24 Jun 2013
A few weeks back, I received a notice from Cigar Rights of America (CRA) that my membership was up for renewal. I’ve been a member pretty much since CRA’s inception, and am happy to support their efforts to defend cigars and battle against bans and taxes.
For renewing my membership, CRA sent me two complimentary cigars. One was the Vegas Cubanas by Don Pepin Garcia. Like the other cigars CRA members are entitled to, it is not available anywhere else. From what I can tell, while the makeup of the cigar is the same as the standard Vegas Cubanas blend that’s been on the market since 2005, its proportions (6 x 52) are unique, though very similar to the Generosos vitola (6 x 50), which retails for about $7.
Information is scarce about this CRA offering. Again, though, I have no reason to believe the tobaccos are any different than the original Vegas Cubanas. If that’s the case, this cigar boasts Cuban-seed corojo long-fillers, a Habano Rosado claro wrapper, and a Nicaraguan binder. It is made at El Rey de Los Habanos in Miami.
Like the other Vegas Cubanas cigars I’ve smoked over the years, the pale wrapper is slightly wrinkled, mostly dry, and has a bit of a reddish tinge. The feel is consistently soft from the foot to the triple-cap. Only the faintest pre-light notes of sweet hay are apparent. A double guillotine cut reveals a surprisingly stiff draw.
Once lit, a profile of nuts, coffee, bread, and cedar spice emerges. The spice is dominant, and heavily concentrated on the tip of the tongue. It is offset by sweet honey and a little cream. I don’t think I’m grasping at straws when I say the aftertaste reminds me of graham cracker.
Some of the spice starts to dissipate at the midway point, yet the core flavors remain. All the while the cigar’s physical properties are excellent. The draw opens significantly to enable solid smoke production, the burn line is straight, and the gray ash holds well off the foot.
Truth be told, Vegas Cubanas is not a line that’s been on my radar for some time. So credit is due to CRA for reminding me why I used to light up this line with some regularity. If you’re renewing your CRA membership—or becoming a new member for the first time—you have no way of controlling what they send you. If you happen to get this smoke, you won’t be disappointed. Either way, if you haven’t had a Vegas Cubanas in a while, pick one up. I award this size four stogies out of five.
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photo credit: Stogie Guys