“ It’s a cigar that will keep experienced cigar enthusiasts happy – and it’s a great cigar for the novice to move outside the milder range of cigars.”
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Dominican (Piloto) and Nicaraguan Habano
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera de Garcia
Toro: 5 3/4 x 54
Price: €7.50 (~$8.50 USD)
Review: VegaFina Gran Reserva 2019 (Toro) (8/5/19)
Appearances on Countdown (By Year/Brand): 4 (2012, 2016, 2018, 2019)
Coming in at #26 is the VegaFina Gran Reserva 2019. Back in 2018, the VegaFina brand celebrated its 20th anniversary. VegaFina is a brand that is under Imperial Tobacco’s Tabacalera S.A. group. It is a brand that is sold in the U.S. market under Altadis U.S.A. While VegaFina might not be as well known as Montecristo or Romeo y Julieta in the U.S., it is a brand that is very popular in the European market – particularly Spain. In 2018, VegaFina celebrated its 20th anniversary with the VegaFina Gran Reserva 20 Aniversario that was released to the European market. “Gran Reserva” is a term used to denote a cigar that features extra-aged tobacco. To follow up the Gran Reserva 20 Aniversario VegaFina decided to do another release in 2019 and that cigar would be appropriately titled VegaFina Gran Reserva 2019. This would also be a European-only release.
The VegaFina Gran Reserva 2019 features a three-country multi-national blend highlighted by tobaccos that have been aged a minimum of five years. This includes an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Nicaraguan Habano binder, and a combination of Dominican Piloto and Nicaraguan Habano in the filler. The VegaFina Gran Reserva 2019 comes in one size – a 5 3/4 x 54 Toro. It is packaged in ten-count boxes with a total worldwide production of 5,350 numbered boxes.
This is only the second time a non U.S. release has made the Countdown. In 2017, RoMa Craft Tobac landed on the Countdown with its German market release, Wunder|Lust. It’s the second consecutive year the VegaFina brand has landed on the Countdown joining 2018’s #3 Cigar of the Year, the VegaFina Añejado 7 Años Robusto Extra Pigtail. The VegaFina Gran Reserva 2019 gives Altadis/Imperial Tobacco Group its fourth entry on the Countdown.
The VegaFina Gran Reserva 2019 produced notes of natural tobacco, bakers spice, cedar, black pepper, and earth. It’s a medium-bodied smoke from start to finish. Strength-wise the Gran Reserva starts out mild to medium before progressing to medium in the second third.
While it’s not the most uber-complex cigar out there, the VegaFina Gran Reserva 2019 excelled in the category that matters the most – flavor. At around $8.50 USD, it’s not going to break the bank. This is a cigar you will have to hunt down from a European merchant, but it will definitely be worth it.
For details of the 2019 Cigar of the Year Countdown, see our 2019 criteria.
Photo Credit: Cigar Coop, except where noted