Sunday, August 10, 2008

Vega Fina (lonsdale)


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A few years ago my husband and I visited London. One of the touristy things we did was to have afternoon tea at Herrods. It was without a doubt the best tea I've ever tasted in my life. I didn't smoke cigars back then, but if I did I would have lit up a Vega Fina lonsdale as the perfect accompaniment to this exquisite beverage.


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According to the Altadis USA website, Vega Fina is a popular non-Cuban brand in Europe. Introduced to the U.S. market in 2007, this cigar is manufactured in La Romana, Dominican Republic at the Tabacalera de Garcia factory. The filler blend is composed of tobacco from Columbia, Dominican Republic, and Honduras, all encased by an Indonesian TBN binder. The shade wrapper is Connecticut seed from Ecuador.


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The band on this cigar is simple yet elegant. It's creamy yellow to match the wrapper, along with a red border and gold accents. When I removed this cigar from it's cello I noticed that it was slightly box pressed and gave off a very nice sweet aroma. The wrapper is vein free and so soft and smooth like a baby's bottom. I did not see any visible imperfections. The cigar felt spongy yet packed, with just one soft spot near the cap. I chose to use a punch cutter and received a firm yet clear draw. The pre-light flavor was sweet and spicy with nutmeg and powdered ginger.


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I noticed that this cigar starts off tasting a little like a cigarette. It's nice and mild and the finish was clean. Soon after the initial draw, you get strong notes of cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg built into a creamy body with a nice honey finish. This is one cigar where you just want to kick up your legs and enjoy it's pleasant aroma. The first third of this cigar is nice and toasty. Eventually the cigar develops more body but never beyond medium. It gets more leathery and care must be taken to slow down to avoid any bitterness. The warm spices get thrown into the background and the sweetness still remains but not as much. There isn't much complexity to it's flavor but it's still very enjoyable.


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The burn on this cigar was even all the way. The salt and pepper ash was strong and compact well beyond the one inch mark. No re-lights or touch-ups were necessary. The wrapper burned well without any lifting and stayed cool throughout the entire smoke. The last two inches tasted a little bitter, so stopping at the band would be a good idea. I noticed that the cigar leaves a light tobacco taste in your mouth.


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The cost of these cigars is a real bargain. I paid like $3.19 for the 43 by 6 and 1/2 lonsdale but you can get them for just under $3 if you buy a box of 25. I plan on getting a box when I get back from vacation. This is a great cigar for anyone who enjoys mild yet flavorful cigars. It is smooth, elegant, and sophisticated. No wonder the Europeans adore it.

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