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Old 12-26-2009, 03:38 PM   #1
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Default Villazon no more...

http://www.cigarcyclopedia.com/webap.../view/1617/27/

Los Angeles, December 22, 2009 – The commercial cigar industry is more than 400 years old and in that time, the process of making cigars by hand hasn’t changed much. But the business of cigars has.

The famed Villazon factory in Cofradia, Honduras – now known as Honduras American Tobacco, S.A. or “HATSA” – completed operations as a cigar manufacturing plant on December 11. This was the location where iconic brands such as El Rey del Mundo, Excalibur, Hoyo de Monterrey, Punch and many others were made for decades, but the pressure on costs forced General Cigar to make a change.

According to Dan Carr, chief operating officer of General Cigar, “To achieve greater efficiency across our business units, we have restructured our Honduran cigar operations. All of our Honduran cigar production will now take place in our facilities in Danli, while our Cofradia operation will focus solely on tobacco processing and warehousing.”

General acquired both of these facilities in transactions between 1996 and 2004. It purchased the Villazon & Co. operation in 1996, before being acquired itself by Swedish Match in 2000. A long-running dispute between U.S. Tobacco and Swedish Match over the marketing of smokeless tobacco was settled in 2004 and as part of the agreement, U.S. Tobacco’s cigar operations in Honduras – known as U.S. Cigar Sales, including the factory in Danli – were handed over to General Cigar. That factory had been set up to create and manufacture brands such as Astral, Don Tomas, Helix and others, all now part of the General stable. It will now be the home of Hoyo, Punch and the other Villazon brands.

Honduran cigar imports into the U.S. have been way down in 2009 and will likely fall behind Nicaragua to become the no. 3 exporter of cigars for the American market. For General, however, the move to convert the Cofradia plant to tobacco processing gives them flexibility for the future to reinstate manufacturing there is needed in the future.
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Old 12-26-2009, 03:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: Villazon no more...

Wow that is some amazing news.
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Old 12-31-2016, 11:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: Villazon no more...

What's happening with them these days I wonder?
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Old 01-01-2017, 07:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: Villazon no more...

Interesting pull from the past. I remember liking Honduran cigars from the late 90's. Don't remember much else about them though.
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Old 01-01-2017, 08:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: Villazon no more...

I was a total Villazon whore. There are still a few options out there with the same taste profile, but not many.
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Old 01-02-2017, 07:03 AM   #6
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Default Re: Villazon no more...

I used to like the maduros that came out of there. I remember I had a whole box of the "trumpet" shaped Flor de LaVonda once. But I smoked a lot more Consuegras...
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: Villazon no more...

Aren't a lot of Villizon produced cigars still made with Honduran based blends (someplace still in Honduras?, maybe same place?), but no longer at that factory?

I still enjoy the El Rey del Mundo Robustos, and they are very similar in taste profile to what I remember all the way back to the early 80s.

While the facilities may be repurposed, the cigars are still excellent.
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: Villazon no more...

I remember the El Rey del Mundo
Flor de Llaneza (Pyramid) boxes of 35.....
I had 2 that had so much bloom....it tasted like a chocolate bar on fire...awesome
I've often thought about getting another 35 count box and burying it in the cooler for a year....
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:46 AM   #9
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Default Re: Villazon no more...

Aside from the maduro Connies and ERDMs mentioned, the JR Ultimates also still have that sweet and earthy Villazon profile I enjoy. In fact, I am enjoying a Habanito as I type. It's a bargain short smoke perfect for this time of year, though I keep them in rotation all 12 months.

Otherwise, I can't think of others which retain that flavor. But I am open to suggestion.

Here's a question for thought. Had Lew Rothman remained actively involved in the business, would Villazon still be in operation today? I think that with his long history and relationship there, there is a chance.
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Old 01-02-2017, 03:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: Villazon no more...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sigsauer View Post
I remember the El Rey del Mundo
Flor de Llaneza (Pyramid) boxes of 35.....
I had 2 that had so much bloom....it tasted like a chocolate bar on fire...awesome
I've often thought about getting another 35 count box and burying it in the cooler for a year....
Have had a few of those, but they were a bit more expensive per stick than the Robustos... and you have to love the tissue wrapped presentation. They are good though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Poet View Post
Aside from the maduro Connies and ERDMs mentioned, the JR Ultimates also still have that sweet and earthy Villazon profile I enjoy. In fact, I am enjoying a Habanito as I type. It's a bargain short smoke perfect for this time of year, though I keep them in rotation all 12 months.

I haven't had an Ultimate in quite a while, used to smoke quite a few Prinicipales - great smokes. I even enjoyed a few in the candela wrapper. I suppose the Habanitos are fairly inexpensive, but they are not a very long smoke.

Otherwise, I can't think of others which retain that flavor. But I am open to suggestion.

Like I said somewhere else once, the ERdM Robusto is one of the few which new sticks seem to taste just like the ones I smoked in the '80s.

Here's a question for thought. Had Lew Rothman remained actively involved in the business, would Villazon still be in operation today? I think that with his long history and relationship there, there is a chance.
You might be right, but JR Cigars still has a great relationship with those brands formerly owned and made there. In fact, I think Lew pulled out after Llaneza sold out back in the late 1990s.
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Old 01-02-2017, 04:27 PM   #11
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Default Re: Villazon no more...

Yeah, Todd, the Habanitos won't last more than 20-30 minutes, but it's not like a robusto burns as long as does a Churchill.

And yeah, Lew and Frank were very close, but I haven't talked to Lew in over 10 years, so do not know his reasons for backing away from JRs. He supposedly retained everyday control of the shops after he sold out to Altadis, and he even wrote a little something for the catalog a few months back, yet I'm unsure what role he now holds, if any.

Even though I wasn't surprised when Steve Saka left, as he repeatedly complained about his inability to spend more time with family in New England. I was somewhat shocked when Lew sold out the company he built, and named after his father. Lew is a t-shirt and jeans millionaire, one who preferred his pick-up to his Beemer, so it wasn't for the money.
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Old 01-02-2017, 06:58 PM   #12
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Default Re: Villazon no more...

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Poet View Post
Yeah, Todd, the Habanitos won't last more than 20-30 minutes, but it's not like a robusto burns as long as does a Churchill.

And yeah, Lew and Frank were very close, but I haven't talked to Lew in over 10 years, so do not know his reasons for backing away from JRs. He supposedly retained everyday control of the shops after he sold out to Altadis, and he even wrote a little something for the catalog a few months back, yet I'm unsure what role he now holds, if any.

Even though I wasn't surprised when Steve Saka left, as he repeatedly complained about his inability to spend more time with family in New England. I was somewhat shocked when Lew sold out the company he built, and named after his father. Lew is a t-shirt and jeans millionaire, one who preferred his pick-up to his Beemer, so it wasn't for the money.
Did not know Lew, but ordered form him for years and visited his stores. He was quite the card.
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Old 01-02-2017, 07:56 PM   #13
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Default Re: Villazon no more...

Nice guy, Lew. Down to earth. We locals used to hold these massive 100+ bozo herfs at his Route 10 shop in Whippany (well, East Hanover actually, but it was always called The Whip) 3 or 4 times a year, and Lew would join us bozos an hour or three for a smoke and drink . . . him, usually a cigarette or three and coffee. So don't think we were tight, but we were more than civil.
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Old 08-01-2018, 11:30 PM   #14
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Default Re: Villazon no more...

Quote:
Originally Posted by RevSmoke View Post
Did not know Lew, but ordered form him for years and visited his stores. He was quite the card.
I've also have been ordering from him for years but never met him personally.
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