VegaFina Sumum Edición Especial 2012

Back at the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show, we reported on a limited edition release by Atladis USA under the VegaFina brand known as the VegaFina Sumum Edición Especial 2012.  This is the latest in what has become a series of limited edition releases in the VegaFina brand.  Unofficially the Sumum 2012 could be considered a sequel to the VegaFina Sumum Edición Especial 2010.  The tobacco profiles between the Sumum 2010 and Sumum 2012 are similar, but there are two differences with the cigars.  The first is that the Sumum 2012 uses tobaccos from a different crop year.  The second is that the Sumum 2012 has a larger ring gauge.  Recently I had an opportunity to smoke the Sumum 2012.  While I don’t think this cigar eclipses the Sumum 2010, I still found this a very good cigar.

Like the Sumum 2010, the Sumum 2012 was also first released to the European market first. VegaFina is a brand that has done well in Europe – and in particular Spain.  Much of the brand has focused on milder smokes, but with the recent run of limited editions, they have tried to change the mold.  In addition to the Sumum 2010, there have also been limited edition releases with the VegaFina Jose Seijas 2011, and VegaFina Master 2012.  There was also a release of the core line VegaFina Fortaleza 2.

 

VegaFina Sumum Edición Especial 2010

At this time, let’s break down the VegaFina Sumum Edición Especial 2012 and see what this cigar brings to the table.

Blend Profile

As mentioned, the blend profile is very similar to the VegaFina Sumum 2010, but the tobaccos are from a different vintage.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan, Peruvian

Vitolas Available

The VegaFina Sumum 2012 is only available in one size- a 5 x 56 robusto.  This is slightly larger than the 5 x 54 robusto with the Sumum 2010.

The VegaFina Sumum 2012 is sold in boxes of ten.  There will be a production of 4,000 boxes produced.

Appearance

The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper is a medium brown color that almost has an oak color to it. There is some amount of oil on the wrapper.  The wrapper seams are well-hidden.  There are also some visible veins.

The band of the VegaFina Sumum 2012 features a gray, black, red, silver and white color scheme.  On the center of the band is a VegaFina logo.  This features “VF” in red font with a white trim to it.  The “VF” sits on a black circular background.  A silver wreath surrounds the “VF”.  There is also white and gray striping toward the outer part of the circle.  The rest of the band features a thick black stripe with a thinner gray stripe above and below it.  The black stripe features smaller “VF”s outlined in gray in wallpaper fashion.  On the left side of the band is the text “VEGAFINA” in gray font.  On the right side of the band is the text “VEGAFINA” in gray font.
There is also a secondary band.  It features the text SUMUM in black font on an orange background.  There is a thick gray stripes on the top and bottom edge.  On the lower thick gray stripe is the text “EDICIÓN ESPECIAL” in thin black font.  There is a thin pinstripe above and below the orange background.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

No surprises here when it comes to starting the cigar experience as I went with my usual choice of a straight cut.  Once the cap was clipped, I moved on to the pre-light draw experience.  The dry draw notes provided a mix of wood and citrus notes.  Overall I considered the pre-light draw to be satisfactory.  At this point, I was ready to light up my VegaFina Sumum Edición Especial 2012 and see what the smoking phase would deliver.

Flavor Profile

Overall I did find parallels in the flavor profile of the Sumum 2012 and the Sumum 2010.  I did find the Sumum 2012 had less in the way of flavor transitions and complexity. The start to the Sumum 2012 started out with a mix of pepper and lemon citrus notes along with some background wood notes.  The pepper did subside in the background. As the cigar moved through the first third, the lemon flavor becomes less pure citrus and more of a lemongrass flavor. The wood notes also changed into a subtle caramel sweetness.  Overall, by the end of the first third, the lemongrass is the primary flavor, the pepper is secondary, and the caramel is more of a tertiary note.  Overall the lemon and lemongrass notes reminded me a lot of the Sumum 2010’s signature flavor.

The retro-hale took a little time to develop, but by the midway point it became more of a pepper flavor. The pepper also moved back into the second half joining the lemongrass notes.

Toward the end, the spice did take more control.  I did find the spice got a little harsh toward the close of the cigar experience.  At the end of the cigar experience, the resulting nub was a little soft, but it was cool in temperature.

Burn and Draw

The burn to the VegaFina Sumum Edición Especial 2012 performed quite well.  The burn line remained relatively straight.  While it did require some minor touch-ups along the way, there was nothing in the way of a abnormal amount of touch-ups.  The resulting ash was a salt and pepper color.  For the most part the ash remained firm.  There were a couple of points the ash did flake, but it was minor and didn’t cause an inconvenience.  The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.

As for the draw,  I had heard some reports from others that the draw was tight.  This wasn’t the case for me at all.  I found a touch of resistance to the draw – which is something I like – making for an excellent draw.  It did make me wonder if I have a preference for a tighter draw.

Strength and Body

There were some noticeable differences between the Sumum 2010 and 2012 when it came to strength and body.  First the Sumum 2012 seemed to have more strength than the Sumum 2010. I assessed the Sumum 2012 to be a medium strength cigar (up from the mild to medium assessment I gave the Sumum 2010).  I don’t know how long the tobaccos have been aged in the Sumum 2012 when compared to the 2010, so I’m wondering if age may diminish the strength of this cigar over time.

When it came to body, I found the Sumum 2012 actually had a little less.  I assessed this cigar as being medium-bodied for most of the smoking experience.  In the second half, it did increase a little and progress to medium to full-bodied.  This differed from the Sumum 2010 which tended to stay on the medium to full-side throughout the smoking experience.  Overall,  I felt the balance between strength and body was closer with the Sumum 2012 (compared to the Sumum 2010)

Final Thoughts

Last year, the release of the Sumum 2010 caught a lot of people by surprise (including me).  It generated some high praise and buzz.  For whatever reason, the VegaFina Sumum Edición Especial 2012 seems to be a much lower key release in the cigar community.  As I said up-front, the Sumum 2012 doesn’t quite match up to the Sumum 2010, but it is still not a bad cigar.  While not a young cigar, I think there is some excellent aging potential to further mature the blend. It’s certainly a cigar I’d recommend for a novice enthusiast to try.  As for the experienced cigar enthusiast, I’d still recommend it – particularly to those who felt the Sumum 2010 didn’t have enough strength.  As for myself,  this is a cigar I would still invest in a five pack of to smoke.

Summary

Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Finish: Good
Assessment: 3.0 – The Fiver
Score: 90

Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Union Cigar Company in Monroe, NC.