|VegaFina Sumum Edicion Especial 2010|
With all of the new cigars that come out every year, it is often easy to pick out which ones are going to be among the best of the best. When we previewed a few weeks ago that the VegaFina Sumum Edicion Especial 2010 was headed to the U.S. market, I didn’t feel expectations were particularly high. It’s not that VegaFina cigars have been bad, but they just haven’t hit one out of the park with the line. Things have changed with the VegaFina Sumum 2010. This might be the big revelation of 2012 for American cigar enthusiasts. This is far and beyond the best release I’ve had with the VegaFina name, and it definitely ranks among the best work from Altadis in recent years.
The VegaFina Sumum 2010 has been already available in Europe. For that market, it was sold in tubes. The U.S. launch will not be sold in tubes at this time. In general, the VegaFina line has been a line of Altadis that has done very well in the European cigar market – especially Spain. They made their way to the United States a few years ago, and have provided a value-priced milder smoke for cigar enthusiasts. The recent releases of under VegaFina in the U.S. market such as the VegaFina Jose Seijas 2011 and now the VegaFina Sumum 2010 have attempted to redefine the brand outside the reputation for being milder smokes.
Let’s take a closer look at the VegaFina Sumum 2010.
The VegaFina Sumum 2010 uses two year old aged tobacco. The following are the characteristics of the blend:
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan, Peruvian
The VegaFina Sumum 2010 is currently available in a single vitola – 5 x 54 sized robusto.
The wrapper of the VegaFina Sumum 2010 has somewhat of a cross between a colorado (reddish) and coffee colored wrapper. The wrapper itself has some visible veins and wrapper seams. The wrapper is not oily and does not have a rough texture.
There are two bands on the VegaFina Sumum 2010. Each of the two bands have a gray background with white trim at the top and bottom. On the first band, there is a black circular design that sits on top of the gray background. At the center of the black circle is “VF” in gray font. The black circular design has a silver wreath-like design around it. Surronding that design are two additional gray concentric circles on the black circle. To the left of the black circle is “VegaFina” and to the right is “Sumum” – both in black font on the gray background. The second band features the text “Edicion Especial 2010” in black font on the gray background.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my VegaFina Sumum 2010, I went with my usual straight cut into the cap. I commenced with the pre-light draw. The dry draw notes were initially spicy. I was treated to a combination of pepper and cedar spice. There also was some cinnamon sweetness that came from the pre-light draw. Overall, this was a very good pre-light experience, so it was time to fire up my VegaFina Sumum 2010 and see what the cigar would bring.
The initial flavor notes to the VegaFina Sumum 2010 treated me to notes of wood with some sweetness and pepper spice. The sweetness took a few minutes to identify, but it definitely surfaced as a lemon flavor. The lemon flavor would be the primary note early on. Shortly afterwards, some coffee and cream notes surfaced in the background. The pepper notes soon became more noticable on the after-draw This would be the flavor profile the cigar would have for the first half. There was no question, the start to the VegaFina Sumum 2010 was outstanding.
The lemon citrus notes that were in the forefront for the first half of the VegaFina Sumum 2010 took more of a secondary role in the second half. This part of the cigar saw the emergence of oak and nut notes. These would quickly move into the forefront. The spice which had been relegated to the after-draw in the first half now back as a seconday note. By the second third, this spice had more of a cedar spice flavor to it. The spice notes surprised me with this cigar. I had detected a lot more spice on the pre-light, so I was expecting this to be the case with the Sumum 2010, but this not to be. I did not look at this as a negative, but more as an observation.
Most of the smoking experience with the VegaFina Sumum 2010 provided a smooth experience. The end was a little less smooth, but not harsh. The finishing flavors to the cigar featured bold woody and cedary notes. The resulting nub was outstanding – cool in temperature and firm to the touch.
Burn and Draw
The VegaFina Sumum 2010 scores high in this area. The burn gets very good marks as it burned sharply throughout the smoking experience with minimal touch-ups. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal throughout the smoke. The only note on the burn is that the resulting ash was a little flaky from time to time. As for the draw, it was perfect – making for a very good smoking experience.
Strength and Body
The original VegaFina that made it to the United States was a mild strength cigar. The VegaFina Jose Seijas 2011 was a medium strength cigar. As for the VegaFina Sumum 2010 – I put this right in the middle – namely mild to medium in strength. This cigar is not going to overwhelm you with nicotine. As for the body of the flavor notes, they were rich – especially for a cigar that was mild to medium in strength. I assessed the body of the VegaFina Sumum 2010 to be medium to full-bodied. Overall, since this doesn’t overpower you with strength, it allows the flavors to shine.
Last year, Altadis was shut out of the 2011 Cigar of the Year countdown. The bad news is that the VegaFina Sumum 2010 will not be a part of the 2012 countdown. The reason is because this is not a new blend. However, this should not discount what this cigar brings to the table – as it delivers an outstanding and memorable smoking experience. I said up-front that this could be Altadis’ best release in some time. It’s a cigar that will provide rich flavors and a nice level of complexity to both novice and experienced cigar enthusiasts. As for myself, I highly recommend the VegaFina Sumum 2010. This would be a cigar I’d consider a box purchase for.
Strength: Mild to Medium
Body: Medium to Full
Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased at Casa de Montecristo in Countryside, Illinois.