VegaFina Exclusivo Benelux Toro. VegaFina is a brand made at Casa de Garcia on the Dominican Republic. And Casa de Garcia is the largest cigar factory in the country. It’s part of Altadis. And Altadis is part of Imperial Brands. But for how long is the question. Imperial Brands is trying to sell their premium cigar division. That includes their Dominican cigar factory but also their stake in Habanos. And the shares in several Habanos distributors worldwide.
Habanos was probably the inspiration for this Exclusivo Benelux. Habanos has been releasing regional editions for over a decade. This is the first time VegaFina released a regional edition for the Benelux. Probably hoping to mimic the success of the Cuban regional editions. For that, they blended a 5×56 cigar. The filler is from the Dominican and the United States. The binder is from the Dominican. As a wrapper, they used Mexican Criollo.
Name: VegaFina Exclusivo Benelux
Country: Dominican Republic
Factory: Casa de Garcia
Wrapper: Mexico Criollo
Binder: Dominican Olor
Filler: Dominican Olor, Dominican Piloto, USA Connecticut Shade
Price: € 9,90
Cutter: Xikar X2
Lighter: single flame
Smoke conditions: indoors with ventilator
Smoke time: two hours fifty minutes
Purchased at Primera
The cigar has a nice Colorado Claro colored wrapper. The veins are thin and pretty. Where the regular VegaFina ring has a brushed silver color, the designers picked a shiny silver for the secondary ring. That makes the rings look odd. The Benelux flag design is a nice addition to the additional ring. The construction feels good. The aroma is mild, with a wooden nose. The secondary ring is not glued straight, it’s not correct on the detail level.
The cold draw is good. It tastes spicy with a strong raw tobacco flavor. Stronger than expected from a brand that is known for milder cigars. After lighting, there is a very mild nutty flavor with some citrus flavor. The flavors are very mild. Coffee, leather, citrus and some sweetness. The cigar is boring with little flavor and no evolution in the first third. After a third, some pepper, wood and a hint of chocolate are tasted. And there is still a little acidity left. It then picks up in strength a little, with young, fresh wood and some sugar. But it remains mild. Halfway the cigar turns medium bodied with wood, nuts, minty freshness, and pepper. The wood turns a little charred. In the final third, leather makes a comeback.
The burn was crooked but corrected itself. The ash is whiter than white. The smoke is poor, in volume and thickness. The cigar starts very mildly, then slowly grows to medium-full. Both in flavor and strength. The smoke time is two hours and fifty minutes