Cigar Review: Vega Fina Sumum Edicion Especial 2010

Cigar Review: Vega Fina Sumum Edicion Especial 2010

Vega Fina Sumum Edicion Especial 2010

Size:  Robusto  (5″ x 54)

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano

Binder:  Connecticut Broadleaf

Filler:  Nicaraguan, Dominican, Peruvian

Strength: Medium

Grade: 8.3

Price: 6.75 MSRP

Back at the end of June we launched a contest where we asked our readers to name a cigar they’d like to see reviewed.  We had almost 200 entries and after selecting, using random.org, the winning cigar was the Vega Fina Sumum.  Thanks to everyone who participated, and congratulations to site member UNCKOZ, I hope you enjoyed that box of Lil Monsters.  This review is for you!

My good friend Tony Casas at casasfumando.com provides a great synopsis on the bio for the Sumum so with his blessing I’m going to share what he wrote:

If you aren’t familiar with VegaFina, don’t feel bad. The line comes from Altadis,  which owns brands such as Montecristo, Romero y Julieta, and H. Upman which can easily overshadow the smaller names such as the VegaFina. The Sumum, is a vintage blend created at Tabacalera de Garcia “with the best premium tobaccos, hand-selected for their unique characteristics and aged with care, for a one-of-a-kind smoke with distinct body, toasty aroma, and rich flavors” as stated by Altadis.

Tony adds “This blend was released into the US last month, but, like the Quesada Sleccion Espana, was actually released in Europe quite a while back. I really like that manufacturers are starting to bring certain blends out of certain markets like that.

I’m with Tony on that one, I love that cigar manufacturers are sharing their European blended cigars with us here.  The US and European markets are different due to greater competition from Cuban cigars in Europe which contributes to the blending characteristics for that market having some differences from what are often spicier, richer, fuller blends than what we in the US are accustomed to.

But enough about that, let’s toast the foot!

Pre-Light:  (1.8)  The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper has is a rich brown with a hint of red to its tint/  There is a smooth oiliness to the touch.  The silver bands are simple and classy if not a little plain with the VF logo and “Vega Fina Sumum” on the main band and a smaller secondary band denoting “Edicion Especial 2010” on it.  There is a classic triple cap to top it off.

The scent off the foot has a rich earthy element to it with a meaty spiciness that is notable.  After a snip off the cap the pre-light draw reveals a woodsy core with a syrupy maple like sweetness to it.

Burn:  (1.7)  The Sumum was a little tight on the draw.  The burn line took a little work to get right but rounded into form in the first third.   Smoke production was solid, no complaints, but not really noteworthy either.

Flavor:  (2.3)  The first few puffs of the Sumum provide open up with a bit of pepper which quickly steps to the background and reveals a rich woodsy element.  The woodsy element was joined by contrasting notes of sweet fruitiness and peppery zing.  It was almost like there were competing flavors of dry apricot and lemon peel competing for my attention on either side of that woodsy core.  It was a welcome and unexpected complexity.  The Sumum left a rich almost floral finish behind that was joined with the lemony zing.

Smoking into the second third and the flavor is consistent with most of the first third.  Woodsy, mostly cedar core,  with hints of dried fruit and peppery citrus.  At around the half way point there was a big transition and as the cedar up front is joined with a strong oak note.  The fruitiness recedes and a stronger peppery spice takes its place.  The spice leaves a gentle tingle on the tip of the tongue.  The flavor is very rich.  Strength is a solid medium.

As I smoke into the final third the flavors on the Sumum start losing their definition and complexity.  It was a complete 180 as the first 2/3’s of the Sumum were rich and complex, the last inch and a half offered up a fairly strong and far less enjoyable tartness.  Strength remained at the higher end of medium until the end.

Overall:  (2.5)  I’ll tell you this much, the first two thirds of the Sumum were an adventure in complexity and flavor and really took me by surprise given the price point and the mass market nature of the manufacturer.  Where the Sumum lost points was in the last third, the sudden crashing of the flavor profile to something I found far less dynamic, or enjoyable, was surprising.  So much so that I bought another one to see if it was stick specific.  Unfortunately the second Sumum offered up the same experience in the last third.  I do think that both sticks came from the same shipment as they were bought at the same B & M within a week of each other so it’s certainly possible that it was a batch specific issue, but nonetheless it happened on both samples so I have to go with what I experienced.  For the money, it’s a good stick, but it could have been fantastic if the flavors would have held up a little longer.

Total: 8.3

@WillyStyl