The Vega Fina Master 2012 is single vitola, limited edition release from the Vega Fina brand. Past releases include the Vega Fina Jose Seijas, and the Vega Fina Sumum 2010 (which was originally only a European release, but this year was released to the US). I was intrigued by the new Master 2012, since I felt the Sumum and the Jose Seijas were both wonderful blends that I really enjoyed. All three of the lines were produced in Altadis’ Tabacalera de Garcia factory in the Dominican Republic. Let us see how the Master 2012 stacked up.
Size: 5 x 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Dominican Olor
Filler: Dominican Piloto
Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
Construction and Appearance: The Vega Fina Master 2012 has two bands which are both have a nice modern feel to them. The top band is a mix of grey, silver, and black, with VF wreathed in silver. The second band is a foot band which is gray with black writing and says Master 2012. The wrapper of the Vega Fina Master 2012 is a fairly dark reddish brown with a bit of oil and a fair bit of veins.
Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the Vega Fina Master 2012 has notes of leather, cocoa, and coffee. The foot has notes of leather, earth, coffee, and a deep rich mineral salty scent. To prepare smoking the Vega Fina Master 2012, I use a straight cut. On the cold draw there are flavors of spice, earth, and a little leather.
Smoking Characteristics: The Vega Fina Master 2012 kicks off with a rich blend of pepper, spices, wood, earth, leather, and a little coffee bean. The most dominant flavors are the pepper and the wood, which coat the palate providing a hearty finish between draws. The draw is excellent, easily providing a full body rich, thick, dense smoke. In terms of strength, the Vega Fina Master 2012 comes in at a solid medium, offering a nice subtle buzz early on while smoking.
Into the second third of the Vega Fina Master 2012, the notes of pepper, wood, earth, leather, and coffee bean all remain strongly in the flavor profile. Also in this third, notes of natural tobacco and a light cocoa join the flavor profile as well. The ash is excellent, easily holding past the inch point, and the burn is extremely sharp. The draw is still amazing, the perfect resistance, easily providing a full body of smoke.
During the final third of the Vega Fina Master 2012, the flavor profile remains largely the same. The notes of pepper, wood, earth, leather, cocoa, natural tobacco, and coffee bean all remain present in the flavor profile. The strength in this final third picks up to the medium to full range, providing a nice mellow buzz. The draw is still excellent, easily providing a nice full body of the rich, dense smoke. The construction still stands up well in this third, the ash holding firmly and the burn remaining very sharp. The Master remains very firm and smokes cool all the way to the nub.
Conclusion: When I smoked the samples of the Master 2012 I kept comparing them to the Sumum and the Jose Seijas. While it was a fine blend with some good flavors and great construction, I found it lacking just a bit. Both the Sumum and the Seijas offered a little bit more in the way of evolution and flavor. The one thing the Vega Fina Master 2012 had going for it was a nice increase in strength, especially over the Vega Fina white, but even over the Sumum and the Seijas. It is also another solid new blend for Altadis, and one worth trying out.