Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Toro
Size : 5 x 54
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Cubano
Binder : Dominican
Filler : Dominican, Nicaraguan, Peruvian
Price : $6.50
More info about purchasing Vegafina cigars...
I admit that I am not that type of person to smoke cigars from Altadis and General Cigar. There has got to be quite a bit of noise about a cigar to impel me pick up a stick at B&M and buy it knowing it was made by these companies. Say what you want, but smoking cigars these days from Altadis and General Cigar is like going to the golden arches for a hamburger or the deep fried cauldrons at the Colonel's,... it’s just not my thing. But the Vega Fina brand, with its European targeting, had me intrigued enough to reach out of my comfort zone and give it a try.
Long a favorite among the Spanish, Altadis has made the Vega Fina a unique experience within their myriads of brands. I guess they thought it would be a good time to bring a value priced, cubanesque, Limited Edition smoke to this side of the Atlantic after the grand success of other cubanesque cigars (i.e. Quesada Espana).
Appearance : (4.75)
Vega Fina did a tremendous job of making this limited edition smoke look as classy and beautiful as possible. It has a very dark chocolate wrapper that oozes oils on its surface. The banding is simple but elegant with a secondary band indicating its Edicion Limitada status. Other than a few large veins, the Vega Fina SUMUM is basically as perfect a cigar as I have seen. The wrapper has a sweet smell like coconut and earth, and the foot is almost absent of aromas.
Perfectly cylindrical, tightly packed with a lot of filler, double capped, tightly sealed, and no soft spots= great pre-light construction.
Through the first third and most of the second the burnline was pretty straight. The white ash holds on for about and inch and a half and after dumping the first clump the burn problems were revealed.
The construction problem I have been plagued with with Dominican sticks returns again with only one side of the cigar wanting to burn. I have noticed that the bunching techniques in the fillers have been the culprit. I have seen this with Fuentes, Opus, C&C's, and now this stick. With some, it's easy to correct, and others it's a pain in the ass. The Vega Fina is easy to correct and with a quick blast from my torch on the non-burning side we have no problems.
My first thoughts after lighting the Vega Fina are that this is a stick that is definitely more tuned for the European palate because it tastes awfully cubanesque right from the start. It reminds me of a fairly fresh San Luis Rey Serie A or Regio. It starts off with some leatheriness at first, then a little sweet earth, and after a few more puffs, it reveals some mustiness. It is a very balanced stick so far in the first third with no single component sticking out.
Getting to the second third didn't take long since the Vega seems to burn pretty quickly. The mustiness in the first third has sort of disappeared to my disliking, but left over are flavors of dark chocolate,coffee bean, and sweet earthiness. There is a tingle of pepperiness that clings to the back of my throat which wasn't there before also. At this point the body is a medium+ (mostly because of that pepperiness) for me but the nicotine content feels a little subdued.
Throughout the second third I started to get tiny hints of meringue, like lemon meringue, and mild sweetness like cotton candy that pops up and goes away quicky. I know that's a little weird, but it's what I taste. It's not completely noticeable if you aren't paying super close attention.
The last bit of the cigar ends with some nuttiness, cedar, and espresso bean notes. Overall there are several different flavors that lend a certain amount of complexity to the smoke, but my biggest complaint (which is nitpicking a bit) is that the flavors aren't as vivid and don't jump out at you as much as I would like.
This is a good value for the quality of smoke and the amount of complexity. I think Altadis did a great job with the pricing, and allows many to be able to have the chance to experience this stick.
Overall Rating :
To say the least, I was impressed. I really do like this cigar and I will probably smoke several more. The cigar's price is hard to beat. It is by far and away the best Altadis product I have smoked. Is it better than, let's say, the Quesada Espana?,... not even close, but it is great in its own right. This will be the type of cigar that is approachable to about any smoker regardless of their experience and is consistent enough to deliver time and time again. Keep smoking my friends,...