Micallef Grande Bold Mata Fina and Villiger La Meridiana Cigars

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there (take that any way you want!). There was some interesting news this week from Cornelius & Anthony regarding both restructuring their staff and not attending IPCPR. I happen to enjoy a good professional relationship with the company, and several of their cigars are among my favorite cigars. That being said, this news causes me concern for the future of the brand. I don’t want to speak out of turn, because it would be speculation on my part, but I’m glad I have a stockpile of favorites, and will continue to support the brand as Stephen Bailey notes that he has no intention of shutting it down.

I continued pretty much smoking what I wanted to smoke this week, but I did smoke a few new cigars to talk about today. First was the Micallef Grande Bold Mata Fina that I picked up at an event I attended a few weeks back at CigarCigars in Phoenixville, PA. I hadn’t smoked any cigars from Micallef before that event, and I’m not too much further along than that now, this is only about the third one I’ve smoked. This was the 5″ x 56 robusto, wrapped in a Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler.  I found this to be a very unique and interesting tasting cigar. There was a savory meatyness as opposed to being a sweeter maduro. The first draw was almost like when you take a drink out of a class thinking it’s coke and it turns out to be tea, I was expecting sweet and got something different! IT certainly wasn’t unpleasant, once I got used to the idea that I was getting an entré and not desert!  The burn and draw were perfect, and the cigar provided me with a very satisfying experience. I bought a handful of cigars that night and I don’t remember the price but they all seemed to be reasonable. I still have a couple left to sample.

Villiger Cigars, like Cornelius & Anthony Cigars, is also skipping the IPCPR show this year, which is probably much bigger news. While Villiger is pretty small in the premium cigar world, they are huge in the mass market segment, especially outside of the US. They have struggled to increase their footprint in premiums, and have put out some really good cigars in the last few years. The latest is another partnership with Joya de Nicaragua, which makes their La Vencedora line and is called La Meridiana, which has been available in Europe for 20 years. They say they believe that now is the right time to bring this cigar to the US, but I’m confused by this, because this seems to me to be quintessentially American in flavor profile. I’m actually surprised that this has been so well received in Europe.  The samples I received were the 6″ x 54 box pressed Toro, which is not a size I believe is available in Europe. Still, checked all my boxes as far as favorite flavors. It’s all Nicaraguan, obviously something that Joya de Nicaragua excels with, so it’s loaded with cocoa and coffee notes, which we all know I enjoy. It had a sweetness I enjoyed, THIS was a desert cigar, and I liked it a lot. Even though these had only had a few days in the humidor since arriving, the cigar burned perfectly. I was very happy with the experience.

Well, that’s enough from me for today, until the next time,