Late in 2019, Villiger Cigars announced its second blend under the Villiger Cuellar line known as the Villiger Cuellar Black Forest. Cuellar is a brand from Villiger that is produced at Tabacalera Palma in the Dominican Republic under the watchful eye of Jochy Blanco. The Black Forest is the second release under the Cuellar brand, joining the Villiger Cuellar Connecticut Krēmē. The Cuellar Black Forest complements the Cuellar Connecticut Krēmē in that it is a Maduro offering. It’s a cigar that draws inspiration from the mystical Black Forest, located on the southern side of Germany, close to the border of Switzerland where the Villiger headquarters is located. It’s known for the pine trees that block sunlight from reaching the ground, thus it has a dark theme – and that carries over to this cigar. Today, we take a closer look at the Villiger Cuellar Black Forest in the Toro Gordo size.
The Cuellar brand has been a part of the Villiger Cigars portfolio for about six years, beginning when it introduced Cuéllar Connecticut Krēmē. At that particular point in time, Villiger Cigars was exploring the avenue of releasing products without the Villiger name on it. Eventually, Villiger reversed its course of action and decided to continue using the Villiger name, including in the Cuellar Connecticut Krēmē. While Villiger has streamlined is packaging and banding across its many brands, Cuellar has been one that has maintained its own unique design and that has carried over to the Villiger Cuellar Black Forest release.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Villiger Cuellar Black Forest Toro Gordo and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The dark wrapper of the Villiger Cuellar Black Forest is a Mexican San Andres Maduro. This covers an all-Dominican blend. Keeping to the Villiger Cuellar’s roots, the cigar is produced at Tabacalera Palma in the Dominican Republic.
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Maduro
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera Palma
The Villiger Cuellar Black Forest is available in four box-pressed sizes – each presented in 20-count boxes.
Robusto: 5 x 48
Toro Gordo: 6 x 54
Torpedo 6 1/4 x 52
Churchill: 7 x 50
The Mexican San Andres wrapper of the Villiger Cuellar Black Forest Toro Gordo had a milk chocolate color to it. Upon closer examination, there was some mottling present on the surface. The wrapper had a slight amount of oil on it. This cigar was pretty much void of any significant visible wrapper seams and veins. The box press of the Toro Gordo had a slight Cuban soft press to it.
The band to the Villiger Cuellar Black Forest is similar to the design found on the Cuellar Connecticut Krēmē, but with a different color scheme. The band of the Cuellar Black Forest is black with silver font (the Cuellar Connecticut Krēmē uses white with silver font). The center of the band has the text “Cuellar” in a cursive font on a circular field. Above the cursive text is a small Villiger logo and the text “VILLIGER.” Below the cursive text is a crown. The remainder of the band has silver adornments to the left and right. To the left of the field is the text “HAND MADE 1998” and to the right is the text “1998 LONG FILLER.” There was also silver trim toward the upper and lower portion of the band.
There is also a secondary band that sits below the primary band. This band is forest green in color with silver font. The center of the band has the text “BLACK FOREST” arranged in a curved fashion. Above that text is a design of a series of pine trees. To the left is the text “HECHO A MANO REPUBLICA DOMINICANA” and to the right is the text “HECHO A MANO REPUBLICA DOMINICANA.”.There was also silver trim toward the upper and lower portion of the band.
A straight cut was used to remove the cap of the Villiger Cuellar Black Forest Toro Gordo. From that point it was on to the pre-light draw ritual. The cold draw delivered a mix of chocolate, cream, earth, and a very subtle slight red pepper bite. Overall, this was an excellent pre-light draw experience. At this point it was time to light up the foot of the Villiger Cuellar Black Forest Toro Gordo and await what the smoking experience would have in store.
The Villiger Cuellar Black Forest Toro Gordo opened up with notes of mocha, citrus, white pepper, and cedar. Mocha is a term I use to describe chocolate and coffee notes that are pretty much joined at the hip. The mocha notes moved into the forefront early on with the other notes settling in the background. During the first third, the chocolate component of the mocha was more dominant. There was an inherent sweetness to the chocolate. Meanwhile on the retro-hale was an additional layer of cedar along with some classic wood notes.
During the second third, there was a time when the mocha shifted to more of an espresso syrup quality. There also was a slight increase in the citrus component. By the second half of the Villiger Cuellar Black Forest Toro Gordo, the espresso syrup became more of a black coffee note. There also was an increase in the cedar and pepper in the background.
The last third didn’t see many changes. The mocha notes still were in the forefront consisting of a combination of black coffee and chocolate. This was rounded off by notes of citrus, white pepper, and cedar. This was the way the Villiger Cuellar Black Forest Toro Gordo came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
The burn of the Villiger Cuellar Black Forest Toro Gordo performed very well. This is a cigar that maintained a straight burn path and straight burn line from start to finish. The resulting ash was firm with a near-white color to it. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to the Cuellar Black Forest struck a nice balance between resistance and openness. While I still prefer a little more resistance on the draw, this still wasn’t a loose draw.
Strength and Body
Despite its dark appearance and theme, the Villiger Cuellar Black Forest is not a cigar that is going to overpower you with strength and body. This is a cigar that started out mild to medium in strength and medium in body. Both the strength and body increased. By the second half, the strength level crossed the threshold of medium. As for the body, while it did slightly increase, it still remained in the medium range.
The Villiger Cuellar Black Forest Toro Gordo is an excellent release by Villiger and by Tabacalera Palma. While it’s not overpowering in terms of strength and body there’s still a richness to the flavors and this worked quite well with this release. Many times a San Andres Maduro wrapper can overpower a blend with a pungent spice, but this is not the case with the Villiger Cuellar Black Forest Toro Gordo. Tabacalera Palma has quietly put out two of the best smokes I’ve had in the past twelve months with this cigar and the La Galera Anemoi Eurus. The Cuellar Black Forest Toro Gordo is a cigar I would recommend to any cigar enthusiast. It’s a cigar that I would not only smoke again, but buy a box of them.
Key Flavors: Mocha (Espresso/Coffee/Chocolate), Citrus, White Pepper, Cedar, Classic Wood
Draw: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Minus
Strength: Mild to Medium (1st Half), Medium (2nd Half)
Value: Box Purchase
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop