VegaFina Fusion Edition. There are many collaborations in the cigar industry. Blenders working together. Factories working together. There are some well-known collaborations. Drew Estate making the coffee-infused Java for Rocky Patel. Or Drew Estate and Robert Caldwell working on the All Out Kings. And in the past, Drew Estate worked with Illusione for the Nosotros. A.J. Fernandez works with Jochi Blanco for the San Lotano Dominicana and with Altadis USA for some blends. The T is a project of Robert Caldwell, Matt Booth, and A.J. Fernandez. Many more collaborations happen. But last year, one was announced that piqued my interest.
The Spanish owned, Dominican made VegaFina brand is growing on us. And when they said they would collaborate with the largest cigar factory in China, Great Wall Cigar Factory, it was an immediate ‘must-try’. The cigars come from the rolling tables of the factory in Shifang. But the blend does not contain any Chinese tobacco. The wrapper and binder are Dominican. The filler is Dominican, Brazilian, and Indonesian. Indonesian tobacco is the only Asian influence in the blend. The cigar comes in a 6×52 Pyramid and will be available globally later this year. With the exploding demand for luxury goods in China, this is a very smart move from VegaFina owner Tabacalera.
The cigars came to me without a ring. That has to do with plain packaging rules. So I judge the ring with the pictures we have from the Ministry of Cigars article about the Fusion Edition. The ring has the VegaFina look but with added elements from Chinese culture such as a dragon and a painting of the Great Wall of China. The cigar itself has a beautiful, smooth, Colorado Maduro colored wrapper. It feels like velvet. There are little imperfections. The cigar feels well constructed. There is a nice, medium-strong aroma of a stable. Hay, musk, and leather.
The cold draw is good with an earthy profile. The earthiness is strong in the first puffs with pepper. There is a sweetness of dried fruits, but also leather and wood. The cigar starts with a flavor bomb. The cedar is more pronounced in the retrohale. Slowly the wood gets stronger with a little sour twang. The flavor palate gets more leather, more wood, and a little nuttiness. But there is still some dried fruit sweetness, earthiness, and citrus acidity as well. The cigar continues on the same path with the sweetness, and wood as the main flavors. There are hints of pepper, sometimes some slight dark chocolate shows up. Every now and then there is some leather or earthiness. All the way in the background there is that twang of acidity that binds everything together. In the final third, the aftertaste is slightly minty. With cinnamon that shows up, hay, leather, wood, spice, and sweetness.
The draw is great. The ash is white and dense. It’s firm and pretty. The burn is slow and straight. The amount of smoke and the thickness is good. This cigar is medium in body but full in flavor. There is character, and it’s a surprise that this Chinese made cigar is so pleasant. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.
Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I enjoyed it.