Villiger Trill Torpedo Gordo
Here at Casas Fumando we are always open to guest reviews, and this most recent guest review has come to use from Jeff Oda in Seattle. Jeff has been a long time reader and probably the most active reader/commenter on our site for some time. Over the last few years Jeremy and I have had contact contact with the guy, traded sticks, and even pulled off a few beer trades. You guys should all be well aware of Jeff by now, but if you aren’t, he popped up in a guest review of the cigar that I created when I was in Nicaragua at the Drew Estate Cigar Safari last year and then again with an excellent review of Nomad’s Vagabond, one of EO Brands 601 Green Label, La Gloria Cubana’s Rabito de Cochino, Villiger’s La Libertad, Bonita Smoke Shop’s Time Warp Big Ben, Nomad C-276 Torpedo, L’Atelier Extension de la Racine ER13, Bodega Reunión Aperitivo and Digestivo by Bodega Premium Blends, Viva Republica Propaganda Disinformation, Toraño Vault D-042, Viaje Black 50/50, Villager Talanga Toro, and his most recent review of the Espinosa Mi Barrio. He’s been racking them in, and at this rate we should be considering making him a regular! Please show him some love! – Tony
As Villiger North America extends its reach into the American market, newer premium cigar releases continue to come from the Swiss company. I have previously reviewed their La Libertad, as well as the Villiger Talanga. The Trill was released last year along with the Cuellar Connecticut Kreme (pronounced “creamy”) and Cabarette Maduro. The Trill is a Dominican puro and is produced at Jochy Blanco’s Tabacalera Palma factory, and comes in five sizes: Robusto 5 x 50, Toro 6 x 54, Gordo 6.25 x 60, Torpedo Gordo 4.5 x 62, and Corona 5 x 46.
The one I will be reviewing was among a handful of cigars given to me by Villiger’s NW rep, Ed Ryan (@pdxcigars) when we met at an event at Stogies n Hops in Lynnwood, WA last month, and will be my first experience with the cigar.
Wrapper: Dominican Habano
Binder: Dominican Cuban seed
Filler: Dominican Cuban seed Corojo and Criollo ‘98
Size: Torpedo Gordo 4.5 x 62
Smoking time: One hour, forty-five minutes
Pairing: Fremont Spring Elixir Imperial IPA (10.5% ABV)
The Villiger Trill Torpedo Gordo is a squat, Nub-like bugger neatly wrapped in a dark milk chocolate Habano leaf with one prominent vein and a couple of minor ones, and a nice oily sheen to it. The band is a blending of traditional and modern in black, white, and gold foil, and a dark gold ribbon acts as a foot band to cap off the presentation. The scent off of the wrapper is of tart barnyard, tobacco, and a very slight hint of cocoa, while the foot shows an aroma of earthy tobacco and a touch of leather. The foot band is a bit of a pain to remove, as it is tightly applied to the cigar with a very tacky tape. A fairly shallow snip of the cap produces a very open draw showing sweet tobacco, earth, and a peppery tingle on the back of the throat.
Not surprisingly, it takes a bit of time to get the 62rg Trill properly toasted with my single flame torch, as it starts off with deep (rather than bright) cedar notes on top of earthy tobacco and light coffee. Pepper is present in the form flavor rather than bite. However, the first layer of wrapping on the cap lifted and had to be torn off, and I will now have to be careful not to let the rest of it unravel. I’m glad that I’m smoking this one outside, as it is pumping out a ton of rather pungent stationary smoke. The burn in the first ½” is pretty wavy, so I’m hoping it evens itself out. The cedar has stepped up and the tobacco flavor has taken on an aged mustiness, and the pepper has moved to the background. At the 1” mark, the wood has turned oaky, and a light sweetness has emerged, while the pepper has rebounded in the so far medium stick (or stump, if you prefer). One thing I’m noticing is that while a single pull on the Trill produces a decent mouthful of smoke, a double draw gives a much more satisfying concentration of flavor.
The home stretch
After an hour of smoking the Villiger Trill, I’m finally at the half-way point, and the ash just fell into my lap and disintegrated upon impact. I have a feeling that things will be going a lot quicker from this point forward. The flavor has morphed into a woody bread, if there is such a thing (yes, I know that back when fiber was first being pushed back in the day, bakeries actually used wood cellulose to boost the fiber content of their breads, but it sure didn’t taste like this), and a brighter citric note has crept in. The pepper is now a thing of the past, as the Trill continues to go its merry medium-bodied way, while the double puffs are no longer warranted. With a couple of inches to go, the flavors have deepened, pushing the Villiger Trill over the medium bodied threshold, while the strength has crept up a bit to somewhere around medium. The oak has reverted to cedar, while the breadiness holds on. After an hour and forty-five minutes of smoke time, it’s finally gotten a little unwieldy to hold on to, and it’s time to put it down, although if I had dragged my lazy ass inside for a toothpick, I could easily have gotten another five minutes out of it.
Going into this review of the Villiger Trill, I thought that it would be a short write up of a quick smoke. I was wrong about that, and happily so. I was expecting an hour or so of smoking, but this little guy gave me more enjoyment in a much more protracted experience than I thought it would. Although it did eventually require a few touch-ups, I did not have any re-lights, and the flavors, while not terribly complex, did have some nice transitions, while smoking cool and without harshness all the way down to the nub. After the initial lifting of the cap, careful handling gave me no further problems. I am intrigued enough to want to check out the smaller ring gauges to see what they would have to offer, although this experience would be a warning to me that the gordo would probably be a bit too much cigar – in terms of time, not strength – for me. Thanks again to Ed for providing me with this sample!
This is seemingly the thousandth review I’ve done featuring Seattle’s Fremont Brewing, and for good reason: they just make damned good beers (plus, they’re located just a mile or so from where I live). The Fremont/Bartell Drugs 125th Anniversary Spring Elixir Imperial IPA was made to commemorate Bartell’s 125th year in business in Washington state, making it the oldest continually family owned drug store in the country. Extremely limited in quantity in bombers and growlers, and sold only at Bartell outlets (and on tap at Fremont’s beer garden), this full bodied, oily textured brew pours an orange/amber tinged gold and displays tropical mango and papaya fruit, orange, and grapefruit notes on top of malty sweetness, with a nice hoppy balancing finish. This all plays extremely well with the flavors that the Villiger Trill has to offer, and any Imperial IPA with similar qualities would go perfectly with this cigar.