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Villiger Debuts Premium Smoke

Swiss company Villiger & Sons, known for producing small, machine-made cigars, has released the Villiger 1888, its first handmade premium cigar bearing the Villiger brand name.
The company recently launched the cigar at a grand gala dinner in Switzerland in celebration of its 120th anniversary.
Heinrich Villiger, CEO of the Pfeffikon-based company, teamed up with Matias Maragoto of the Abam S.A. factory in the Dominican Republic and Adalberto Ruiz Calderón of ASP Enterprises to create the new cigar, which consists of Ecuadoran Connecticut-shade wrapper and an undisclosed blend.
"Villiger has historically sourced the finest cigar tobaccos from countries around the world, and every cigar has a unique blend," said Villiger. "Among the many blends that were considered for 1888 there were blends containing Cuban leaf, but because the U.S. market was so important to the success of the brand, we felt it necessary to make a blend that would be consistent around the world."
The initial blend, Villiger added, contained about 30 percent Cuban tobacco, but he decided against taking that route on account of the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba. While the specifics of the blend remain secret, Villiger did say that the 1888 brand contains no Sumatra, Java or Asian tobaccos.
The Dominican-made Villiger 1888 has already been released in Switzerland and Germany. It’s available in three premium sizes: Corona, 6 inches by 43 ring; Robusto, 4 3/4 by 50; and Short Robusto, 4 by 50; and in one machine-made size: Puritos, 4 by 28. They come in boxes of 25, with five-packs of tubed cigars also offered.
The Villiger 1888 brand will not be available in the United States until 2009 and will be distributed by U.S./Villiger Stokkebye, the same company that distributes Villiger’s machine-made products in the United States. American prices have yet to be determined; the cigars presently retail in Europe for 6.30 to 7.90 euros ($8 to $10).
Villiger 1888 is scheduled to make its official U.S. debut in March at the annual Tobacconists’ Association of America convention in Cancún, Mexico.

Source: Cigar Aficionado