that text is the old La Libertad logo in gold font.
A straight cut was used to commence the cigar experience of the Villiger La Libertad Robusto. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw ritual. The cold draw delivered notes of earth, fruit sweetness, and natural tobacco. Overall this was a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to light up the Villager La Libertad Robusto and see what the smoking phase of this cigar would yield.
Out of the gate, the Villiger La Libertad Robusto picked up where the pre-light draw left off as there were more notes of earth, fruit, and natural tobacco. There also were notes of black pepper present on both the tongue and retro-hale. Early on the natural tobacco and fruit notes surfaced as the primary notes with the earth and pepper notes secondary.
Late in the first third, the fruit sweetness diminished into the background. As the Villiger La Libertad Robusto moved through the second third, the natural tobacco remained in the forefront. Both the earth and pepper notes increased in intensity. The earth notes increased at a more rapid rate and by the midway point joined the natural tobacco in the forefront. Later in the second third, the earth displaced the natural tobacco as the sole primary notes with the natural tobacco joining the pepper and fruit as secondary notes. Of those three secondary notes, the pepper had a slight edge.
As the Villiger La Libertad Robusto moved into the last third, the pepper finally reached the forefront, joining the earth notes. The natural tobacco and fruit notes remained in the background. This is the way the Villiger La Libertad Robusto came to a close. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and soft to the touch.
The burn of the Villiger La Libertad Robusto had some jaggedness along the way. While the cigar maintained a straight path, it did require more touch-ups than I preferred. The resulting ash had a silver-gray color. This was an ash that had some flakiness to it. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both maintained ideal levels.
The draw of the Villiger La Libertad Robusto had a touch of resistance to it. This made for an ideal cigar experience. At the same time, this was a cigar that wasn’t a chore to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength, the Villiger La Libertad Robusto started out medium and pretty much maintained that level from start to finish. As for the flavors, they started out medium-bodied, but increased in intensity along the way. By the second half, the Villiger La Libertad Robusto moved into medium to full-bodied territory. The Villiger La Libertad Robusto leveled off in terms of increasing the intensity level of the body during the second half.
In terms of strength versus body, the body had the edge with the Villiger La Libertad Robusto.
While appearance doesn’t factor into the assessment rating or score, it is worth noting that the packaging changes really helped this cigar. The Villager La Libertad is a value-priced line and the Robusto size is priced under $5.50. The new banding makes this cigar look almost like a luxury cigar. As for the cigar, I’ll say it still performs like many value-priced cigars. It’s a good cigar, but it’s one that I would say lacks a wow factor. At the same time, it is one that will give you your money’s worth. This is a cigar I would recommend to a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, it’s one that I’d buy and smoke again.
Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Black Pepper, Fruit Sweetness, Earth
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy One
News: Villiger Announces Updated Branding for La Libertad
Source: Villiger North America
Brand Reference: Villiger
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted