2020 Villiger San’Doro Colorado | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5 x 50 Robusto
Strength: Medium
Price: $8.00 (A buck less online)


Today we take a look at the 2020 Villiger San’Doro Colorado.
Snagged a 5 pack online a couple months ago. Dry boxed for 3 days.

BACKGROUND:
From Cigars International:
“A Top 25 Cigar of 2016 and 2018, for good reason. Villiger San’Doro Colorado is a decadent morsel. It’s balanced, with just enough kick to keep your interest the entire way through. Adorned with an Ecuadorian-grown Colorado-shade wrapper atop Nicaraguan long-fillers, Villiger San’Doro Colorado booms with notes of leather, cashew, and a slight hint of honey. Be sure to add this to your collection ASAP, as I’m sure they’ll fly off the racks.

“Good news, Villiger San’Doro has earned a few noteworthy ratings, as high as 93-points, and landed at #15 on the Top 25 Cigars of 2018 list. One review noted: “The cigar smokes evenly, delivering earthy, nutty impressions fortified by hearty notes of charred red meat.”

From Cigar Aficionado:
“Villiger is a company with a long tobacco history that dates back to the 1800s. The company’s history in the premium sector, however, isn’t quite as long—closer to 10 years. The company is based in Switzerland, and its premium products are distributed through Villiger Cigars North America, with the U.S. as its primary market. Efforts to infiltrate the high-end sector have resulted in an entire portfolio, and the most memorable is the Villiger San’Doro Colorado.

“The name pays homage to tobacco lore. According to Villiger, when Christopher Columbus brought tobacco back to Europe, it was referred to as the holy or sacred plant of India, also called San’Doro. The Ecuadoran and Nicaraguan tobaccos in this blend pair beautifully, and the San’Doro is a fine addition to the premium cigar world—even if it took Villiger more than a century to get there.”

SIZES AND PRICING:
Robusto 5 x 50 $8.00
Toro 6 x 50 $8.50
Churchill 7 x 50 $9.00

APPEARANCE:
It’s a shame that almost all of us cigar addicts never really get to see how beautiful some cigars really are. Why? Because we don’t have the time to admire…or, we see the cigar in room light. Room light rings the death knell for a cigar presentation. If we are in the right light outdoors, we have a better chance of seeing detail.

In room light, the San’Doro Colorado is nothing more than a plain looking stick with a dull paper bag brown hue. Splash some light on the cigar and colors and appearance pop like a 12-year-old boy with his first pup tent.

The wrapper is dripping with a gorgeous rusty oil tone. Plenty of veinage but nothing obtrusive or yucky. Seams are invisible. The triple cap is nicely done. The cigar is packed to the gills with tobacco; yet there is enough resistance when squeezed to tell that it will be a nice slow roll. And the cigar bands offset the cigar’s color in perfect coordination.

SMELL THE GLOVE:
There is a lovely floral note that is followed by dark chocolate, creaminess, buttery caramel, strong cedar, malt, a touch of espresso, gentle black pepper, barnyard, raisins, and smoked meat.

The cold draw…I can’t. The cigar needs the help of my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool to flow freely. Only two pelvic thrusts and the cigar is born free. And as usual, the plug occurred right at the cigar band level. Someday, I gotta ask someone why a plug is attracted to the top third of the cigar.

Once again, the cold draw presents flavors of caramel, black pepper, dark cocoa, espresso, malt, roasted nuts, cedar, and beef jerky.

FIRST THIRD:
The draw is a bit tight, but for now it will do.
A nice group of flavors hit my palate immediately: Creaminess, black pepper, raisins, caramel, smoked meat, chocolate, and coffee. Very nice start.
There is a hint of complexity in the first puffs. Fingers crossed.

I say fingers crossed because I don’t have the chance to smoke my test cigars first thing in the morning any longer due to my gig at the cigar lounge. When I do get to try them, I’ve had a couple cigars that day and my palate gets a bit crispy. Still, if it’s good, it shines through the detritus of a filthy palate. (Good band name).

The cigar is light with tiny gestures of flitting flavors that accrue into what might be a very good cigar.

Now, Cigar Aficionado has been very kind to this blend since 2016. Scores of 90 or higher. But then we all know the voracity of a CA cigar review. Is there anyone left that has any faith in their choices or outcomes?
Me neither.

The cigar pours smoke into the room. It’s bookie night at the VFW.
Strength begins at a solid medium.

There is a nice natural woody presence. I know…what the hell does wood taste like? I believe this just translates into the rich soil the plants were grown in.

The first couple months at Prime Cigar, I handed out hundreds of my katman business cards. I never heard a word from anyone. I figured they either tossed the card, didn’t read any of the reviews, read the reviews and hated them, or read them and forgot about it immediately.

Then a light switch was flipped. I have gotten dozens of regular’s comment: “I read some of your reviews.”
Then there is always a pregnant pause, and a big sucking of air from me, as I wait for the subject to go further. So far, the comments have been positive. Huge relief. 90% of cigar lounge patrons have never read a single online cigar review.

There is this one nice young man, a cop, who comes in to buy and run all the time. I swear he is star struck. He just stares at me at the register. He hasn’t a clue what to say. I talk and he just stares without blinking. I’m guessing it’s not the cigar reviews, but rather, some of the rock stories. I’m spit ballin’ here, but I don’t know how else to explain it.

Complexity begins. Transitions start to form. There is a nice creamy, peppery finish.

The burn is even and isn’t a troublemaker.
The cigar goes into turbo thrust mode. A nearly overwhelming richness takes over. It splays out the flavors into a Monopoly board pattern.

It seems early for the flavors to begin a morphing process…you can’t stop progress.

This is an excellent morning cigar with coffee. It’s light but intense. It is a panorama of different incidental flavor elements. It wants to suck my dick…er, wait…damn Freud.

A potent cinnamon component kicks into high gear. Like Red Hots candy. It is fiery.

The smoked meatiness jumps into the fray. The chocolate turns into Mexican mole sauce…( Spicy, smoky, and earthy-sweet notes contributed by ingredients such as chiles, nuts, warm spices, raisins, and tomato).

I can see the jaded reviewers at CA liking this cigar. It is certainly nothing like your usual Nic blend.
The first third impresses.

SECOND THIRD:
The blend digs deeper. It is getting very near to a richness that might define the stick. Subtleties abound as shards of flavors dart about tagging my palate and then escaping.

I am enjoying the shit out of this cigar. My last review was the JFR Lunatic Loco. That cigar nearly decapitated my nipples. By the first third, I was reeling. That review was a chore. This San’Doro Colorado goes down smooth without ripping my medulla oblongata to shreds.

The creaminess kicks in hard at this point; dragging with it the chocolate and raisins. This actually tastes decadent now. My lips start flapping so as to soak up all that flavor fragmented finish.

I tried one ROTT. I’m a stupid man. Might as well have flushed it.

I remove the bands because they won’t budge as I try to slide them. And so, I remove them to discover it is just one band made to look like two. Now we’re naked and ready for love.
Strength decides to up the ante. We should hit medium/full directly.

I mentioned the cop at the cigar lounge staring at me because it reminded me of being in Curved Air. Any of you musicians who have nabbed a high impact gig with a touring band know what I mean. Fans always did the same thing. They would get themselves in front of you and then just stare…no speaking…just staring. Then I realized they expected me to continue to entertain them. I was expected to start the conversation. Ever have 7 young men surround you and just stare? Me neither.

I do remember one incident when one of the fans left the dressing room, he motioned he wanted to whisper something to me. He told me he had a song just for me. And that he was going to let me have it. He winked and said “The chords are E, A, & D.” I thanked him profusely and then made the trip back to earth with the other mortals.

I find a definitive uniqueness to this blend. It is earthy and woodsy while providing a simpatico balance of savory v. sweet. No flavors jump out at this halfway point…the morph is totally in play. Perfect for the cigar smoker who knows what he likes and doesn’t care about dissecting flavors.

One moment, it is a full course Mexican dinner, then it becomes a Butterfinger candy bar.
The spiciness is right where I like it…there is plenty of oomph without the nagging of hot tamales in the back of my throat.

Nothing linear about this cigar. It improves with each puff. The complexity does not cease in expanding its parameters. Transitions are moving like the wind. The finish adds some black licorice to its menu.

We have medium/full.

I had a customer yesterday who is 76 years old; and sharp as a tack. This is so rare. Don’t normally see customers older than their 50’s. I mention this as having a customer who remembers the shit that happened back in the 1950’s-1960’s is a magic carpet ride. We had a glorious time. I told him how old does he feel knowing he was alive during the FDR administration? He grimaced and laughed. I didn’t come into being until Truman was president. He is a decorated Nam pilot. And a captain. He said he would come back, and I really hope he does. He did tell me that he was dating a younger woman before he got married 8 months ago. He was having dinner with woman and he mentioned Jack Kennedy. She said, “Who?” He said he knew this would be his first and last date with the broad. I nodded and said he needed to look for adults to date.

The San’Doro Colorado makes a huge leap and pushes the boundaries of complexity. The blend is so intense that I want to eat the cigar. And all done without being so strong that my butt plug catches fire.

Construction has been top notch. No burn issues. For a $7-$8 cigar…I’m duly impressed.
I’m grateful that this cigar is so jam packed with tobaccy. No rush seen by the cigar to hurry up and finish.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but CA was right about praising this blend.

LAST THIRD:
I’m totally relaxed. My anus has flattened out to the size of a dollar pancake.

A sip of water and all the aforementioned flavors slap me in the face. And then they retreat to morph status.

I’ve been on a secret mission…I’ve tried to find really good cigars under $10. I realize I have spent most of my time reviewing looking at boutique blends. But lately, everything new is a limited edition. No point in reviewing something that by the time I get around to it, you can’t buy it any longer. I’m learning this lesson the longer I work at Prime Cigar. About 25% of customers choose very inexpensive cigars. I see myself as doing God’s work by showing them that for a couple bucks more, they can still maintain their budget but get a stick that will taste like something besides hay.

A gorgeously balanced blend. The last third, to my amazement, finds large leaps of complexity and flavor.
The strength is still maintaining a comfortable medium/full experience. No nicotine. Smooth. Nuances are splitting atoms.

Listen to your Uncle Katman…if you choose to try this cigar, let it rest in your humidor for a couple months. Nothing less. More if you have the patience of Job.

I’m at the point that I might just put down the cigar and finish the review. Not with this baby…I’m still sucking on the roach like a hungry piglet on its momma’s teat. I really don’t want to put this cigar down.

This was a nice surprise. A delicious cigar with some soul. If you haven’t tried the San’Doro Colorado, it’s time.

RATING: 93

And now for something completely different:

1984…I’d had it with the music industry. A whole decade at the top of my game artistically. And a whole decade of the industry financially fucking me in the ass.

My Eddie Munster project went down in flames. My recording studio partner was embezzling while I was on the road with Butch promoting the record.

Here is how the downfall began: I wanted a production deal with the record company; Rocshire Records.

This means that instead of signing a standard recording deal, I had my entertainment lawyer draw up my own contract.

What all this shit means is that I put every cent of my own money into this music project. My grandfather had passed a few years earlier and I had the dough. Plus, I had investors.
My purpose, at my cost, was to do everything. Hand the record company a finished product…Final mixed tunes, artwork for the single sleeve, and music video. All they had to do was press the 45 single, promote it, and distribute it.

On the return in the first quarter of sales, I got a check. We sold 3600 records in less than a week and then the quarter changed. I got 25¢ per single. My first check was for $900. Know how much I got in Curved Air? 5¢ per album. And now the cocksuckers are telling me there isn’t enough royalties on the albums I played on to issue me a check. First time in 40 years. Meanwhile, the sale of these albums is prolific. Not to mention, I played on countless compilation albums. Rat bastards.

Then it took off. We sold 181,000 units before Rocshire was shut down by the F.B.I.
That would have been $45,250 ($107K in 2018 dollars). It would have covered my nut; plus some.

Even though the records continued to sell, the FBI confiscated all funds. I was now broke. My house disappeared. They tried to get my car but I became homeless and lived out of it for a while. Friends put me up here and there.

I got out of Dodge…so to speak (later)…

I walked away from my cheating studio partner. I tried to get a restraining order to stop him from selling valuable recording equipment to feed his habit; but my lawyer fucked up. I had thought of just killing him. Comme ci comme ça…

I ran into an old high school friend. He had a working band. The foursome was fantastic. I became their manager. I did their sound. After all, I had just produced a few thousand bands so live sound was a walk in the park. And I got to party.

Still young and good looking, I thought I had a lot of friends….oops…not true. While I was a rock star, they were friends. After the previous disaster, no one took my phone call. I was a pariah like this was entirely my fault.

I moved up to South Lake Tahoe with the band and hung out for the summer of ’84.
I met Charlotte there. We hit it off. I became a kept man even though the band was paying me like a 5th member.

The keys player and the drummer were brothers…in their mid/late 20’s. Handsome lady killers. And they knew it.
The bassist was a nerdy geek. Naturally. And the guitarist/violinist/keys player/vocalist was the leader. I knew him from 16 years earlier in high school.

Four-part harmonies. Great players. Always had dates to play.
The brothers were from Dodge City, Kansas (I did say “later”).
And the band was going to play as headliners for Dodge City Days.

We drove from NorCal with all the equipment. And planned to stay two weeks.
The brothers had family there. We stayed with their uncle who owned a buffalo ranch in Ensign…outside of Dodge.

He had a large barn that he divided into two parts. One was your typical barn a rancher must have. The other half was a playroom. Pool table, video games, pin ball, full kitchen, and lots of old couches.

There was a shoe box on the fridge full of weed. The uncle had a small garden of veggies out behind the house and he hid his plants amongst those veggie plants.
Plus, the local sheriff always brought the uncle any weed the cops confiscated.

We were encouraged to take handfuls of weed any time we wanted. It was never hidden. Always open for the taking.

But man, it was fucking hot! Over 100° every single day. Thank God it was a very dry heat.
We did the 2-hour tourist tour of Dodge. Boring. Poor man’s Knott’s Berry Farm. So, tourist driven that it was embarrassing.
They had a Dairy Queen.

There were so many family members at the ranch that sleeping arrangements were doled out helter skelter. I got to sleep in an old trailer. No electricity: so, I had to run a single extension cord. I had two choices. The first was to use it for TV. Or…to use it to run the A/C. Couldn’t do both.

The Summer Olympics were on in L.A. I spent my time stoned and watching the games. I’m not kidding when I say there was nothing to do in this God forsaken place.

I actually had a part in the prep for the Olympic Games through my recording studio. That’s another story I need to tell. Long Beach hosted 4 sporting events.

Every day, the trailer was swarmed with Amazonian sized flying bugs. They liked to crawl under the sheets of my bed. Every night, I pulled back the bedding only to find a few dozen banana sized bugs. Good thing I wasn’t armed.

Word got out that “Californians” were in town. We would just be hanging out under a tree shooing giant, jungle sized bugs away in the ferocious heat when we got visitors.
Pickup trucks only. I don’t think anyone within a 100-mile radius owned a car.
These strange visitors were roughly our age. Cowboy hats. Big belt buckles. Chawin’ tobaccy.

And each and every one of them pulled out some joints saying, “I betcha’ you city boys never smoked shit like this here stuff befo’.”
They were right every time.

I spent the entire two weeks blasted out of my mind. Everyone wanted to impress us and those two weeks are now a blur.

We did the concert in the park. The whole town of Dodge, and surrounding farming communities, showed up to see the city slickers play rock n roll. That was the only fun time of the two weeks. I did the sound so naturally it’s a perfect place to be to pick up on chicks.

…One last memory of that time.
The brothers’ mom lived in Colorado but made the trip to Dodge City with her lesbian partner.
Mom was a beautiful, sweet woman. Kind and considerate. Sense of humor.
Her partner was rude, crude, and obnoxious and a real bull dyke.

Charlotte had officially become my girlfriend by then. We wrote. (Remember…this was 1984…no smart phones).
I was excited one day from one of her letters. The lesbo started asking me, in front of Mom, “What kind of lay is she? Is she good? I bet she is. What does her vagina feel like? Does she fuck good?”

Mom was outraged and while sweet; not brain surgeon material, said, “Oh I’m sure she is a good fuck. You don’t have to say that to him. He’s such a nice boy.”

All we ate was buffalo and corn on the cob. Hundreds of acres of corn. And hundreds of head of buffalo.
We ate buffalo steaks, hamburgers, roasts, jerky, stew, liver, and blood sausage.

I haven’t eaten buffalo since. Besides, it is too dry. No fat…that’s why it is so healthy.
I was ready to leave on the 3rd day. The smell of buffalo goes a long way. Hundreds of buffalo make it a garbage pit.

Two fucking weeks in Kansas. Why Dorothy wanted to go home is beyond me.



Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

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